Key eCommerce Factors for Success No. 3

Key eCommerce Factors for Success No. 3

Make it possible to make changes to the basket

Often customers want to change the amount ordered before placing an order. You should make it possible for your customer to make these changes to the basket. In addition, a direct link from the basket back to the product description makes it possible for your customer to get missing product information or to make sure that he has selected the right product before finalising the order, without a long and cumbersome search.

Provide information about total costs early on

Many orders are abandoned the moment your customer finds about completely unexpected high costs for shipping at too late a point in time. You can avoid this by indicating as early as possible in the ordering process the amounts for shipping and the total for all additional charges for the items ordered. Doing so creates an atmosphere of transparency and security for the customer and prevents unpleasant surprises from the outset.

The customer should always be able to choose between different shipping methods. Low prices are unquestioningly important for success online. At the same time remember: high shipping costs tend to scare off more experienced customers. You should therefore stay within the normal range for shipping costs and not attempt to “compensate” for low prices with shipping charges that are too high.

Note: The general rule: keep shipping charges to a minimum and at the same time always try to maximise the value of the basket. To increase the order value you can, for example, offer free shipping above a certain total order amount or use the various cross-selling tools (see the Marketing section) offered by your ePages store.

Show availability and delivery time

Many customers give up when they find out too late that the item they want to buy is not available. It’s best for you to already indicate availability on the product page. This precludes unpleasant surprises related to product availability from the outset.

Lengthy delivery times are also a common cause for abandoned orders. You should thus always try to guarantee the shortest delivery times possible. However, you should only give delivery times that you can actually meet in order to avoid disappointments and trouble with your customers.

Customer data: require no more than necessary

One last tip concerning the ordering process: Don’t demand too much information from your customer. After all, you want to sell things and not create the most extensive customer database possible. To avoid disturbing your customers more than necessary, restrict the information collected to only the data that is absolutely essential.

If you require sensitive information to be entered, always state how the data collected will be used. Make sure that only sales-related data is collected. If you require information to be submitted from an online form, use a simple indication of progress so that your customer is better able to assess how long it will take to finish.

You should make it as easy as possible for your regular customers to go shopping in your store after registration. After the second registered visit at the latest nothing should stand in the way of orders after name and password have been entered.