I bought several pairs of shoes, t-shirts and singlets. Throughout the year I also purchased all the usual things like video and computer equipment on eBay and specialist online outlets, food supplements (even things like organic Almond butter).
Many of the items I purchased are hard to buy anywhere in USA from physical stores, while others I just prefer to buy online because it’s cheaper. I like that I can just open up a browser to make a purchase.
What I am going to write next is going to be a scary thing to hear if you are a retailer with a physical store and no online presence. Whenever I buy something in the real world I feel on some level I am paying more than I need to because I can probably get it cheaper online, if I am willing to look hard enough.
The Customer Shopping Experience
Over the decade that I have bought online, things have improved greatly when it comes to the shopping experience.
Many of the features as I now take for granted used to be frustration points, and still may be if they are not available.
Big store like Amazon knows what it is doing and lead the way in delivering well online shopping experience. Smaller retailers, and in particular small e-commerce stores offered by solo-entrepreneurs, need to ensure they may offer the same features that the big stores have if they want to compete.
Below, I have outlined 7 must-have online shopping features. These I believe are mandatory criteria if you plan to make sales online this year, especially as the e-commerce landscape becomes more and more crowded.
The 7 Online Shopping Criteria Every E-Commerce Entrepreneur Must Meet
1. One Click Purchases
You know what I don't like? Filling out long forms online to purchase something.
Sure I use a form filler that most browsers now have, which speeds things up, but you know what’s even better – when you have your data stored and you can just click buy, confirm your details and consider it's done.
That’s what great about big outlets like Amazon and Apple, they store your payment preferences under a global account, then you can come back to any of their online stores and click buy.
When I am in a certain mood, the difference between just clicking “buy” at a shop I already buy from or having to fill out a form at a new store for the 1 time, will result in returning to the place that makes it easier, even if it’s slightly more expensive.
Make sure you can store your customers’ details so they only ever need to fill out a form once, and keep that form short!
2. Quick Delivery, Free Returns, Free Shipping
Quick delivery is a must. I’ve seen many retailers achieve same day delivery for cities where they have a distribution centre or storefront.