Online purchases and shopping is increasingly becoming the preferred way to shop with millions of online buyers alone. Customers can shop on the go or from the comfort of their homes, online shops are as successful as brick and mortar stores. Still, a large proportion of customers still prefer to shop in physical stores, so how do you win?
Consumers won’t simply buy anything from anybody online, products with a big price tag and things that are perishable are among the most difficult types of items to sell online. Not to mention products that people want to touch, smell or try on before they pull out their credit card. eCommerce has become a way of life and website owners that satisfy the requirements of the online shopper are flattening their wallets. The team at Only Oak Furniture have tried to pull together a quick guide of the most common things we get asked for from our customers when buying online.
**With the increased public awareness of climate change and the everlasting impacts we have seen a surge in people looking for more sustainable furniture. A recent blog post from the CEO of Silentnight on how as a brand they are taking this serious was a breath of fresh air to read. Find out more on Silentnight’s COP26 pledge here.
Take a look at what exactly it is that customers see when making purchases online…
Free Delivery and Delivery Discounts
This is an essential option as most customers now tend to expect this from every online shop, buyers are expected to spend up to 30% more if a business provides free shipping. If you can’t afford this then it’s important to try and offer delivery deals on specific promotional items to help attract new customers. Lots and lots of people will prefer to buy online to save time and money on going to a store, if they have to spend on shipping then they may just prefer a trip to the shop. Some buyers may also be willing to wait a few extra days to get free delivery, giving sellers a chance to offer even more.
This covers a range of areas including the ability to search for products and filter accordingly to the need (for example colour, brand and gender). All of these usability features in place will enhance the online shopping experience, helping to make it easier for buyers to get what they want. Also, make sure that the navigation is efficient and that the overall website works at a fast speed, slow merchant websites can cause users to get frustrated and abandon purchases. Other things include your site’s language, you may need to have your content translated so it’s understandable in different languages. A lot of people may also get distracted at the time of the checkout due to various reasons, this includes a complex registration method and a sudden increase in purchases. According to reports, the business’s failure to show delivery costs straight away is one of the reasons why buyers choose not to purchase.
Available Payment Methods
Make sure that you offer your customers the most common payment methods, regular credit cards, debit cards and Paypal are all a must. Additional options can also be useful when it comes to driving up conversion rates. If you are a local shop, pay at store options may be convenient, especially for those users who are still not sure of giving the credit card information online.
Returns and Cancellation Policies
The rules for returns and order cancellations will play a role in the customer’s decision, customers today tend to want increasingly flexible options from merchants. Online shopping is seen as a risk because the customer doesn’t physically verify the purchase. Being able to return the product and getting refunds is an added bonus for the customer, the business should clearly state their rules and procedures for cancelling and refunding orders.
Encouraging your customers to leave reviews and feedback, will help you to build a credible online reputation. Customers will make purchases quickly from a business that has positive reviews. People don’t just check the Facebook page, they tend to look at object third-party websites for reviews of the business as well. It’s important to pay attention to the comments and complaints on a major website and respond appropriately. About 88% of customers say that they’ve read reviews to help determine the quality of products and businesses. Also having your own blog can help, around 13% of buyers are influenced to buy a product after reading a blog.