June 6, 2014

Create a personal shopping experience on your e-commerce website

Written By Martin Sandhu


Many of us now buy most of what we need online, from our gadgets to our groceries. Online shopping is a very different experience to visiting a store – with no interaction involved, some would say that the shopping experience has lost its soul.

But it hasn’t. Or at least, this doesn’t have to be the way. The secret to keeping the soul in shopping all comes down to web design and marketing that involves incorporating the human touch wherever possible.

So how exactly can you get the human touch?

Use Photos and Videos

Every website has a team behind it, so show your customers who you are. Provide photos or even videos of everyone from the managing director down to the admin assistants and provide a bit of information about each person. This helps visitors to know that there is a human team working there, which can increase trust and boost engagement.

Provide Live Help

It is now easy to allow visitors to chat with someone at the company by providing a non-intrusive popup in the corner of the screen. This lets visitors know that someone is there to help them in real time, just like they would be able to ask a question in a store. Just make sure there is someone available during normal working hours. Or, even better, on a 24/7 basis.

Use Natural Language

Sometimes the simple things are the most effective. By focusing on natural language and avoiding jargon and technical-speak, you can replicate the effect of speaking to someone face-to-face in a store, making it a more comfortable experience for customers.

Provide Clear Contact Information

Visitors to your store should have as many options for contacting you as possible, including email, telephone, social media and a postal address. The presence of a telephone number lets visitors know that they are dealing with real people, and even if they do not want to phone you, it is good to have the option.

Ask for Their Opinions

Surveys on the website are a great way to get feedback from your visitors that can help you to improve the experience for future visitors. Make sure you ask them about how easy the website is to use, and then you can optimise it according to the information you collect.

Create Personalised Landing Pages

You could even create personalised landing pages depending on where the customer has come from. For example, if they have followed a link in a guest blog, you can take them to a special landing page that mentions the guest post. Or you could create a landing page linked to a special offer. Doing this can make customers feel that they are special and more valued.

Make Your Marketing More Personal

You can also improve the experience through making your marketing more personal. For example, you can use social media to provide immediate customer service and deal with complaints and questions in real time. Or you could use email marketing to target customers with personalised emails based on how they joined your list, whether through a special offer or in your store.

Personalise Your Website Experience

A personal website will help you to get the soul back into the experience of shopping online. E-commerce does not have to be a sterile experience, and with a few careful tweaks you can make it more personal for your customers. So focus on some of these techniques and improve the experience for your website’s visitors so they keep coming back.