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Creating A Superior Online Shopping Experience For Your Customers

Updated on January 9, 2014

Shopping On Line Needs To Be Made As Easy As Possible

You'll know there are certain shops on the high street you'll avoid. This can be due to not the right products you want or it could be, products are difficult to find, the changing rooms are always locked, the staff aren't interested, you don't like their refund policy or countless other reasons. Some of these can be just the same when we shop online, but we make a very quick decision and with a click of a mouse we can be gone.

Ecommerce Developers
Ecommerce Developers

6 Top Tips For Providing A Superior Shopping Experience For Your Customers

If you're about to hire ecommerce web developers to create an online store for your business, the following 6 Top Tips should help you:

1. Make it easy for your customers to find what they are looking for

Separate your products into categories to make it easy for shoppers to find what they are after. Consumer surveys consistently show that people are more likely to spend time on a website which is simple to navigate. Plus the more time visitors spend on your site the more likely they will be to make a purchase.

2. Consider up-sell and cross-sell opportunities

Let's say your ecommerce store sells art work by local artists. Mightn't your customers like to purchase a frame which complements their picture? By presenting additional options as your customers browse, you have the chance to extend the customer/ vendor relationship further.

3. Use more pictures and limited text

People use the Internet to 'scan' rather than read, so keep descriptive text to a minimum and use lots of pictures to keep your visitors engaged. It can be a real challenge to provide short, compelling product descriptions but this is what we are aiming for.

4. Offer several contact points

It's really annoying to come across a website that doesn't provide a contact number for customer services. If someone is ready to make a purchase on the spot but they need something answering first, they won't want to fill in a contact form or dash off an email. If you fail to provide a phone number for customer queries you risk losing their business . . . for good.

5. Simplify the transactions process

Naturally you want to make it as easy as possible for your customers to buy from you. Complicated navigation or checkout procedures are the number one reason why people abandon their shopping trolleys without completing the payments procedure.

Over 96 million PayPal accounts have been created since the company began in 1998, so this may be an option you wish to consider. Many start ups do and it's a great way of dipping your toe in the water. However you may prefer something a little more sophisticated and with a reasonable cost per transaction, so do consult your expert ecommerce web developers before committing yourself.

6. Never stop marketing your website

Create a marketing plan and do something each day to extend your marketing reach to new and existing customers. Even if you only spend 15 minutes a day on marketing, just think how all those 15 minute chunks could add up over the course of a month. You'll be surprised at what you can achieve through the process of taking small steps consistently.

E Commerce Marketing
E Commerce Marketing

How To Shop Safely Online

Shopping online has made life much easier for many of us who might not have the time or even the ability to get down to the shops on a regular basis. With the technology available at our fingertips today, we can now simply have everything we need delivered straight to our front doors with just a few clicks of a mouse.

But with so many sophisticated hackers out there, there is also increasing concern about online fraud and the security of Internet shopping. Whilst it's good to be cautious, if you follow some sensible safety guidelines such as those laid out below you should be able to shop online in total safety, whether you are looking for a pair of designer Bvlgari sunglasses or doing your grocery shopping:

Server: Make sure that the e-commerce website you're buying from uses a secure and respected server. This way you can feel confident that your sensitive information such as credit card numbers, address, phone number etc will not be accessed for fraudulent purposes. You can tell it's a secure server by looking at the URL: it should be prefixed with 'https'.

Personal Details: If you're buying something online by credit card (which you should always do rather than using debit cards), the credit card company will obviously need a certain amount of information from you. However, you should never give out too much at one time as this can make it easier for somebody to commit identify fraud. Don't provide your credit card number, address, phone number and national insurance number in one sitting for example as this information can easily be used for nefarious purposes.

Check Out Websites: Before you buy some Oakley sunglasses or anything else from an e-commerce website you should always do a quick background check. This is easy enough: all you have to do is type the name of the site into a reliable search engine and see what it comes up with. Are there any complaints against the site or black marks against its name? Have any customers had problems with their transactions? If this is the case it might well be best to avoid it.

Meeting Standards: It helps if an online shop has certain 'seals of approval' or industry standards on display on their website. If you click on these and the links work then you can be pretty sure that it is a reputable site and in this case it is ok to go ahead and buy what you need.

Posting To Europe – Royal Mail Or Private Courier?

Perhaps you need to send a parcel to Germany, delivery a letter to Belgium or dispatch a package to France – there are three options for you to choose from. You could either book some time off work and make the journey over, pop into your local post office or use a private courier; each have their advantage. Whilst holidays are lovely, this article aims to compare whether Royal Mail or private couriers are more economically in delivering parcels to the continent.

The first factor on most people’s minds is price. Is it cheaper to send that parcel to Germany through the Royal Mail or a private courier? The answer… It depends.

It depends on the weight of your parcel, how quickly you’d like it to arrive and whether or not you’d like to track it throughout its transit.

Typically, lighter parcels (below 2kg) are often cheaper sent through Royal Mail. Starting at under £3 for 100g, with an extra 60p for every 100g thereafter, private couriers can often only match this price. Heavier parcels however, are often cheapest sent through private couriers.

The ability to have your parcel signed for, whilst possible, is typically far more expensive through Royal Mail. Private couriers sometimes even offer this service free of charge or for an extra pound or two whilst the Royal Mail’s ‘International Signed For’ service costs over £5 extra per item.

Tracking an item is also possible through Royal Mail’s ‘Airsure’, although this will cost you another £5 on top of any other charges. Private couriers are almost always cheaper on this front, with many offering the service at no extra cost at all.

For parcels that need to arrive quickly, private couriers are also often the better option. Whilst Royal Mail promise to aim for 3 day deliveries to western Europe and 4 day deliveries to eastern Europe, private couriers can typically match or better this.

Finally, Royal Mail’s standard insurance coverage is not usually in the same league as private couriers. Whilst Royal Mail do offer compensation packages, these come at a premium typically unseen in the private courier industry.

At the end of the day, Royal Mail will beat some courier firms. By shopping around however, it is relatively straightforward to come across a reputable courier firm able to beat Royal Mail on price and delivery time, along with the numerous ‘bells and whistles’ private couriers can offer.

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