Pet peeves of online shopping - and how to fix them

What we like and don't like about online shopping

12 Mar 2021

In today’s eCommerce world, it’s easier than ever to buy almost anything at the click of a button. It doesn’t matter what time of day or where you’re located, online shopping is a 24/7 business – and that means the opportunities are practically endless.

For this same reason, eCommerce is extremely competitive. Customers are no longer limited to stores in their local area – they can choose merchants from all over the world. So, how do online retailers stand out from the crowd when competition is so fierce?

While you might think that the online store with the shiniest bells and whistles will win, this isn’t always the case. We asked Solutionists team members what they love (and hate) when it comes to shopping online. Here’s what they had to say, along with some quick and actionable steps you can take today to make your customers’ shopping experience better.

What our people had to say…

Profile #1: Kath

Loves:

  • Being able to shop at any time of the day without leaving the house (or finding a car park!)
  • Saving items to a wish-list for later, making it easy to see when items you like go on sale
  • Window shopping – comparing products and prices easily • Websites enabled to use saved credit card details, simplifying the checkout process

Hates:

  • Not being able to try clothing on: “Some places will let you buy, and then send back for a full refund, but this can take way longer, and I personally never send items back as I find it too much work.”
  • Pop-ups – “They’re annoying!”

Profile #2: Jona

Loves:

  • Shopping from the comfort of your own home: “With a newborn, I’m able to get the necessities online without having to go into a shop. Also, with COVID, shopping online means less contact with other people.”
  • More bang for your buck – easily comparing prices before deciding
  • Awesome customer service just one chat away

Hates:

  • Websites that take forever to load
  • Items that go out of stock after they’ve been added to cart • Dodgy online stores: “Cheaper options might mean less reliable.”

Profile #3: Irene

Loves:

  • When everything just works!
  • Being able to keep track of orders and quick processing times

Hates:

  • Small, bad quality images – or only one product image.
  • Product descriptions that lack detail – requiring more work for the customer who must go searching for product details elsewhere
  • Incorrect or no product filters
  • Random pop-ups and animated banners
  • Limited functionality on mobile – some sites behave differently on mobile versus desktop

Profile #4: Sina

Loves:

  • Good sizing information such as model’s measurements and fit details, like slim or oversized
  • Free returns taking the risk out of online shopping as you can’t try before you buy
  • A smooth mobile shopping experience
  • Multiple product images –letting you see the product from multiple angles

Hates:

  • When basic product information is excluded, e.g. clothing products lacking garment info such as material
  • No clear or easy way to find shipping information or estimated time of arrival
  • When the same product is listed individually in different colours and sizes – so the customer must hunt around to find what they’re looking for
  • Lack of product filter options to make browsing through large product ranges easy, e.g. white blouses, workwear.

Profile #5: Carl

Loves:

  • Express checkout
  • Clear communication of delivery timeframes

Hates:

  • Biggest pet peeve – content pop-ups!
  • When sites don’t use lazy loading to reduce initial load time
  • Buggy sites that make it difficult to click on the right links

Profile #6: Corey

Loves:

  • Access to entire catalogues of products, separated by category, at your fingertips
  • Different delivery options like click and collect
  • Member logins for easy tracking of previous orders and transactions

Hates:

  • When websites don’t function as they should

Profile #7: Jason

Loves:

  • “I can order from the comfort of my bed.”
  • Wish-list notifications of items you regularly buy going on sale
  • Product tagging to discover items similar to your preferences
  • No pushy sales assistant: “You can browse without them making you feel awkward.”

Hates:

  • When sizing doesn’t indicate fit, e.g. slim, regular, loose
  • Models not reflecting your everyday Joe, making it hard to gauge fit: “Male models are usually movie-star muscled – perhaps with the top 50 products on a website, you could view different size models to get a better idea of fit.”
  • A lack of product information or images – the more information, the more likely he is to hit the ‘buy now’ button.
  • Not being able to try something on before making a purchase

Quick wins: tips and tricks for a better shopping experience

1. Get detailed with your product info!

The more, the merrier – a full product description that includes details like colour, size, material, measurements and fit will give your customers confidence when buying online.

2. Think about mobile experience

Make sure your website is optimised for multiple smaller screens and has the same functionality across devices.

3. Make returning an item easy

This doesn’t necessarily mean free – a simple and speedy returns process takes away some of the risk associated with shopping online.

4. Delivery options and tracking information

Give your customers choice when it comes to delivery options – express, standard, click and collect – and be sure to provide tracking information or at least shipping ETAs.

5. Product filters and tagging

Have good filter options that are relevant to the products being viewed.

6. Use pop-ups wisely – and with purpose

Pop-ups shouldn’t detract from the shopping experience. Consider not using pop-ups on mobile, and when you do use them, be sure they add value, e.g. a code for free shipping when checking out.

7. Consider adding low-stock messaging

Make sure stock levels are checked and accurate when customers ‘add to cart’, and consider adding low-stock messages to avoid disappointment.

8. Customer service is essential

Help that is just a click away – provide customers with the option of using a live chat to get help while they’re shopping online.

Contact the experts at Solutionists today to see how you can take your e-Commerce store to the next level – and provide a better shopping experience for potential customers.

author:

Solutionists

date published:

12 Mar 2021