The COVID-19 outbreak has hit hard to many industries especially the retailing. Data from the city’s Census and Statistics Department shows that the retail sales falling as steeply as 44% in February. This has changed the face of the retailing industry in Hong Kong and urged retailers to turn online and building an e-commerce website to survive.
However, according to Euromonitor international’s senior analyst Simon Haven, the crisis has exposed that many retailers have not yet been well-equipped to implement the shift towards online sales. The common issues of many online businesses are websites that have issues handling the increased traffic, and products quickly going out of stock experienced by the city’s stores. Besides, many customers complain that the shopping experience and websites much needs to be improved.
Moreover, Hong Kong people get used to physical stores as they were convenient to access. Walking and shopping in malls are more preferable than browsing online shops. Besides, many customers complain that the shopping experience and websites much needs to be improved before they can enjoy making online shopping a routine.
So the question is how an e-commerce site is to satisfy customers and urge them to purchase?
Below are the 5 characteristics that any mind-blowing e-commerce site has
Stable and fast e-commerce site
Slow sites lead to low conversions. According to a survey on Tweet, 47% of consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less, and 40% of people will abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load. Noticeably, if an e-commerce site is making $100,000 per day, a 1-second page delay could potentially cost you $2.5 million in lost sales every year. That’s why the site speed has a huge impact on your conversions and sales.
Moreover, Google wants to direct its users to sites that will load well. It means the faster your site loads, the more customers can find you on the search results.
Thus, it is vital to ensure that your site only takes a very few seconds to fully load and clearly show your products. Moreover, make sure your visual elements are good enough to optimize your site speed.
You can partner with an E-commerce web development company to be fully covered with technical parts relating to site speed such as hosting or coding.
Easy to use e-commerce site
Although your site loads very fast, if it takes too much time for your customer to navigate or the checkout process is too complicated to finish, they still quit. Your customers prefer taking a few clicks and typing to reach their end goal. Make sure that is your motto when building your e-commerce site.
To do this, you need to map out clearly the ideal shopping journey that meets your customers’ expectations. From quick sign-up, logical product categories to one-page check-out. You can add a section to collect your customer’s reviews about their experience on your site to keep optimizing the journey.
Besides, as 72% of consumers are using mobile devices to shop in stores, ensure that your customers can smoothly access your eCommerce site by their phone.
Moreover, choosing the right e-commerce platform is crucial to building a user-friendly online store. For example, online shoppers will prefer sites that offer multiple payment gateways and showing best-selling products on the homepage. You can find all of those functions on Woocommerce.
Accurate and quick on-site search
A functional on-site search takes a key role in increasing the conversion rate. Research from WebLinc stated that on-site searchers who can find exactly what they are looking for are 216% more likely to convert than regular users.
Moreover, up to 30% of e-commerce visitors will use internal site search, and this group converts 5-6X higher than the average non-site search visitor, according to Econsultancy. Many people believe that the success of Amazon mostly came from their on-site search function.
There are some critical functions your search needs to have such as search with auto-complete, allow customers to filter the results, enhance mobile search. Moreover, you can utilize the search data to create dedicated landing pages to elevate certain products.
Aggressive cart abandonment recovery strategy
Cart abandonment is a ubiquitous scenario in any e-commerce business. According to a study by ReadyCloud in 2018, 75.52% of carts are abandoned every year. It translates that only 1 in every 4 customers actually completes their purchase journey.
However, on the bright side, you already know what the 3 customers left wish to have and how to contact them. With the right approach, you can motivate them to return and complete the purchase.
The most popular tactics are remarketing and cart abandonment emails. Ecommerce platforms like WooCommerce provide tools for you to ensure an automatically aggressive cart abandonment recovery strategy.
Another latest tactic to use is AI Chatbot. Once your customers put a product into shopping carts, chatbots automatically start tracking their route. When they show an intention to quit without completing the purchases, bots activate cart reminders and send them incentive offers via messaging to lure the customer back to shopping. Besides, bots also can send personalized messages to old customers based on their last activity.
Streamlined inventory management
If you get your inventory management efficient, you will save costs and enhance customer satisfaction significantly. With the right inventory management tools, you will get alert when the stock level is low, manage product return/ exchange.
You can integrate with your website, thereby the stock level shown on the website will reflect exactly what is in the warehouse. Thus, you can have seamless management across all the aspects of your business, from sales to inventory.
Besides, based on the inventory data, you can access real-time reports that lead to accurate forecasts about supply and demand patterns, how fast the products are moving to build the right sales and promotion plan.
Above are the key characteristics that lead to a successful e-commerce website. However, there are still many other factors that you need to take into account when building an e-commerce website.