How to improve the online customer purchasing experience
Identify users with their e-mail address
How many different usernames do you use for ecommerce website accounts? Now, how many different e-mail addresses do you use for ecommerce website accounts? I'd wager that you not only have fewer e-mail addresses, but also that you find it much easier to remember your e-mail address, than your username.
Tell users where they are and where they're going
Isn't it awful when you're on a journey and you don't know how far you've been, or how far you still have to go. Well it can be just as frustrating for users when they're trying to buy something online and they don't know how many more steps are required before finally making the purchase. This is why it's important to let users know where they are in the ordering process, and how far they have to go. For example, Dixons shows the current ordering step, and the steps still to go:
Delivery > Payment > Order confirmation
Analyse the customer frequent questions or check why they call for the same reason
If your customers consistenly call for the same topic, it's probably because they could not find the information, it's logic !
Definitely have the customer on the phone ask a question or two about the site while they are at it. It's as good as talking about the weather (or better) as a conversation opener. It may not be as good as conducting ongoing weekly usability testing, but it can help to get regular input from customers. By all means, count your self fortunate to be in a situation where you can get customer responses about a site. If you get a lot of those questions, consider conducting some usability testing.
eCommerce corporate atmosphere
The branding of your website is a very important factor to a successfull e-commerce user experience. The combination of a consistent website navigation and a strong corporate image will optimize the conversion rate of your visitors.
Express checkout process
The checkout process should have as few steps as possible. Too many steps and the customer feels trapped.
But too quick and they feel like they have lost control. For instance, asking for credit card information too soon will seem out of order and no doubt scare even the most seasoned online shopper into abandoning their cart. Hidden taxes and shipping costs will make them feel like you are trying to take advantage of them.
Also Most e-commerce creating "guest" checkout option saw their sales growing of more than 5%, users don't necessarly want to create online account everytime they make a purchase, some users are allergic to the account creation and will leave.