The online shopping phenomenon is well and truly here and has been for a number of years. The way designers, developers, marketers and brands are adapting and growing to the increasing amount of revenue being made online is constantly evolving.
While more and more people are starting to move away from physical stores, there is still a great amount of showrooming, which indicates that there is still space out there for physical stores. It also proves that web designers still need to focus on product imagery to attract customers to purchasing online.
In case you’re not familiar with the term, showrooming is when a consumer goes into a shop to take a look at a product, before completing the purchase online, a lot of the time at a lower price. Items such as sofas or cars, when the consumer wants to try the product are usually the subject of showrooming, however in truth any product is technically susceptible to showrooming. It all boils down to the online shopping experience and whether if offers what the consumer really needs.
Online sales were predicted to grow by 16.2% by the end of 2015, with the average amount spent per shopper increasing by 9.6%. If you consider this as a monetary value, it’s an increase of over £8 billion compared to 2014. Further proof that if you want to maximize your profits, online is the place to do it.
Below we’ll talk in more depth about the benefits of having an online shop, the obstacles that need to be overcome in order for your online store to succeed and some simple techniques to maximize your online revenue.
Online Shop Benefits
• Convenience: Purchases can be made from the comfort of their home or mobile.
• Better Prices: An increasing amount brands and retailers now offer better prices for online purchases than in store.
• Easy to shop around: You can compare and research to find the best price in the whole world.
• Easy to browse: The consumer doesn’t need to travel to a store and can take their time from home, on the train to work or on their lunch break
• No need to carry heavy bags afterwards: Always a plus.
So what are we (designers) doing about it?
Imagine that you walk into a store and see the big sales banners and all the special offers start catch your eye. As you make your way through the store you come across all the different aisles, attractively categorising the products on sale. At the end of your journey you have a full heavy basket that then transfers into a number of heavy carrier bags. You then have to get the packed train back home.
As web designers it is our job to get rid of the hassle of lugging around the heavy carrier bags and shopping baskets, but also optimize and try and transfer the benefits and attractive aspect of shopping in a store to an online environment.
The same way that traditional shoppers are inspired by an exciting deal, online shoppers will be inspired too. The difference is that we, as designers, need to put more work in to making that products look more attractive as the consumer doesn’t have the ability of seeing and potentially touching the product.
There are four key things that need to be done if we’re going to achieve an inspiring and persuasive ecommerce website. These are:
1. Amazing clear shots of the product (minimum of three and at different angles helps).
2. A very detailed description of the product (potential customers needs to know everything about it as they can not touch it, cuch as weight and dimensions).
3. Clear messaging highlighting price and any deals.
4. Clear journey form homepage to checkout.
A tip that we communicate to our clients is to look at their website like a physical store, from first glance as you enter the shop (Homepage) right to the cashier (Checkout page). Imagine the below.
Homepage - Shop window
Product Listing Page - Shop floor
Category Page - Shop Aisle
Product Page - Product in your hands
Checkout - Cashier
Upsell - all the sweets next to the counter (the ‘You may be interested in’ items)
Blog - Your printed magazine
Contact - Customer services desk
How to minimize your Shopping cart Drop out?
There’s a lot that has been said about dropped shopping carts. The amount of abandoned baskets is reportedly higher than ever, due to the increasing amount of ecommerce sites. It shows that there is still a large amount of brands that aren’t doing the online shopping process properly. If you’re suffering from a large amount of abandoned shopping carts then take a look at our checklist below.
1. Make sure product has been well presented and described.
2. Make sure it is easy and intuitive to find and add to the basket.
3. Make sure your basket is visible and has a ‘Checkout’ button on it.
4. From the moment you click ‘Checkout’ the customer is committed to pay so do not distract them away from that process
5. Enclosure checkout - Get rid of all menu items off your header and footer and leave only the necessary parts to complete the purchase.
6. Use clear messages and third party logos showing how secure it is to shop with you.
7. Clear telephone numbers and contact info. Like the above, this alleviates any worry the shopper may have of purchasing on your website as they know how to contact you if there is any problem with their order.
8. No more than 3 steps. If you wish to have any extra details about the product, feature them after the customer has made their payment.
9. The ‘Thank You Page’ can be used as an upsell page… This is where you include the famous “You may be also interested in” statement. You can also use it to invite your customer to sign up for your newsletter and see your social media channels.
There you have it; some basics about the online shopping process and some handy tips to check against your own store. HAPPY SELLING!