If you weren’t an online shopper before 2020, there’s a good chance that you are now. The e-commerce world rapidly shifted when consumers flocked towards online shopping last year. With lockdown after lockdown, retail businesses adapted to societal expectations and prioritized having a virtual presence.
E-commerce became more competitive, and consumers developed high expectations, which will continue even after COVID-19 is over. Here are some customer requirements that retailers should keep top of mind:
1. Convenience is Key
With everyone having so many demands on their time, it’s no surprise that convenience is a top priority. Data shows that nine in ten people are likely to pick a retailer based on convenience, and three in four value a seamless experience more than they did a year ago.
But what exactly qualifies as “convenient” or a “seamless experience”? According to Linnworks The Effortless Economy Whitepaper, customer expectations were boiled down to two primary features: 1) guest checkout and 2) shopping across different devices.
Guest checkout offers customers an easy and quick way to purchase products without the hassle of a potentially time-consuming registration. This is an excellent feature for attracting new customers. Of course, if they’re satisfied with their shopping journey and products, they may create a membership account.
Another customer requirement is shopping across different devices. Up to 81% of customers want to enjoy a positive shopping journey across all devices, from smartphones and tablets to computers.
Expectations grew high during the pandemic, but expectations of convenience will continue to be a priority, so it may be a good idea to assess how easy the purchasing process on your website is.
2. Shop Mobile
Though we previously mentioned that customers want a seamless shopping experience across various devices, more people are leaning towards using their mobile.
Mobile revenue saw its most significant growth in 2020, and people started spending more time shopping on their phones. Mobile retail commerce sales grew 31.5% and are expected to increase another 28.8% this year. Mobile is the future of e-commerce!
3. Trusted Payment Gateways Options
Customers need to feel confident and safe when making a purchase, and this includes dealing with a payment method that they’re comfortable using. With credit card fraud increasing, customers value the freedom to choose how they wish to process a purchase.
Paypal is the most commonly used payment gateway for e-commerce and is accepted in more than 203 countries. Most of us already have a Paypal account with our credit card details saved, so the checkout method is often easy and familiar. Though Paypal is the most popularly used now, Stripe, Google Checkout, Amazon Pay, and Apple Pay are gaining momentum — all guaranteeing a smooth and secure transaction process.
Offering a variety of trusted payment gateways can really contribute to the customer’s frictionless shopping experience.
4. Down to Delivery
Purchase success depends on the last mile of the customer journey, and there are two main factors to consider when reviewing delivery: shipping speed and costs.
According to ShipStation 2020-2021 report, 37% of consumers claim that shipping speed influences their purchasing decisions more than it did a year ago. Next-day services may be expensive, but 47% of customers are willing to pay the price for time-sensitive packages, which is up from 31% last year. So though it may not seem necessary to present an Express Delivery option on your site, it may meet your customer’s needs.
Shipping costs are just as important as the shipping speed. As much as 37% of customers claim that this aspect influences them more than it did a year ago, it is likely that this will continue after the pandemic. Of course, free shipping is ideal, and it can effectively increase cart conversions, but this option may not always be possible. The next best solution is to offer flat-rate shipping. With flat rates, customers know what to expect and can add to their cart without reservation.
Meeting Consumer Expectations
Consumers have grown comfortable shopping online during the pandemic and with this, e-commerce has become even more competitive. Therefore, retailers need to put their best foot forward — virtually, that is — and that includes choosing a good platform for your website.
For starters, a great e-commerce platform will optimize on any device, including tablets, phones, and computers. Since there are several website platforms to choose from, it may be beneficial to choose one that offers a free trial, such as BigCommerce. BigCommerce is a flexible, feature-rich SaaS e-commerce platform that is perfect for small and medium-sized businesses. With Evron’s assistance, BigCommerce can be connected with your ERP system, such as Acumatica, to streamline processes. For more information about this, you can speak to a consultant.
If you already have an e-commerce site set up that meets you and your customers’ needs, reviewing its delivery options can be the next step of the assessment. It’s sometimes hard to tell if your delivery costs and timelines are realistic or competitive, so it’s helpful to reference an application that can help you make informed decisions.
ShipStation can help you compare different couriers, including their delivery dates and costs. With its SaaS shipping platform, you can manage all small shipping parcels and offer your customers competitive prices! ShipStation can also be integrated with your ERP system to automate shipping processes.
Learn more about how the e-commerce world was affected by the pandemic with ShipStation’s Research Study.
For more information about ShipStation or any of the information above, please speak to a consultant.