November 24th, 2021 | 4 MIN READ

Top 10 Things Customers Expect from Your Online Store

Written by author_profile_images Emily Kathi

Emily Kathi is a Senior Content Marketing Writer at Elastic Path. She writes about product, trends, and all things related to digital commerce.

Customer experience is key to any online shopping scenario. Shopping behaviors dictate these experiences and if you’re paying attention to your bottom line there are a few rules to follow:

1. Omnichannel Experience:

Allow your customers to shop any way they choose. What that usually means is a blended, omnichannel approach from discovery to purchase. Your customer may start in a brick-and-mortar store window shopping for their next couch, but the transaction may occur on a tablet as they settle in for the night streaming their favorite show. What that means for you isa consistently branded, fully optimized experience across all platforms. From store, to smartphone, to laptop, the experience is seamless.

2. Clear Shopping Interface:

One of the key detractors for an abandoned cart is always a clean interface with the shopping cart in clear view. One of theUser Interface design champions is Amazon. With the uncluttered layout and icons (including shopping cart), the user is guided through their shopping journey from search to checkout.

3. Visual Appeal:

In addition to clear focus towards checkout, shoppers respond to pleasing layouts (more UI driven design). A trend in the mobile commerce world is the adoption of integrated design. More and more apps are turning to animation and card layout design to entice the user to engage in any way they choose. Here is an example of the card layout design.

4. Robust Search:

The larger your product catalog, the more important site search is to your ecommerce success. While it's rare to find an ecommerce site without a search box, it happens, even among some of the most famous brands.

Search result usability is also important. Customers expect filtered navigation to further refine results by attributes that are meaningful to them (category, price, star ratings, color, size, etc.). Killer search result pages provide filters, the ability to sort results, prices, stock availability, large thumbnail images, product description snippets and add-to-cart/add-to-wish list buttons.

When it comes to product search, Elastic Path partners with Algolia to enable product catalog sharing. Elastic Path offers the script to push the catalog from Elastic Path Commerce Cloud to Algolia. With an integration partner for functions like search, you ultimately build better user experiences with easy implementation and quicker speed to market.

5. Customer Reviews:

Customer reviews are known to increase conversions by as much as 270%, with a majority of shoppers (82%) seeking out negative reviews. Word of mouth matters, and shoppers not only seek it out they clearly trust it.

6. Chatbots Shoppers:

Prefer the ease of contacting a chatbot to resolve cart or order issues versus making a time-consuming live call and be subjected to the dreaded call queue, or the slower pace of waiting on an email inquiry response.

Aside from customer support, product suggestions are a chatbot use case to guide your customer towards purchase, much like a personal shopper. You may also see applications in weather, online banking, news, or even ordering a pizza.

Chat is good for business. Research shows sales activity transacted through chatbots, digital voice assistants, and messaging is expected to rise from $41 billion in 2021 to $290 billion by 2025 according to Juniper Research.

Read more about top chatbot providers in the market.

7. Personalization:

With so much competition in the marketplace it’s important for brands to differentiate themselves with unique experiences. A growing demand for personalized shopping, often tied to social media, is highly sought after among online shoppers. With the ability to curate personal collections and browse influencer content, shoppers are enticed by product suggestions specifically tailored to their style.

8. Payment Methods:

Allow customers to pay with any method they choose. Alternative payment options like digital wallet options from Apple, Google, or Samsung are widely accepted and favored for their touchless function. A growing trend in mobile payment is the BNPL (Buy Now, Pay Later) option from vendors like PayPal and Klarna. BNPL provides a broader payment solution for those on a budget who seek big ticket items.

9. Quick Page:

Speed The albatross of all shopping experiences. The slow page load. You have a matter of seconds to impress a shopper once they arrive at your site. The good news is you have established metrics and UI/UX design methodologies in your corner to optimize the experience.

10. Easy Checkout:

The checkout process can be tedious enough with entering multiple fields on a smaller smartphone screen. It’s frustrating to get so close to the “place order” finish line then have the burden of a forced account sign up. It most likely results in an abandoned cart. Create more options for shoppers by allowing them either path to purchase; create an account, or simply checkout as a guest.

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