When it comes to growing your online store, it all comes down to providing your customers with the best experience around. To stand out from your competitors, you need to provide an experience that no-one else can.

To that end, I’ve highlighted the core elements that go into creating a great ecommerce experience and how you can implement one on your store.

 

Personalisation

One of online retail’s greatest strengths lies in its ability to easily source a wealth of customer data. Age, location, interests, shopping habits — all are readily available for you to collate and analyse in order to give you a better understanding of your customers. In turn, ecommerce store owners can offer their consumers a personalised customer experience.

This can entail a wide range of features. For example, using product-detail page recommendations to offer customers products that they might be interested in, based on previous purchases, as the online retailer Amazon has done below.

Amazon Recommendations

Similarly, you can employ in-session popup offers to target first-time shoppers with money off their first order or free shipping.

Personalisation gives your consumers a tailored ecommerce experience, which in turn drives conversions through more personal engagement. Indeed, 93% of companies report higher conversion rates from personalisation, and so it is a strategy well worth implementing.

 

Good copy

The importance of your online store’s copy might seem obvious, but it’s an element that is frequently overlooked by many. A good ecommerce experience relies on slick, appealing copy that empowers shoppers to buy. Consequently, you need to make sure every piece of text on your site is as engaging and effective as it can be.

For an example of ecommerce copy done right, check out the example from boutique hotels site Mr & Mrs Smith, below:

Image Mr & Mrs Smith

The writer paints an enticing picture of the luxury hotel, portraying the city and its surrounding delights in sensuous detail. It serves to both describe Bristol practically, but also attract potential customers at the same time. When it comes to your customers’ ecommerce experience, it pays to be a little creative, so don’t be afraid to let loose. It’s also worth optimising this content for search engines, to give your store that little extra boost. Do keyword research related to your niche and make your copy

 

Good design

While your ecommerce store’s copy is important, its design is just as vital. It’s not the Nineties anymore, and there’s no excuse for poor web design. If a customer walks into an untidy brick-and-mortar store, chances are they’ll walk right back out again, and that’s just as true for your online store too.

When it comes to designing your ecommerce store, the idea that ‘less is more’ is worth following. A cluttered landing page is the visual equivalent of a noisy pub, and will repel your customers. Keep it clean, with perhaps one or two photos on your home page, as too many will feel excessive. And remember, negative space is good — it creates a sense of calm, and makes for an easily navigable website.

Designing your store doesn’t require you to be a technical coding wizard either. Most store builders offer a variety of free or premium designs for you to use, or ones you can even customise yourself.

 

Responsive mobile UX

The importance of mobile ecommerce has never been greater. 62% of mobile users have bought something online in the past 6 months, by 2020 it is predicted that mobile sales will account for 45% of the £471 billion global ecommerce sales. With our smartphones, we’re plugged in 24/7, and so your ecommerce store needs to reflect that.

To that end, ensure that your site is responsive, that it works across a variety of devices. Just because it works on your laptop, doesn’t mean it’ll work as smoothly on your mobile or tablet. The best way to do this is to simply test it yourself with different devices, but Google Search Console’s Mobile-Friendly Test is also a useful tool for a quick check.

Most website stores now have responsiveness built into all their free themes, and content management systems such as WordPress offer a variety of responsive themes, both free and premium. However, it is always worth checking regularly to ensure your site continues to have a good user experience as tastes and web aesthetics shift.

 

One-click purchasing

This is a particularly important element of a good ecommerce experience. 28% of online shoppers abandoned their purchase because they found the checkout process either too long or too complicated. A smooth checkout is vital, as a difficult or complicated process will lose you sales.

So as a store owner, you need to monitor your checkout process and regularly test it yourself to ensure it works well. One way to do this is by encouraging your customers to give feedback after making a purchase. However, most store builders let you review your checkout process by letting you place test orders to ensure everything works as expected.

Given shoppers’ aversion to over-complication, the ideal checkout page requires the least amount of information from the user. The page requiring payment details is often the step with the most drop-offs, so keep it simple by consolidating every required field onto one page. It’s also worth giving your customers the option to save their details with you for their next purchase for an even smoother checkout experience.

 

On-point customer support

Finally, no ecommerce store is without its hiccups. Your customers will need to contact you from time-to-time with complaints, queries, and feedback. As such, you need to ensure your support channels are easily accessible and responsive. In an ideal world you’d offer 24/7 support, but for smaller ecommerce stores that’s simply not viable.

So do the next best thing, and offer a variety of ways for your customers to get in touch with you. Onsite chatbots are great for simple queries, and an active presence across a range of social media channels will let your customers reach out to you with ease. If your site visibly offers your consumers good, reliable support, it will foster a trusting relationship and encourage them to keep on returning to you.

Your customer is at the core of your ecommerce store experience, and you need to ensure that everything about it is tailored to them. Create a responsive site with a clean design, great copy, and a smooth checkout process. Your customers will appreciate it, and it’ll keep them coming back for more.