During the pandemic, people didn’t go out and many e-commerce websites were booming. Now that life is returning to a new normal, retail brick & mortar businesses again trump online sales.
Even with the convenience of online shopping, people want the experience of in person buying. Why? And how can you, as an online e-commerce business increase your sales?
Let’s compare and contrast physical shopping with e-commerce …
1. Store design
Most major retailers have beautiful, clean, comfortable open spaces with merchandise styled and displayed.
Is your e-commerce website design dated, unprofessional or cluttered? If so, it is like walking into a junk store, many will turn around and leave.
At a retail store it is easy to ask a clerk where to find what you came for. There are usually department signs or aisle signs to give you an idea of where to look.
Does your e-commerce website have a search function that is fast, tolerant of typos and easy to find? If not, as Jean-Luc Picard would say, “make it so.”
3. Bad user experience
Physical businesses have this problem too. A bad customer experience will make certain people never shop there again.
Online, it is even trickier since you aren’t necessarily interacting with the consumer. The e-commerce experience should be seamless and easy, going unnoticed by the customer. When that breaks down, it causes problems and lost sales.
Make sure your e-commerce site is mobile friendly and fast loading. Do away with unrelated popups. Make sure your hosting provider can handle the number of visitors to your site during peak hours. Technical glitches happen. You want to minimize those possibilities as much as you can.
Navigation menus, up-sells and relevant product offerings should naturally flow within the online experience. Not become a distraction that slows people down during their time on your website.
When you can relate to people one on one it is easier to personalize the shopping experience. Store design can also aid with that. You won’t see fish supplies next to women’s coats. Instead, you’d find scarfs, sweaters, gloves, things that may accompany that purchase.
A personalized online shopping experience provides a better opportunity to make conversions. Talk to your website provider or hosting about using personalization data to help personalize visitor experience.
5. Missing product information
When you have questions in a physical store, you can usually ask someone. Online, missing or confusing product information means losing a sale.
Listen to customers and find out what they need to know. Then address that information in your descriptions. You may also want to include an FAQ section to answer concerns.
Another big problem with online purchases is size. I’ve purchased items online and when they arrive they are much smaller than expected. Make sure dimensions are clearly listed. A photo with something else in it to help customers determine size is also a great idea.
Be sure to list all the features of your product to help visitors make their decisions too.
6. Persuasive copy
Why should someone buy this product? In a physical retail space, consumers can examine the product in some detail. Having it in their hands helps persuade them one way or the other if this is the right product for them.
Online, you have to do the persuading. In addition to sharing the features, you want to let people know what the product can do for them. How will it make them feel? Why should they buy your product over others? Why should they buy it now?
7. Complex checkout
Most carts get abandoned when things get complicated or unexpected charges are piled on. Make sure everything is explained up front and your check out process is easy and fast.
This applies online and for brick & mortar businesses.
8. The return policy
Physical retail businesses have a service desk and returns are pretty easy. They should be online too.
A non-flexible return policy is like saying you don’t trust the product. If you make things easy, it won’t necessarily mean you get more returns.
Make your product information and photos so clear that consumers will know what they are getting. Then the return becomes an insurance policy that allows them to trust you.
9. No support
If you can’t find a clerk to help you, chances are you will leave without buying. The same is true online.
If you can provide live chat that can help with this problem. At the very least, use a bot or make it easy to reach out by email or form and be fast with responses.
10. No connection
If someone walks into a store that seems unwelcoming or generic, they will likely leave without making a purchase.
With e-commerce stores, you need to build that connection by sharing what your brand means. Make your site consistent and welcoming so it is comfortable when people visit.
Generic e-commerce stores use manufacturer images and stock photos. These can be found many other places on line. They don’t set you apart and they don’t instill confidence. Your online store becomes one of many and you end up competing on price.
When you use professional product photography for online businesses, your images are customized to you. They represent your brand. The photos feature your products. These image assets differentiate you from the competition, leaving them behind.
Since online shoppers can’t physically touch a product, a skilled product photographer should be hired. Photography is about light, composition, angles and an artistic eye. It is knowing how to direct a viewers eye where you want it to go.
You can take your own photos, but if you are serious about making sales, it is worth investing in professional photos. An investment usually reaps profits.
And there are product photographers of all skill levels, so it doesn’t have to break your budget.
I mean, Coca-Cola, Chanel and Apple hire pros, maybe they are onto something.
There you go, 10 reasons why online shoppers don’t buy and what you can do to help them and your bottom line. I hope you found this information helpful!
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