Three Tips to Make Ecommerce Sites Easier to Use For Optimal Sales Conversion
By Michael Christie, JetSpring
During the golden age of retail a consumer could walk into a store and feel welcome and respected. Policies like ‘the customer is already right’ and ‘we make it your way’ reigned supreme. But as the world became more casual, the retail experience did as well. And that ‘customer first’ mentality became reserved for luxury goods and upscale boutiques. The flood of e-commerce stores seemed to only intensify the growing distance between the retailer and its consumer, resulting in less personalization, less communication, and a less committed, less loyal customer.
Countless surveys and case studies tell us the modern consumer wants a personalized experience. This means modern e-commerce retailers must return back to golden day of retail tactics, incorporating these three elements into their online store to achieve optimal new and returning sales:
1. Human Touch
73% of online shoppers say they would rather chat with a human than a ‘smart’ AI chatbot. You mean that people (humans) prefer to connect with a real person (human) rather than a robot? I did not see this coming…
Everything I’ve read about chatbots using AI is how incredible they are at answering questions and solving problems for people online WITHOUT the need for human contact. The companies that sell chatbots with AI will tell you that they are faster, better, cheaper than humans. And that online shoppers prefer robots over those annoying human customer service agents.
According to Campaign Monitor, 44% of consumers stated that having their questions answered in real-time DURING a purchase is the most important feature a website can offer! In fact, the research firm Forrester says that 50% of adults will abandon a purchase if not given a quick answer to their question.
And online retailers are starting to notice. Websites that do not offer live chat are seeing their numbers drop like a stone. Consumers are abandoning online stores that cannot answer their questions in real-time, instead doing business with the ones that can. The message is–ignore the customer and they will go elsewhere to buy. They will click on Facebook ads, visit the website, and then leave without buying. And conversion rates will continue to fall if sites do not provide live chat and give consumers the information they need to make an informed decision.
The data proves:
-62% of online customers would buy from an online retailer if LIVE chat were available, according to Anderson Consulting
-Consumers spend 60% more per purchase when they engage with a live chat agent, according to Invesp
-38% of customers reported making a purchase after having a good session with a live chat agent, according to Invesp
Providing support in real-time through LIVE chat agents is the most effective and efficient way of giving customers what they want… when they want it. In a huge shift, it is predicted that by the end of 2022, about 85% of businesses will have LIVE chat support.
2. Reduce the choices
One of the best ways to confuse someone visiting your website is to give them TOO many options.
I’m sure you’ve experienced this yourself when you land on a cool website or walk into a new store only to be confronted with a million choices. You’re like a kid in a candy store and before you know it, you don’t know what to buy and you end up leaving empty-handed.
Too many choices or asking for too much information confuses people… and when we’re confused, we don’t buy.
Here’s an example with form fields at checkout… when you reduce the number of options in your form fields from 6 to 3, you’ll increase conversions by as much as 66%.
The optimal number of form fields on a contact form to optimize conversions is 2:
-Email Address (required)
To prove this point further, The NY Times did an experiment at a grocery store on two different Saturdays.
On the first Saturday, they offered 24 different flavors of jam for people to taste. 60% of shoppers stopped to taste jam, and a total of 3% actually purchased product.
On the second Saturday, they offered only 6 flavors of jam. 40% of shoppers stopped to taste jam, and a total of 30% ended up buying.
They sold 600% MORE JAM when there were fewer choices.
So, what is the conversion sweet spot for choices?
-For online retailers: 4 – 6 options are optimal.
-For SaaS providers: 2 – 5 options are best.
If you’re struggling with how many options you should be offering your audience, always start with a LOWER number and work it from there.
3. Customer, Customer, Customer is the key to repeat sales
- RESPOND IMMEDIATELY to customer support requests for support no matter how trivial. The faster you respond, the better your customer will feel about your brand. SPEED shows them you care… and when you show them you care, they will like and trust you.
- DO NOT ARGUE… listen instead. If your customer has a problem or a complaint, don’t make it their fault. That will only make the situation worse. You may be in the right, but that doesn’t matter to your customer. The customer is always right.
- Show EMPATHY. After you listen, tell them that you totally understand where they’re coming from. Get on their side of the table and be their friend.
- Offer to FIX THE PROBLEM… whatever it takes. Understand that one unhappy customer will poison your brand by leaving bad reviews online and telling all of their friends and family NOT to buy from you. Consider the cost of fixing a problem, even if it’s not your fault, an investment in the future of your business.
- FOLLOW UP within 24 hours after you provide support to make sure that everything is okay, and that they are happy. This is the perfect time to give them a LIMITED TIME coupon code that they can use to visit your store and buy again.
- ASK FOR A REVIEW… if your customer is happy, then ask them to take a second and leave you a review online. Give them the link to use to make it super easy for them. I do not recommend offering them a discount in exchange for a review.
Don’t hide from your customers. Be present and available to interact with them when they need you. If you do this, you will be rewarded with loyalty and lots of repeat business. Take the time to do it right.
The fast-paced ever changing ecommerce world may seem daunting and confusing, but customers really only want to experience what they’ve always wanted to experience when shopping: good service, good value, communication, and quality products.