Online shopping continues to gain momentum in 2016. In just three short years, business-to-consumer (B2C) e-commerce sales are projected to surpass $534 billion—that is quite the leap from 2014’s $298 billion.
It’s clear that consumers love shopping online. Avoiding crowds, saving time and bagging better bargains are just a few reasons e-commerce is booming. But the competition is fierce, and small businesses wanting a piece of this pie need to ensure a seamless experience to earn those consumer dollars. Check out the best practices below to increase your chance for success:
- Make checkout easy: Approximately 75 percent of online shopping cart purchases are abandoned, in part due to an overcomplicated checkout process. Make it easy! Don’t require customers to register, complete too many forms or perform several repetitive actions. Too many steps may cause customers to walk away.
- Save shopping cart items: Often, customers use their shopping carts as storehouses for future ideas. Allow customers to save their shopping carts with the option to purchase at a later time. Remind them of saved items when they return to your site.
- Incorporate reviews and testimonials: Sixty-seven percent of shoppers say online reviews influence their purchase decision. Solicit and share reviews and testimonials. Ask customers to rate their purchase experience when you send the email receipt. It’s a great way to get customers to share their experience with your brand. Thank those who do with a small gift—a company logo’d shopping tote or smartphone wallet, accompanied by a handwritten thank you note, will show your appreciation.
- Offer special deals and promotions: A survey on cart abandonment revealed 73 percent of customers expect unconditional free shipping. If you can’t offer free shipping, be up front about shipping costs at the beginning of the transaction. Special perks or gifts can help make up for shipping costs, too. For instance, offer a complimentary book light or magnetic bookmark with a book purchase. Or include a free Shoe Wallet or Fitness Belt Pouch with all athletic shoes.
- Go mobile: Mobile commerce accounts for one in three online sales, and it is predicted to increase 2.58 times faster than total e-commerce sales growth. Bottom line, if your e-commerce site isn’t designed with mobile in mind, you’ll likely lose customers.
Your customers are visiting your site for a reason. Give them a reason to stay and finish what they started with these e-commerce best practices. Best of luck!
Stringfellow, Angela. “10 Reasons Why People Are Leaving Your eCommerce Website.” Yottaa. N.p., 05 June 2015. Web. Retrieved 15 Apr. 2016.