Customers need you right now. No listen, they really need you. The pandemic era has pushed people toward digital so fast that many are still scrambling to make sense of how it happened—how, in the blink of an eye, shopping in a store has turned into the endless navigation of apps, curbside pickup points, customer service calls and more.
For the “forced” adopter, there’s anxiety from the pressure to catch up with others who have been shopping online out of preference for years. And for the longtime ecommerce lover, there’s increased scrutiny and expectation. Ecommerce success depends on understanding both groups and making their lives easier. We’ve curated a handful of quick wins that will get you on their good side.
But first, let’s take a look at some stats that prove seamless ecommerce counts right now.
84% of US and 85% of EU-5 online adults say that they have purchased products or services online in the past three months. Source: Forrester Analytics Consumer Technographics
Among US online adults, 61% say shopping online is more convenient than shopping in a store. Source: Forrester Analytics Consumer Technographics US Retail Recontact Survey, 2020.
59% of US online adults think it's important for a retailer to offer the ability to buy online and pick up in-store. Source: Forrester Analytics Consumer Technographics US Retail Recontact Survey, 2020.
Now… onto the quick wins.
We’ve all been there: the checkout that just takes forever. At best, it makes us apprehensive to return to the retailer in question, and at worst, we abandon our cart altogether. Customers want more payment options, fewer steps and the option to complete the transaction as a guest if they don’t want to create an account.
Twelve percent of US online adults have used Apple Pay, and 8% have used Google Pay in the past three months. Source: Forrester Analytics Consumer Technographics Benchmark Survey, Part 1, 2020.
Where to start:
Time is of the essence. Modern life is busy and ecommerce companies can win customers over by giving them some of that time back. Simplicity is a powerful motivator.
75% of US online adults agree that it's important for retailers to offer advanced site search features such as the ability to refine search results by price, brand, style or other product attribute. Source: Forrester Analytics Consumer Technographics US Retail Recontact Survey, 2020
Where to start:
In a physical store, there are times when you go in looking for one item and come out with another one—that’s the joy of being surprised and delighted. But what becomes of this spontaneity in a digital setting? Well, we have to create it, and there are some techniques that help.
36% of US online adults say it's important that retailers provide product recommendations based on their shopping or browsing history; that's even more true for US online adults from 18 to 25 (48%) and 25 to 34 (42%). Source: Forrester Analytics Consumer Technographics US Retail Recontact Survey, 2020.
Where to start:
Without the tactile nature of in-person shopping, customers need to have a clear idea of what it is they’re buying. Quick-loading pages with high quality images and ample descriptive copy help everyone shop with confidence.
A note on product imagery: impactful product photos make use of both closeup and medium range with the inclusion of environmental shots if applicable (e.g., a swingset in the backyard).
At some point or another, customers are going to need help—whether it’s with a product they’ve already received or one they can’t quite decide on. If you look at some of the most successful companies in the world, they all excel in this department with fast response times and smart automated features. Remember, all it takes is one “left in the dark” moment for customers to write you off.
In 2019, 27% of US online adults said it was important for a retailer to offer a live chat service on the website; in 2020, 42% of US online adults say it is important for a retailer to offer live online chat to ask questions and get support on the website. Source: Forrester Analytics Consumer Technographics US Retail Recontact Survey, 2020 and Forrester Analytics Consumer Technographics North American Retail And Travel Benchmark Recontact 1 Survey, 2019 (US).
Where to start:
For even more info on how to upgrade your ecommerce experience for customers, check out our post with Three Tips to Guide Your Website Enhancement Strategy. Of course, you can always contact us for additional guidance or assistance with your next project.