As the world becomes increasingly digital, customers are less inclined to shop at physical stores. Instead, they’d rather research products online and make purchases from the comfort of their couch.
Now that customers have an untold number of options at their fingertips, how do companies stand out from the rest? If you want shoppers to choose you over your competitors, you need to provide an exceptional online experience. Read on for six tips that will turn online browsers into buyers.
1. Customize Your Products
From curated hair creams to customer-specific acne treatments, more brands are providing personalized products. Shoppers are no longer looking for one-size-fits-all solutions. Instead, they want products that are specific to them and their needs. So if you want customers to choose you over your competition, you need to prioritize customization.
If your business isn’t set up to sell personalized products, don’t worry. A simple website tweak can make shoppers feel like they’re having a customized experience. Based on recent orders and pages they’ve viewed, you can add personalized recommendations for buyers on your homepage. The products might be standard issue, but to the customer, they’ll seem tailor-made.
2. Provide Live Chat
When customers have product questions, they don’t want to wait for an email response. They want answers immediately, and if your company can’t communicate quickly, you risk losing business.
The best way to improve your customer support experience is by providing live chat options. Live chat allows your support team to provide real-time answers and share helpful links with customers. Not only does live chat provide a more efficient customer experience, but it also improves customer acquisition.
If you have a small team, implementing live chat may sound intimidating. However, planning ahead and creating a knowledge bank of helpful content that answers customers’ most-asked questions can improve efficiency. This collection of how-to articles allows your team to send helpful links to shoppers, saving both parties time.
3. Ensure Your Site Is Mobile-Friendly
More than half of all internet shopping is done from mobile devices. Millennials and Gen Zers prefer the convenience of shopping on a cellphone over visiting a store. That means if your site isn’t mobile-friendly, you could lose these younger buyers.
To ensure that your site functions properly across all devices, choose a responsive site design. Responsive designs adapt to various screen sizes, improving the user experience wherever customers choose to shop. Additionally, it’s a good idea to shorten big blocks of text. This helps improve your site’s readability on phones and tablets.
4. Highlight Customer Reviews
When you’re thinking about buying a new product, would you trust a salesperson or a fellow customer more? Chances are your answer is the latter. Your shoppers feel the same way.
In fact, nine out of 10 consumers read reviews before making a purchase. That’s why it’s critical to highlight positive reviews on your site. Instead of relying on your marketing copy alone, let your customers sell products for you.
Along with having testimonials on your website, consider showcasing positive reviews on your brand’s social media accounts. There are a few creative ways to do this. Facebook makes it easy for customers to post reviews on your business page. You can use this feature to promote online reviews and repost your favorite ones. For Instagram, consider highlighting customer reviews in your stories. Instagram stories are viewed by millions of people daily and are sure to get you some attention.
5. Provide Free Shipping
Too often, customers abandon their carts at checkout when they see shipping charges. Offering free shipping can help entice buyers to follow through with their purchases, increasing sales.
So how can you cover shipping costs? There are a couple of easy ways to do this. One way is to simply factor in the cost of shipping when pricing items on your site. Or if you want to drive more sales, advertise free shipping for a certain amount spent. This can encourage customers to make larger purchases in order to avoid paying for shipping.
6. Create an Omnichannel Experience
The digital era makes it easier to facilitate more touchpoints with your target audience. However, if each touchpoint feels disjointed, your customers will struggle to connect a voice with your brand. By providing an omnichannel experience, you’ll ensure that your branding is seamless both online and offline.
An omnichannel marketing approach considers every step across your customer’s journey. Once each touchpoint is identified, try to make the customer experience friction-free as they move between them.
For example, let’s say you own a coffee shop. Your customer may see an ad for your coffee shop on Instagram and decide they’d like to order a macchiato. Your ad could feature an “order now” button that takes users to a link that allows them to place their order online. Once they arrive at your shop, their java is ready for them to grab and go. The transition from online experience to real-world coffee contentment is totally seamless.
In today’s digital era, positive online experiences aren’t optional — they’re a necessity. As you make adjustments to your online strategy, keep these tips in mind. Doing so will elevate your customers’ online experience and help you outperform your competition.