Online shopping trend is on the rise across the globe with new e-commerce companies popping up every now and then. The cyber world has become dominated with online marketplaces, shopping stores and many other business organizations which are collecting their considerable shares of profits. If we look back in the early days of e-commerce, we will find out that people were least trusting towards the online retail stores in the past and it was really hard to convince them into making an online purchase. However, in the modern day, we can see millions of customers making online purchases through various payment procedures. The rapid rise of e-commerce industry and plethora of online stores across the cyber platform have greatly raised the expectations of online customers. Below is the list of a few things customers expect these days when visiting an online retail store:
Appealing & Easy to Navigate Website
The foremost thing that grabs the attention of potential customers is an appealing and easy to navigate website. In fact these are the primary factors in making up the mind of an online customer into browsing products. The online retail stores with a confusing navigation and unappealing design always have greater bounce rates. For an online retail store, it is necessary to categorize all products under relevant menus to make shopping easiest for the online customers.
Fair Pricing – No Hidden Charges
In many online surveys it has been concluded that unfair prices and hidden charges at online retail stores are the most annoying factors for customers. In fact, the customers never return to a store that surprised them with shipping charges or taxes when they reached the checkout phase. It has also been found in many surveys that unfair pricing is one of the primary reasons behind online shopping cart abandonment. Therefore every online company should make sure that it mentions retail price, shipping charges and total cost of the product on the main product page instead of mentioning it during the checkout phase.
Omni-Channel Customer Support
Gone are the days when email or telephonic support were enough to satisfy the online customers. Providing omni-channel customer support has become inevitable in the modern day. Providing omni-channel customer support means integrating all channels of customer support into an online business. Apart from providing 24/7 telephonic support, the online stores need offering rapid response support through email and proactive live chat support with chat operators available round the clock ready to assist customers out of the ordinary. Besides, there needs to be a FAQs page for that small percentage of customers who prefer finding a solution themselves instead of getting in touch with the customer support representatives.
Shopping Cart & Wishlist
An online retail store without Shopping Cart and Wishlist is never a good idea. It is really important for the online entrepreneurs to make sure that they have both features on their online store. The shopping cart lets online customers to place their favorite products in the cart for purchasing whereas the Wishlist allows online customers to mark their favorite products for future purchasing.
Multiple Payment Procedures
Customers these days expect online retail stores to provide multiple payment procedures. Each of the customers have their own payment preferences and an online retail store doesn’t need restricting them to a single mode of payment. The online retail stores therefore need hiring the services of online payment gateways to help them providing comprehensive payment solutions to their valued customers. The most preferred payment method is through credit/debit cards. In this procedure, a customer is required to provide his/her credit/debit card credentials by filling out an online payment form. This saves time for both, the retailer as well as the customer. On the other hand, cash on delivery procedure is another choice for the buyers that helps lets them paying cash upon receiving purchased products at their doorsteps.
Free or Affordable Shipping Charges
Every online store needs making sure that either there are no shipping charges or they are too moderate to be affordable for all. No customer around the world is ready to pay high shipping charges upon online shopping. In many online surveys, it has been found that customers are always in search of free or lowest shopping costs. In fact, no customer is ever agreeable to pay shipping charges which is why many online retail stores have started to offer free shipping of all orders at their customers’ doorsteps. This has got them considerable amount of customers and sales leads.
With the online shopping becoming the norm, the customers’ expectations are also rising with every passing day. In order to ensure stability of business in due course, online entrepreneurs should make sure that they keep their retail stores parallel to the expectations of modern day customers.