Being a retailer in the„Age of Customer“, how do you manage to stick out of the mass and outshine even the big players in e-commerce? The key to success for your online shop is no longer just a matter of excellent usability, but primarily customer centricity: you can truly enthuse your customer by putting him in the spotlight consequently. This also includes individual, situational approach through customization as well as playing highly relevant (emotionalizing) content. Supported by inspiring content marketing as well as excellent customer service you can create the ultimative shopping experience (customer experience, CX). Yet, even though this winning formula is well known theoretically among many online-retailers, its practical implementation is all too often inadequate. This way any provider squanders not only valuable potential but also a promising opportunity for their online shop to obtain an exclusive market position.
In our four part series we show you valuable practical tips on how to avoid precisely that and how to impress in the above mentioned online areas. Here you can read Part 1: Basic knowledge for the success of an online shop – creating a feel-good atmosphere.
Basic knowledge for the success of your online shop: creating a feel-good atmosphere
Even though online retailers often would like to tick off quickly the bases of an online shop in order to move on to the big ROI promising matters like emotionalization or personalization, it still is required to also concentrate on dealing with supposed basics: users indeed only turn into customers when they can navigate inside your shop – regardless (product) variety and content – easily, if they do not lose time for waiting and if they feel at home and also well advised right from the very start. Establishing such a feel-good atmosphere is both, essential and offers you an opportunity to create unique selling points:
Page loading time: Do not make your customers wait!
Having to wait long seconds for requested page to be loaded can be quite the bummer to visitors in the mood for shopping: recent studies have shown that it only needs a 2-second period for 1 out of 45 users to leave a store without having made a purchase at all. So how do you speed things up here? First of all, make sure that each single page does not exceed 1,5 MB whilst the number of elements to be loaded remains below 150. If possible, straight images should be compressed or at least concentrated. Another slowdown is HTTPS or rather SSL content. Nevertheless, they remain essential to your customers’ data security. Due to a common misconception that such content is cached by the browser, it mostly stays intact and continues to consume precious time. In fact, by activating browser caching and control the above mentioned content with response headers – just like with http-content – you can save valuable time. If loading times are then still too long, you might test the influence of third-party services involved, like address validation, credit card authorization, analytics etc. and if necessary, review your selection.
Long charging times: this is the best way to spoil every visitor the pleasure of online shopping.
Data safety & evaluation systems: create trust!
After the speed of your website has been ticked off successfully it is now time to enhance your visitor‘s trust since only sanguine visitors consider a purchase. One decisive factor for user trust is complete transparency – also and in particular regarding tracking, data analysis and personalization. Every single user is already aware of leaving footprints behind at any time as well as about those footprints being used on the part of the online trading to adapt their product portfolio to the user’s individual needs. Therefore, please do not conceal data tracking but rather inform about it in a proactive way. Besides that, place your emphasis on a technical solution which combines both, personalization and data safety. Note – against the widely spread notion, such solution is no longer impossible (see also part 4 coming). Handling user data in a responsible way according to the strict German data protection law as well as communicating the same clearly and allowing visitors control over their own data leads not only to grateful acceptance of your product‘s individual relevance but also to appreciation on user’s site, for your approach as USP.
Transparency and data privacy: visitors shall be informed how their data is used and be given the opportunity to refuse such usage.
A second major factor are evaluation systems: on the one hand this tools gives your customers the possibility to rate your shop and services, while on the other hand offering potential users the chance to obtain objective information around your products. Every great online shop needs such an evaluation system, which incidentally increases the purchase probability by fully 63%. However, achieving such quota requires a special tool which should not be managed by you: collected reviews originating from the retailer himself lack in authenticity and user’s confidence in your shop – a truly conversion rate killer. With independent evalution systems like e.g. Truspilot or Feefo you can counteract this tendency and give your customer a valid reason to trust your product evaluation.
Ratings: Reevoo uses an independent system to display the most helpful user reviews – both, positive and negative – directly on its product pages.
Customer Care: make up for problems with excellent support!
Nothing is perfect and avoiding all errors during the ordering process is practically impossible. By offering an excellent customer support you not only make up for the problems caused but also significantly increase customer loyalty. Essential here is a profound understanding of the customer journey via data driven applications: analysing every user contact data and combining them across channels and further, with additional results from surveys or tracking, enables you to identify all potential trouble spots. With closed loop analyses, based on feedback of analyses, weaknesses like this can sometimes be automatically remediated, which simultaneously optimises your online shop. If this is, however, not possible, prominently placed clues or FAQs can assist in clarifying uncertainties.
Clear listing of FAQs, preferably arranged in logical groups like here on Cyberport, leaves no questions unanswered.
Still, if questions remain, a range of context-based designed support should be provided as in personal services and interactive self-services (e.g. live chat). This way, a support geared towards individual user interface ensures that customer feel understood and well advised: what stays in mind is your proactive support whereas the primary problem is quickly forgotten – a decisive selling point and good reason to return.
Interactive services – like this guide from notebooksbilliger.de – support your potential customer with their purchasing decision