What do online shoppers have to say about online stores, and how can this information help you sell?
In our increasingly digital world, e-commerce is gaining traction among shoppers as one of the best ways to buy. If you’re an online seller, this is good news for you. But like everything, there are pros and cons to online shopping that your customers will be experiencing. If you’re careful, you can make the most out of these pros and do your best to avoid the cons.
Step one to avoiding the cons is knowing just what it is that makes online buyers tick. Here’s a list of the most common online shopping complaints, and what you can do to avoid them:
- Product quality is lacking. As in every kind of shopping experience, product quality ultimately decides whether your customers will be back or not. So it’s only fitting that it makes the top of this list. The best way to ensure product quality is to have a trusted supplier, who cares about your products as much as you do. It also helps to regularly check your inventory before you even send out any products. If you’re running a clothing or accessories store, check for stains, tarnishes, loose stitches or excess threads. If you’re selling food, maybe discard broken products or those that no longer look appealing (and of course, be wary of expiry dates). You may not be able to change the material or recipe of your products, but there are always little details you can double-check to make sure they’re perfect.
- Delivery time is unclear. If you’re taking care of your own logistics, it’s easy to make sure your customers know when to expect their orders. But sometimes, logistics are out of your hands. In that case, you can find the average number of days your products take to arrive, and at least give your customers a rough estimate. For bonus points, customers like it when their sellers take a photo of the products before shipping out. Not only does this get them excited for the product, it also shows them how well you’ve packed or prepared the item.
- There are too few payment options. As safe as online store platforms make their payment channels, there’s always a risk that comes with giving out credit card details online. Additionally, in the Philippines, not everyone has a credit card. That’s why options like Cash on Delivery or Bank Deposit are so popular. If you really want to appeal to as many people as you can, consider adding these payment options to your channel.
- The payment gateway is not smooth. Whether it’s a problem of the webpage, payment process, or instructions, if something goes on during your customer’s payment process that feels off to them, you can probably kiss that sale goodbye. And what a waste that would be. So if you don’t want this to happen to you, inspect your own payment process very well. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes and try to make a purchase as if it’s your very first time buying from an online store. Are the instructions clear? Are there any red flags that pop up? Do you feel secure paying for your item?
- The website is hard to navigate. Online store platforms come in many shapes and sizes. Some of them give you templates, while others allow you to customize to your heart’s content. Those with templates have generally been tested to allow maximum clarity, and wouldn’t be popular if they were hard to understand anyway. But if you’re customizing your own shop, remember that utility needs to come before aesthetics. After all, the goal is to sell, not just to look good. Go for simpler fonts, easy-to-understand instructions, and a site that’s easy to navigate.
- Dimensions or sizes are inaccurate. We’ve all been there before, even in offline shops. We think that something in our usual size will fit us, only to find that it’s too small or too big. This is an even bigger issue in online shops, where items can’t be fitted and the return or exchange process is much more complicated. There are ways to circumvent this, though. Measure your items when laid flat, without stretching them out, or better yet, on a mannequin. In the case of shoes, give customer instructions on how to measure their feet properly. Don’t forget to add sizes in both centimeters and inches, to cater to all kinds of people!
- Products they want are hard to search for. If you don’t add the appropriate tags, labels or names of products in your inventory, how are customers going to find them? Sure, it’s fun for customers to find a random product that happens to be exactly what they want, but the odds of that happening are slim. So why risk it? Label your products properly, add the right names, and tag the right trends. You’d be surprised at how such a simple thing could boost your sales.
There you have it! Anytime you’re looking for ways to improve your online sales, consider how it is from your customer’s point of view. That’s the best way to know how you can improve. Otherwise, you can always do your research—and articles like this one are a great place to start!