How to Improve the E-Commerce Shopping Experience
This post was originally published on August 9, 2016 but has been updated on January 29, 2018
The customer experience is crucial to e-commerce in fashion retailing. Customers give a website milliseconds to meet their needs before they move on to another retailer. Your web design is everything to the success of your business. A great, responsive site will gain you raving fans. A slow, not easily navigable site will earn you nothing.
How to quickly improve the e-Commerce shopping experience?
What makes a great, responsive site that will earn you raving fans and full shopping carts? We have covered before the importance of making sure the platform you choose features essential functionalities such as design flexibility or device responsiveness - these must-have functionalities will certainly help creating an enjoyable shopping journey for your customers.
Aside from integrated functionalities, there are some tips you might want to follow to make sure your customers or web shop visitors leave your online shop with an empty basket.
1. Site loading time
It may sound obvious - but have you checked how long does it take for your home page and product pages to load? If a page does not load instantly, the customer will hit the back button and go elsewhere.
Photos are second to load time. You want enough photos to give the customer a full 360º view of the product, the ability to zoom into details is ideal, and it is always a plus if you can add videos (as longs as it doesn't slow down your loading time!).
2. Copy and product descriptions
Tell the customer exactly what they need to know: dimensions, fabric, color, availability, sizing, etc. Too much copy can be a deal killer - customers then need to look all over for the information that they need to make an informed purchase decision. Regardless of being a B2B or a B2C online store, you want to pay careful attention to excellent copy/product descriptions.
The option to review purchases is something that can make or break an e-commerce fashion site. Customers love reviews. Reviews provide valuable information about your merchandise, and you don’t have to write the copy! Reviews also allow you to communicate with unhappy customers who would not otherwise contact you. Aside from keeping your customers happy, your SEO will likely improve, thus making your online shop rank higher on the search engines.
3. Put an end to shopping cart abandonment
Even if you are running a successful store you might still experience a high number of lost sales due to shopping cart abandonment. You are not the only one, according to Statista, as of the second quarter of 2017, the abandonment rate for online shops in the fashion industry was 67.6%. The average, regardless of the industry, is a shocking 69.23%. There is no magic trick that can put an absolute end to shopping cart abandonment, but there are sales recovery tactics that business owners can implement to lower the numbers.
First and foremost, it is vital to make sure there are no issues in the payment process - any type of error regarding method of payment will most likely frustrate your customers and lead them to give up on the purchase. It is also important to be upfront about the shipping methods and fees - is international shipping more expensive for your customers? Say so in the early stages of the shopping process.
You can also implement marketing strategies that nurture your visitors and customers who abandoned their shopping carts to remind them of your store. A simple tactic consisting of e-mail reminders can grab the attention of your audience and persuade them to finish the purchasing process they didn't finish before.