The e-commerce landscape is booming, drawing in more consumers, and with them, more competition. Many factors will impact your success when selling products and services online, so take note of the elements below to improve your business’ performance in the virtual realm.
1. Product Quality
This is perhaps the most important element affecting your e-commerce sales. No customer will want to recommend or purchase a product from your business if they have no reason to believe the product will fulfill its purpose or last for a substantial amount of time.
Studies have shown that when consumers are given inaccurate or inconsistent information regarding a product sold in an online store, it results in the following:
These factors can severely damage the financial health of online store owners and the manufacturers that supply them.
2. Shipping Time & Cost
In the age of Amazon Prime and shipping and delivery periods that are less than 24 hours, customers often do not feel that they should have to wait one or more weeks for an item to be delivered to them. This, of course, is quite difficult for e-commerce store owners to keep up with – something that may, unfortunately, drive some customers away.
Additionally, not all independent merchants can afford free shipping. Some customers may not take well to this and may instead choose to shop on another site.
Note: In these scenarios, it is best to offer the shortest shipping times possible for your store, while charging a flat shipping rate. This way, you can offer deals with that shipping rate or faster shipping options with an extra fee. With a high-quality product, those who desire a swifter delivery will pay the additional fee.
3. Stock Availability
This happens most often for those in the business of selling luxury items. Oftentimes, the bestselling products will be sold out relatively quickly, especially if there are certain sizes and/or colors that customers request most often. This can happen so quickly that store administrators don’t become aware of it before it’s too late.
Out-of-stock products can severely damage your sales performance since you can quickly lose a customer to a competitor offering something similar. Surveys show that approximately 91% of customers are unwilling to shop at the same store after having a bad experience. Unavailability of inventory (especially repeated stock unavailability) can cause frustrations and create a bad experience they won’t return to.
4. Easy Returns
Part of an ideal customer support strategy is offering your consumers an easy return process. Hidden or complex refund policies can be unappealing and lead to unhappy customers and even reduced sales.
If you do not accept refunds, simply make it clear. Don’t leave your customers to dig through your store policies to find out how to go about making a return, as this can sour your business relationships.
5. Easy Checkout
A good checkout experience is critical to successful conversion in your e-commerce store. It is estimated that more than 69% of e-commerce shopping carts are abandoned, largely due to difficulties in checking out. Your checkout process may include:
Review your checkout process to ensure your customers aren’t battling these elements.
Don’t lose your customers to preventable issues. Once you review and improve the factors listed here, you will see significant improvements in your e-commerce business.