Just as well to admit right away - I e-shop happily and often. And has been in the world of e-commerce for a long time in my professional life. It still feels just as fun and just right. Although much has happened since I first e-shopped in the late 90s, there is still great development potential today. I often see some smart feature or an innovation or idea that moves the industry forward. This article will cover things that I personally like when I e-shop.
Coming soon is a feature for all of us who like to plan and dream. It's a bit like a trip, a big part of the reward, at least for me, is to plan the trip itself. I can wait and long a little and look forward to something. Should I buy a new spring coat and see that it is one that I want to buy that will come in two weeks, I will wait with the purchase instead of maybe buying another from one of your competitors. Please make it clear when it is expected to arrive in stock and offer the opportunity to receive a reminder when the product can be purchased.
Favorite lists are something I work a lot with before a purchase. It is easy to mark things I want to take a closer look at, or items I want to remember next time and keep track of. Sometimes the favorite lists work with me as a customer, sometimes it rubs in the wrong direction when it is not possible to do as I have thought. H&M is one such example where I like to add products to my favorite list, but where I am met every week by the message - "Oops… Favorites are full" and forced to delete something if I want to add the new product. Here I would like to see that it is possible to create several favorite lists if the number per list is to be limited.
At our customer Tingstad, which we are also a customer of, we can easily work with different favorite lists to keep track of what to order next time and what we usually buy to easily put it in the shopping cart. Just as I want favorite lists to be to make it easier for me as a customer.
Notice in case of price reduction
A function that is connected to favorite lists is to receive a notification when the price is reduced on an item that I am interested in. This is where the allure of a good offer comes in. Maybe I've been thinking for a while and when I get a message that it's 20% on that particular item, I can strike. Feel that I am satisfied - made a bargain - that it was a good deal.
Unfortunately, it is not so common to get that info in my world, Zalando I experience draws attention to it, but otherwise it does not seem to be used that much for conversion. It does not have to be an email either. It could be announced when I visit the site that I should not miss that products have reduced price that I have shown interest in. Feel free to push even for things that are already in the shopping cart and go down in price.
Search to really find
Everyone knows how important the search function on a site can be if you sell many products, yet I come across search results that I do not expect. It may be that I know a product should exist, but still I do not find it. And then think of all the times when I do not know that a product should exist and just completely miss it and move on to the next store.
Remember to make it possible to search in the singular, plural and with some misspellings to still show a relevant search result. To post a Did you mean? for the suggested keyword is good to make it easy to dot right. Also remember to enter different synonyms, a top can for example be a sweater, t-shirt or jumper. Consider also presenting related search results in a separate list to make it possible to discover other products that the customer may also like.
If it is possible to get a search result that is adapted to the customer, it is of course good. When we are going to buy orange juice and I search for it in the grocery store's e-commerce, it is very easy for me as a customer if the juice we almost always buy is shown at the top of the hit list.
One thing I see in more and more places is visual search. Maybe it's about trying to find a similar product that you already have that needs to be replaced, maybe you see something in town you like, or it's a product that you would like to find in a different price range. Several years ago, I won an iPad in a competition about how you thought you would shop in the future. I still believe a lot in searching with pictures.
Store and web in one
We have now been talking omnichannel for several years when the different channels work together in the best way for the customer. One function I often use is to pick up packages in the store if there is one that I often visit anyway. In some cases, it can feel as smooth as an agent, or the other delivery methods used. I would like to see more people use an extension of this and offer Click & Collect to a greater extent. If I see that an item is in a store, it is a help to be able to put it away so that it is ready when I arrive at the store - without having to mix up a phone call to the store but easily be able to do it yourself on the website. Then I also know for sure that the product is available and can easily complete the purchase when I arrive. I also see another opportunity to be able to get a ready-made kit to be tried or looked at more closely with products I have chosen so that it is ready for me when I run into the store and do not want to walk around and look in the store. There, the store staff also have the opportunity to come up with additional tips when they know what I want to look at in advance.
Another feature I like when store and e-commerce work together is the ability to order from e-commerce in store. If the product is out of stock in the store, or the range is larger online, it is good to make it easy for the customer to complete their purchase on the web.
When it comes to personalization, it is only the imagination that sets the limit. I usually think of a traditional shop window in a store - nothing there is aimed at me as a unique visitor, but in an online store, what is presented on the start page and various hero images and banners do not have to be random. It is possible to start from what I as a customer have shown interest in so that the site inspires me to buy and suits my needs. If I do not have nappy children, there is no reason to show me nappies in the grocery store's front page. We are a partner with Apptus who work a lot with personalization of sites to be able to show relevant products and search results as well as recommendations.
There are many good ideas for adapting to my customer journey as Zalando which has a tab for My items where I can easily see what I bought. H&M uses your recommended size so that you can get a personal recommendation on which size to choose. This also helps to reduce returns so that you can choose the right size right away.
Another thing that, for example, ICA and Hemköp use is the opportunity for personal offers where I can get an extra discount on things that I often buy - to buy more.
Saved shopping cart
Every time I put something in a shopping cart to continue the purchase later to then discover that the shopping cart is empty when I go in again, I get a little disappointed. Having to start all over again to complete the purchase means that the purchase price did not turn out as I had hoped. Maybe I'm missing something that you could have sold to me if I had been allowed to use it as the to-do list that many expect to be able to do nowadays. If I go into a physical store, it is likely that I will complete the purchase there and then, but in an online store I can go in a few hours later and continue and then I do not want to start from scratch again.
Please make it clear to the customer how long the shopping cart is stored, if it does, such as KappAhl where it says that the shopping cart is saved for 7 days and that the goods are not reserved.
Many years ago, I wrote a short article about Swish that started to come to smaller e-retailers before we implemented Swish as a payment method on Lindex.com. I see that I wrote about bank digipasses that made the purchase more cumbersome and think back to how inflexible it could actually be to pay online. After all the e-commerce purchases I have made over the years, I can sign that a checkout that is not easy to get through is a real conversion killer.
At an event a few years ago, the moderator asked if there was a service that treats me as a customer exactly as I want. Then someone shouted out Mobile BankID. I could only agree, so much in the digital world that has become smoother for me as a customer when I can securely identify myself.
There are many good examples of sites that offer a simple checkout, feel free to think about whether there is something that can be done more smoothly in your own checkout.
We now expect to a greater extent to be able to return or exchange products regardless of which channel we trade. Going back with a product that was bought in e-commerce when you still visit a store and are met by the fact that they do not accept web returns does not feel so customer-friendly. There may be an opportunity for additional sales in the store when you are still there and today customers expect to be treated in the same way regardless of which channel you are currently in. In the same way, it is reasonable to expect to be able to return store purchases to e-commerce.
The Danish children's clothing company POMPdeLUX has introduced a return function in their online solution where you can easily click on that you want to return and order new goods. The new order is sent away and then the returns can be sent in peace and quiet. Then the returns can only be credited when they arrive at the warehouse and the customer has probably already received the new replacement goods.
Sometimes when the urge strikes, I contact a company even if they are not a customer of ours on 3bits to give tips when something may not work as intended, or with a suggestion for improvement. Make it easy for your customers to get in touch if they have ideas or feedback. I was not completely satisfied after a purchase once and received shortly after an email that could be answered if there was anything that could be improved. I thought afterwards that I probably would not have looked up the contact details and heard from me because it was not a big problem, but now they got something they could work on instead and it was easy for me as a customer to share my feedback. .
Surveillance and business development have always been interesting to me. I have produced many reports that we have used both internally and together with customers. This is a tip I gave to future E-commerce Managers a few years ago when we talked about business development and omnichannel with students. Set aside time each week for external monitoring and feel free to look outside your own industry. A curiosity to find innovative solutions will be useful when we continue to drive the development of e-commerce forward together.