The world experienced a major change in 2020 with the Corona crisis. With more people shifting their purchasing power to the internet, the online shopping experience needs to be even more enhanced than ever before.

The current global situation contributes to the digitization of retail at an exponential rate. Online stores need to prepare for an increase in online competition. Current and evolving stores also need to reflect growing customer expectations as well as standards.

Pro tip: If you’re particularly tech-savvy or keen to learn, you can opt for an intelligent plugin. Some plugins may be applicable to your store’s traffic flow, help identify key customer groups, and other interesting information. You can find a list of helpful artificial intelligence plugins here. If you’re curious about adding one to your website, but don’t know where to start, ask us!

How does your user end up on your website?

If you have faithful customers that already know your business and where to find you, that’s as easy as putting in your site’s address or Googling your business’ name. If you are attracting new purchasers, it’s a different story.

Think about where your potential customer is coming from. If they find your site via a price comparison channel, then they are more likely to be on the hunt for a bargain. Your site then should show just how much of a bargain they are receiving. For example, identifying the percentage saved or showing the original price with a red slash through it next to the sale price for easy contrast. These particular purchasers may also be interested in additional incentives. For example, highlighting free shipping if a certain amount is spent may influence them to add to their purchase, gaining additional savings and free shipping.

If any of your customers are coming from trendy, image-heavy platforms like Instagram or Pinterest, then this potential customer may be looking more for inspirational outfits. Hosting pages like “As seen on Instagram” or tag options like “Posted on Pinterest”, can help your potential buyer easily find the outfit or look they came searching for. Offering additional looks as examples can further increase product awareness and encourage supplementary cart items.

Where does your customer enter your online store?

Chances are that not all your customers go through your home page to get to your store. If your product is hyperlinked from one site to the product on your store page, your home page gets skipped altogether.

This is important when highlighting promotions. Many websites only host their promotions on their homepage but repeating the promotion on your store page will ensure that each customer sees the additional value.

Product pages especially need to be optimized. This holds even more importance if your store uses online ads with Google Shopping. When a user travels to your site at the click of a Google Shopping ad, they are directed to that product only. If that potential customer does not like the product they can very well leave and your ad spend will have no return however, by incorporating alternatives on the page, you have a second chance at capturing a sale.

What do your customers have an interest in?

Remember the olden days of clipping coupons from your local grocery store flyer and bringing them with you on your next grocery run? Now, you most likely receive promotional updates to your inbox or via an app. Have you ever noticed that the products you buy the most frequently, seem to show up in your coupons?

If you have an online store, you too need to understand your customers and provide them with product recommendations. Top selling items that are shown to a wide audience is a very general approach. You can tailor alternative product recommendations by showing them similar products or complimenting products once they’ve viewed an item. For example, if a customer has selected to view a blue, graphic t-shirt you may choose to offer your viewer a complimenting pair of ripped jeans and sneakers or an alternative such as an orange-colored, graphic t-shirt.

Returning user information is instrumental in creating applicable recommendations. Keeping track of prior purchases enables you to expose them to similar or related items. If your customer has purchased dog food and a dog bed before then expressing to them there is a sale on dog toys that may help you make an additional sale.

When does your customer base visit your store?

Most shoppers buy items after their busy hours, which, for the vast majority of spenders, is after work, especially later in the afternoon and evening. This isn’t the only time definition to consider. Small and large businesses alike can benefit from seasonal events and the changes in weather.

For instance, if you own a local shop and you know that it’s going to be sunny for the upcoming Mother’s Day celebrations then it would make sense to push products that go with sunshine, the outdoors, and Mother’s Day themed gifts. If a long weekend is approaching and the weather looks less than favorable, a promotion regarding umbrellas, rainwear and indoor activities would be ideal.

How far along in the decision process has the buyer accomplished?

Have you ever filled up a cart, seen the grand total and needed some time to think about the items, leaving it for a later time? Your customers are the same. It’s important to understand when your customers leave your store.

Encouraging customers to complete a purchase can be accomplished in a few ways. One option is to remind customers of their cart when they are looking to exit. Another option is offering a small discount on their purchase as they’re exiting. If you have your customer’s email already, reminding them of their shopping cart that day or the following day is also a useful alternative.

What’s next?

There are several possibilities for online stores to better optimize their sales and customer approach resulting in improved customer experience. Our experts work with all our ecommerce customers to learn more about their respective target audience and look for ways of optimizing the shopping experience. If you’re looking to improve sales, increase repeat sales or otherwise enhance your customer’s experience, we can definitely explore options.

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