Today’s consumer can shop almost wherever (and whenever) they like, thanks to the ever-growing world of e-commerce. What this means for your online presence is that creating an extraordinary customer experience is more important than ever. With only a few seconds to catch your customers’ attention, you have to make sure their experience, from landing page to checkout, is as seamless as possible.
Offer Live Chat Services
If a customer can’t find what he or she is looking for or has more questions about a product, that person should be able to talk to a customer service representative immediately. Having online chat support available shows your customers that your organization is willing to invest time and resources to meet their needs. Live support may also be useful for booking appointments or getting leads that others in the organization can follow up on. If you do decide to offer live chat support, you should offer it as close to 24/7 as possible, to accommodate customers around the world.
Make Your Site Easy to Navigate
You should keep the content on the site concise and simple. If you sell products on your site, your customers should be able to know where to go at a glance and find product listings within one or two click-throughs. When they find the product that they are looking for, there should be a concise description of that product that is search engine-friendly and easy to decipher. Making your product descriptions easy to share with social buttons may lead to increased visibility for your products and lead to additional sales in the future.
Make Sure Your Site Loads Quickly
In the current online business climate, there is no excuse for a sluggish site. Gone are the days when your landing page could promise your customer a few minutes of wait time while it loaded a massive background image. Just as in the brink-and-mortar world, if your customers cannot even get inside your store, they aren’t going to buy anything from you. Instead, they are going to go to a place where they can get in quickly, get what they want, and leave.
Furthermore, your site’s place in the search results may be impacted by your site’s load time. Therefore, it is critical that you do sufficient testing, as shaving even a tenth of a second off your load time can drastically improve your customers’ experience. Use server monitoring tools to keep track of load times, to make sure your site is keeping up with visitors. Sites with better load times will get your customers’ business almost every time, so staying on top of your own site’s speed is of the utmost importance.
Offer Easy and Secure Checkout With Multiple Payment Options
The final step is to ensure that your customers can easily checkout and arrange for delivery of their purchases. To make the checkout experience as easy as possible, you should allow them to create a customer profile that allows them to save their critical information. For instance, they can save their shipping address, as well as save their preferred payment information, so that they don’t need to enter their routing number or credit card information each time they make a purchase. Many of your customers may want to use their PayPal account to do their online shopping, which means it should be an available payment option.
If you are going to create an online presence, it is critical that your customers are given the best possible shopping experience. This will encourage them to come back again, and it will also show them that your brand is serious about providing the best service and selection whenever your customers want it.
About the Author: Emma is a freelance writer from Boston, MA. Information on the use of server monitoring tools to keep track of load times was provided by a connectivity expert. Questions? Say hi on Twitter @EmmaSturgis2
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