Posted Wednesday, November 10, 2004
Have you ever gone grocery shopping just before a holiday? The aisles are packed with people pushing carts, shelves need restocked, all the checkout lanes have long lines...not a fun experience.
Just like in-person shopping, making online shopping easy and painless is key to getting customers to purchase from your store.
Let's examine the internet shopping process from start to finish exposing some places in the process that your store may have a squeaky cart.
Make the Product Easy to Find
Offer a search capability if your store has a large number of products. Most buyers don't have the patience to wade through 20 pages of products to find what they want.
Share Availability Early On
Now that the customer has found the product, let them know that it is in stock and ready to ship. Right on the product page or when they place it in their shopping cart let the customer know their purchase can be on its way soon. Don't wait until after they've placed the order to tell them it will be another 6-8 weeks.
Streamline the Order Form
Limit your order form to the basics. Shipping information, credit card or payment information, and the quantity and order number are all it takes. This isn't the place to conduct market research or ask for loads of information. Keep the order form short and simple. For future purchases, keep the customer's data on file so they can fly through the ordering even faster next time.
Handling Your Shipping (and Handling)
One big reason many people don't shop on the internet is that they have to pay for shipping. Offer a variety of shipping options to the customer so that she can decide how quickly she needs the item and what she is willing to pay to have the product delivered. Resist the temptation to add large handling fees to the shipping costs. What looked like a great online deal at $19.95 isn't nearly as attractive when shipping + handling brings the total cost to $29.95.
Keeping your online order process simple and straightforward will enhance your customer's satisfaction and the likelihood that they will visit your store again.
About the Author
Megan Corwin is an internet marketing coach who helps work at home professionals grow their businesses. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a complimentary 30 minute coaching session. For more articles and advice about online marketing strategy and solutions, become a member of Megan’s online community for work at home women: (http://www.wahwoman.com/membership.html)