27 September 2013
Ten tips that make it easy to buy on your B2C or B2B eCommerce site.
1. Fast Check Out. How fast is it to get from your product pages to checkout? How many clicks? If your potential customers find that it takes too long to check out, this causes frustration and likely loss of interest. Minimizing clicks and streamlining the process speed things up. Make it easy to buy not easy to bounce.
2. Fast Page Load. Speed matters, and not only in how many clicks it takes to get to the shopping cart. The speed at which your website loads determines if visitors stay or leave. Forrester in conjunction with Akamai did a study on how site speed affects eCommerce. 40% of those surveyed abandon a site if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load. If you want to make it easy to buy, compress images (while retaining quality), optimize the size and frequency of your ads, utilize tag management, and try to make things as speedy as possible!
3. Customer Service Out Front. People buy from people. And customers at their laptop screen want to know there’s a person on the other side of the portal. Make it easy to buy by putting your customer service and contact information in clear view. One of the great benefits of eCommerce is its 24/7 availability, so if you want to allay your visitors’ concerns about customer service, post the hours for your customer service phone and chat assistance and offer troubleshooting menus during the off hours.
4. Personalized Options. Adding a recommendation engine to your site helps you up-sell and cross-sell with other products. Offering customers related products with notifications such as “People who purchased X also purchased Y,” makes it easy to buy products that they may not even know exist! If you want to further personalize the experience, offer a log-in and the ability to instantly reorder past purchases at the touch of a button.
5. Easy Checkout. This one sounds simple, but if a visitor to your webshop doesn’t know where to go to actually purchase the product they’ve added to their shopping cart, then you are definitely not making it easy for them. A clear check out button, visually distinct from its surroundings, stands out to your visitor. To expedite the process even more, try to offer a single-page checkout. Customers like quick and easy.
6. No Registration Required. Here’s one stumbling block where companies actively make it harder for customers. Some visitors only want to buy a product quickly without registering for your site. It’s nothing personal. They’re just busy. If you want to make it easy to buy for those customers, make registration optional. Forrester performed a survey that showed that required registration caused one quarter of potential buyers to leave a webstore. Allow your customers to purchase products as a guest with no registration to avoid that loss.
7. Multiple Shipping Options. Some prospective customers get so close to the finish line, yet still abandon their shopping cart. Why? One reason this happens is due to lack of shipping options. Sure, the product is ready to buy, but customers have specific needs. For some people, next-day delivery is make-or-break. And if you don’t deliver internationally, then it’s safe to say that international shoppers won’t be buying your products. Shipping costs are another barrier to purchase. A Paypal poll reports that customers cite high shipping costs as a reason to abandon their carts. The best option (if possible) is to offer free shipping. Forrester reports that 59% of US online shoppers say they buy online more often when free shipping is available. “Free” makes it easy to buy.
8. Multiple Payment Options. There is no predicting the payment methods customers will choose. One customer loves the airplane miles they get from their credit card. Another customer prefers a bank transfer. More options please more people. Credit cards, debit cards, bank transfers, Paypal, and Google wallet are just some of the options for checkout. International shoppers have their own special considerations, depending on currency and availability of common payment standards like credit cards.
9. Site Security. One thing that makes it hard to buy is a lack of trust. Make it easy to buy and to trust your webshop by offering product guarantees and being open about your return policies. For customers concerned about security, display your security assurances, such as your SSL certificate, a padlock icon in the customer’s browser, and standard credit card iconography.
10. Make It Easy To Buy (Again!) If you’ve made it this far and followed our advice, you’ve made it easy to buy for your customers. Now, make it easy to return. Customers appreciate a quick receipt with accompanying order information sent to the email address they provided. But that’s not all you have to offer. Remarket to the customer to offer them discounts or related products to spark their interest. And since you already know what interests your customer has, why not send them a link to relevant content on your site? The key is to keep them engaged. Just remember that if your customer comes back to your site, keep this list handy, so you can make it easy to buy once more.