As the eCommerce business gets more competitive, it becomes increasingly important for your online business to give customers a shopping experience they remember. Here are 21 ways to get there.
By 2018 eCommerce sales worldwide will have increased by 150% But as consumers spend more and more money online, the competition for those consumers also becomes stronger. And fast!
This means that you need to find ways to make your eCommerce store stand out. These are your 21 ways to achieve just that:
1. A webshop design that wows
eCommerce is a little like dating. If you are looking for a long term relationship, you should make a good first impression. Achieve this by making your site design visually appealing to your customers
Remember: Great design should never be implemented at the expense of usability. Job one should always be to make it easy for your customers to convert.
2. Intelligent onsite search
An onsite search function that performs according to the shopping behaviour of your individual customers, will drastically improve their shopping experience.
Remember: Your customers are used to quickly finding what they need by searching through Google. Giving them a similar service on your site can work wonders for your conversion rates.
Simple size- and usability guides will make your customers feel serviced through every step of their shopping journey.
Remember: Not being able to try on a product to decide what size to go for, is one the greatest objections your customers will have to shop online. Do what you can to eliminate it.
4. Personalised product recommendations
Make your customers feel like they just stepped into their favourite physical store, where the sales assistant knows exactly what they are looking for.
Remember: Your customers are looking for that special treatment that makes them feel unique. In fact, 86% are willing to pay as much as 25% more to receive a better customer experience.
Guide your customers by letting them know what others customers thought of the products you sell.
Remember: Reviews can build trust around your business and make it easier for your customers to decide whether or not to buy a product. In fact, 88% of customers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
6. Power step
The power step is not only a great feature to increase your average order value. It also makes it much easier for your customers to quickly and easily find the products they need. Amazon is one of the eCommerce corporations using the power step with great success.
Remember: Most of your customers value your input, as long as it's relevant. And a perfectly designed power step can be a great help.
7. Amazing customer service
Not all questions can be answered online. And even if they could, some people just prefer to speak to a person. Make it easy for your customers to get in touch with you on both phone and chat.
Remember: Many of your customers will be buying from you during the weekend or when they get off work. So, consider extending your customer service to include these time periods as well.
8. Site speed
It sounds simple, but the speed of your webshop can be a decisive factor in whether or not your customers return.
Remember: We are getting increasingly used to fast technology, which also means that we quickly loose patience with a site that loads too slowly. Just think back on the last time your Netflix- or HBO stream started to load in the middle of your favourite TV show...
9. An extraordinary product presentation
Present your products in a way that makes your customers look twice. Fifty Three is one store that has achieved this by pealing off components of their pencil one by one as the customer scrolls down.
Remember: Presentation can have a great impact on a customer if it's truly original.
10. Cheap and fast delivery
This one is a classic, but it still holds. Make it easy and cheap for your customers to get the products sent to their door.
Remember: Customers can't know what you don't tell them. If you provide a great service on shipping and delivery, then be sure to let them know.
11. Personal notes
Granted, this probably only works if your webshop has less than 100 orders a day. But leaving a personal note in each order is a fine touch that your customers definitely won't be expecting. Portland-based Wildfang is one of the webshops prioritising this to stand out from the many:
»It's vital that our consumers feel like we know them better than anyone else and that they feel part of our family. The cards help us do that. They are personal, unique and have become one of the most loved parts of the Wildfang experience.«
Emma McIlroy, CEO, Wildfang
12. Great return policy
Make it easy for your customers to return a product free of charge. One option is to add a pre-paid return slip in each order.
Remember: Most customers consider it a hazzle to return a product they purchased online (and in most cases it is). By offering your customers a return policy that makes their lives considerably easier, you have the chance of surprising them with a shopping experience worth sharing and repeating.
13. The personal touch
An approach that is less likely to cramp up your hand than personal notes is to insert a photo of your team on the order confirmation page.
Remember: If you leave your customers with a photo of the entire team, you are no longer X webshop selling to Y consumer. You are a team of lovely, dedicated people, who highly appreciates the business of that individual customer.
14. Going the extra mile
Another way to connect with your customers, is to meet them face-to-face. Consider arranging events and gatherings, where your customers can try out the products you sell and perhaps meet an influencer or professional within your industry.
Remember: Occasionally moving your online world to an offline forum, is a fantastic way to interact and build stronger relations with your customers.
Are you a winner? Every week Qwertee gives their customers 8 different possibilities to win a t-shirt. This both builds interest around the webshop and makes for good PR.
Remember: It can cost next to nothing for you to have small competitions every (or every other) week and these competitions can be a great way to constantly stay top of your customers' minds.
Adding a gift in your orders is a great way to surprise your customers. It could be as simple as a chocolate bar around Christmas or a discount voucher that makes them return.
Remember: Everyone loves free stuff. If you can get your customers to smile when they open their order, there's a good chance you'll see them again...
It's on page 1 of the marketing playbook for a reason. PR is a great way to build a stronger brand and identity for your business.
Remember: Consider how your webshop could be branded in a interesting way - directly or indirectly. For the owners of Made4Men, the branding of their webshop came indirectly, when it got included in their pitch of another business project in the Danish TV show "Løvens Hule" (The Lion's Cave).
18. Newsletters tailored to your individual customers
Be the one webshop that always sends newsletters relevant to your individual customers.
Remember: Your customers are most likely T.I.R.E.D of being bombarded with promotions that don't interest them. Personalising the content of your newsletters is a very effective way to distance yourself from the noise of your competitors.
19. Appeal to your buyer persona
But why not give your customers more than just relevant product recommendations and great offers? One of the ways the team behind Chubbies engage with its customers (many of them presumably young men), is by sending out emails called The Weekender containing fun guides, such as how to build a pumpkin beer helmet for Halloween.
Remember: Consider the persona of your target customers. What interests them and how can you use this to build a stronger relationship with them?
20. Share tips & tricks
Giving your customers input on how to get the most out of the products they buy, shows that you care - both about the products you sell and the customers, who buy them. Kromkendama is one webshop that has managed to do with great success.
Remember: Your customers are likely to be just as passionate - if not more - about the products you sell. Sharing that passion is a great way to win their loyalty.
21. Create a universe
Another way to kindle this passion in your customers is by creating a universe, where they can dive into the stories and nerdy details of your industry. Unisport has managed to do this expertly by creating a video channel, where the host travels the world to do football tricks in exotic corners of the planet and meet some of the best players of the game.
Remember: The Unisport approach might be in the ambitious end for most webshops, but you don't necessarily need to fly to Hawaii to make this work. Find out how you can create a community around your brand and your products and how you get your customers to take interest in that community.
If you're interested in more tips and tricks on making your webshop stand out, then don't forget to check out our many other blog posts.