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Online Stores: 5 Strategic Upgrade Ideas

Hello e-commerce folks,

The latest publication by BargainFox, a large United Kingdom-based coupon code company, is a remarkable infographic of 65 proven statistics regarding online consumer behavior. This information is extremely useful for any online business person, as it allows insights into what can attract potential customers – and what turns them away. Summarised for your convenience, this article aims to present the five upgrades every online store owner should do, based purely on hard, proven numbers.

1) Fast server-side bandwidth

The loading speed of a website can make or break a business. Amazon discovered that sales fell a whopping 10% for every second a customer had to wait for a page to load. Each second also saw a fall of 7% in customer satisfaction, which is vital for continued engagement. Additionally, 65% of users said they would simply leave if a page took more than three seconds.

The moral is simple: clients simply will not wait. Thinking that they would is a grievous error. The faster your servers can supply data, the better, so start looking at the options available to achieve this.

2) Secure payment options

Simply by showing customers, they support Paypal on the front and other pages, stores increased their usage by 30%. Paypal transactions also see 70% more complete checkouts than non-Paypal transactions. Meanwhile, Amazon’s Login and Pay not only reduced average checkout periods by seventy seconds, thus appealing to the customer’s need for faster processing times, it also saw a 34% increase in conversions.

However, just using Paypal is not enough. An absence of a trust seal resulted in 61% of online users declining to make purchases. On the other hand, Blue Fountain Media saw a 42% boost in sales just by the addition of VeriSign and Symantec SSLs. Last but not least, VWO gained a 32% increase in conversions by introducing a 100% money-back guarantee.

It stands to reason that customers want to feel safe when making payments online. If your store is lacking the proper security measures, you could be turning away a significant amount of visitors. Engage a professional to help you get it set up for best results – policies differ across countries and companies, and it can get confusing.

3) A robust return policy

Upgrades don’t have to be strictly technological. A good return policy is one such example.

42% of users report dissatisfaction when it comes to making returns online. 48% of users said they would repeatedly shop with retailers that provide hassle-free returns. 63% of users do check the returns policy prior to making purchases.

Long gone are the days of strictly no returns in brick and mortar stores. To keep one’s reputation and customer base, one should really look at one’s return policy to see if the process is easy to use. The best part is that this costs the least to implement, and while you may feel a bit of pain in extra shipping fees, it is more than made up for by the increase in conversions you’ll see.

4) Open communication channels

Contrary to expectation, a large proportion – 57% – of online shoppers still prefer to use a phone as a means of contacting retailers. Meanwhile, 68% of users will engage in live chat services when available. It has been shown to increase B2B sales by at least 20% and attracts 63% of customers to return for repeat purchases. A whopping 76% of online shoppers consider customer service as the litmus test to see if a company truly cares about them.

5) Make sure your website is optimized for mobile devices

Speaking of phones, only one in every four mobile users will stay with a website if it’s not optimized for mobile. 70% of users will use their mobile for comparing prices – this presents a good opportunity to beat the competition, should your website be appealing enough to these searchers.

The takeaway here is that your store should firstly be mobile optimized, not only to cater to mobile shoppers but also to get a share of exposure to users looking up comparative products. Make it easy for them to reach you, both by phone and by live chat, and you will reap the rewards in better satisfaction and more repeat sales.


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