Today’s infographic does a great job of laying out everything you need to have on your e-commerce website to provide the best experience for your online customers.
Before we get to the infographic, I’m going to share a hack that I personally employed back in the early 2000s. And no – it’s not outdated :).
As you probably know, live chat can be a powerful tool for online sales, especially if you’re a smaller operation. Now, back in the early 2000s, instead of live chat software, we had instant messaging platforms. It’s basically the same thing except that the client had to have the software installed on their computer as well.
And the problem for online businesses was that there were multiple IM services (AIM, Yahoo! IM, Windows Live, etc.) – which means you would have to have all the major IM wares on at all times if you wanted to effectively communicate with your online customers.
However, a great tool was created called Meebo which would let you chat with anyone using any of these IM services. Not only that, you could embed Meebo on your website!
My hack: Meet and greet people who pinged us on Meebo. If they were interested in purchasing, I would handle their entire online order over the chat. It turned out that my customers preferred not to go searching through the site adding items to their cart. They liked the conversational chit-chat, and not having to think too much while ordering.
Also, many times shoppers would forget necessary items if they tried to place their order by themselves. It wasn’t even upselling. It was just reminding them of what they needed.
I should add more context to this story: I sold skateboards. And when buying a skateboard, there are a lot of options and things you need if you want to ride the board. Here’s a typical chat conversation:
ME: That’s a good board, what kind of grip tape do you want to get?
CUSTOMER: What’s the best?
ME: I would go with the Iron Horse.
CUSTOMER: Ok, let’s add that.
ME: Have you thought about what bearings you want to get?
CUSTOMER: I was looking at the NMBs. Are they any good?
ME: They are actually stronger than hell, but not too fast. If you want speed, I would go with the Bones.
CUSTOMER: All right, let’s do the Bones.
And a $30 order would become $80.
The lesson here is that sometimes your website is more of a distraction than an effective selling tool. Insert some “human” into your e-commerce process, and you’ll really learn what makes your customers buy.