As the holidays approach, everyone wants to get the right gifts for their friends, families and acquaintances. Even so, we all hate the crowded days at brick-and-mortar malls. The parking lots become full, and you spend 20 minutes looking for a parking spot. Then, just as you make it to the store, the toy you want for your child is out, and you have to hustle through the crowds to find a suitable substitute.
You, the online store, can make shopping easier. To solve a problem, you only need to make your digital store’s cart highly convenient. Then the orders will arrive, and you can focus on delivering them to your customers.
My company has helped a variety of businesses integrate e-commerce platforms into their websites. Through this experience, I've seen that e-commerce options can provide a helpful alternative for shoppers who don't wish to hit the mall for their holiday shopping. Below are my tips on how to craft an online shopping experience that sets your brand apart:
Features For Online Store Carts
If you’re selling on a storefront such as Amazon, the website will likely have some of the features listed below. Implement these on your own site, and I believe you can survive the holiday season. Or you can even do better and become a gift mainstay.
Develop mobile-friendly pages.
The number of sales conducted on smartphones, as opposed to tablets, laptops or desktops, is growing. People want the convenience of scrolling, skimming and ordering. They also want to click, have their information saved and conduct transactions quickly.
Always test that your website reads well on a mobile device. Certain external tools can help with that, or you can test it on your own. If you feel bold or have the money to invest, develop an app that takes up little memory and can assist.
Provide multiple payment options.
Not everyone wants to enter their credit card information at the drop of a hat. Sometimes they would rather keep that personal information safe or not save it on their phone. The flexibility can make all the difference and save consumers the trouble of rummaging through their wallets.
Ensure your website allows for PayPal, Apple Wallet, Venmo and other digital transfers. Sometimes a user just wants to press a finger to their phone and confirm they want to purchase from your website. Such a transaction is simple and convenient, and it ties into the smartphone accessibility factor. People will appreciate when they have the choice.
PayPal is actually used internationally. You can reach out to customers all over the world if you wish by incorporating this option. But if you do choose to include PayPal, make sure you track large orders and revenue because PayPal will freeze your account if they suspect fraud, and it can take months to dispute.
Protect consumers' data.
Related to credit card security, ensure that your website is encrypted. If hackers get into your store or data is leaked through an email list without the blind carbon copy option, then your reputation could go down the drain.
Use basic encryption, and this will also help you follow the law in the European Union. Abide by the GDPR, and only ask customers to opt in with information rather than the opposite. If your customers are forced to opt out and they are European, you can get in legal trouble and open your business up to prosecution. Fines can kill a business, even on an international scale.
Create a 'wish list' option.
Wish lists are a great option to allow more flexibility for holiday shopping. Consumers love them because they save time on debating what to get for business owners. You can also watch what customers are eyeing as gifts and remind them about potential purchases.
If you have regular customers, give them the option of adding the products they like to lists, and make the items shareable. You can even take a charitable approach and host entire classrooms or families in need of supplies, toys or equipment.
What coupons or discounts can you offer in the cart itself? Amazon also offers these, from subscription options to several dollars off a customer’s first purchase. Decide if you can swallow the cost on free shipping for a first purchase, or offer a coupon for those who subscribe to your email newsletter.
Ensure you're transparent about inventory and delivery dates.
Honesty is the best policy when delivering products under time pressure. If you notify people ahead of time that a product is scarce or out of stock, they are more likely to choose a substitute. Let consumers know if there are one or two of a certain product left. I've seen doing so can spur someone to add it to their cart.
Do not forget to be honest about delivery dates. If you cannot make the holiday rush, then consumers would rather know. Trust is an important commodity. This lack of transparency can have a significant impact on your business if customers are expecting their item to be delivered in time for the holidays.
Grab this holiday season, and deliver on all your products. Just implement these features, and your digital cart will be up to date and ready to help your customers.