Let me start with a personal online shopping experience, which I am sure will be similar to some of your online shopping experiences.
Recently, I decided to shop a pair of sports shoes online, I reached a store by clicking a Google Ad on one of the popular websites.
The ad displayed a pair of shoes with exuberant colors and design patterns that tempted me to click the ad. After clicking the ad, I landed on the eCommerce store selling those shoes.
I kept searching for that pair of shoes with various search techniques I was aware of. Unfortunately, after using filters, browsing through different shoe categories and adjusting the price range, I failed to find that shoe.
I felt like denial of what I want, which ultimately forced me to abandon the cart.
I am sure, this isn’t a unique experience. This is a popular scenario among many online shoppers worldwide; thus, resulting in customers abandoning the cart.
“Cart abandonment rate is at around 60%, and most of it happens before the user even begins the checkout process.”
After an annoying experience, the following reasons for cart abandonment do not come as a surprise.
Source: Baymard Institute
The above experience, facts and stats enabled me to identify ingredients that help an eCommerce business to engage and flourish as a reliable and bankable online store for online shoppers.
We all know eCommerce industry is running strong. By the end of 2016, worldwide retail eCommerce sales was expected to reach $1.195 trillion. eMarketer estimates that sales will top $27 trillion by 2020.
Every day some or the other store registers as an eCommerce website. Few at the global level, while few at the regional level.
“eCommerce websites are springing up like mushrooms in the rain”
But what elements of an eCommerce website make the likes of Amazon, eBay, etc., as almost all online stores have recurring themes and pages that display price, range, review, comments, specifications, etc.
What compels a shopper to repeatedly make purchases from a particular online store only?
What factors make them diehard fans of that online store?
Well, it is the combination of five key factors that drive success of an eCommerce store.
- The products
- The shopping cart
- The checkout system
- The payment system
- The merchant account
#1 The Products
As a customer, when I visit your online store, within six seconds, I scan the website and product details on the page.
If any of the displayed products hooks me, I may click through the product detail page. But, I may also leave the page, because the information is not convincing.
In a research, certain factors were identified that influence customers’ purchase decisions. These are;
Source: Baymard Institute
How you display products and product information matters
It is not necessary that customers always visit your site for making a purchase. They may be researching about a product.
However, if you have convincing information on the page, customer’s casual store visit may end up in a purchase. There are awesome CMSs for developing eCommerce websites, which allows you to achieve the desired results.
Now there is another twist in this adventure. Not all visitors are pro-online shoppers.
For instance –
I am a novice in technicalities of an iPod. Before thinking to buy an iPod Classic, I enquired friends about its features.
Most of them talked about its memory in GB, genius playlist, cover flow, etc., but these things hardly matter to me. All I want is a device that plays music on demand wherever I go.
I visit Apple’s store to enquire about the product.
When I entered the store, I wasn’t sure about the purchase, but clear product details and satisfying information, convinced me to purchase the Classic iPod.
What convinced me?
Apple included handy point of references that translated gigabytes into a more concrete example – 40,000 songs or 200 hours of video.
Within the limited space, Apple provided shipping details, price and carefully placed a call to action.
Without minutely detailing technical stuff, Apple displayed products with a perfect balance of specifications and relevant information that customers can understand easily without any assistance. And that’s how Apple converts an idle visitor to a paying customer.
Another fine example of clearly showcasing products with tiers of pricing.
Win customers by designing for customers
Website design is the shop front. It leaves a lasting impression, and instills confidence in buyers. But if the design of your store is poor, and if you ignore customers’ buying experience, it will force customers to bounce from your shop to another store that values their experience.
- Ensure that your website is designed to augment customers’ online shopping experience
- Define logical categories with maximum relevancy
- Simplify navigation
- Provide search options or drop down lists
- Give on-page assistance and clues to make customers feel that they are in control and not lost
Don’t goof up in the product’s detail page
Customers spend maximum time on the product detail page. On this page, they try to evaluate the quality and features of a product. Unfortunately, many retailers focus on the home page, but the efforts do not continue throughout the website.
On this page, you need to clearly represent product related information and other similar alternatives.
#2 The shopping cart
Shopping cart is a great way to virtually provide shoppers a real world like shopping experience. It keeps a track of items that customers wish to purchase. Contemporary carts display the running total, calculate shipping amount, discount and accommodate coupons.
There are many shopping cart alternatives in the market. You can choose and integrate them depending on the scale of the application development.
A shopping cart ideally has following features to provide an unparalleled shopping experience to the customers.
- Large, functional product images
- Product reviews
- Layered and faceted navigation
- Single-page, fast checkout
- Search options
- Coupons and discounts
- Product import and export
- Easy integration with third party solutions
- Analytics and sales reports
#3 The checkout system
The checkout process is the final step to further earn a customer’s confidence by offering a secure, quick and transparent channel for making payments.
Ensure that the payment process has fewer steps. Too many steps demanding unnecessary information would make the customer feel trapped. But too quick checkout may also make customers feel like they have lost control.
Asking customer’s credit card information in the very first step may scare them. Even veteran shoppers may doubt the legitimacy of the website, and immediately abandon the cart.
Ensuring customers that your website is authentic, and will safeguard their personal information, significantly increases the credibility of your website.
#4 The payment gateway
Payment gateways help in transferring payment from website to a secure payment processor. There are multiple features and capabilities to be considered before signing contracts with payment gateways.
How to find a payment gateway?
Languages – Evaluate a gateway for the languages it supports. This will help you to reach potential customers and provide them personalized shopping experience.
International rate – Determine international transaction rates charged.
Security features – These features determine the authenticity of the card holder, and protects customer information against data abuse.
- AVS (Address Verification Service)
- CCV (Card Code Verification)
- SSL (Secure Sockets Layer)
- PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council)
Integration with shopping carts – Payment gateways allow integration using API to communicate with different software.
Payment methods – There are multiple payment accepting methods that you need to have in a payment gateway.
- Debit & Credit Cards
- Internet banking
- Gift Cards
Also, before signing a contract with the payment gateway, ensure that it fulfills all commitments, and provides seller protection with necessary customer support.
The merchant account
Finally, in the backend, you have a merchant account that receives payment made on your websites. Banks charge variable fees for every transaction depending on the type and amount of transaction.
To sum up
How many of the aforementioned elements can you include in your eCommerce website? What tactics you thing would drive customers on your website?
I am sure, many minds are already spinning ideas of a full-fledged eCommerce website.
So why wait and admire others. Start brainstorming for your venture.
Here is a quick summary of the eCommerce adventure.
- Design website for a compelling shopping experience
- Showcase products through a rich-multimedia catalog
- Make it real with great view options
- Ensure customers that the product is a search result away
- Draw big sales by elegantly engaging customers
- Display products with relevant information
- Secure websites to win customers’ confidence
Wait no more. Start discussing your eCommerce website and eCommerce mobile app development ideas with our experts, and experience how we implement cutting-edge technology for delivering high-impact eCommerce solutions.
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