The online shopping experience is more important than ever, especially as the holidays approach! Customer experience has become a huge differentiator for online retailers. Considering the constant influx of e-commerce stores popping up on the internet, it’s crucial that online businesses provide a top-notch online shopping experience. To do that, you have to have the right technology in place.
13 tips to improve the online shopping experience
Here are our top tips on improving customer experience on your e-commerce site:
- Make your website mobile-friendly
- Improve your site’s navigation
- Include a site-search box
- Provide detailed, concise product info
- Use high-quality photos of products
- Let customers save their carts
- Offer free shipping
- Offer an omnichannel shopping experience
- Offer a live chat option for customers
- Include a self-service section for easy questions
- Reduce customer service wait times
- Cut down on site load time
- Use customer data to improve the online shopping experience
Most consumers peruse websites via their mobile devices rather than using a laptop or desktop computer. Online businesses must ensure that their sites are quickly able to adapt to these smaller devices with the same level of clarity as is available on a more traditional screen.
A mobile-friendly website will make it a lot easier for customers to browse the site, which will reduce any friction that could prompt customers to hit the back button.
Eliminating frustrations along all points of the customer journey is key to boosting online sales. One of the more common annoyances customers may face when visiting an online store is a confusing and cumbersome navigation system. It can be incredibly irritating for customers who find it difficult to figure out where to go on a site.
Make sure you map out your e-commerce website properly and clearly so customers know exactly what you’re selling, and where to go to complete a purchase quickly.
One way to make it easier for customers to find what they’re looking for very quickly is to offer a site-search box. If they know what they want, they can simply type in the product in the search bar rather than trying to find it through various tabs and pages.
The search bar should be easily found on the home or landing page of your website and should be backed by innovative search technology that ensures the product will be found if it’s in stock.
All products should come with detailed information so the customer can make a more informed buying decision. Better descriptions can also reduce the odds of returns that occur when customers believe the product is not as described when they receive it.
But as important as a detailed description is, it should also be concise. You want to give as much information as you can, but not so much that the customer feels like they’re reading an essay. Instead, give as much information as required, without any filler content.
Detailed information is important, but quality images are just as essential. Be sure to include a variety of photos of your products from several angles to help customers make the most informed decisions before deciding to buy.
Many times online shoppers may not have time to start and finish the entire shopping experience in one sitting. In these cases, abandoned carts can happen, which translates into a lot of lost business. In fact, the cart abandonment rate in digital shopping as of 2021 was almost 70%, according to Statista.
To reduce cart abandonment, consider adding a save cart feature to accommodate customers interested in buying from you but not entirely ready to complete the purchase. This way, they can always come back and pick up where they left off.
One of the biggest deterrents to online shopping is the cost of shipping. Even when customers can get a great deal on a product online, the exorbitant shipping fees can cancel out any potential deals.
If it makes financial sense, consider offering free shipping. This shows that your business cares about the customer experience. While this may cost a little more for your business, it could mean added sales by encouraging repeat customers.
Consumers are increasingly accessing e-commerce websites via several devices and channels. Businesses can easily lose customers at any point along the customer journey by not capitalizing on omnichannel offerings. Instead, offering an omnichannel experience will give customers more flexibility in how they advance toward the checkout page.
RingCX offers online businesses AI-first customer service. This includes omnichannel and intelligent routing tools to both improve the customer experience and provide data needed to understand their target audiences and deliver their needs proactively.
9. Offer a live chat option for customers
Customers often have questions about a product they’re considering buying before they commit to a purchase. While there are always the traditional ways of contacting an online store via telephone or contact page, a live chat feature can give customers the information they’re looking for right away.
It’s not uncommon for customers to bail on their online shopping experience before they reach the checkout page if their questions are left unanswered. A live chat feature will provide them with a quick and easy way to answer their queries.
Alternatively, online retailers may also leverage AI chat boxes. These innovative features can help customers get all the information they need and have their questions answered even before they connect with a live agent. RingCentral’s digital platform can facilitate the use of AI for this purpose.
10. Offer self-service options for easy questions
While many customers may still prefer to speak with a live agent to have their questions answered or problems resolved, others prefer a more DIY approach. Online businesses should consider adding a self-service feature to allow customers to navigate their e-commerce experience on their own without any obstacles along the way.
Offering as much information as possible and creating a seamless path to online shopping will give customers the ability to handle their queries and issues unassisted.
The internet moves quickly, and there are a lot of options when it comes to the online shopping experience. When a customer decides to reach out to an agent, they shouldn’t have to wait long. Instead, a quick response time will improve a customer’s satisfaction and alleviate frustrations, especially if the customer is already flustered about something.
No matter which communication channels your customer service platform offers, response times should be near-immediate to ensure happier customers.
Another frustrating e-commerce experience that online shoppers may face is waiting for a website to load. Nobody wants to wait longer than a couple of seconds for a web page to load. In fact, it should take less than a second for a page to pop up after clicking on a link.
Considering how many e-commerce stores your site is competing with, you should invest in technology that will ensure extremely fast load times.
Businesses place a great deal of value on customer data, including things like location, purchase history, browsing history, and reviews. Online retailers should use such details to help personalize online shopping and ensure positive customer service.
Your website should have the capacity to gather this data, assess customer behavior, and pinpoint specific patterns for every consumer. Using this information, you can establish multiple strategies for each group identified.
Improve the online shopping experience with the right digital tools
RingCentral offers a plethora of digital tools to enhance customer experience while online shopping, such as Engage Messaging for chat which adds a humanized touch to AI with added video conferencing. Customers have the option to switch from chat to video on the spot without the need to switch apps, devices, or agents.
These tools are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what RingCentral has to offer the online e-commerce site. Take your e-commerce business to soaring heights with cutting-edge digital solutions from RingCentral. Request your free demo today!
Originally published Nov 07, 2023, updated Nov 15, 2023