Nearly anyone can establish an E-commerce site nowadays, thanks to web design templates that use drag-and-drop technology to present a professional looking site in a matter of minutes.
Yet publishing an E-commerce site may be the simplest step in the process of establishing an online store that attracts customers convincing them to buy. Here are some of the key features customers like to see in an E-commerce site.
The Total Cost of Their Shopping Cart
More than half of the respondents to WorldPay’s Global Online Shopper Report said they’ve abandoned an E-commerce site because they were surprised by the “all in” costs of their cart contents once shipping and tax were calculated. Keep customers aware of the costs they’ll face as they add and remove items from their shopping cart; apply discounts they can use toward their purchase automatically if you drove them to your site with the promise of that offer.
Related Article: Opening New Doors: E-Commerce Tips for Small Businesses
An Accurate Reflection of Your Inventory
A study of online shoppers conducted by marketing consultancy firm Simon-Kucher & Partners revealed that customers are most motivated to shop online because of convenience. To meet their expectations, only include products that are in stock and ready to ship. Take advantage of real-time inventory software that automatically updates the merchandise you have on hand to sell, so shoppers aren’t surprised with a back order notification or partial fulfillment of their order after they’ve spent time shopping on your site.
Accurate Product Images and Descriptions
The so-called “dress that broke the Internet” (some online shoppers saw a dress that was white and gold while others saw one that was blue and black) underscores the importance of accurate product descriptions and images that reflect reality. Though Wired magazine explains that the issue over the color of the dress mentioned above was driven by the intricacies of visual perception, the problem could have been mitigated with product copy. Show shoppers product detail from different angles and in use. State the product’s weight and height, color, fabrication, truth of fit and other product details in copy to set expectations.
Social media, online reviews by other customers and review sites like Yelp have all become critical to purchase decisions. Take a cue from the brands that use social proof effectively:
- Amazon shows positive and negative reviews alongside every product.
- TripAdvisor allows users to upload personal vacation photos to show site visitors what a property really looks like.
- Zappos features an open comments section where buyers share information, like whether products run true to size.
The Ability to Check Out as a Guest
Experts at Nielsen Norman Group write that being forced to create an account or log into an e-commerce site before making a purchase is one of the biggest complaints online shoppers cite when it comes to usability issues. Allow guest checkout, minimize the number of fields customers must complete, and eliminate unnecessary fields (like Mr., Mrs., Ms.; or a date and even phone number).
Assurance of Payment Security
CIO Magazine reports that up to a quarter of online customers abandon a purchase because of concerns about site security. Assure customers their payment data will be protected with visual cues and a seamless checkout. Respondents to a 2013 study by Baymard Institute said they trust sites that show the “Norton Secured” logo; major credit card logos instill trust, too. Partner with mobile payment providers that guarantee PCI-compliant processing and allow you to brand the third-party payment gateway pages.
When customers can’t see, touch or otherwise experience your E-commerce store in person, they’re left to rely on the functionality and features your E-commerce offers to instill confidence in your business and its products. Use these tips to give customers what they most like to see when shopping online.