What makes a visitor stick around after the first few seconds of landing on your e-commerce store? An easy to explore catalog, painful checkout, rewards that make shoppers buy more— to name a few. But too often, e-commerce business owners miss out on implementing the most crucial features and end up losing interested customers.
But figuring out what works isn’t hard! From benchmarks on what consumers value and an in-depth look at consumer psychology, you can craft an on-site experience that shoppers would want to continuously come back to.
Don’t worry, we’ve done the research for you. As you read further, you’ll discover 10 ways to improve the customer experience on your site to grow your checkout rates.
10 Ways to Elevate Your On-Site Customer Experience
1. Think brand, talk human
Customers are put off by online stores that have inconsistent messaging on different pages. For instance, a brand might use a gentle tone on one page and an excited salesy tone on another. This only confuses your visitor and tarnishes the connection they would have with your brand.
How you present your brand matters. For this, you need to understand your customers, define your brand voice, and based on that, craft your design and copy. Through this process, you'll be able to appeal to your customers better and stay consistent across your site.
Pattern Beauty, for instance, understands its customers well enough. Its branding, from the colors to the copy, conveys boldness, happiness, and power. These are values that its customers aspire to embody.
Many e-commerce stores also define their personality to make their brand more relatable. Innocent Drinks, for instance, has mastered its brand personality. This UK-based brand has a fun and witty personality, which is clearly displayed through its copy, design, and social media pages.
2. Structure your product catalog better
Ever landed on an e-commerce store and weren’t sure where to find the product of your choice? An unorganized product catalog makes it harder for your store visitors to find what they are looking for, frustrating them, and causing them to drop off your store. Planning your product catalog better improves your engagement, getting shoppers to checkout faster.
Here are a few tips to consider when structuring your catalog:
- Plan out your broader collections and catalog structure from scratch. You can take inspiration from leading brands and how they’ve structured their catalog.
- Add popular collections to the navigation menu for easy access. You can also look at your analytics to understand which collection pages have the most views and plan your menu items accordingly.
- Structure all your product titles in a templatized manner, including the keyword to describe the product. This satisfies your customers and helps you rank on search.
3. Keep your experience engaging and intuitive
38% of respondents like it when companies include games or interactive features along with the shopping experience.
By adding immersive experiences, you can connect with different kinds of customers. For new visitors, you can form a great first impression and make them eager to stay on and subscribe to your email list. Shoppers unsure of which product to buy will be able to find the right product, increasing your revenue. You can also get shoppers to stay on your store for longer, increasing engagement.
One of the best ways to make your on-site experience engaging is by setting up interactive quizzes. Such features serve two purposes. It helps shoppers find the right product and makes the session more memorable for the shopper. So, for instance, if you run a beauty brand, you can help the shopper find the right shade of concealer or the right shampoo.
Such quizzes can also be used as an entertainment element. You can let shoppers build an outfit with products you sell. Seeing their preferred style come alive will inspire shoppers to shop the complete look.
4. Personalize the experience to sell better
80% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase from a business that offers a personalized shopping experience. By providing a personalized on-site experience, you can deliver exclusivity and make your brand more relatable. Shoppers would then be more likely to spend time on your store since your recommendations are tailored to them, helping you sell more.
Leading e-commerce brands like Nike and Fashion Nova displays recommendations that are tailored to their customers at pivotal touchpoints on their website. This helps their customer find the items they would want to buy, bring them back into the buying funnel, and prevents abandonment.
5. Ensure your search is easy to use
Up to 30% of e-commerce visitors use internal site search. So, as an e-commerce store, an unoptimized search experience can cause you to lose shoppers. By testing your search experience and enabling better site search technology, you can drastically improve your revenue. 50% of retailers said that they saw an increase in revenue as a direct result of site search technology.
Here are a few best practices you can implement to improve your on-site search:
- Add the search bar at the top of your website for easy access.
- Enable autocomplete so that shoppers don’t have to type in the entire keyword.
- Autocorrect typos to avoid returning empty search results, removing this friction from the shopping experience entirely.
- Add synonyms for uncommon keywords to show relevant results and sell more.
- Avoid showing “No results” to your shoppers. To do this, you can add customized recommendations and content suggestions on your empty search results page.
6. Build a seamless checkout experience
If you’re an e-commerce owner anywhere, you must be facing at least some, if not a huge, level of cart abandonment. With abandonment being as high as 69%, it’s obvious that something’s not working. This number doesn’t account for shoppers who landed on the site and dropped off after browsing a few products.
Customers usually have their reasons to abandon their cart or drop-off a store they initially showed interest in. By tackling these issues head-on, you can make the payment process as breezy as possible to improve your checkout rates.
7. Build trust & credibility
Unlike retail stores, e-commerce stores need to work harder to come across as credible and trustworthy. Online consumers are unsure about the brand’s legitimacy, making them less likely to buy. However, through a few trust-building features on your store, you can make visitors feel safe about purchasing from your brand.
There are three proven ways to build trust among your store visitors:
- Collect and display reviews
85% of consumers read online reviews about a local business before making a buying decision. You can ask past customers to review products they’ve bought and set up automated messages to collect reviews from customers post-purchase. Many brands even reward customers with a discount or loyalty points when they leave a review on a purchased item, especially if they add pictures of them using the product.
This way, when new visitors land on a product page, they can read customer reviews and be assured that the item is of high-quality.
- Make the most of user-generated images
When looking for information about a product, 51% of US consumers trust user-generated content more than other information on a company website.
If you collect photo reviews or ask customers to share photos of them using your products, you can use these images on your storefront and even your social media. Online consumers who are discovering your brand will see these user images and be able to get a more authentic look at your products.
- Add verification badges, especially during checkout
Verification badges assure customers that your payment gateway is secure. These badges show the logos of the different payment methods available on your site. Despite being a small visual element, they made a difference! More than 80% of consumers feel more secure making a purchase when trustworthy card logos are displayed on the payment page.
You can display these trust badges on your footer, cart page, and most importantly, on the payment page. Besides the badges, you can also add information about your refund policy, making your policies more transparent.
8. Provide on-site support to guide purchasing decision
From sizing queries to refund doubts, shoppers online have a lot of questions before they purchase. If you don’t provide ways to answer their questions, they’re sure to opt for your competitor instead.
Live chat is one of the best to connect with your shoppers and help them with their queries. Due to their instant response rates, live chats have a 92% satisfaction rate, helping brands convert 30% more shoppers than they usually would.
You can set up live chats and assign agents to respond to queries in real-time. Live chat tools also have in-built autoresponders to solve queries instantly with pre-written messages. Your shoppers can solve their queries and start checking out products more confidently.
9. Tap into the incentive psychology of the customer
Consumers love rewards! 48% of consumers like when sites or apps allow shoppers to earn points by making purchases.
With a loyalty program, you can make shoppers buy frequently, turning one-time customers into loyal shoppers. When planning your loyalty program, set rewards for different activities taken by the shopper, from signing up to making their first purchase to referring someone new. You can craft fun, automated messages to inform customers about the rewards they’ve earned and remind them when their points are about to expire.
Evy's Tree is a fashion brand that has been able to increase its customer retention rate by 58% with a loyalty program.
10. Check your site speed
When a shopper lands on a website with great load speed, they don’t even notice it. But when the site takes time to load, it’s the only thing that matters, causing the shopper to leave as soon as they landed.
57% of consumers will abandon a site that doesn’t load within three seconds. And 80% of those people will never come back.
If you haven’t optimized your site speed and kept your e-commerce site as lightweight as possible, it’s crucial to make it your top priority. Without a fast-loading site, the rest of your on-site optimizations won’t even matter.
Here are a few tips to keep your site fast:
- Reduce your image sizes.
- Remove redundant and additional code.
- Avoid sliders on your homepage and stick to banners instead.
- Keep your pop-ups to a minimum.
- Remove broken links.
3 Steps to Create a Customer-First Website Experience
Just optimizing your on-site isn’t enough. You also need to use data, understand how shoppers are responding to your website, and use these insights to improve your site. By continuously optimizing your customer experience, you can increase engagement, increase conversions, and boost repeat purchases.
Here are 3 steps you can follow to measure, understand, and optimize your customer experience.
Step 1: Tap into analytics to understand areas of improvement
Your analytics has a lot of information about your site. Use it to identify areas of improvement, from drop-off touchpoints to low-selling products. You can also use your heatmaps along with your analytics to track the different metrics important to you.
Our suite of tools includes click tracking, funnel analytics, and heatmaps, built to help merchants make data-driven decisions easily.
Step 2: Collect feedback from customers post-purchase
You can also understand how customers perceive your e-commerce store by asking them about it.
Conduct surveys after a customer shops from you to get feedback from them. This feedback will help you understand what works within your site, what's causing frustration for them, and whether they'd recommend your store to others. The purchasing experience will be fresh in your customers' minds and they'd be more honest with their responses.
You can then collate this feedback and use it to optimize your on-site experience, meeting your customers' needs and expectations better.
Step 3: Use these insights to optimize your strategy
Use the insights from your analytics and the feedback you've collected to make changes to your site. These insights will be backed by data so the optimizations you make will have a better impact. You'll be able to see better engagement and conversions through them.
You can repeat this process every few months to maximize your growth.
Optimize your on-site experience to increase e-commerce sales!
With a better on-site experience, you can engage your store visitors better, build trust, and increase checkout rates. When done right, your e-commerce site experience can increase your revenue. We hope this list helps you find opportunities to improve your e-commerce store and set up a delightful on-site experience.
Not sure where to start in improving your on-site experience? We recommend running a free audit of your site to identify areas of improvement. An audit can help you plan and prioritize the first steps you need to take to optimize your e-commerce website. Get a free audit now!