You run an online store, but don’t know what steps to take to increase your sales and provide your visitors with an unforgettable experience? You can learn from eCommerce giants who successfully employ various effective techniques.
Understanding the general structure of online trading as well as the needs of users are important success factors. The buyer’s experience guides business leaders while they think of the ways to push the envelope of innovation and revolutionize their online stores.
In this article, we’ll take a look at six noteworthy solutions that you should definitely give a shot on your eCommerce site to scale your brand up to the high standards of competition.
1. Chatbots and 24/7 Customer Support
A chatbot simulates human communication, allowing you to generate leads, promote, and sell products uninterruptedly 24/7. Chatbots can help in placing an order and answer questions so that you can save money on the support service team (at least at night). And if the virtual assistant doesn’t have a sufficient database of preset patterns to address the problem, it will direct it to the right specialist in the department.
Chatbots are used both in messengers and on websites and perform various functions. They have become an everyday reality and are improving the shopping experience in many ways.
This is done through surveys, data acquisition, and much more. By collecting and using information about customers, the chatbot helps to simplify repeated purchases and makes personal offers. The chatbot can use the data of the clients’ location, purchased goods, various characteristics, and other features. Then, considering the client’s status, it can provide a gift as well as to-the-point ads and discounts for those products that are important and needed. The customer feels a “special” attitude, increasing loyalty.
b) Improved Customer Engagement
Due to the fact that you show interest in customer satisfaction (so that they get answers to their questions), the buyers will appreciate your efforts. Ultimately, they understand that this is done for their convenience. You can also use a chatbot for collecting customer feedback, and based on these responses, you may improve customer experience by fixing bugs and other flaws.
The screenshot below illustrates the chatbot on the Vans website that provides users with answers to their questions about delivery, returns, accounts, and other matters.
c) Faster Navigation
The new site may have unusual navigation, or customers may face difficulty finding the desired product. As a rule, this increases the bounce rate. For visitors who are just getting to know your online store, it is of great importance if they have an online assistant to facilitate the process of choosing a product.
2. Virtual Try-on for a Visual Experience
When ordering things from an online store, the main problem is that the buyer doesn’t know how the item will fit. Hence, a large number of returns arise due to the ordered wrong size or style. These reasons have caused a great demand for solutions that allow visualizing how the item will look on the buyer, namely virtual try-on.
Virtual try-on benefits not only shoppers but brands as well. Companies save expenses on returns and get information about the size and preferences of the visitor. This information can be used in the future to form the store’s assortment and make personalized offers to customers.
There are 2 types of try-on that we’d like to mention.
a) 2D online try-on
In this case, the site has a model who you can dress up in the provided items. You can change body parameters, hairstyle, makeup, etc. Alternatively, you may upload your full-face photo so that the model has your face.
b) 3D online try-on
This type of try-on combines dynamic images and clothes with the ability to switch on the camera and see how the product looks on you from all angles. Augmented reality technology allows you to dress up in any clothes or items from the assortment, without making any physical effort.
Below you can see how L’Oreal Paris suggests users to try on eyeshadow in two different ways: either using the live camera or by uploading a photo.
3. Customizing Buyer Desires
In today’s world where individuality is at the forefront, brands are struggling to come up with unique solutions for their clients rather than following a one-size-fits-all approach. One of the ways to satisfy the clients’ creative nature is customization that has become very popular in online commerce.
The main task of customization is to provide users with the opportunity to choose the characteristics of the product themselves. This way, they can customize items in such a way that it fully meets their desires.
As a result, the brand receives more orders and satisfied buyers who are eager to strengthen their loyalty and communication with the brand. The complacent audience spans your client’s list with positive testimonials on your site, and among their friends and families. The company in its turn reaps the benefits of increased profitability and lead generation. Customizers can be subdivided into:
a) Simple product builders (for instance, those that allow only to add a letter or initials to a product);
b) Complex configurators with 3D rotation and the ability to choose shapes and materials as can be seen in the example below.
The screenshot illustrates a product page of the Austrian eyewear brand, Silhouette. Below you can see that the visitor can choose the shape and color of the eyeglasses so that they perfectly perform their aesthetic as well as medical function. The product builder even offers the opportunity to explore the item in 3D, immediately showing the changes according to the customer choice.
4. Gift Finders to Give a Customer a Helping Hand
We dedicate an abundance of time every holiday to gift brainstorming, browsing for ideas, choosing the best-fit option, and wrapping. Let’s be honest, who of us wouldn’t like to receive a prompt on what our giftees dream of. During the holiday shopping season, this process requires even more effort, transforming a gift searching process into a nightmare for many consumers.
Therefore, the largest online sellers actively include guides or gift finding tools in their sites, conveniently created to ease the burden of buyers, and at the same time to promote their own products.
Gift finders ask a series of interactive and engaging questions. They can be about the value of the gift, product type, and packaging. Plus, they inspire consumers to discover new products, leading to increased conversions.
Many eCommerce sites come up with gift selections based on various criteria:
a) According to the theme of the holiday. There are gift compilations for Mother’s Day, Christmas season, or birthdays;
b) Depending on the gender and age of the recipient;
c) Gifts for brothers, grannies, husbands, colleagues, partners (depending on the relations with the giftee);
d) Based on the price of the gift;
These collections help to choose the ideal gift considering all the factors.
One of the top-notch examples of gift finder tools is the screenshot below of the Gucci website. This tool allows you to choose the size, color of the gift, date of dispatch, or send a unique link to a giftee with the information about the gift.
5. Feedback to Increase User Confidence
The importance of reviews is doubtless as it helps you see what people’s experience with a product was like. Reviews can both lift your brand to the skies and lower it to the depths, as they have a strong impact on the buyer’s choice.
According to statistics, 88 percent of shoppers pay attention to reviews and recommendations before clicking on the “Buy” button.
In addition, testimonials improve the site’s appeal by search engines in the form of higher rankings. Reviews serve as a source of unique content in contrast to duplicate product descriptions. They also increase traffic to your pages for requests containing product name plus “reviews”.
Negative reviews can also be used to your advantage so as not to arouse suspicion among users that you post only what you consider beneficial. And with the right solution to the problem, you can profitably present your brand showing your concerns about every misunderstanding.
On the screenshot below, you can see the website page of MAC Cosmetics and various types of reviews. Some people prefer to stay anonymous, others attach their real photos and how the lipstick looks on them, while a percentage of buyers is dissatisfied with customer service and the brand is to address this issue.
6. Cross-Sell Section Like “Complete the Look”
Up-selling is a type of sales when the store offers the buyer additional or ancillary products to the already selected ones. For example, you can supplement the purchase of a mobile phone with headphones, a portable charger, or a case. Online retailers use a variety of phrasings in these blocks such as “You might also like” or “Other customers also bought” to find the most appropriate words to entice clients.
Cross-selling can be divided into:
- Internal, when the consumer is offered goods from the same company;
- External, when the seller exhibits goods from a third party.
In the screenshot taken on the Banana Republic product page, you can notice that the brand suggests matching other clothes to the product you are viewing to complement the look. When you hover over the image, you will see a list of items with prices and buttons leading straight to the product page.
To summarize the above, a modern online store cannot do without solutions that make it easier for users to find products and navigate the site. These can be a chatbot, gift finder, and a cross-sell section.
Online stores used to lag behind in the competition with brick-and-mortar ones as people craved for the ability to see how the product would fit them in real life. This issue can be overcome with innovative development such as augmented reality-backed virtual try-on.
Also, online stores are beneficial as they can provide a platform for consumer reviews, which are as important as the recommendation of a friend or family member. And at last, customizers allow brands to satisfy even the most unpredictable desires of buyers.
All these methods are mutually beneficial for the participants of online shopping creating campaigns that bring the most value for your business for months or even years to come.