Attractive and, above all, efficient websites is the great challenge for every online merchant. Being efficient means to sell more and improving the user experience will definitely help. In this post, we will give some keys points to improve customer experience for software, digital goods and games online merchants. The main peculiarity of the digital product industry selling online is that there is no physical products so certain parameters that are important to the retailing sector, such as stock availability, shipping charges or payment on delivery, do not need to be considered. Nevertheless, the tips listed below can and should be applied to any online store:
1. Optimize your website. Optimize the more technical aspects of the site: Improve accessibility, site-speed and create a simple, attractive and well-organized website structure. Bear in mind that clear and clean navigation is critical.
2. User oriented design. Keep it simple! Online consumers like simple and short processes. Users do not want to learn to use your site; they want your site to be adapted to their mental structure. Add clarity to simplicity and do not make the mistake of, for instance, labelling call-to-action buttons with confusing words like “submit” if what you mean is “buy now.”
3. Product display and information. Accurate, complete and clear information about your products is essential. You cannot allow your users to find the information needed to finalize the purchase elsewhere. Create your own product descriptions and never just copy the description given by the manufacturer. When selling digital products online, you do not really need to include 360-degree view of the products, but be imaginative and include, for example, a demo or an explanatory video of your digital goods.
4. Social Shopping. People like to know what other people have bought, which the best-sellers are or what the online community thinks on a given item. Bear in mind that personal recommendations are a major influence on purchase decisions and build trust. So include the options to rate products, post comments, and show these references to future buyers and you will improve significantly the user experience. Additionally, combine users-ratings with cross-selling options, which will be very effective if you display “Customers Who Viewed This Item Also Viewed…”
Do not forget to include social media sharing buttons to every product, this will allow your clients to recommend your products, inform their contacts about their latest acquisition or ask for advice to their network.
5. Price policy. Price is one of the first things consumers watch and one of the main reasons to purchase, so display it clearly. Your users will appreciate not having to do extra clicks to find the price and remember that your competitors are also one click away. On the other hand, do not hide additional charges revealed only at the checkout; nobody likes to be taken for a fool.
6. Checkout process. The checkout process MUST be as short and quick as possible. Users will also appreciate if you inform about how many steps the purchasing process is going to take and at which point they are. Allow checkout without registration. Registration is a useless burden and a major cause of cart abandonment for first time clients (most of the users do not want to reveal personal information when is not really necessary) but also for returning clients, since they might have forgotten their password.
7. Payment options. Provide a great variety of payment options to boost your sales, markets and conversions. Do not assume that everyone has a PayPal account, that everyone has a credit card or that everybody can pay in dollars. It is best to offer the greatest possible number of credit and debit cards from as many countries as possible and to accept payments in different currencies.
8. Keep in touch. Cultivate the relation with your customers. Once customers have finished the purchase, it is time to ask them to subscribe to your newsletter or any other personalized alert system. Find out which are their interests and keep in touch accordingly (e.g. or accumulative points, extra discount for frequent users, etc.)
We take this opportunity to share with you this video about Tesco Homeplus Virtual Subway Store in South Korea. Although we want to focus our post on the virtual goods sector, it is a great example of how to eliminate boundaries and frustration and fascinate consumers:
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