Talking Shop – What’s Up With E-Commerce?

By  //  July 15, 2021

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There’s no doubt that shopping online is pretty popular and, of course, became much more so during the pandemic but, most online shoppers will agree that it’s far from perfect. 

It’s said that around a quarter of the world’s population shops online on a regular basis, but, what about the rest?  In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the common factors which turn shoppers away from the internet and back into high street stores:

Hold the phone

One of the biggest complaints made by online shoppers is that it can be nigh on impossible to talk to an actual, real life human being when they need help.  We may live in a digital age but, lots of shoppers still like to be able to get through to somebody on the phone when they have a complaint or query. 

Many disgruntled web shoppers are frequently turned off by the fact that their only option for support is either to fill in an online form and hope for the best or, to send an email to a generic address with the vague possibility of receiving a reply within a couple of days.  While hiring telephone support employees is an expense, it’s also very much an investment – one which just might stop those important customers from turning away for good.

Poor navigation

We’ve all been there – you’ve landed on a site which looks pretty cool but, once you get there, the navigation is slow, baffling or just plain bonkers.  I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – internet users are an impatient lot and they really don’t want to waste time trying to figure out how to get from one page of your site to another. 

Cross promotion and a focus on intent can both really help brands when it comes to creating navigation which is straightforward and uses common sense.

Access not all areas

Not all internet users are created equal and, a study of 10 million web pages recently revealed that 70-90% of websites don’t comply with accessibility regulations.  This is a recurring complaint by website users who find themselves becoming frustrated when visiting a site and, ultimately, end up scrolling away. 

Brands can give themselves – and their customers – a boost by making small but important access changes such as enabling users to open a menu with the ‘Enter’ button and closing it with the ‘Escape’ button.  Its also worth noting that all images absolutely should have an Alt attribute – something which is still overlooked by a lot of websites says Dima Suponau, MD at Extensionfile.net

Complicated checkout

Another recurring – and resounding – complaint by web users is that of the overly complex checkout process.  Is it that big a deal?  In a word, yes.  Remember when Amazon introduced one click ordering back in 1997?  This allowed customers to complete their order with one click of a button – and Amazon’s sales skyrocketed. 

When a customer has taken the time and effort to work their way around your site and to select a product or service, the last thing they want is to then have to grapple with a complicated checkout.  If you only do one thing for your ecommerce site today, take a look at your checkout process to see how it stacks up. 

In 2021, internet users are all about instant gratification and ecommerce brands who don’t deliver are liable to find themselves out in the cold.  Put aside a chunk of time to visit your site as a customer to see how it works – and how it doesn’t.

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