Online sales have been steadily growing over the past couple of years, which means that running an eCommerce business comes with a lot of opportunities for making a profit.
E-retail revenues are expected to grow to $6.54 trillion in 2022, but if you want to benefit from this ever-increasing trend of online shopping, you need to optimize and tweak your eCommerce store properly.
There are a number of different website issues that can get in the way of attracting new customers and converting them into paying customers, which is why it’s essential to make sure that it offers a great customer experience.
That’s why you need to think about polishing your store and enhancing it with some helpful features and add-ons which can help you boost your engagement.
User- and Mobile-Friendliness
Before we mention some other functionalities that you can add to your eCommerce store in order to make it more appealing and easy to navigate, it’s essential to ensure that it’s user- and mobile-friendly.
According to 76% of people, ease of use plays the most important role when it comes to user experience. In other words, customers want to find what they’re looking for quickly and easily without clicking back and forth.
In order to streamline and speed up the entire purchasing process, it’s a good idea to implement the following features:
- Introduce an autocomplete option in your search functionality. This way, your website visitors won’t have to waste time while trying to type the name of the product they need.
- Prepopulate your forms, so that your registered customers can simply add items in their shopping cart without having to provide their information every time they want to make a purchase. This can significantly reduce your customer churn.
Given that mobile accounts for approximately 50% of online purchases, it’s clear why your eCommerce store has to display adequately on screens of all sizes.
Your potential customers don’t want to pinch and zoom to see your products, not to mention how annoying fat finger errors might be, particularly when you have to type credit passwords and credit card numbers.
So, if your store doesn’t provide a great mobile experience, you can bet that no matter how great your products are, you’ll struggle with high bounce and churn rates.
Introduce Special Offers
Many eCommerce websites inform their audience about special offers via email, social media, and other channels of communication.
However, if you really want to grab your store visitors by the eyeballs and capture their attention, make sure to promote your special offer in the header section of your website.
People who land on your website and browse your products are clearly interested, and if you incentivize them with a discount, free shipping, or some other perk, they will be likely to purchase and spend more – and that’s why it’s important to make your special offer highly visible and conspicuous.
You can take this approach to the next level, and introduce the special offers tab so that your customers can find all your promotions and special deals listed on one page. Not only is this easier for your customers, but it’s also a great idea for improving your SEO.
Leverage Wish Lists
Many people love to explore products on eCommerce websites, but if there are way too many items on different pages, it can be complicated to find the ones that they liked.
That’s where the wish list functionality comes in handy – your customers can simply bookmark the items that grab their attention, and save them.
So, after they complete browsing, they will have quite a few products on their lists. And you have all the information you need for your remarketing campaign.
In other words, you can use the retargeting approach and display them the products they bookmarked while they’re browsing the internet – that way you’ll stay on their radar and remind them that there’s a cool item waiting for them on your website.
Or you can even offer them a limited-time discount on these items.
For example, Amazon capitalizes on these wish lists by allowing customers to share them with their friends and families. That’s practically free advertising as it practically sends traffic to your website that you can easily convert.
Display Product Recommendations
Take another cue from the online retail behemoth and start displaying product recommendations and related items to your customers.
Approximately 35% of Amazon’s revenue comes from its recommendation engine.
This provides you with an excellent opportunity to upsell and cross-sell.
Various eCommerce platforms offer so-called “also viewed/bought” extension, which shows the smart recommendations based on what other customers who viewed or bought that same product also viewed or bought.
This directs your potential shoppers towards making an additional purchase, as social proof is one of the most powerful mechanisms, but more on that later on.
Implement a Chatbot
Chatbots are crucial for boosting your customer engagement, as these AI-powered algorithms can be at your target audience’s disposal non-stop. No wonder 64% of the internet users say that being available 24/7 is chatbots’ best and most useful feature.
As you know, consumers frequently need some assistance while they’re making their purchasing decisions or during the checkout process.
Human customer support agents can’t talk to more than one person at a time which means that it usually takes a couple of minutes to reach them. And people are pressed for time and impatient these days, so being put on hold can be pretty annoying. As a result, many potential shoppers abandon their cart without completing a purchase because they couldn’t get the information they needed.
That’s why AI-powered chatbots are of critical importance for your eCommerce business – you won’t have to worry whether long waiting times will push your potential customers away, as all their questions and issues can be easily resolved instantly.
Even when it’s midnight or a bank holiday.
Provide Social Proof
There’s no better way to convince people to buy from your eCommerce store than by showing them reviews from your happy customers.
The inability of your customers to see, touch, and try on products in person is a huge obstacle when it comes to online shopping, and that’s why you need to provide some kind of proof that your business is credible and trustworthy.
By providing social proof, you practically get your existing customers to vouch for you.
User-generated content can do wonders for this, as it comes off as more authentic and genuine than your regular brand narrative.
There’s nothing wrong with incentivizing your customers to put in a good word for you, but only if they really feel that way.
Don’t underestimate the fact that your customers trust you with their sensitive information such as credit card numbers.
And if they don’t feel that your eCommerce store is secure enough, they will be reluctant to make a purchase fearing that cybercriminals could obtain their data.
In order to show your prospects that their information is safe with you, it’s important to show them that your online store has:
- SSL certificate
- Two-factor authentication
Moreover, display trust badges all over your website so that all your visitors can see that they don’t have to worry about cybercrime if they decide to purchase something on your website.
These features and add-ons are available on all popular and reliable eCommerce platforms, and by implementing them you can see a huge increase in customer engagement and conversions.
Michael Deane is one of the editors of Qeedle a small business magazine. When not blogging (or working), he can usually be spotted on the track, doing his laps, or with his nose deep in the latest John Grisham.