Imagine a customer is surfing your stores and encounters several waiting periods while shopping, such as standing in line at physical stores or finding and adding the products in the shopping cart, loading for checkout when shopping online. Such an annoying and inconvenient experience! Those unsatisfied experiences can lead to severe consequences including losing customers, decreasing sales, and bad reputation.
Let’s figure out 6 practical tips to speed up the shopping process and reduce wait time up to 80%. It is not until your buyers have the those below impressions on your store that you still have to try harder to satisfy our beloved customers.
1. Smart Organization
What to organize? Of course, the very first thing that should be smartly designed on your page is the products. Products’ positions have to be centrally-focused with eye-catching and high-quality images. Besides, attract your customers with a well-organized menu, layered navigation with particular features, or the shopping cart button. This will help buyers save time by screening the whole page to navigate their desired products and purchase for them. DON’T FORGET to place your promotion at the most eye-catching place!
Another thing to remember is that buyers love doing things quickly. Have you included the Quick view feature, instant Add to cart buttons or ratings on your category page? Are your customers able to purchase your products with only a few clicks? Are buyers waiting too long to load a product page? There should be many questions as well as a bunch of options to optimize your customer experience. Don’t worry if your site is not flawless yet and don’t put any formula on your webpage as your customers may be different. What works out for other online stores cannot work well on yours, so take time to experience yourself, run A/B testings if you can and correct any mistakes as soon as possible to improve your e-store.
2. Effective Filtering System
It is so vital to have a system that helps buyers find their favorite products easily. With an effective product-filtering mechanism, customers don’t have to waste time scrolling up and down all products, but only need a few simple clicks to navigate what they want. Online shoppers may feel overwhelmed with how diverse your products are and get confused while shopping on your store. Product’s features, Brands, Prices, etc. are all important and will be included in buyers’ checklists when it comes to shopping online. Let’s make sure that your customers don’t wait time switching back and forth your site yet eventually leaving with an empty shopping cart just because they find nothing to buy.
One tip to win every customer’s heart at this shopping stage is to provide themselves better-layered navigation which allows them to find a specific item with particular attributes within few seconds. The less time buyers spend on looking for products, the more likely they will be to proceed a checkout
3. User-friendly Shopping Cart
A well-designed and eye-catching shopping cart button are vital to attracting customers in the first place. However, more importantly, it has to be easy to use if you don’t want to have your abandoned cart amount increased. For example, a cart that allows buyers to modify the order easily such as adding/deleting products, changing the quantity will be in favor and save time, for sure. The more convenient it is to make adjustments right in the shopping cart, the more willing customers are to purchase (more). Of course, the automatic add-up feature for the order’s total value is a must-have, because customers do not want to calculate by themselves how much they have to pay.
What should be aware of is that in the shopping cart, there should not be distracting factors such as pop-ups or promotional banners which can drive customers attention to other products rather than finishing the current purchase. Things should stay focused until customers click the checkout button. Last advice for this: REMEMBER to provide “continue shopping” button if you don’t want your customers just come and leave quickly.
4. Optimized Checkout Procedure
Customers get tired with complicated multi-step checkout procedure? That’s why well-designed one step checkout is a crucial medium to make the process easier and more convenient for buyers. No more multi-page checkout, no more long time typing and adding information. Obviously, with multiple checkout pages, the loading time will be much longer because customers have to move from page to page, which is easier to make customers frustrated; compared to the almost-no waiting time at one step checkout. Even when check out steps are presented in one page only, but in multiple columns, it could also be annoying if buyers have to scroll down, then back up, then scroll down again and again to fill in different columns. Therefore, if every purchasing step is displayed in a roll, customers will be so satisfied that they just have to scroll from top to bottom of the page to finish the checkout process. Besides, with the automatic suggestion feature when providing payment information, buyers can save time and efforts when entering their detailed data (which is actually a time-consuming and annoying process!), and thus they are more willing to pay. Don’t forget to provide diverse payment methods in order to satisfy every shoppers’ demand. There is nothing more regretful than having customers left at the last minutes.
5. Reliable POS System
For your brick-and-mortar stores, an efficient Point-of-sale system plays an important role in a quick-and-easy checkout procedure. Frist, the products need to be searched easily by name/ ID, SKU or barcode and then added to cart quickly. Any changes of the in-stock quantity or product condition are notified within seconds. This is not only helpful for the store admins in backend management but also time-saving for both shop operators and customers in stores. Second, your POS should have different payments integrated so your cashiers can accept payments fast without fearing that they have entered the wrong amount to charge. Some of the most popular in-store payment methods we would like to recommend are PayPal Here, iZettle, Payment Express, Authorize.Net and Tyro. Besides, if possible, offer your customers to pay with their reward points or gift cards they have purchased online - they will be very happy about it. Last but not least, the user interface should be intuitive enough for you and your shop operators to navigate easily so you won't have to spend extra time finding the button to click to go to the next step.
Tip: Do you have different devices in stores such as a computer and an iPad? If yes, make use of all of them. Find a POS software that can work on multiple devices and when the queue at the counter is long, you can grab an iPad and use the POS iPad app to assist other staff in checking out for your customers.
* ConnectPOS is a high-speed Magento POS that captures in-store sales quickly and synchronize data in real time between Magento and POS. It's integrated with Reward Points and Gift Cards so the customers can use these functions across the channels. ConnectPOS is compatible with Magento 1 and 2 and available in both web app and native iPad app.
6. Timely Support
An indirect cause of customers’ time-consuming shopping experiences is not receiving in-time support when they are in need. Long time of waiting for help will slow down the shopping process, and hence let the buyers down with our customer service. Therefore, an effective, quick, and well-trained support team is so essential to speed up the shopping process. Only when customer’s queries are all answered clearly and trustworthily do they decide whether to keep shopping with satisfaction or not.
Shortening and even eliminating waiting time is essential to satisfy your customers. The better service customers experience, the more loyal they will be to our store. Don’t hesitate to apply those useful tips and optimize your store, online and offline, effectively.