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How Can Retailers Better Guide and Convert their Online Visitors

Today, having a successful online business is not only about attracting visitors to your website, but also ensuring that they make purchases and ultimate having repeat transactions from those returning customers. It is therefore important that youguide them throughout the entire process of shopping to enhance their experience.

How ecommerce retailers could guide customers

Image Credit: Flickr, Creative Commons: Mosaic Marketing

There are various ways your retail store could best engage your website visitors and turn them into repeat visitors.  Let’s explore some of these different tactics and ways that you can employ to improve the overall shopping experience of your customer.

1. Empower the Customer

Successful retailers need to inform and reinforce the buying decisions of their customers by providing them with detailed, in-depth product information. Providing relevant content and a virtual feel of the product can go a long a way in this journey. The following are some quick points to help you get started:

  • Clear product images with alternate views with additional zoom in and 360 degree views.
  • Product names with relevant keywords to help identify the correct product.
  •  Make it easier for the customers to see the pricing, availabilities and different model types clearly.
  • Detailed description that is also crisp, armed with multimedia but jargon free.
  •  Help the customers make up their mind by providing unbiased and honest customer and critics ratings.
  • Provide ample tools to share the product or page as the customers can then share the product with their friends, peers and relatives.
  • Always provide suggestions to related products so that the customers can check out all the alternatives before buying.
  •  Provide contact information so that customers can contact you in case of any query.
  •  “Add to Cart” – this is the most important feature as the customer can bookmark the product so that they can check it out later.


2. Avoid Shopping Cart Abandonment

Improving the online shopping experience can bring down the number of customers abandoning the shopping cart considerably. Simplifying and keeping the check-out button just a click away, displaying the summary of items in cart and making the shopping cart visible and accessible at all times are just some of the easiest measures to achieve this.

Persistency is crucial. Many dealers often neglect this aspect. Customers who have added an item to their cart before leaving should be able to see the item in the cart the next time they log in.

One of the best examples of a perfect shopping cart is one from Office Depot. It offers a persistent shopping cart, displaying the total cost, expands on hovering to showcase its items, estimated total, options to update the cart, help options and if applicable, deals and discounts.

3. Simplify the Registrations, Log-ins and Check-outs

Ensure that the registration process is optional and short. For example, people should not have to forcibly register to your site if they want to buy a product. Of course, registering can have additional benefits like saving your contact, delivery and payment information. But it has to be optional. Compulsory registration can put off customers.

At the end of the check-out process, give them the option to register and save their information for future use. By this time, they will be motivated to simply create a password in order to avoid typing all of that information the next time.

Providing users with a choice of payment options like credit cards, debit cards can also improve the online shopping experience significantly.

Amazon, the leading online shopping platform, has multiple payment gateways – credit cards, debit cards, net banking, PayPal and even monthly instalments.

The check-out process at Adorama is another one to watch out for. It has streamlined many processes in a single page like:

· Progress indicator

· Multiple Payment options

· Contextual policies

· Options to edit and make changes

· Lastly, the prominent final call to action


4. Engage with Your Customers Through User-Generated Content

According to a survey by MarketingProfs (via Bazaarvoice), more than 8 in 10 say user-generated content from people they don't know influences what they buy and indicates brand quality. Retailers that are looking to influence the purchase decisions of their target consumers know that engaging them into conversation and highlighting their loyal consumers will not only help them get to know their customers better but also help develop the brand loyalty. Brands that specialize in this strategy include T-Mobile with its Breakup Letter, Chobani with Real Love Stories, among others.

When implementing these changes, be sure to measure the impact of the changes through active analytics. Include usability testing and then deciding whether the change will have positive impact or not.

Improving the online shopping experience not only will make it easier for users and satisfy them more, but will increase your bottom line!

These are some of the most prominent measures and steps that you can take to improve the online shopping experience which will result in a significant increase in the conversion rate of shoppers and visitors to buyers and earning yourself a loyal customer.