Product Experience – Your #1 Priority
Can you imagine walking into a store and upon approaching the merchandise you find that the products are strewn on the floor, the wallpaper is peeling, and on top of everything you can’t find anyone to help you? As unpleasant as this sounds I find eCommerce stores that are constantly putting their priorities over that of their customer.
“We invested a lot into this website, so we really need to stick with it”
“This eCommerce platform is the easiest to manage, so I don’t need anyone beside Peggy my office manager to run it”
“I really can’t believe that the majority of people are shopping on their phone, I mean how can they even see the pictures”
“Re-design the entire website, are we really up to that?”
These are all real comments I have heard from business owners and teams regarding their eCommerce endeavors. In case someone out there hasn’t noticed, we are now living in a High-Stakes-Winner-Takes-All global economy where every year winning becomes more satisfying and losing becomes more painful. That means your desires and what is easy for you is irrelevant, and if your not constantly looking at your eCommerce store from your customers perspective then your missing the whole point.
Don’t worry, it’s not too late for you to make a comeback. Here are some critical improvements you can make to re-prioritize your eCommerce strategy:
Content Before Features
If your eCommerce site only does one thing well it needs to display product content. That means images, video, audio & text. Online shoppers will scour your site for a phone number, send emails, and track you down to make a purchase if they are really sold on the product – and what sells them is the product content they experience on your site. On the other hand, if you have done everything else correct and have mediocre product content then even the slightest irritation will send your hard earned visitors straight back to Google.
Interact & Engage
Nothing is more of a turn off than arriving on a product page, reading the text, feeling good about the product fitting your needs, and having the experience stop there. Can I view multiple angles of the product? Can I read reviews from others who have already purchased the product? Video? Social media? Have any of my Facebook friends purchased this product? How would this look on me? Can I use my phones camera to get an idea? Having these features will keep your customer’s attention and focus them on answering the question “Why buy this? Is it worth the price? How am I going to use it?” If your not answering those questions, your missing the essential opportunity created by having a visitor on your site.
Provide More Options
Ask yourself this revealing question. “What can I offer, regardless of how small, that my competitors do not? Options are what make online customers feel as though you are prioritizing their needs. Options such as gift wrapping, small add-ons such as gift cards, different colors and sizes, faster shipping, customization, engravings, and anything you can possibly think of to make the product better tailored to your customers needs.
Overcome Objections Preemptively
Do yourself a favor. Make a list of every reason someone would refuse to purchase your product or service – then answer those responses on your product page. Do not give your site visitors an easy excuse to leave your site and shop from someone else.
Can’t pay now? Offer credit
But it’s for a gift. Have a visible refund policy
I don’t know if I will get it in time. Offer overnight shipping
Do you ship to my country. Have a list of countries with shipping estimates.
Be Available To Answer Questions
There is no greater opportunity lost than that of not being immediately available to your customer. This one issue is by far the area I see businesses choose their personal convenience over making sales. I recommend you offer as many choices of contact as possible: phone, live chat, email, text messaging, and fax. Sound a little crazy, great it should. Consider these facts:
• Phone: Your most impatient customers are often your best ones and they will want to call because they want the order placed immediately. They are often less concerned with price as they are with speed; corporate customers in particular.
• Live Chat: Live chat is now the most preferred method for immediate communication regarding a product or service. It is convenient for everyone involved and can often be outsourced to a virtual team.
• Email: Email is the global and universal standard. In addition gmail offers fantastic translation tools, and many online shoppers (seniors particularly) have been trained to send and respond to emails and do not have a desire to progress past that.
• Text Messaging: Texting is the most preferred method of communication for adults under 30 in the western world. A large majority of them even refuse to communicate via voice call even if they will receive a benefit from doing so.
• Fax: Japan still remains the second largest major economy in the world by per capital income with one of the largest disposal incomes. The majority of Japanese are more comfortable with fax (due to a cultural preference for paper) than any other technology, and an enormous portion of their economy, from marketing and sales to service appointments, relies heavily on these seemingly outdated machines.