In order to run a well-rounded and successful online business, every online merchant needs to make it a habit to think from a customer point of view. As I always emphasize, online shoppers have a short attention span, little patience and within a few seconds they can quickly scroll through your site and determine their interest.
This is why we’re going to cover the top 10 things customers are looking for on your e-commerce site to ensure you have all your bases covered to convert a visitor into a repeat customer!
1. Fast Loading Time
It’s one of the first elements to consider when creating an online store and it’ll be one of the challenges you’ll face – providing your customers with a speedy and fully optimized online shop. Recent studies have shown that speed is a vital expectation to meet since most online shoppers leave a site after 3 seconds of waiting for it to load. You can test your site’s speed and performance on GTmetrix. Not pleased with your summary? There are many factors influencing your site’s speed including thesize of your images and your hosting provider. Make sure you’re hosting your online shop with a reliable web hosting provider.
2. Clear Logo and Branding
Part of capturing a visitor within the first few seconds of entering your e-commerce site is presenting a clear logo and brand. Your logo should be visible instantly and your branding should be so clear that a customer can quickly decide if your online shop is selling products they are interested in. Take a look at these two PrestaShop stores – their logo is clear and you can understand what products they still within seconds.
3. Promotions, Free Shipping
Online shoppers are savvy shoppers who are always looking for a deal. Promotions are an instant eye catcher – especially free shipping, since this is one of the major turn offs for customers who shop online. By incentivizing your customers with promotions, you’re increasing your conversion rate, reducing abandoned carts and boosting your average order value. Make sure your promotions are extremely visible on your homepage and placed throughout your site like these PrestaShop stores:
4. Trusted Payment Option Icons
In order to convert a visitor into a customer, you need to prove your credibility. One of the easiest ways to gain a visitors trust is to comfort them with highly visible trusted payment option icons on your site. Although the retail industry is quickly turning towards digital retail, many consumers are still hesitant to share their bank information with an unknown shop. Reassure your visitors by simply implementing trustworthy payment icons throughout your site.
5. Social Media Links
Online shoppers are devoted social creatures and they want to be sure that you are too. New visitors will click on your social media buttons to see how many followers you have, how often you post and how well you present yourself as a leader in the industry. Make your social media buttons visible throughout your site. You can even incentivize customers to follow your social media networks with a promotion or share your products with social media share buttons. Read more about incorporating social media on your e-commerce site in our recent blog posts: The importance of using social share buttons on your online store and The secrets behind the best social media practices for your e-commerce site.
6. Customer Service
Another element used to reassure visitors is offering valuable customer service channels on your online shop. Visitors are looking for the following customer service elements:
You want your e-commerce site to offer the same level of customer service and human interaction that a physical store offers to increase conversion rates and build customer loyalty. By giving your visitors the confidence to shop on your site, you’ll increase sales and drive more repeat customers.
7. Return Policy
As a consumer, this is one of the first things you’ll look for before making a purchase. Since it’s difficult to be 100% sure you’ll be satisfied with a product you purchase over the web, you want to have a good understanding of the return policies for an e-shop. Don’t make customers go crazy looking for your policy, a good place to share your return policy is on the footer of your site so that customers can refer to it from any page. Be as clear and specific as possible in your return policy so that it doesn’t leave room for customers to hesitate. Discover The 10 ways to reduce returns for your online store in this merchant-favorite blog post.
8. Guest Checkout
It seems to always come back to our impatient and modern consumers looking for a quick and user friendly experience. Give your customers the opportunity to check out quickly with a guest check out or express check out option. Although you want to offer customers a speedy check out process, you also want them to understand the benefits they’ll reap including discounts, exclusive sales and customer loyalty points if they share their information with you. Try to promote the benefits of creating an account but make it easy for customers to quickly make a purchase if that’s what they prefer.
9. Quality Product Pages
Presenting your products with quality descriptions and photographs are the sales pitch for your products. In the world of e-commerce, there are no sales persons convincing you to purchase an item which is why it’s so important to be very convincing on your product pages. Customers are looking for specific information on product descriptions so learn the best way to do so in my blog post on How to write product descriptions that increase sales and boost SEO. Also, online customers require powerful and detailed images to make a purchasing decision, read more on How to improve product photos for your online store: the 5 mistakes you don’t want to commit.
10. User Generated Content
Sometimes the best marketing and sales strategy is word of mouth. In order to convert a visitor into a customer, your word isn’t enough. Online shoppers are strongly influenced by real customers who have purchased your products before. Seeing customer reviews, ratings and testimonials will trigger a visitor to make a purchase. User generated content will also provide your site with unique content, a great addition to your SEO efforts. Take a look at these modules on PrestaShop’s Official Marketplace to help transform visitors into customers by using your current customers as a powerful marketing technique. Also, read about Why every online merchant should use product reviews.