According to Quora, by mid-2014 2014,110,000 e-commerce sites were registered in the United States. What does that mean for your e-commerce business? It means that competition is fierce and your e-commerce site needs to live up to customer expectations. Especially during the holiday season, which started with Black Friday, online sales grew by 8.5% from alst year. With this kind of growth, your e-commerce site can't afford to fail.
Here are 5 things customers expect from your e-commerce store, don’t disappoint them!
The loading time of your site is crucial. Today, people expect and demand instant gratification. A slow loading site will drive customers away, in search for another comparable site. A recent Kissmetrics study concluded that even “a one second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions." For the sake of clarity, “if your e-commerce website makes $100,000 a day, a 1 second delay could potentially cost you $2.5 million in lost sales every year”.
Loading time counts!
2. Free Shipping and Promos
Once a customer arrives, make sure that it's filled (but not crammed) with promotions. The initial visit by a customer is like "window shopping." So offering limited time promotions, like giving a discount that is only good for today, encourages customers to make take their online shopping navigation a bit more seriously. Adding a countdown timer of when the sales will end, gives customers an extra sense of urgency,which can increase conversions.
Customers love free stuff! So, when possible add a small gift or coupon for their next purchase to give them a reason to return. The holiday season is ideal for these giveaways, since customers are looking for good deals and free things, make a deal even better.
In today's highly competitive e-commerce market, free shipping is something every business should be giving. There's almost no reason to make customers pay for receiving their package in a timely manner.
3. Customer Service
By now, it should go without saying that excellent customer service in the e-commerce industry is expected by all consumers. Not only is it a necessity, but it's also an excellent way to establish trust with customers, even in the digital space. Today, consumers don't appreciate automated responses, they are looking for a brand that adds a personal touch along their digital journey. Perosnalization is the new form of bridging the digital barrier with customers and every e-commerce can easily integrate this tactic. By including personalized emails, chat features, or with a virtual agent, the e-commerce site can strengthen the customer relationship to the brand. In addition to excellent customer service, the FAQ page should be easily accessible, simple to understand and offer concrete value, leaving no room for any customer to feel dissatisfied with the site.
4. Social Media Links
In today's hyper- social digital space, social media is the new form of communication with brands. Social media buttons should be visible, live, and easy to use. Many customers will actually search social profiles to see if a brand is active and engaging with its customers before making a purchase. Keep your channels active by offering content that is valuable. Each channel has a distinct style, so cross posting without respecting each platform will show some brand weakness and lack of understanding. Take the time to learn the ettiquette of the platfom. A good way to add value is to share content from other brands or relevant articles from within the industry. Not every post should be brand centered.
A great feature that can add social value is to encourage customers to share that they just completed a purchase from your e-commerce site. Many brands are integrating this feature now and enables a brand to leverage every customers social network . People love to share what that they like, so let them share their shopping experience with their social media circles. Social media links can increase visibility and engagement. In some cases, active social networks will bring sales.
Shoppers don’t like surprises unless it’s a fabulous discount at checkout! Provide as much information on the product as possible as well as the full pricing. Ensure that your site can accept as many forms of payment as possible, including the safety
secure payment badges to gain trust with customers.
These five tactics are becoming the new norm for e-commerce sites. Take the time to do it right.