Maybe it was the realisation that you could make sales while you sleep, or connect with customers on their devices even if they never visited your physical store, or perhaps you discovered a gap in the market or a niche category no one else was owning. Whatever it was, almost all retailers can recall the epiphanous moment when selling online became pivotal to their businesses’ growth.
Anyone with experience building eCommerce websites will tell you it doesn’t take long to realise that setting up a good looking online store and pouring money into Facebook advertising isn’t enough to generate sales. Just because someone finds their way to your site, doesn’t mean they’ll feel compelled to purchase. So, what does it take to get someone to jump across the chasm from casual browser to loyal customer?
The fundamentals of long-term eCommerce success are easier to nail than you’d think – it’s all about becoming more customer-centric. In this two-part series, we’ll investigate a number of quick and easy tweaks any online retailer can make to increase the likelihood of a sale, as well as better meet customers’ ever-changing expectations.
What’s worth more than a thousand words?
Buying online can be difficult when you can’t physically touch or inspect a product’s make and size. This is why the quality of a product photo and description can make or break an eCommerce sale. In fact, a Baynard study* found that 56 per cent of shoppers begin exploring product images before reading titles, descriptions or scrolling down the page to get a more comprehensive overview of the item. This demonstrates just how important images are to making a final decision.
One way retailers can help customers understand exactly what they’re purchasing is by providing high-quality images and detailed size charts that allow shoppers to to fully familiarize themselves with your goods before purchasing. For example, Melbourne-based footwear designer, Lauren Marinis, effectively uses big, immersive product photography on their websites to convey the quality and aesthetic of their heels. And while a picture may be worth a thousand words, a good product description is equally important. Let the customer know exactly what the product is, what it’s made of, and what sets it apart of similar products sold by the competition. When writing a description, keep the important grabs upfront, and then detail out all the nice-to-knows.
These additions help eliminate doubt as well as reduce returns, which will both improve your bottom line.
Build your brand love
Customers love product reviews – more than 70 per cent of them look at product reviews before making a purchase. Including reviews and testimonials from customers that love your products is among the most impactful things any brand can do to garner the trust of shoppers and increase conversion rates.
If you already have favorable reviews and testimonials, consider featuring them right on your homepage, product pages and other prominent positions across your website. Featuring positive reviews for popular products is also a proven tactic the world’s most successful retailers use effectively in social advertising and other marketing campaigns to drive traffic to best sellers and acquire new customers.
If you’re just starting to generate reviews, popular Apps like Yotpo can help solicit user-generated content from your best customers, allowing you to easily reward them with special offers and coupons in exchange for their feedback.
Of course, feedback might not always be positive, so work hard to address any issues flagged by customers to ensure future buyers have a great experience, every time. If a customer leaves a negative review on a third-party site, show you care about their experience by responding politely and giving them an avenue to discuss the issue further offline. Often, addressing issues raised by dissatisfied customers can be a powerful mechanism to convert them into vocal advocates for your brand.
Jordan Sim, Group Product Manager, BigCommerce