Winning in retail used to be about offering the right product at the right price. But now it’s more complex – with features like whether you offer easy returns and free and fast shipping . This article explores the new demands facing retailers; how you can respond; and if your own site measures up.
For many retailers, their website has become the flagship store that’s open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Which means delivering an exceptional customer experience has become an even bigger priority in the battle for shoppers’ hearts and minds.
But according to a recent benchmarking study, consumers are now more demanding than ever. More alarmingly, the study also showed that retailers are missing significant opportunities to engage and convert.
Here are some topline findings from the study, plus some practical steps you can take to improve your cross-channel experience, and live up to customers’ expectations
Principle 1: Use clear pricing and intuitive navigation and filtering
Almost two thirds1 of Dutch and Swedish consumers say that clearly displayed prices are important for a good online shopping experience – and 71% of Dutchies and 78% of Swedes want the search and filtering tools to feel intuitive and familiar.2
Principle 2: Be impossible to miss
75% of worldwide internet users have used or plan to use navigation systems like Google Maps.3 Ensure your site and Google My Business page offer this tool (or one like it), so people can easily find your store.
Principle 3: Create a seamless shopping experience
82% of internet users in the Netherlands and 89% in Sweden use more than one device when going online4. Ensure users’ wish lists and baskets are synched to their accounts, so information is available no matter which device they’re on.
Retailers websites have become the flagship store that’s open 24/7. Which means delivering an exceptional customer experience has become an even bigger priority in the battle for shoppers’ hearts and minds.
Principle 4: Bridge the digital divide
Almost two-thirds (63%) of EMEA shoppers expect consistent levels of service between digital channels and physical stores – so offering features like an easy returns process and delivery to a wide range of locations will encourage shopper retention.
Principle 5: Aim for fast and free shipping
In the Netherlands, 73% (70% in Sweden) of the online population believe free delivery is important for a good online shopping experience,5 while 41% (32% in Sweden) say next day delivery would most increase their likelihood of buying a product.6
Principle 6: Offer easy returns
One third of Dutch and Swedish consumers say an easy returns policy would increase their likelihood of buying a product online7. Make sure your returns policy is clearly stated and easy to find on your website.
Principle 7: Be mobile-friendly
No matter how beautiful or data-driven your marketing campaigns are, if users have a negative experience on mobile, they’re 62% less likely to buy from you.8 Speed plays a big part in this, so take steps to ensure your site is mobile-friendly, and easy to use on smaller screens.
How does your shopping experience compare?
Using the findings from the study, we’ve built a tool that brings together all these valuable insights into one place,” says Fionnuala Meehan, VP EMEA, Google.
“Simply by typing in their website address, retailers of all sizes can quickly see how to make their online and omnichannel customer experience as appealing as possible to customers. You’ll also receive recommendations on where improvements can be made.”