We know that making it easy for people to receive your products is key to having them buy, whether for the first time or as a repeat customer. Offering cheap parcel delivery, having effective logistics processes, and the like can encourage that final, buying step. However, it's important that your ecommerce website effectively delivers them to that point.
From visitor to customer in 4 steps
If you think of your website in this process-centric way, there are a series of steps it should take to get your visitor to become a customer...
On arrival, your website should offer a clear link to their reason for visiting - which is often fulfilled by a search engine. This is why, instead of always delivering traffic to a generic homepage, it pays to create a series of different landing pages for each key product or category. You have then quickly delivered these potential customers to exactly where they want to be.
Every business has its own language, a range of terms and jargon that those within completely understand. But it can be easy to forget that many customers don't have your industry knowledge. If you want to appeal to your customers and generate a desire to buy, your web content and product descriptions need to speak to them using the kinds of words they would use. This might take a bit of research into your key demographic. An old saying helps put this in perspective: never underestimate your audience's intelligence, always underestimate their knowledge.
If a website is confusing or awkward to navigate, it's easy for prospective customers simply to give up on the effort, return to their search and try somewhere else. Therefore, it's vital to deliver visitors through the different stages towards making that purchase in as easy a way as possible. Like a local giving geographical directions to a stranger, steps can easily be missed out, simply because they are so obvious to those providing the guidance. Think through the navigation of your site as if you have never been there before! When it comes to committing to buy, simplifying the process is invaluable for maximum conversions. Consider implementing guest checkouts and one-click purchasing.
The final journey taken by a customer is that from purchase to receipt of the product. Keeping them advised of progress is increasingly expected as part of a service; as is letting them know what to do if any problem arises, either with delivery or the product itself on receipt. Unlike a bricks and mortar store, the process in ecommerce certainly doesn't end with the till closing!