Today’s consumers desire a shopping experience that extends from the brick-and-mortar stores to mobile apps, websites, and social media. They crave a seamless omnichannel experience that lets them know what to expect on every channel they use to engage with your brand. As a retailer, you should keep up with consumer demands and create a frictionless shopping experience to encourage purchase decisions and repeat customers.
To achieve a seamless experience, adopt frictionless shopping initiatives and infuse them with your brand. By tailoring great experiences in these initiatives, you are giving today’s consumers exactly what they want and need to make a purchase from your business.
Frictionless shopping initiatives
Begin your seamless shopping experience by ensuring your website is user-friendly. Your website should allow shoppers to find items fast through easy search tools. It should also be visual, featuring images of products, but clean and not overladen with graphics so that it loads quickly. An overabundance of images or large-sized images can slow down a site and discourage a customer from interacting and engaging on your site. All product descriptions should include the pertinent information that people need when making a purchasing decision, such as dimensions, materials, sizing information, shipping, etc.
The goal of your website is to allow your customers easy access to products and information, whether they are shopping in store or online. The website should be enjoyable to use whether someone has typed in a very specific item or wants to browse a category of items before purchasing. Since your website is accessible from multiple devices and almost any location, it is truly the centerpiece of your omnichannel experience, connecting your brick-and-mortar stores to consumers across the globe.
For consumers who choose to make purchases online, supply a safe and secure login that’s easy for customers to use. For instance, you could allow users to log-in with Facebook or Twitter, eliminating the need for them to remember multiple passwords. Remember, if a customer can’t login to their account, where their customer and payment information is saved, they might decide to leave the site and purchase elsewhere.
You also want consumers to login so you can continue to connect with them throughout the buying process. Your website should feature accessible shopping carts that make it easy for customers to save items, access items they like, remove items or see more details. If shoppers are logged in, you can send emails to remind them of the abandoned items in their carts. You can also use retargeting display ads, such as Facebook Ads, to remind your users about their carts whether or not they are logged in. Customers who see retargeting ads are 70 percent more likely to make a purchase. For example, after browsing Target’s website or adding items to a cart, a consumer might login to Facebook to see the exact items they were previously viewing on Target’s website from the store’s retargeting efforts, which keeps the items (and the business) front of mind to that consumer.
Finally, make the checkout process as frictionless as possible. The easiest way to do this is by saving consumer payment information in their accounts for easy repeat purchases. However, many businesses are getting creative with how they set up frictionless payment options.
If you use social ads to promote an item, ensure that when users click them, it leads to the page where the item is ready to be purchased. You can make it easier by getting the cart ready for your followers, so they have to enter as little information as possible. For instance, some smaller retailers will post pictures of products on Instagram then tell followers to comment with size/color and email address. The retailer then sends an email with a PayPal link so that all a consumer has to do is click through and enter little information to complete their purchase.
Frictionless payment options are also improving the seamless omnichannel shopping experience. These payment options make it easy to buy with one-click, swipe or scan. For instance, Wal-Mart app customers can use Walmart Pay to pay from their phones. They open the app, click on the pay button and a QR code is generated. The cashier scans the code, and the person’s Wal-Mart account is charged without customers even having to take out their wallets. The number of consumers using these mobile payment options is expected to grow 61.8 percent in 2016 alone, with a transactional value of $27 billion.
Throughout the entire buying process, whether online or in-store, your customers need to receive exceptional customer service. Customer service agents should work to remove any friction from the buying process, answering questions and providing solutions quickly. Give consumers multichannel access to your employees with great availability in-store, via a chat service on your website, and easy-to-locate email addresses and telephone numbers on a website contact page. Once your customers have reached out to you, service should be prompt; either with fast email responses or short wait times on phones. Some companies have even adopted customer service policies for social media to ensure all channels are covered, no matter where the customer tries to reach them.
By adopting frictionless shopping initiatives, you can deliver a seamless omnichannel shopping experience to your consumers. You must always find new ways to make it as easy as possible for your customers to make a purchase, whether they are in your store, using your mobile app, engaging with you on social media or exploring your website. In today’s consumer world, you can no longer afford to make your customer’s experience anything less than flawless.