It seems so easy: Pull out a mobile device, or launch a browser on a laptop or desktop computer, and begin shopping inside the endless digital mall. However, the path to purchase offers multiple ways to frustrate consumers and send them to competitors, or make them give up.
The first hurdle is the screen — not only the window that gives a look inside a store, but the view of the aisles as well. A desktop site that is squeezed to fit the space limitations of a mobile device can make it hard for a consumer to navigate. A site that is optimized for mobile devices will tax consumer patience much less, but could still present other problems for merchants that are too eager to know who might buy from them.
Sellers want to know their consumers, and often require them to fill out a customer profile. No matter how rudimentary or easy, that task is a turn-off and presents another temptation for shoppers to leave. A better way to keep consumers on an eCommerce site, and on the path toward transaction, is by offering refunds or product guarantees.
Now, some products are just quicker to buy online or via mobile. That includes books, music, videos and entertainment. Buying travel-related items and automotive parts tend to take longer, no matter how smooth the process.
Certain features can add to that smoothness and keep customers interested as they continue to shop. Live site help, product ratings and inventory status seem to please consumers as they decide which products and services to purchase.
So do payment options. The worst-performing merchants supported an average of just over four payment methods, while the top achievers supported nearly nine. Shoppers want choice when heading toward that transaction — choice geared toward giving them a positive experience instead of simply making it easier for merchants. And they want it in one click.
Those that don’t deliver stand to lose a lot.