While an increasing number of consumers are migrating to the web to make purchases, the competition between ecommerce sites for those dollars continues apace. One of the key changes in this environment is that the web has flattened pricing structures, making it difficult to compete by offering ever lower prices without eroding profit margins completely. Absent the ability to compete on price, many ecommerce sites are now making changes to offer the best shopping experience possible from the point of arrival to the completion of the checkout process.
These changes include:
· Rolling out the red carpet for mobile consumers – Mobile access is the future of the vast majority of ecommerce sites and making upgrades to offer an enhanced experience on smaller screens is now mandatory. Rudimentary interfaces and minimalistic mobile experiences are now being replaced by responsive design architecture that allows much of the same functionality as that of desktop screens. One aspect in particular is the ability to zoom in on images which, on smaller screens can be a critical step in the buying process. Additionally, mobile users are increasingly attuned to the sites that cater to their interests and are more likely to leave sites that are still trying to offer a one size fits all experience. Upgrade to responsive design architecture now.
· Adding videos – While talking about the fantastic new features on a product is fine, showing them on video is better. When incorporating videos in your ecommerce site, avoid the temptation to “sell, sell, sell” and instead offer video content that gives consumers the information they need to make an informed buying decision. Additional videos on how to use and/or optimize specific products can instill added confidence by displaying post-purchase product support.
· Enabling purchases without a long application process – Let’s face it, many consumers that are buying from you may assume that the purchase they’re about make will be their only transaction on the site. In these cases, requiring a drawn out sign up process prior to making a purchase can have them looking to buy products elsewhere with less upfront work. Instead, streamline the purchasing process and allow your customers to decide if and when they want to start an account.
Ecommerce is evolving as fast as or faster than any activity on the web. By integrating these changes, you can ensure that your site offers a high quality customer experience, whether the interface takes place via a desktop computer, a smartphone or a tablet.