Deliver the Best Online Shopping Experience in 2021
Find out what online shoppers expect from their digital shopping experience and what it takes for you to deliver it.
Giving the online shopper what they want
Online shopping grew more than anyone expected in 2020 due to the pandemic and the social distancing measures that made traditional shopping a challenge. But the core tenets of what online shoppers expect in their digital experience has not changed. If anything, 2021 brings a more demanding batch of online consumers who seek the best user experience. With so many choices out there today, from Amazon to direct-to-consumer brands and smaller ecommerce shops, consumers will vote with their dollars. So the question is how do you get those dollars in 2021?
Offer flexible digital payment methods
The Chase 2020 Digital Banking Attitudes Study found that 80% of their customers prefer to manage their finances digitally. But that doesn’t always mean pulling out a credit card to make an online purchase, especially for younger generations.
According to PaySafe, a digital payment service provider, only 39% of GenZ regularly pays online with a credit card, compared to 49% of other cohorts. Millennials tend to lean toward online cash payments. Consider these options to attract Gen Z and Millennial consumers:
- Mobile wallets
- In-app payments
- Online cash
- Prepaid vouchers or pins
- Buy now, pay later options
Set your commerce site up to accept various payment methods and integrate seamlessly with your accounting software to ensure smooth transactions. Before you implement any changes to your website — especially when it comes to your sales funnel, shopping cart and overall user experience — consider speaking with an ecommerce consultant to ensure you’re making positive transformations for the best digital shopping experience. Don’t just make changes to keep up with trends; ensure they’re strategic for your specific brand and market.
Offer personalized experiences
Personalization makes us feel valued and understood. And that's how you want your customers to feel. Because if they do, they will buy more and advocate for your brand. A headless ecommerce site delivers the capabilities to incorporate this functionality into your programming through personalization. For instance, when your customer logs in, your system could be set up to automatically pull their account-level information and assign special pricing based on their buying history. This tells the customer that you appreciate their business, recognize their value and are rewarding their return. Alternatively, the system could offer up suggestions for items that they may be interested in, simplifying the sales process. Once implemented correctly, the ability for personalization to improve the digital experience is limitless.
Offer a superior digital experience
Customers’ hands were tied in 2020 when it came to shopping. From bare store shelves to being forced to shelter in place and not shop in person, if people couldn’t find it online, they often went without. But that doesn’t mean standards or expectations for the digital customer experience have dropped.
A global research study revealed that only 15% of shoppers were happy with their online shopping experience in 2020.
Some of their key complaints?
- Pop-ups and advertisements
- Site crashes during check-out
- Discount codes that don’t work
Other complaints included a website or app going offline and endless searches that don’t uncover the perfect product for purchase. Improved search algorithms can help you deliver a better digital customer experience, guiding the customer from their initial search to a successful transaction.
Implement discount codes & reCAPTCHAs that work
Customers get excited about discounts. When they reach their shopping cart and the code doesn’t work, you risk cart abandonment. In one survey, 45% of those questioned said discount codes that fail at checkout was their top annoyance about the digital customer experience.
Similarly, reCAPTCHA validations can help keep spam off your site and out of your mailing list. But it’s an added step that can frustrate customers — especially when it doesn’t work correctly. If you’re struggling with reCAPTCHA issues on Drupal, an ecommerce consultant can walk you through the steps to ensure a seamless experience for your Web visitors.
Product presentation matters
Another trend today that can uplevel your shopper’s experience? Visual commerce. Incorporating enticing lifestyle imagery throughout your website shows your products in context and in action. Just as, decades ago, brick-and-mortar stores began creating “experiences” for retail customers, it’s time for ecommerce retailers to set the online shopping experience apart.
Offer faster shipping & better service options
More customers today seek to shop small, buying from smaller online retailers rather than larger sites. However, smaller ecommerce retailers often face supply chain issues and shipping challenges. Suppose your current website can’t handle inventory management to ensure in-stock merchandise and fast ordering processing. In that case, it may be time to consider digital transformation, which could mean site upgrades or re-platforming. Consider these questions as you speak with an ecommerce consultant to make the decision:
- Does my site crash frequently, especially during high-traffic times?
- Can I ensure my customers a smooth transaction, from search functions to check out?
- Is my inventory always up to date?
An ecommerce consultant can help ease the transition
From changes to your site’s visual elements to back-end upgrades to ensure fewer crashes, seamless checkouts, and stress-free captcha validation forms, an ecommerce consultant can help you get your website ready to capitalize on the latest trends for 2021.
Dawn Allcot is a full-time freelance writer specializing in technology, ecommerce, and finance, and is the owner of boutique content marketing agency Allcot Media and GeekTravelGuide.net, a travel and entertainment website.