It is estimated that online shopping revenues will increase to more than $523 billion dollars by 2020 – an increase of 56% since 2015. This soaring number has many contributing factors; including ubiquitous internet access, the drop in age of shoppers, the availability of products, and the improved quality of shopping websites and apps.
It is this fourth point that I’d like to focus on today, the improved quality of shopping websites and apps. The quality of a website or app is judged by the consumers who shop on the site. Their user experience is the key to whether they stay on your site or not. There are so many options out there, if they are not having a good experience, they will bounce from your site, right into the arms of your competitor.
Today’s shopper wants to feel the same level of customer service and customer care they feel when they are in a brick and mortar store, without the hassle of going outdoors.
Three examples comparing the customer service experience of online shopping vs brick and mortar:
|Brick and Mortar Store||Shopping Website|
|Combing the store for merchandise that fits the shopper's needs. If a store is well organized then finding the right product is a snap.||Combing through pages of incorrect results as the result of a search. If the search box understand the content as well as the context of the search, the correct merchandise will appear the first time, every time.|
|If the shopper can't find what they want, they can ask a store associate a question.||A smarter search box that finds the exact right product the first time eliminates frustration. Think of a smarter search box as your store associate.|
|Long checkout lines in a store can ruin even the best of shopping experiences. Opening more lines or providing easier ways to checkout will ensure that the last impression is a good one.||Confusing checkout online often leads to shopping cart abandonment. Not only will you lose a shopper, but if the customer experience is better on your competitor's website, you may never see that shopper again.|
Humanizing your website so that your customers feel taken care of is key to eCommerce today. An important part of that experience is how they search for products. If a shopper goes to a website and asks for exactly the item they want, then that is exactly what they should get. You need to analyze every inch of your shopping experience from your customer’s perspective. Is it easy to search? Is it easy to get product information? Is it easy to add to cart? Is it easy to pay?
According to Jia Wertz for Forbes, “Keeping your online brand strategy focused on the user experience is critical. Only by doing this, can a business execute the ‘human’ touch for their product or service.” Remember it’s five times cheaper to market to an existing customer than to sell to a new one – so give your shoppers an experience they will remember and they will come back again and again.
EasyAsk eCommerce Edition is a complete product offering Search, Navigation, Merchandising and Analytics to help eTailers get the most from their eCommerce sites.