It can be argued that the worldwide pandemic of COVID changed the E-Commerce industry forever. With most of mankind being cooped up in their homes for over a year, there is no doubt that our consuming ways are permanently altered. Physical stores shut down or severely limited capacity, and online shopping as well as the use of rapid pickup and grocery delivery services skyrocketed.
Unsurprisingly, even though COVID restrictions have eased up around the world, E-Commerce is still thriving and growing more so than ever before. Shoppers have grown to trust the process of online shopping and enjoy the liberty of making purchases at the click of a button. Although many were upset at first by brick-and-mortar stores shutting dow, consumers now look forward to shopping from the comfort of their own home rather than making a trip to the store.
Since making online purchases is quickly replacing the act of visiting physical shops, competition between E-Commerce shops is fairly steep. To make it as a successful E-Commerce store, you need to make sure the presentation of your shop is on point from the quality of your product photography all the way down to the number of choices you offer your shoppers.
Shoppers are more experienced now than they were before when it comes making online purchases, and expectations for the perfect E-commerce buying experience is high. Now, people are more equipped to conduct their own research before purchasing and they are more demanding of faster shipping rates.
We’ve taken a hard look at how COVID shutdowns have changed online shopping through the scope of consumer expectations and trends. These are our top recommendations for how to increase your E-Commerce store profitability and to stay up to par with online shopper expectations.
Keep Your E-Commerce Store Clean and Clear
Nothing will turn off online shoppers more than an online store homepage and checkout screen that is visually overwhelming and cluttered with information. For maximum effectiveness, give your customers a clear path to follow through the steps of making product selections and efficiently checking out and paying.
While it may be tempting to throw all your deals, offerings, and other store benefits right on the front page, this can overload customers with information. Giving shoppers too much to think about at one time is a sure way to slow down their process of making a purchase with the end resulting being not buying anything at all.
Furthermore, just as much as the webpages of your E-Commerce store should be clear and concise, the images you use of your products should also reflect that practice. The best product images are the ones that make your product the center of attention within the photo while also providing uncomplicated backgrounds along with clear and truthful editing techniques.
Your Product Images Should Reflect the Actual Item
At first glance, this may seem like a given fact that should be practiced by all E-Commerce store owners. However, it is surprising to see just how many are selling products through beautiful images that don’t match the items consumers later receive in the mail.
The best way to ensure repeat business, glowing reviews and testimonials, and fewer product returns is through attractive and honest product photography. Inaccurate representation of products in coloring, texture, and even size can create mistrust and foster a negative reputation for your store.
CEO Tsour Lee Adato is an authority in the field of product photography, and his business site at Pro Photo Studio is a pristine representation of accurate and compelling product images. Established in 2017, Tsour now has Pro Photo Studio branches in Boca Raton and Coral Springs, Florida as well as Dallas, Texas.
With his business primarily focusing on high-end product photography and product videos for luxury brands, Tsour and his team have become masters at finding the balance between capturing enchanting images while also providing an honest representation of the product.
Pro Photo Studio has worked with notable brands such as Starbucks, Target, and even Costco alongside luxury companies such as Gucci, Versace, and Shiseido. The success of these brands is living proof of the importance of hiring professional product photographers to take enticing images of your products while also giving your customers a fair view of what they will be receiving.
Offer Enticing Bundle Options Starting with Product Photography
Not all products are made to be bundled. However, if you do have a set of products that work well together as a team, it may be a good idea for you to offer those as a bundle! Matching and bundling items at a slightly lower price than what they are sold as separately is a great way to entice buyers to make a purchase.
Hire a professional product photographer to photograph your bundled items side-by-side as a persuasive demonstration of how they look and work well together. These paired products can work together to make a set such as in the case of matching jewelry or even individual clothing pieces that go well together.
In addition, bundled items can be put together based on functionality like an undereye concealer in the same shade as the face foundation. Both items can be sold separately but bundling them will show consumers they might as well take advantage of the deal and purchase both at the same time.
According to UnderstandingECommerce.com, selling items as singles as well as in bundles is a successful sales tactic that can be easily mastered by closely monitoring analytics and understanding your audience’s perception of value!
Show Off Your Best Testimonials and Ratings
Online shoppers rely heavily on the testimonials and ratings of past consumers to help them make an educated decision about their purchase decision. In fact, as stated by optinmonster.com, “97% of consumers say online reviews impact their purchasing decisions”. Furthermore, more ratings do not always equal more sales as “57% of consumers will only buy or use a business service if it has at least a 4-star rating.”
Without the ability to hold the product in their hands and test it out for themselves, it is shown that many consumers go straight for the review and rating section before clicking “add to cart”. Since social proof is one of the best ways to secure more sales, it is recommended that you show off your best testimonials and ratings somewhere on your homepage as well as your individual product pages. Allowing your previous customers to upload images of their first-hand experience with your products is also a plus!
Put Customers at Ease with a Guarantee
With massive E-Commerce sites such as Amazon offering free shipping as well as a seamless and easy return policy, it is essential for all new and established E-Commerce sites to keep up with the growing demand for these convenient guarantees.
It is no secret that, nowadays, consumers want it their way and as soon as possible. Although we have all grown used to online shopping, purchasing a product online still holds some mystery and unease. Providing your customers with free or cheap shipping options along with product guarantees is a wonderful method to use to build shopper trust in your product and brand.
While most of your customers won’t take advantage of an easy return policy process, simply having it available will make shoppers comfortable in making the decision to buy from you. Brands such as Ana Luisa Jewelry who provide a 365-day warranty on their products reap the benefits of building instant trust with their audience.
Concluding Thoughts and the Ultimate Advice
The key to a profitable and continuously successful E-Commerce store is to be mindful of how the online market is changing and to be quickly adaptable where necessary. Our world was forever changed by the COVID pandemic, and so it only makes sense that the way we function as a society also made a shift. This concept isn’t new. If you think about it, humankind has been slowly shifting the way we consume and view shopping since the beginning of time.
Providing a clear and smooth shopping experience along with enticing bundled deals and guarantees are great places to start when growing the profitability of your E-Commerce store. Hiring a professional product photographer to capture the amazing and unbeatable features of your product is also essential to the growth and success of your online store.
Along with a rush of consumers now making purchases primarily online there a more intense sense of competition grew between E-Commerce stores. It is important to keep up with the growing demands and expectations of online shoppers while also establishing trust and reliability as a brand. Find a way in which your brand can stand out against the others and capitalize on that positive difference.