One of the key reasons to start an online business is the ability to cast a wider net. The Internet allows you to reach more people and offer them a convenient shopping experience. While online businesses have their perks, the simplest technology glitch can throw a monkey wrench into the works. For instance, a poor payment processing experience can spell disaster for your entire operation.
Most people are discouraged by the prospect of having to create an account to buy goods from a website. Accounts are a good option if customers are frequent visitors to the site, there are incentive programs, or they want to keep their credit card and shipping information on file for future purchases. However, when customers don’t shop on a site regularly, then there should be a guest option that allows them to input their credit card number and address on an as-needed basis. This pet peeve doesn’t imply that you should completely reject the possibility of customer accounts because it certainly does offer a degree of convenience for repeat customers. Just don’t mandate it on your site for everyone.
More than ever, people are always on the go and rely on their smartphones to perform a variety of tasks. That includes online shopping. Consider developing a mobile app so customers can easily navigate your site. Otherwise, a website that doesn’t lend itself to easy viewing through a smartphone screen will result in lost business over the long term.
Creating the perfect website is a challenge, and you are apt to identify improvements along the way continually. Inevitably, there will be outages that affect your service. Be sure to monitor and address system issues as quickly as possible. Frequent errors during the checkout process are problematic in more ways than one. Customers are likely to give up and search for products from your competitors. Also, repeatedly inputting sensitive account information could look suspicious, and your customers might worry about fraud or duplicate charges.
Inconsistent company names
Be as transparent as possible throughout the purchasing process. Alert the customers upfront if the charges will appear on their statement under another vendor name, so there’s no confusion or unfounded fears about a potential scam. If your site directs them to another page, give advanced warning and explanation.
Whatever online business you’re looking to establish, handling and protecting customer data should always be a priority. Work with reputable payment processing companies that safeguard data and keep transactions secure. Sometimes, you may run into a roadblock with mainstream banks if your business is less traditional like selling vaping products, but you can still set up an e-cigarette merchant account with specialized companies that offer the same protection.
Essentially, if you just put yourself in your customers’ shoes, you’ll understand not only how to build the ideal checkout process, but the total customer experience. The Internet doesn’t have to completely take away the personal touches we take for granted when shopping in brick-and-mortar stores. Try to create a welcoming and inclusive website that not only addresses the customers’ issues, but also anticipates their needs.
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