Making your customer happy is your first priority as a seller. Customers have high expectations for their experience, especially when online shopping. If you don’t meet or exceed those expectations, they will likely decide to not buy from you. You only get one shot.
According to Internet Retailer, nearly half of global Internet users plan to make an online purchase in the next six months. You want to profit from this growing segment of tech-empowered customers who demand the products they want and how they want to purchase them. Many retailers are losing potential customers, because the retailer’s online experience just isn’t as personal as it is in the store.
You can avoid being one of those retailers. Here are five common problems that create a bad online buying experience and how you can fix them.
Customers Can’t Find the Product They’re Looking For
Problem: Your customers can’t buy your products if they can’t find them. The Internet is crowded with millions of retail websites. When a customer searches for a place online to buy a product, they have many choices. They will quickly become frustrated if you require them to search through pages and pages of disorganized and poorly described products. If your product information isn’t right, the customer may not understand that an item is what they want. If the customer doesn’t find what they want (easily), they’ll go somewhere else.
Solution: Whether you’re selling a rare item, commodity, or something in-between, customers must be able to find the product they’re looking for. Make product searching easy and logical. Classify the products in your web store in a way that make sense to your customers (think of Amazon’s specific categories). Double-check that your listings on marketplaces, like Amazon and eBay, are all correct.
Consider investing in Product Information Management (PIM) tools that help you get more products to market quickly with complete and accurate detail. Don’t know what PIM can do for you? Read more about the four things every online seller should know about PIM.
Slow and Complicated Check-Outs
Problem: Lengthy and difficult online checkout processes can result incart abandonment, a problem that plagues online retailers. Some common reasons potential customers abandon items in their cart are:
- Unexpected costs at checkout
- Difficult website navigation for checkout
- The checkout process takes too long
- Concerns about payment security
- Unsuitable payment options
If customers experience these types of problems, while checking out on your site, they are more likely to leave without completing their purchase.
Solution: Increase the number of completed checkouts with tactics like:
- Show clear product images so customers can check that the items are right
- Use an infrastructure that supports secure buying (and provide the security logos)
- Display checkout progress, if you use multiple check-out screens
- Consider A/B testing variations of your checkout flow
- Offer a wide variety of payment methods to accommodate different customers
- Make editing the cart easy so customers can adjust their intended purchases
- Be upfront about all costs associated with the purchase, like shipping, taxes, or fees
To learn more, check out Shopify’s blog post describing reasons for cart abandonment and how to win more sales.
Not Having a Personal Relationship with Your Online Shoppers
Problem: Customers don’t want to feel like it’s the first time each time they shop with you. When you don’t remember customers’ preferences, they don’t feel valued. Without personalization, the customer experience is dull and provides fewer benefits for the buyer. Eventually, they’ll choose a competitor who does foster that personal relationship.
Solution: Make use of all the data you collect about your customers. Use their search data and purchase history to create loyalty programs. Personalize product recommendations, advertisements, and marketing emails. Integrate your online and offline systems to build a 360-degree view of your customer. You’ll be better equipped to exceed their customer service expectations.
You Sell an Item that You Don’t Actually Have
Problem: When managing inventory across multiple channels, items can still show as available even after they’re out-of-stock. The problems arise when a customer purchases one of these out-of-stock items. It’s an even bigger problem when that item is a one-of-a-kind item that cannot be restocked later. Customers will lose faith in your business and won’t recommend you to others, much less return to buy again.
Solution: Invest in infrastructure that synchronizes your inventory across all of your channels, so that you have a complete view. You’ll be able to keep every one of your selling channels up to date, often with automated processes. Not sure what that looks like? nChannel syncs your inventory, in real-time, so you’ll never have to worry about stock-outs, backordering, or canceled orders again.
Poor Order Delivery Service
Problem: Poor order delivery service is a quick way to significantly lower your customer satisfaction and lose customers. Late deliveries, lack of order status updates, and complicated returns are all reasons why customers might choose a different seller, next time they want to buy online. It’s also the reason they return to marketplaces, like Amazon, who consistently provide optimal delivery services.
Solutions: Invest in order management software that allows you to:
- Track orders that are being processed
- Respond quickly to alerts about shipping delays
- Manage your orders in a centralized location for real-time monitoring
- Send accurate and timely information about an order’s status to customers
- Simplify the return process
These steps will help you never to send a late order again. You’ll keep your customer’s well informed throughout the entire ordering process. Want to get started? Review different order management solution options in our blog post Top 5 Order Management Systems.
In online shopping today, the quality of customer experience is key to your business’ success. Understand that there is always room for improvement. Welcome feedback from your customers about their shopping experiences. Invest in technologies that help you deliver. Sell online just as effectively as the market leaders.