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According to a research by U.S. Commerce Department, global online sales is predicted to grow exponentially every year. This means thousands of potential clients of your online business . All you need to do is find out why they love to shop online and embrace it. With just a few simple tools to implement on your website, and few changes to your mindset, you can create a great user experience for your shoppers and make them come back, thus increase your revenue. 

Why do people love to buy online? Check out this infographic:

infographic of why do people love to buy online

People love to buy online. Check out the most common motivations.

Save their time

People doesn’t want to wonder around aimlessly around a real-life store. The same principal goes for an online shop. Here are some easy to implement features that can help you save your clients’ precious time:

Search tool – it’s an absolute must-have in every online shop. Make it easy to find what your clients look for. Check key words that your visitors type-in, measure the trends. Adjust tags and categories that your shop offers. Staying on top of what your customers look for gives you a chance to measure popularity of products. Being observant lets you fine-tune seals tactics to a maximum revenue. 

Etsy's relevant results

This smart search tool on Etsy.com shows the most relevant results while typing. This saves time for the visitor as they can choose from most popular options.

Clear categories and breadcrumbs – categorize your products clearly. Can’t stress this enough. Internet users are impatient. They expect to get results right away or they move to another website. Don’t make leaving easier for them by cluttering your categories and tags. Always use breadcrumbs – these tricky little links not only help your visitor move around website. They also let you observe and track visitor’s movement on site. Study their paths and you might learn something useful.

Amazon contextual promotion

This becomes more popular approach when it comes to menu and categorization. Instead opening more and more categories user now needs to click once to see submenu with most popular categories. It is also a smart way to present a contextual promotion – just like amazon.com does here.

Thanks to breadrcumbs visitor can easily navigate and find items by going back to a certain category and doesn’t have to go back and forth in the menu.

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Stock reports – make it visible at a first glance if the goods are in stock or not. There is nothing worse for an online shopper to browse for some time and add wanted items to the cart just to find out upon checkout that items are not available. Studies show that checkout is one of the places where conversion rates drop immensely. Don’t clear the path to leave your website by surprising your customer with out-of-stock info.

Ikea stock report

This informative Ikea stock report is a perfect example of going the extra mile to improve user experience. Not only does it show quantity, but also reports for particular store and prognosis when the stock may be sold out. It gives visitor a great opportunity to leave their contact details to be first to know when desired item is back in stock. Informative, reliable and most of all – gives Ikea a chance to generate lead and further nurture it to generate conversion.

Cart summary – this was already said, but remembering that checkout might be a serious “conversion reducer” you should always give your customer a clear understanding of how much their selected items cost. Just like out-of-stock info upon checkout, the “Oh My God! It can’t be that much!” reaction can seriously harm your business. It’s easy to lose track when adding stuff to cart, especially when everything it $1.99, $4.99 or $9.99 – it’s the total that can be surprising. This is why you should always make it clear and visible so there are no surprises. Additionally, if part of your sales strategy are discounts based on amounts already spent – nothing motivates purchases better than a clear indicator upon checkout. 

Zappos pop up cart

This summary for zappos.com pops up whenever user adds a new item to the cart. This way user knows exactly how much they will have to pay. No surprises. Better chance they don’t drop shopping upon checkout.

Don’t require log in, but… – first rule for lead generation may be “get their personal details and never let go”, but many people feel discouraged if they need to create an account just to buy something. The best strategy in this case would be offering your visitors an option to shop without the need of creating an account, especially if the need for creation would surprise the user at the very end – upon checkout. Simple click through the whole process speeds things up for the client and makes them come back – after all, you didn’t demand their personal details, and that is refreshing. But, there is a but… offer perks for those who decide to register. Whether it’s a special promo code for their next purchase or a free delivery – people like to spend that little extra time on something that would bring them an instant gratification. 

Tom&Howard registration process

Who said that account creation has to be required? Here we have a smart example of Torie&Howard – small organic candy store. Collection of user data is not necessary. For one it speeds up the process for your visitor. Also, data collection comes with certain legal responsibilities. Small shops usually can’t afford to deal with this in the beginning: another plus of no registration purchase process – no need to store and protect private data.

Give them choices

Doesn’t matter if your shop sells vintage German lighters or bestselling audiobooks. Choices, choices, choices – this is why consumers love to buy online. Stock up and give them an opportunity to pick items tailored perfectly just for them:

Flexibility! – clients will love you for it. There is nothing worse than looking for an item in the right size among many of similar thumbnails and names. Or buying an item that looked great on your picture and just doesn’t meet the expectations. Keep your shop nice, neat and not overly expanded. Keep customer on page as long as you can, make them invest time to customize the choice and they will more likely buy from you. Use dropdowns and color pickers, let users customize their prints or choose a type of file they want to buy if you sell e-books. Offer samples. Make them choose between high quality materials, let them upload their own materials for instance: let them upload a photo of a room if they want to see how this new fantastic picture will present on their wall. Go that extra mile. Be flexible, show that you offer options and always embrace if you offer customized items. 

CustomInc customization

Engage user in adding their own, personal touch to the items you offer. They get engaged more and less likely will abandon the purchase. Here we have an example from custominc.com, they let you customize pretty much everything: from a t-shirt to a mug – all it took was a simple web-based creator.

Similar items – if your client looks for a book of a certain author or is browsing a certain topic – why not show them more? A simple way to do so are on-site galleries that show related items. You can choose from various strategies: from showing your customer a message: “You may also like” based on their on-site journey and cookies or showing them items that were bought by others who have looked at the same items. It’s a win-win situation for both sides. Your customer gets more choices to pick from and you may get more revenue by this personalized or socially proven strategy. 

Gela Skin's power of suggestion

GelaSkins.com know how their stuff. And they know power of suggestion can be a big sales booster. Each skin comes with a set of suggestion based on author and similarity. Better, more relevant choices for the user – more chance for the store to generate sales.

Compare options and list benefits the smart way – this is popular for any SaaS offer. Creating a pricing page that clearly shows pricing and lists benefits is a best way to present your offer. Why? Because for the consumer it’s all about the fact that you have the options and don’t push them directly towards one – usually the most expensive choice. And for you – it’s all about presenting the choices. Diversify Call To Actions and colors, go beyond the usual “low-optimal-high” choice. Offer to customize and show that you can be flexible. Offer to go that extra mile, set yourself apart from the fixed-price model. This will bring you more business. 

Get Response minimal design

GetResponse has a minimal design when it comes to pricing page, but their smart approach is in diversity as well as choice presentation. Most popular choice is highlighted – also, discount is clearly visible. Custom plan? Also available.

It’s all about the price

Ultimately, many consumers admit using web as one big store for savings. Embrace this fact. Give them reason to save with your business:

Comparison chart feature – it’s fairly easy to implement once you team up with the right programmer or find a ready-made shop solution. If you keep all the info in database and just let your clients peruse it in a convenient way – they will be grateful for not having to go through a thousand websites to get the info. Leaving the website for info means also they are one step away from buying at your store so keeping visitors close is good for your business. How you can speed up the decision process? Just add a simple call to action prompting the purchase on the same webpage. 

DropBox benefits

This example of dropbox shows that each of their options offers something good for the user. Benefits are clearly marked and there is no need to dig deep to find differences and choose the right option. Each option is available straight away thanks to clear Call To Action.

The clock is ticking – offer discounts and give promos but only for limited time. Make sure you make it visible for your visitors. Seeing info that promo stock is close to selling out or a clock ticking with precious time going away – speeds up the decision process and makes the buyer act immediately. People love to hunt and pin down great offers. This gives them the satisfaction and makes brain function in a reward-mode. Make this process associated with your online store. With just a simple countdown feature or a pop-up notice shown on the website you can get fast, desirable results. 

Zappos limited time offer sample

Examples like this one – from zappos.com shows that you don’t have to invest greatly to create a simple selling tool. If visitor is decided to buy something from you adding time limited offer like this can only speed up the decision making process.

Reward loyalty – offer discounts for loyal customers. It is not complicated to put a simple gamification mechanism into buying process but it makes the experience more fun and exciting. Whether it’s a point system or referral count of just a basic discount for spending money in your store – if you make it worthwhile, your shoppers will come back. 

Westwing loyalty rewards

This example of westwing.pl exhibits a few great signs of loyalty reward strategy. User gets money to be used with their next purchase by referring others and referrals purchases. It also creates buzz for the company due to social media suggestion in the referring options.

There are tons of useful tricks and ideas that can make your customers come back and boost business at the same time. Let us know your thoughts on this, share your tips for making customers happy.

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Torsten Tromm

About the author

Torsten is CEO and founder of Userpeek. He is an old stager in the online business with 20 years of experience as an online marketer, conversion rate optimizer and UX strategist.

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