A closer look reveals that the behavior that has been most affected by technology so far is shopping. Ecommerce has taken over the world, and the numbers speak for themselves. According to Statista, in 2019 1.92 billion people around the world purchased items online, with sales expected to reach 3.53 trillion USD. These numbers are expected to nearly double by 2022 to 6.54 trillion USD, with online sales projected to account for a whopping 22% of all global retail sales in 2023.
But, not every ecommerce store is cashing in on the bonanza. Research from Adobe shows that just 3% of ecommerce visitors convert into orders. Many smaller and medium-sized online stores are not fully optimized to convert traffic into sales and are handing their profits over to the giants who’ve got their funnel perfected. That means that there’s a lot of room for improvement and lots of money waiting to be pocketed for those who’re willing to do the work.
Let’s take a look at some of the biggest challenges that are causing visitors to leave your ecommerce websites without purchasing . We’ll also provide some tips about how you can overcome them.
- Shopping cart abandonment. In the overwhelming majority of cases -- nearly 70% by some estimates -- customers do not complete the purchase of items that they’ve added to their shopping carts. The reasons for this are numerous and varied (read more on that in one of our recent blog posts), but there’s definitely lots you can do to reduce this number:
- Make forms short and simple as possible
- Add live chat support to quash any objections
- Create an optimized mobile experience
- Develop a targeted email campaign offering discounts and reminders
- Developing real relationships with customers. Building a sleek, well-designed website to hawk your wares will only get your foot in the door. Developing real trust and loyalty among your customers requires a lot more effort, but it’s worth it. Research shows that a 5% increase in your customer retention rates can potentially translate into huge revenue boosts. This jump in revenue is directly related to your increased loyalty as repeat customers usually buy more over the course of time. Here’s what you can do to boost customer loyalty:
- Deliver world-class, top notch customer service and support. Make the customer service you provide a differentiator over your competitors.
- Make it easy to contact you. Put your phone number, office address, emails and any other communication channel you have up front and center so that customers will be able to find them with ease.
- Generate user reviews. Make it easy for your satisfied customers to post positive reviews about your product and service. There are plenty of 3rd party solutions that help you streamline this process.
- Loyalty clubs. Incentivize repeat purchases by setting up a customer loyalty program that rewards returning customers and references with point schemes, discounts and coupons.
- Returned products and requests for refunds. The latest ecommerce numbers show us that as much as 30% of all products purchased online are returned to the vendor. That same study shows that 92% of customers would come back to an ecommerce site if they saw that the return process was easy. The numbers don’t lie. Your return policies can make or break your online store. Getting the way you handle returns right can translate into repeat customers, increased loyalty and more sales.
- Make it free, if you can. Depending on your and your customers’ location, this isn’t always an option. If possible, consider raising your prices to cover the cost of the return delivery and then advertising free returns.
- Be transparent. Don’t hide your return policy in the small print. Make sure it’s easily accessible by your customers, even to the point of adding it as a link in the checkout page.
- Offer options. Provide your customers with different return methods of shipping, payment and refunding. Consider offering discounts and coupons to offset the cost of the return if it’s on the customer.
- Provide multiple contact channels. Today’s savvy online customers want to be able to contact you on their own terms. This means that you need to be able to be reached at as many touch points as possible. This can include forums, social media pages, your website or live chat.
- Offer a wide range of contact options including live chat, live video chat, email, text.
- Learn from each interaction. Keep track of each customer interaction to get a better understanding of how you customers want to speak with you. You’ll see that the majority of queries will be from 3 or 4 specific types of communication channels. Optimize them and ensure that they’re working perfectly.
There is no doubt that the future of shopping will be online. The numbers keep rising, both in terms of transaction amounts and in terms of numbers of people online. Providing a stellar online shopping experience is challenging, but there are steps you can take to turn those challenges into competitive differentiators that will keep your heads above your competition.
Consolto’s live video chat solution was built to optimize your interactions with your customers. It provides a wide range of business tools centered around live chat that help you deliver warm, immersive interactions that boost customer loyalty and enhance the overall customer experience.