Customer Experience

What do shoppers want from online stores?

Smarter Staff
Smarter Writer

This article has been written by the Smarter Business™ Staff Writers

Smarter Staff
Smarter Writer

This article has been written by the Smarter Business™ Staff Writers

We asked two experts, VinoMofo CEO and co-founder Andre Eikmeier and Booktopia founder Tony Nash, what makes their customers click that magical ‘purchase’ button. Again and again and again.

To understand what online shoppers want, we need to start at the end of their journey – the checkout.

Woman using phone and credit card Trust and customer experience are key to a good online store.

The quickest way to get someone to abandon their cart, Andre says, is to, “Not understand an intuitive path for the user flow. An astonishing amount of people will abandon their cart over little things such as a counterintuitive
credit card form that doesn’t follow the format on the actual card. Also, forcing someone through a billing address as well as a shipping address. If someone has missed a field and has to go back to the beginning because the rest isn’t saved, they have to be absolutely desperate to not give up on getting that thing they want.”

For Tony, the big issue he feels deters customers is trust. “People think, ‘I’m about to hand over my money to this company. Does it look like they’re really going to deliver?’ When people are in an online checkout there is that fear of, ‘What are they going to do with my credit card details? Will they be lost in the black hole?’ We find some people search for Booktopia reviews and see what other people have said or what the independent review sites have said. So they get a feel for if they can trust you. Fortunately, 98 per cent of our customers are really happy.”

VinoMofo have had their own experience with trust – in a positive way. When they launched one-click shopping, they were worried customers would baulk and be deterred by privacy issues, but the reverse happened. “People were just so pleased we’d done it. We understood then it was because we had already earned their trust. Once people trust you, they just want things to be as fast and easy as possible.”

Live Chat is also winning customers over in droves. “It’s fantastic,” Andre says. “We’ve got about 80 personal brokers and they’re rarely on the phone, and it’s still a really personal, human thing for our customers.”

“Live Chat does make a difference to the user experience,” Tony adds, “People don’t have to get on the phone and they can discreetly get information while they’re at work.”

But before these two online retailers became household names in booze and books, there were game-changing shifts in their business models. For VinoMofo, it was transitioning from a deal-a-day site to a destination site for wine lovers. “We’ve changed to more of a ‘Think wine, think VinoMofo’ mentality,” Andre explains. “Now it’s a case of ‘Come into our world and let’s have fun together. You can browse, tell us what you like at the beginning of our adventure together, and we can recommend things’.”

For Booktopia it was more do with logistics. “It was about having the stock ready to ship,” Tony explains. “For the first four years, we didn’t hold any stock. We would order from the publisher, wait for the stock, and then send it out. Now we have 130,000 titles in stock ready to ship straight away. We’ve spent millions on automation and logistics to get product out the door quickly and can easily ship over 20,000 units per day.”

For budding e-tailers, Tony’s advice is to not get bogged down in the detail, but rather just get up and running. “Don’t worry about trying to get your website right,” he says. “Just get it up, start selling and let the sales fund the growth of your business. A lot of people have this perfection mindset, which means they keep delaying because they’re not happy with the way it looks. But you have to let that go.”

Adds Andre, “Just care. Care enough to make everything delightful. Assume everyone is busy and try to make it as fast as possible for people to make a quick and easy decision. But for those who aren’t sure and do have a bit of time, welcome them inside to a world of rich information and delight. People want an experience that’s really entertaining and immersing.”

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