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 click-and-collect or free and fast shipping now influencing the decision-making process. 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 thirds (63%) of UK consumers say that clearly displayed prices are important for a good online shopping experience1 – and 77% of them want the search and filtering tools to feel intuitive and familiar2.
Principle 2: Be impossible to miss
75% of worldwide internet users have used or plan to use navigation systems like Google Maps3. 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
83% of digital buyers feel that offers based on specific needs and preferences are either critical or important to having a great digital experience. Encouraging users to create personalised accounts can help you tailor your marketing efforts4.
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: Offer click-and-collect
60% of UK internet users have used click-and-collect, and almost half (49%) of shoppers say they find it more convenient than home delivery5. Maximise your revenue by looking for new upsell or cross-sell opportunities during the click-and-collect process.
Principle 5: Aim for fast and free shipping
In the UK, 73% of the online population believe free delivery is important for a good online shopping experience6, while 42% say next day delivery would most increase their likelihood of buying a product.7
Principle 6: Provide an online chat option
42% of internet users in the UK also expect to have the option to chat with a live agent or rep in the digital retail space.8 If consumers have questions and can’t see a way to reach you, they may abandon the shopping experience altogether.
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.9 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.”
Visit Grow My Store to try the tool and see how your website performs across our 7 key principles