I recently saw/read an article on MSNBC titles 6 Ways Stores Keep You There Longer. As I was reading the article, it occurred that these techniques have been in play with ecommerce websites for quite some time. Below, I’ll cover how these different techniques can be use online.
- Adding in-store demonstrations and videos
Rather than in-store demonstrations and video displays, ecommerce sites have been adding videos to help their customers for years.
You can shoot your own tutorial video pretty cheap now or record your computer screen to walk customers through a step-by-step process. Recently, there’s an even bigger emphasis on content in SEO and tutorials/buying guides are great for content. These videos help enhance your content by reaching users who would rather watch a video than read. If you want, you can even hire your own voice professional to provide a voice over service!
Some video services (such as Treepodia) work with products and images you already have on your website as well. These services don’t have to provide sound and are pretty easy to add to your site.
- Engaging customers’ 5 senses
This is a little more difficult online when it comes to smell, touch, and taste, but the others should be covered. Your online shopping is a primarily visual experience: site design, product images, text legibility…the list goes on and on.
If you find it important to have audio on your site, make sure it’s clear and good quality. If it takes away from the overall shopping experience, it’s better to just not have it on the site.
This point seems more like a challenge than a solution: how can you create a shopping experience that implies touch, smell, or taste?
One great point in the article discusses sensory overload. Remember that distraction removal is a top tool in conversion rate optimization. Sometimes, adding new features or third-party items to your site can be a distraction from what is already working. Instead, remove distractions that already exist on your site that are getting in the way of what your customers should be focused on.
If you are going to add something new to your site and try to change your customer’s shopping experience, testing is a great way to do this. Our Conversion Booster service is a full-service testing option that allows you to see if a new change helped your site and try to remove distractions. It also is a good tool for running a cost evaluation on any third-party tools you are thinking of paying for on your site.
- Stocking the store with surprising finds
This is big for most online businesses. It’s hard to compete with top retailers online. They can provide product at the lowest price and best shipping rates. Your edge as a smaller store is to accent your niche products.
Any quirky, niche-specific merchandise you carry is one big leg up you have on those bigger sites. If you are a site that creates your own products, that’s even better. Make sure your customers know that they’ll only be able to get these products from you!
- Improving customer service
Customer service is big to online success. Try to make sure your phone number is visible from every page of your site so your customer always can reach out if there is an issue while doing business with you.
Live Chat is also popular online and provides another good way for customers to ask quick questions while shopping on the site.
One way you can up your customer service is to ask the customers who purchased from you what they liked about their experience. An open ended, non-required question on the order confirmation page can give you valuable insight from customers who have purchased from you!
- Making the most of customer downtime
There shouldn’t be customer downtime online. There shouldn’t be much waiting involved when using your website. Try and make sure questions through customer service are answered as fast as possible.
Otherwise, focus your efforts on removing customer down time by improving your site’s speed. Reducing load time can improve your conversion rates and reduce frustrations while working on your site.
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- Catching you on your way out
You can give coupons to customers in the same way the article describes by placing them on your order confirmation page. This blanket covers all of your customers with more motivation. Not only that, but this is a more motivated group already since they have displayed interest by purchasing from you.
To really up the ante, you can boost the relevancy of your offers to specific audiences with an in-depth email campaign. This lets you customize your messaging to specific segments of customers. Our Optimized Lifecycle Email Marketing service does just this. Pick the type of email, template, and message that fits specific types of customers on your site!