How many times have you, as an online shopper, seen something you want only to pass it by and never reach the final stage of the online buying process? You’re not alone.
For as much time as online shoppers dedicate to browsing, it doesn’t translate to purchases made. This is especially true for millennials. According to a study by The Intelligence Group, nearly half of those surveyed regularly browse for items they don’t plan on ever buying. Whether your potential shoppers are forming “wish lists” of products they want to buy, or simply using online browsing as a form of entertainment, there are steps you can take as an online retailer to hook your customers on your brand and encourage purchasing.
Take Advantage of Social Media
Sales begin with social media. As important as location is for brick-and-mortar stores, a presence on social media can make the difference between a popular online store and one in which shopping is a chore. Don’t risk burdening your clientele with the difficulty of finding your store, go to them on social media. In addition to establishing a presence on social media, retailers must also pay attention to their demographic and the type of browsers per media outlet.
KISSmetrics released a study that found the time spent on a retailer’s site varies widely depending on which social outlet led each shopper there. YouTube visitors, for example, spend the most time on the retail site, which shows that retailers must focus on engaging video content to capture that audience. Targeted content for various social media outlets is an invaluable asset to building your brand and increasing sales. If content is not engaging and compelling enough to convince shoppers to pull out their credit cards, they will just browse through your products without committing to purchase.
Source: 2013 eCommerce Analysis by KISSmetrics
Shoppers coming from YouTube and Facebook spend the most time on retailer websites, whereas Facebook mobile users had the least time. This is a reflection of a lack of mobile optimization by retailers.
Like and share buttons can also help spread your content by allowing shoppers to generate buzz around your products and your company. These buttons come built in with Ignify eCommerce, allowing shoppers to share items with their followers, as well as provide feedback and reviews.
Optimize Across Devices
Your web store must be in tip-top shape regardless of which device shoppers are using. From laptop to smartphone to tablet, content should be uniformly accessible and easy to consume. Brief, orderly landing pages are appropriate for mobile devices, whereas content designed for laptop use can be more informative and leverage additional plug-ins, flash, etc. Factors to consider when designing a website for mobile optimization include: site speed, large buttons, limited scrolling and pinching, “click to call” access, and links to social media.
If your mobile store isn’t up to visitor’s standards, these potential customers will not hesitate to move on to the next store that is more mobile friendly. In fact, according to a survey from Compuware, 40% of users have turned to a competitor's site after a bad mobile experience. Avoid browsers from moving on to a competitor’s outlet by optimizing your web store for mobile users.
Ensure Customer Convenience
The more convenient it is to checkout, the more likely browsers are to commit to a purchase. Purchasing should be completed in as few clicks as possible, coupled with streamlined navigation. Our past blog post, “How to Prevent and Convert Abandoned Shopping Carts,” shares five tips on providing customers with a great shopping experience that results in greater sales. It is also crucial to allow browsers to save shopping carts in order to give them the freedom to manage their shopping, rather than pressuring them to commit to a purchase immediately. By seeing these saved shopping carts upon return to your web store, your browser is more likely to complete the purchase.
Ignify eCommerce makes it easy for browsers to save a shopping cart for future reference. Guest and anonymous customers may also easily save their shopping carts, to be accessed later upon signing up for an account.
Provide Flexible Options
The security that flexible options like buying online and returning in-store offer can help sway a browser from the “just looking” state to clicking the confirmation button to make a purchase. Other options that shoppers are looking for include: the ability to buy online and pick up purchases in store, choosing a specific delivery date, and green shipping options. Web stores that offer customers more control over their purchasing decisions and how/when they will receive them perform better than competitors who have difficult to navigate options that are buried within the web design-or, even worse, non-existent. Since today’s shoppers are well informed on what they would like to purchase and how to receive it, retailers must recognize this, and provide a variety of purchasing options.
Learn More About Ignify eCommerce
For more information regarding Ignify eCommerce, and how we can help design your store to encourage buying rather than browsing, please email us at eCommerce@ignify.com.
Brianne Schaer is a Product Marketing Specialist at Ignify. Ignify is a technology provider of ERP, CRM, eCommerce, and Point of Sale software solutions to organizations. Ignify is winner/finalist of the worldwide Microsoft Partner of the Year Award in 2014, 2013, 2012 and 2011. Ignify has been included as the fastest growing businesses in North America for seven years in a row by Deloitte, Inc Magazine and Entrepreneur Magazine from 2007 to 2013.