How do the pros rake in e-commerce profits day after day? The e-commerce industry, like any other industry, has its own “secret code” of best practices that it pays to get more familiar with and actually study.
After investing in a powerful e-commerce solution, you’re now ready to bring the best shopping experience to your customers. Unfortunately, not everyone knows how to do this but it has to be done if you want to make the most out of your subscription. Settling into a platform that allows for easy customization is key.
You can now modify an e-commerce platform until you get the look and feel that will rake in maximum profits. However, a powerful shopping cart infrastructure still needs to be paired with effective customer engagement.
There are major steps that you should take to maximize customer engagement in your online store:
Simplify the shopping experience.
The idea of online shopping takes off from real-world shopping where people are able to browse products, examine the ones they like and immediately pay for items that stay in the shopping basket. When you design your own retail website using shopping cart software, make sure that people can buy what they want and fast.
Reduce the number of clicks and pages between product selection and final checkout. Buttons should carry customers straight to their intended destination.
If a button says “Express Checkout” or “Instant Checkout”, clicking on it should take the customer straight to payment and shipping options. Don’t be tempted to add random promotional pages in between to encourage customers to add stuff to their basket. The logic behind this is simple: if your customer wanted it, he/she would have searched for the product and added it to the basket.
Don’t add unnecessary pages between product selection and checkout
Doing so will increase the number of abandoned shopping carts. Why? Because people get distracted and irritated easily. Once a customer becomes distracted, he/she can decide to postpone the purchase for a day, week or month or worse, he/she may never return again.
Give customers the freedom to choose.
Being an aggressive marketer is fine: you have to bring your store and branding to the most number of potential buyers to increase traffic to your store. However, your aggressiveness should begin to wane the moment an online customer arrives at your online store.
Avoid interfering with your customer’s shopping experience.
If you’re going to use pop-up promotions, do so only once or twice and only if you have a genuinely good offer for your customers.
It’s also a good idea to encourage customers to put as many items as they want in their shopping carts by making the “Add to Cart” button more prominent in every product page. While the “Buy Now” button works for a small percentage of customers who are looking for very specific products, the same does not hold true for the majority of buyers.
Ironically, the “Buy Now” button tends to repel customers as it imposes upon the buyer a commitment to pay for an item immediately. People don’t like that at all. The average online shopper likes to “window shop” for a period of time and examine all of the goods in the shopping cart before deciding which ones to keep and which ones to eliminate.