LONDON – As an online merchant, you already know how important it is to stand out. An important aspect of this is making your unique selling proposition clear.
However, despite the fact that each web retailer is striving to offer a unique experience, there is significant value in understanding what the best e-commerce merchants are doing right so you can keep up with evolving customer expectations. Shoppers tend to expect today’s e-commerce sellers to uphold a number of core principles, no matter the specific product lineup or store design.
Here’s what the best e-commerce merchants are doing right.
Running a Secure, Trustworthy Website
First, ask yourself: What is e-commerce?
What do you need to do to facilitate transactions online?
At a minimum, you must provide an e-commerce platform secure enough to your customers’ personal and financial information safe. Beyond actual payment logistics, the most effective e-commerce websites go the extra mile to instill trust in online shoppers, so they feel confident enough to check out.
According to one worldwide survey regarding consumer trust, more than one-fifth (22 percent) of shoppers worldwide “distrust the internet and never shop online.” People worry hackers will steal payment information, or that and e-commerce company will use personal information improperly.
Online retailers can do a number of things to assuage these fears:
- Facilitate an encrypted checkout process
- Inform consumers of your security measures
- Earn and display trust seals from top security and payment gateways
- Be honest about any security breaches and explain how you’ll do better
Providing a Great Mobile Experience
More and more, people are using smartphones and tablets to make purchases. Mobile is more than an “add-on to a desktop website these days. You must optimize the mobile browsing experience to win the business of customers on the go—and possibly even offer a dedicated app for a highly branded mobile experience.
The most basic requirements of a great mobile experience are readability and usability on smaller devices. People also expect speedy load times.
Personalizing the Ecommerce Experience
Imagine a salesperson at a brick-and-mortar store suggesting random products to people as soon as they step through the door without considering their wants and needs. Sounds ludicrous, right? Chances are, this salesperson would end up wasting their breath and confusing customers by recommending products X, Y and Z when the person really came seeking A, B or C.
Well, the same idea applies to e-commerce recommendations: People expect personalization. For this reason, true e-commerce competitors are embracing the power of artificial intelligence and machine learning in combination with customer analytics to provide personalized product recommendations and search results. Making intuitive recommendations will go a long way toward boosting your customer satisfaction and conversion rates.
Minimizing Friction in Online Shopping
Any friction along the e-commerce “path to purchase” has the potential to spur customers to desert it. The primary benefit of achieving near-frictionless checkout is lower shopping cart abandonment rates.
One method for eliminating resistance involves allowing online users to make purchases without having to leave their favourite social media platforms. Modern platforms facilitate “social commerce” rather than disrupting the shopping experience by bringing users to a new website—a transition that can be jarring enough to drive costly abandonment.
The best e-commerce stores encompass these strengths while also bringing their own unique identities to the table. While your store should look and feel one of a kind, these pillars are applicable across segments, niches and brand personalities because they add up to form a positive experience.