Long before recent events have shaken the world and kept people inside their homes, retail businesses have already been taking their wares online to newer and bigger markets. Because of this sudden influx of competition in the digital space, it can be difficult for a store to stand out.
If you own or manage an online retail business right now, you need every bit of edge to make it. One way to make sure you rise above your competition is by improving your customer experience. If you don’t know where to start, here are eight tips to help you.
Your website is your online storefront. Making sure that it works well is the first thing you need to iron out. If it takes ages for your pages to load, chances are, your visitors will go to your competitor instead. Having a reliable web hosting plan is a great start. Here’s Hubspot with 14 more tips for you to improve the speed of your website.
That also means that your website has to work well on all platforms. According to CNBC, by 2025, 72.6 percent of people will only use their phones to access the Internet. If your website doesn’t work correctly on mobile devices, you’ll have a hard time getting and retaining customers.
With customer retention, optimization is just one part of the equation. Your website’s user experience needs a more holistic approach to improve. That involves its design — the typefaces, the colors, and the placement of media and buttons. You have to make sure that the process of navigating through your pages is intuitive and organic. Even if you get the most willing customers, if they can’t get to the checkout page, they can’t buy from you.
A website will look incomplete without good content. Not only will prospective customers not understand your products well, but search engines like Google also won’t understand your business. That means you won’t rank well on people’s searches and customers won’t be able to find your listings. You need engaging, informative, and overall value-adding content to keep people interested and return to your website. That will also build up your credibility in your chosen field. It will lead to more traffic and more conversions.
But words are not enough for retail businesses to thrive in the current digital landscape. The modern consumer expects to see media when they visit websites. That means you need pictures, graphics, and videos to engage your audience. It is especially helpful if your products look amazing. Investing in photo and video shoots may be essential. Not only will this add visual appeal to your pages, but they will also show your visitors the details of your products that cannot be conveyed by words alone.
When people shop on retail websites like Amazon, they want to know whether the products they’re interested in are any good. That is where the site’s five-star rating system comes in. People want to buy products with an average rating that’s high. They also want to know that a lot of people have already purchased those products.
You can also do this on your website. Using customer reviews and ratings will encourage your visitors to buy your products. Just make sure the reviews are authentic and organic as well.
But just because your business is an online retailer, that doesn’t mean all the magic happens in cyberspace. Real people will get your products in the real world. That means you need a way to ship your wares to the people who buy them.
First, you need to pick the right packaging. For some items, using poly bags will be enough. Some may need to be packaged using flat shipping boxes.
That also means using a reliable delivery service. There are a ton of options out there. Here’s Business Insider’s list of last-mile delivery companies to help you get sorted out. Choose one that has an excellent track record, especially if your products are on the fragile side.
And even after your products reach the consumer in one piece, your commitment to them doesn’t end there. One of the most important qualities people look for in a retailer is how they take care of their customers after the sale. There will inevitably be a few hitches when doing your business; your consumers have to know that they can rely on you to make things right even if these hitches happen. Providing an easy way for them to contact you is an excellent first step. From there, you have to make sure that you deal with customers fairly and respectfully.