Keeping your customer interested is a battle any retailer should be fighting with every tool they have from the word ‘go’. When that battle takes place in the online world, you’re dealing with a customer who has a lot more freedom to simply stop paying attention and go elsewhere at the drop of a hat. This means that their patience with the business is crucial. Yet a lot of businesses still make deadly faux pas that ensure they’re driving consumers away. Here’s how you stop that from happening.
Adapt your approach
Convenience is what rules the ecommerce world. Yet there are still a lot of providers who are failing in one of the first rules of maintaining that convenience. They’re not adapting to the ways that their customers shop. For most online businesses, this means one thing in particular: responsive design. Most customers are using their smartphones and tablets for more than just communicating. If your ecommerce site adapts poorly to mobile devices, it doesn’t just look unprofessional. It looks untrustworthy. People will think that purchasing on a site that looks poorly made means purchasing from a source that doesn’t take their ecommerce seriously.
Keep the end ever in sight
With every click of a customer on your site, they are a step closer to losing patience and leaving the site entirely. This is known as shopping cart abandonment and has been a problem with ecommerce since the practice first existed. There are a few ways to combat it. First, don’t make the process of buying online convoluted and don’t force them to jump through hoops before they purchase. If you would like them to fill in a questionnaire or you have an ad for them, save it until after the purchase is processed. If you keep the end in sight through things like breadcrumb navigation, they’re a lot more likely to stick around for the whole ride, as well.
Have immediate help available
Regardless of how clear cut your breadcrumbs are laid out and how simple you think your ecommerce design is, you will inevitably have customers with problems. By failing to prepare for that, you’re preparing to create a lot of dissatisfied people who will likely never try to buy from you again. Them having problems isn’t the danger. The danger is not solving them. If you have quick customer service and support, whether it’s through an FAQ, though an in-site chat option or even through social media, it’s not a problem at all. In fact, customers are likely to look a lot more fondly on the businesses that take the time to professionally and personably solve any issues they might be having.
Keep the payment process short and sweet
Buying online is becoming a popular choice precisely because it’s convenient, as we’ve said. It gives them more than saved time, it gives them options to buy how they want. If you fail to account for those options, you’re boxing customers into a limiting situation. In those situations, they’re a lot more likely to go for another provider instead. This is particularly true when it comes to the process of paying. People are prepared to put in their details, but you need to make it as simple and quick for them as possible. Don’t split it into multiple pages. Don’t force them to use one specific payment method, either. Make sure you have a merchant account that allows for multiple payment methods.
Stamp out inaction
Your marketing materials are going to have a big say in how much attention your consumers are willing to pay to you, of course. That’s where their patience begins and, with unconvincing ads, it’s where their patience can end as well. But you don’t have to sit and wait to see whether an ad works. Instead, pay attention to the data behind them. Track how many clicks and how many views they get. If an ad is showing signs of inactivity, then rotate it for another one as soon as possible. Use your site, for instance, to find the items and deals that are appealing the most then make that the source of your next online marketing push.
Treat your customer’s time as precious. Be there, be adaptable and be quick. Otherwise, they’ll move to a competitor that does a lot less to waste their patience. It’s unfortunate that the age of digital business brings with it fickleness and short attention spans. But if you can get over those barriers, the rewards are almost immeasurable.