7 Ways to Improve the Customer Journey for Your Ecommerce Store
Technology has completely changed the relationship between merchant and consumer. Many businesses have seen the benefits of selling directly to consumers over the web as internet access became more accessible. Etailinsights reports, “there are currently 7.9 Million Online Retailers in the world and 2.1 Million of them are in the United States.” With the increasing percentage of online retail sales, there is a greater chance of consumers shopping online creating more traffic to ecommerce websites.
As a result, using best practices in ecommerce website design is critical in turning shoppers into customers. Focusing on your customer's experience is a crucial step in conversion-focused strategy. We’ve provided a few strategies on how to improve your website through a customer journey-focused approach.
What is the 'Customer Journey' in Ecommerce?
The customer journey is the variety of paths users can take to complete a transaction on your website. Customers create this path through actions they make on the site. For example, when a customer clicks on the products or services, they take a step in their journey. Customers want a clear, smooth visual online experience. However, as a business, you want to ensure your customer has the least amount of obstacles in reaching check out. A few factors that could affect this experience are:
7 Ways to Improve Your Customer Journey:
1. Have Clear Call to Actions
Clear call to actions on the homepage of your ecommerce website immediately signals to shoppers what actions they should take. Quick clicks to categories of your products or services give shoppers a brief visual overview of what your products or services are. This also helps you qualify visitors who are looking for something different as soon as they get on your site.
2. Use a Dynamic Search Bar & Filtering Feature
New visitors on your website may want to quickly research a product or service you offer. Having a prominent search bar and a sophisticated filter can reduce redundancies in the header menu and allows users to search for products they are looking for from one place.
3. Make Mobile Optimization a Priority
According to Dynamic Yield, 76% of consumers shop on mobile devices because “it saves them time.” As a result, businesses must pivot their user experiences by optimizing their site for mobile devices. Tailoring your user journey to the customer gives them the incentive to keep coming back.
Your mobile website experience should not mimic your desktop experience. Remember, a customer on their mobile device will be using a smaller screen to navigate your website.
Here are a few tips to make your ecommerce website mobile-optimized:
Use large buttons for call to actions.
Less is more when it comes to content.
Condense navigation bar for ease of access.
Use large high quality product images.
A mobile-optimized website provides a less frustrating shopping experience.
4. Declutter Your Website
Reducing page clutter allows customers to feel welcome to the site. Through visual aids, customers can make quick decisions on what products they are interested in. If the product directory page is hard to navigate, your visitors might choose to bounce or exit—which is both an interrupted journey and a missed opportunity.
5. Give Easy Access to Customer Support, Return & Shipping Policies
Shoppers are trying to answer a number of questions before deciding to make a purchase.
Will I be able to return this item?
How long do I have to return this item?
Will return shipping be free, or do I have to pay for that?
How long will this item take to get to me?
If I have an issue, can I contact customer support?
Is there a customer support phone number? Email? Chat?
Make sure shoppers can easily answer these questions at any point or page on your site. A clear menu navigation helps with this, with secondary navigation links to support contact information, shipping policies and return policies.
BuySafe provides an easy solution, providing trustmarks on every page of your site that pop-up a Business Transparency Profile that quickly answers shoppers' most important questions when deciding to purchase from you or not. Check out more on this here.
6. Decrease Page Load Time
Make sure that your ecommerce website loads fast, if possible try to get it down to two seconds. Customers expect fast-loading sites and often abandon if a site takes too long to load. Not sure where to start? Here's 7 ways to improve speed and performance on your site.
7. Write Better Product Descriptions
Unclear product descriptions can deter shoppers from purchasing. They want to know if the product is a fit for their needs. In the example below, Everlane emphasizes how comfortable and easy their sneaker is to slip on. Everlane also highlights the sneaker is made from organic materials which gives incentive for those customers looking for comfort and sustainability, all in one shoe.
The key to writing a product description that converts is focusing less on product features, and more on how your product can solve your customer's problems.
The best customer journey you can create stems from understanding that not all your customers follow the same path to your website – some start with a Google search for answers, others discover you on social media or digital ads. Make sure you are considering each customer's journey on your site so they can easily find what they are looking for and complete a purchase.