When it comes to online shopping, change isn’t coming, it is already here. With just over 1.5 billion online shoppers worldwide, the potential audience for any brand is infinite, yet many online retailers are still struggling to capitalise from this opportunity. Why? Because they fail to notice that as the ease and speed of this connectivity has evolved, so have shopping behaviours. Although there are still the odd few shoppers like my dad who will go out into his office and turn on his desktop, just to order a few screws off of Amazon (because he still doesn’t trust using his phone), the majority of us will use mobile devices to transact daily. We have become accustomed to the convenience and efficiency that they offer and as a consequence, are now much more demanding consumers who won’t think twice about abandoning our shopping carts at the first sign of complication. So what do we want and how can online businesses persuade us to convert?
It’s all in the thumbs
Mobile users rely on their thumbs to perform every single action as they navigate through a website, however many retailers still fail to present their content in the prime positions to accommodate them. The top of the page should display important information and present any promotions as it will be in the centre of our eye line when using a mobile device. The bottom should be reserved for the buy now button as that is where it will require minimal thumb movement. The buttons should be big and visible as discrete options and chunky thumbs often lead to wrong clicks and will subsequently result in shoppers bouncing.
It is crucial that all of the text that can be found on your site is clear, concise, grammatically correct and offers transparency regarding the services you provide. FAQ’s, shipping instructions, size guides and returns policies should all be easily accessible and easy to follow. If a customer doesn’t know how long shipping will take, how they can track their item and if they will have to pay to return their order and can’t find this information quickly enough, they will soon get bored and click off. Make this information straight and to the point and proof read it! Any website with spelling errors will ultimately seem shoddy and unprofessional.
Security & Service Providers
Make sure that both your mobile and desktop versions are available on https. Putting credit card numbers into a strange website is never an easy thing to do, much less if there is no security certificates, so the majority of customers won’t give them a chance.
Another key factor to consider is payment service providers. Who are your customers? What country are they from? What payment options do they feel most comfortable using? Google Market Finder is a great tool for finding out what payment options you should be offering depending on your target demographic.
Speed It Up
You can get all of the above right, but if the loading time on your checkout page is too long, customers will still drop off. We are not only demanding consumers, but we are impatient and want to transact easily with as little effort as possible. This is where autofills and address finders become your friend. Do I as a customer want to spend my time scrolling and adding in every single detail or would I prefer you do that for me? No matter how seamless and convenient the journey is, if the checkout process is too long or complex customers will click off and abandon their carts.
A surprising number of business I’ve worked with have static online platforms, which they never update and wonder why their online business is failing. But few of them are aware of how their sites look on mobile devices or know what their payment process is like. Put yourself in the position of the consumer and shop your site, what would you want to see, what is your shopping experience like? The online world is ever changing and in order to succeed you must change with it.