The growth in popularity of online shopping has led to evolving demands from ecommerce customers. Online retailers have reported as much as an 80 percent shopping cart abandonment rate, indicating a greater need for ecommerce businesses to focus on the customer experience.
A recent ComScore study highlighted several areas in which online retailers are meeting their customers' needs, but also indicated several areas for improvement.
Two of the major areas the study found that could use improvement are in delivery times and returns. For example, 63 percent of online shoppers admitted to looking at return policies before making a purchase and nearly 50 percent said they would shop more often at a retailer with a lenient returns policy. Businesses should make their online returns policies clear and accessible to users, and ensure the process is easy for customers.
The other area consumers would like to see improve is delivery times. Customers want better delivery options, with 40 percent of respondents indicating they prefer 2-3 day delivery and close to a third saying they want one day. Many respondents expressed dissatisfaction with current delivery options, with 42 percent admitting to abandoning a shopping cart after looking at delivery time.
The advantage of these statistics is they highlight areas in which businesses can start taking action almost immediately. Businesses can review their website to ensure the checkout process is as efficient as possible, and improve conversion rates by ensuring critical elements such as the return policy are clear and accessible to website visitors.
Improving customer experience
There are several considerations online retailers can make to improve the online customer experience. High performance is still important, but retailers also need to support flexibility, so they can quickly add features that consumers are demanding. Businesses selecting ecommerce web hosting providers that support highly customizable platforms are well-positioned to take advantage of these and other trends.
For example, the Magento Connect Community provides extensions to enhance the standard platform. If businesses discover they need to redesign the returns process on their website, they can get an extension to streamline the process for customers. By selecting a high-quality, scalable web host, businesses can always get the features they need without outpacing the capabilities of their hosting provider.