With the emergence of the COVID pandemic, our lives have changed as we never thought before. Most of the people have adapted to work from home and there are some travel restrictions implemented from time to time. Due to this reason, people are looking for a convenient solution for their shopping needs. As a result, online shopping businesses are getting popular these days.
Online shopping is not a total replacement for the physical shopping experience. However, it is the best alternate option that we can find at the moment. So, as the creators of this online shopping experience, we should try to provide the same experience as the physical shopping experience in the online marketplace.
There are countless facts which we need to consider when talking about the online shopping experience. In this article, we are not going to focus on designing or developing a website or a mobile app. instead, we will discuss the main aspects of overall online business and how to improve the user experience within.
How to meet your customer
With the online shopping concept, customers visit the shops using their computers or mobile devices. Your shop can be either a website, a mobile app or both. When starting a new business it is better to start with a website. As the website can be accessed from any computer or mobile device, it will be a good option for your customers to visit your shop right away. When you grow your business you can consider about building a mobile app.
1. Website or Mobile app
In online businesses, the website is the best way to give a convenient customer experience in online businesses. Whereever the customers go and whichever device they use doesn’t matter as long as a mobile friendly website is available. Users can simply log in to their accounts and explore and shop as per their will.
And also with the popularity of smartphones these days, everyone uses a smartphone and use those devices to do online shopping. So if you are running an online business, it is necessary to have a mobile app purchase facility provided for your products or services.
When creating a website or a mobile app, there are some important things to consider from a UI-UX perspective.
Simple user interface
Not all customers are tech-savvy users. So, interfaces shouldn’t be complex. By adding a convenient navigation panel, better search and filtering options will support and make space to easily find what customers are looking for.
The structure of the website should maintain consistency. And it is better to follow a simple visual hierarchy (header, body, footer). Then the user will adapt to the structure and will navigate through the website easily.
Nice look and feel
The website should have a nice look with a smooth aesthetic feeling. Be careful in selecting the colors and layouts on the website. If your products have nice colorful pictures, then use fewer colors for the layout. Pictures will add colors to your website.
When considering the pictures, all the images should be of proper quality. Never use pixelated images on the website. And remember to optimize all the images for faster web loading.
If you are using any videos on-site, those videos also should be in proper video quality and content quality should also be better.
Considering these aspects, you can make a better environment for customers to browse through. So customers will stay on-site and explore more on the site effortlessly.
Build the trust
Provide information about the product items as much as possible. Add images from several angles with full size and closeups to show details of the product. Since online shopping cannot give a tangible experience of the product, it is better to show the product details as much as possible to earn the customer’s trust about the product.
Native Language Support
Your customers may come from different social levels and with various education levels. So it’s better to open your store door by welcoming in native language of their own. In Sri Lanka, Sinhala and Tamil are the two main native languages. Instead of using English only, it’s better to provide those native languages support as well for those who are not fluent in the English.
Adaption to the device
In technical terms, the responsiveness of the website is a must to have feature in this decade. As smartphones got popular, people mostly do all the online activities using their mobile devices. So if your website is not ready for mobile devices, it will big loss for your business.
Provide multiple ways to get in touch
Email, Phone Number, Store Location Details, Social Media Pages, Live Chats, and FAQ Pages are some of the contact options which can be provided to customers. Most importantly, your contact media email or phone should always respond to customer calls. If you miss a call or an email, you will lose the customer’s trust.
Notifications are key features that should be included in online marketing systems. We can identify various notifications types in this kind of a system.
We are going to describe form validation or action validation messages in this section. Validation messages or alerts should clearly mention the issue to the users so they can easily understand what they need to correct. Explain the issue in short and understandable way for a non-technical user. It is also better to mention what are the procedures that users should follow to avoid those kind of issues.
Remember not to show alerts like below
Push notifications will support getting attention from the customers to the system. These notifications can be different based on the purpose as given below.
Increasing user retention – Reminders to the customer to visit your app or website on a regular basis. Notifications can be based on previous user behaviors.
Providing timely updates and urgent news – Latest updates from your system such as latest promotions, product arrivals, events, etc.
Reducing abandoned carts – Customers can be reminded about their cart items.
there is more with Experience in online marketing, Payments, and Delivery, which we will cover in another post shortly.