Online retail has exploded as a popular go-to form of shopping for consumers in the U.S. and across the globe owing to the rise of the internet. Consumers enjoy the efficiency of having products they’ve ordered online conveniently delivered right to their own doorstep. Online retail means that you no longer have to grow exhausted by spending hours of your day tirelessly wandering around a shopping mall. The U.S. Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce estimated that U.S. online retail sales amounted to $214.6 billion in the third quarter of 2021 alone.
Another notable factor which also contributed to the rise in popularity of online shopping amongst consumers was the pandemic, with governments all over the world encouraging their populations to stay inside at home to limit the spread of the Coronavirus.
Pretty much like everything these days, the trend today is towards customers opting to go online to shop with online retailers, and away from the traditional mode of shopping of going into brick-and-mortar stores in-person. Discover more about online retail shopping through reading our guide to the key components that successful online retail stores must have in 2022.
Good Usability and Easy for Customers to Navigate
Online retail stores must be simple and easy for customers to use so they can purchase goods without encountering any major difficulties or delays. Online retailers should bear in mind that a significant proportion of their active customer base could be people in the 60+ age group who may not possess all the digital know-how that young ‘millennials’ and ‘Gen Z’ digital natives have in abundance. As a result, online retailers should do their best to make their online stores as easy as possible to navigate for people without lots of technological knowledge, and for those who may lack experience purchasing products and services from online stores.
Ways you can make your online store easy to navigate include making sure your website layout is excellent, ensuring the site map works properly and is logical for users, and labelling different categories of the online store accurately and in an organized fashion. You also need to try and generate plenty of traffic to get customers to visit your online store; you can achieve this through link-building and providing links to your online store from your company’s social media accounts and other sources.
The purpose of generating more traffic to your online store is of course to result in an increased number of customer sales conversions. However, generating more traffic to your online retail store’s website will be redundant if many users find it too difficult to use and decide to go with one of your competitors as a direct result.
Allow Customers to Purchase Products and Services Safely
It’s crucial for all online retailers to do their best to make sure customers feel comfortable and reassured that they can safely purchase products from their online stores, without having to worry about their personal data being breached or stolen. Online retailers must put measures in place to protect their websites against the vulnerabilities of online hackers managing to breach their customers’ important personal information and get a hold of their online banking details for instance.
Many retailers these days generate more sales through providing customers with mobile apps where they can benefit from purchasing products and services quickly and with minimal hassle. Online retailers should look into using Static Application Security Testing Tools (SAST) to help them identify the sources of vulnerabilities and threats to their customers’ personal information on the mobile-app. ForAllSecure is a reliable software security company that is able to offer online retailers state of the art Static Application Security Testing.
Provide Quick-Response Customer Support Services
24/7 live webchats and customer support telephone lines are ways online retail businesses can provide its customers with fast solutions to any concerns or issues they may have. Customers may contact customer support team to pose queries about issues they’re experiencing with a product or service they’ve already bought online. Online retailers should do their best to ensure their online customer support responds rapidly to customers worries and concerns, since online customer can be very impatient these days.
Provide Customers with a Reliable Delivery Service
Online retailers should make sure deliveries for products arrive with customers on time and in good working condition. Be prepared to receive tons of complaints and negative feedback if your deliveries are constantly delayed, or they arrive with customers damaged or not in proper working condition.
Given the mammoth amount of competition out there in today’s market, it certainly isn’t simple for new online retail businesses in 2022 to be successful and generate large profits. However, despite there being a lot of market competition in the online retail sector, following these key steps and lots of hard work should give you a good chance of running a successful, healthy business.