Online shopping has taken the world by storm ever since it was first introduced to the general public. Although people were a bit wary about paying money for products before they could touch or even see it, they warmed up to the many conveniences it offers. In fact, studies show that online shopping websites have a higher customer retention rate than traditional stores these days.
The Growth of e-Commerce:
Today’s shoppers are very smart. They are hesitant to take quick decisions. With the internet at their fingertips, they are able to search about anything within seconds. This helps consumers research and find out about different products, different features, pros and cons, special offers and so on. This has prompted e-commerce websites to up their game in order to lure customers towards their websites. Customers have been observed to be influenced by many factors like site navigation, design, the color theme used, the time taken to checkout and so on. With user interface playing a big role in retaining customers, e-commerce websites are giving it the due importance it deserves. After all, user interface and customer care are two factors that can influence conversion rates positively.
Factors That Decide The Success Of An E-Commerce Store
While there are several factors that play a key role in the success or decline of an e-commerce store, the following couple of key points are deemed to be the most important by the experts in the industry:
- Price Points
Ever since the inception of trade and commerce, the price has played an important role in influencing the customer’s decision. A product that is highly-priced may not seem worth the amount to the customer, forcing them to take a step back, while a product that is priced too low might somehow encourage the customer to think that the product is flawed or of inferior quality. This is why it is critical to price your products in such a way that you attract customers without making them doubt the quality of the product.
- Shipping Rates
Unlike traditional shopping, consumers are expected to pay shipping prices for the product they purchase from an e-commerce store. So in a way, the shipping rates need to be dovetailed into the price points as well. A high shipping rate can push shoppers away and prevent them from returning to the e-commerce store again. Interestingly, many successful e-commerce stores offer free shopping on spending a predetermined minimum amount on the website. This encourages shoppers to continue adding items to their cart till they reach this amount in order to achieve free shipping making it a win-win situation for everyone.
- Visual Search
Since online shopping takes away the ability of the customers to actually touch or see the product in real-time before they make their decision, images play a critical role in influencing them. Most successful online retailers use plenty of high-quality images of the product, which can be further zoomed using a magnifying glass tool. The product is also often displayed at different angles to give a clearer picture to prospective customers. Size charts are also prominently displayed to help customers which size will suit them the best. Since most online stores encourage customers to post their reviews about the product after they receive it, it helps future customers determine whether the sizing remains true or if they need to pick a slightly smaller or bigger size for a better fitting. E-commerce stores at the top of the ladder have also used product videos to enhance the shopping experience for customers. In fact, this has been proven to improve conversions as well as customer retention rates.
- Larger Selection
Online customers prefer to look at different products before they make up their decision. This has encouraged e-commerce stores that offer one-stop-shopping to become more popular than ever before. Millie James from Citi Shop Deals says that one-stop shopping is more popular than ever, and being able to get all you need on one website is the ultimate convenient shopping experience. It also encourages customers to spend more time on the website and finally wind up buying more than they actually intended in the first place.
Unless e-commerce stores consider the above factors, they will not be able to succeed in the highly competitive field of online shopping. With a large number of new e-commerce stores popping up every day, it is essential to rein in customers as quickly as possible and work hard on retaining them. According to the statistics, the penetration of online shopping across the world has been increasing at a steady rate. It is up to the e-commerce stores to take advantage of this upswing and pull in as many loyal customers as possible. This involves treating an easy to use interface that attracts customers. It is also important to have a functioning customer care service to help find solutions for any issues they might face while shopping online.
With social media becoming an important part of daily life for people all over the world, it is essential to use these platforms to market e-commerce websites. In fact, many successful online stores have social media profiles across different platforms where they post about the latest products, sale offers, promotions and so in. This helps them reach a wider audience and draw them towards the actual website.
Recent studies show that almost one in four online shoppers shop online at least once a week. The studies also state that the majority of online shoppers are aged between 30 and 39. So if you plan on making your online store a roaring success, you need to use these figures and improve your customer retention and conversions rates. With more and more people realising the many conveniences offered by online shopping, it is only a matter of time before traditional shopping becomes a thing of the past. At the end of the day, it is important to listen to what customers want and make changes to your online store to climb to the top of the ladder in no time.