1.8 billion people worldwide now purchase goods online.
And, for any fellow online shopping addicts like me, we probably all have a good idea of what our ideal online store looks like.
Yet, most eCommerce businesses are still far too focused on acquiring traffic, than they are on actually creating a shopping experience that converts.
And that's got to change.
The customer journey is a huge part of creating a successful online store.
So what are eCommerce brands doing so wrong?
And what needs to change to offer an inspiring shopping experience?
You lack attractive visual content
67% of consumers say that high quality visual content is more important than product description or customer ratings.
Yet, some online stores still don't seem to care about the look and design of their products and webshop. And it's bad visuals that your potential customers will notice straight away.
As consumers, we all know the power of images, videos and all things visual. So as an eCommerce marketer, whats your excuse for not offering a visual shopping experience?
I'm not saying you need 360 degree videos of every single product. But you do need to include an eye-catching selection of product and lifestyle photos. Photos that show the product in use, in their desired setting and/or on a model.
Fitness clothing brand Physiq Apparel's homepage shows a winning combination of lifestyle and model photos and immediately offers social proof with the reviews sidebar and Instagram Shopping posts at the bottom of the store.
With captivating visuals you'll attract and encourage traffic to click and explore more. You'll offer an experience that shoppers just can't resist.
So, look at the images and design of your online store. Are your products really standing out? Are you showing shoppers how they should be used?
Would you want to buy from your own store?
You rely too much on product categories
Many online stores these days offer a long list of product categories that confuse and overwhelm new visitors.
Unless you're a regular shopper and know exactly what you're looking for, this huge list of categories will do nothing but turn shoppers away.
Skiftselv, a Danish housing and electronics store, greets shoppers with a ginormous list of categories.
If I've clicked an ad and am greeted by this huge list, how would I know where to even start?
When I'm scrolling through a webshop I want a clear, easy to understand menu and a range of related or relevant products offered to me throughout the buying journey.
I want to be enticed into discovering more of your products. But this is a key tactic that a lot of online stores struggle with.
They don't provide an easy way for traffic to view more products and discover more.
Let's say I've clicked your ad for the perfect pair of running trainers. I've found my size and I'm ready to buy. But what I don't know is that you also have a sale on running clothes, or maybe you've just launched an exclusive new range of sport headphones.
Unless you show me a selection of related products, not just a range of other trainers, how will I ever know about your amazing offers?
There's a huge vault of unlocked potential in showing related products that might inspire another purchase.
So think about what you can do to improve your product discovery.
Think about how you can increase product views. Think about what you can do, or improve on, to create an almost personalized, tailored shopping journey.
Don't just leave your traffic hanging out to dry. Inspire them.
You ignore user-generated content
As an online store, your goal is to enhance the customer experience with relevant and value-adding content.
That's exactly what user-generated content (UGC) is.
We often look for opinions, thoughts and advice before we buy a product. They contribute to an authentic and trustworthy shopping experience.
Without customer reviews or ratings, your webshop will not offer that social proof that online shoppers these days crave.
Even bad reviews add value. They make you seem more reliable and human.
Lush Cosmetics even highlights customer reviews on the product page. By showing an insight into a product recommendation, it provides the browsing shopper with a reason to click and read more.
But UGC doesn't stop at reviews.
If you have permission, you can use photos tagged on social media.
When I'm considering buying a product, I head straight to Instagram. I visit the brand's Instagram page and scroll through their tagged photos.
I might only find two or three posts showing the product I want, but it's the feeling of inclusion, the inspiration of seeing the product in use and the overall desire that this is something I must have, that convinces me to buy.
That's the power and value of social proof and UGC.
If you offer this kind of experience directly on your online store, you'll bring me one step closer to buying. I won't need to take the initiative myself and leave your website.
Are you hiding your product reviews? Are you harnessing the power of social media?
Think about how you can incorporate UGC in your eCommerce tactics. There's so much potential UGC out there you're bound to find something that works perfectly for both your brand and your customers.
So, what next?
By focusing on visuals, product discovery and user-generated content, you can enhance your online store to suit today's online shoppers. Although yes, every eCommerce marketer needs to think about acquiring online traffic, you can't abandon the rest of the customer journey.
So take the time to think about your shopping experience. If it's not up to scratch, start by considering these improvements. By focusing on these three areas and making changes, you could see your conversions and ROI rocket sky-high!