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The world today is a global village with events and happenings in one part of the world exerting its influence in our lives either directly or indirectly. Today, with the help of technology, people can now sit in the comfort of their homes and purchase an item, equipment or product of their choice even without meeting one another. Thanks to E-Commerce, the face of buying and selling has changed tremendously and continues to improve.

The competition has been stiff ever since with the big names - Alibaba, Amazon, EBay etc., have been trying to keep up with their customer reviews or opinions and bring to reality the cravings of their customers.

If you are a small time E-Commerce site hoping to reach the height of these big names mentioned above, there are ways which one can fully entice customers when they visit your site. While you can't have it all, this article is centered towards what customers really want from an eCommerce store.

Easy Navigation

When a customer visits your website in search for a product, then you should keep in mind that he or she has eyes for only that product first of all. Thus, he or she becomes impatient and sensitive to irrelevant information. Your E-Commerce website should be detailed and organized in the simplest form ever. Customers tend to get lost while searching for a particular product. The navigation should come with ease because a lost customer is a lost sale.

Effective Site-Wide Search

Customers crave for a fast and effective search bar on the website. Visitors find it tiring and time-wasting while checking out each product at some point, especially when they have a particular product in mind. Many will just type the product name in the 'search icon' to save time. Thus, the search results should be narrowed down to the amount of numbers available and the size of the site in general.

Security

This is an important feature customer look out for with online stores. Ensure your website provides security over your customer's information and data payment information. Internet hacking has been the order of the day, thus take all necessary procedures to make sure your website is tightly secure, else you will lose customers.

Choice of Payment Gateways/One page Checkout

Customers tend to love it when thy have more than one payment gateways to choose from. An E-Commerce website using just PayPal as its only payment gateway will end up missing out on lots of customers. Each customer has his or her own preferred payment gateway, thus providing more than one payment gateway with fast checkout for your merchandise will boost conversion, increase customer loyalty.

Mobile Responsiveness

Google declared it, so it must be done. All websites are required to have a mobile-friendly version by 2017 or suffer the SEO consequences. A 2015 survey showed customers spending almost 60% of their online shopping time on their mobile devices.

Great Photos

Ever found yourself shopping online and just when you think you've found that product, there are not many photos to help you decide, so, you're tilting your head to get a better view? Funny! I think not. It's a fierce competition in eCommerce and you must leave no stone unturned, or at least no photos. With online shopping, images are what get you closest to an in-store experience; zooming in and looking at alternate angles is the digital replacement for holding it in your hands or trying it on.

Shipping Services

Many customers would buy from your site if the shipping services are relatively cheap and reliable. Little wonder why these big names (Jumia, Walmart, Aliexpress etc.) tune their websites to free shipping for some of their products.

Loyalty/Reward

With the regular corner store, customers get to have a connection with store owners and salesmen who observe them regularly patronize their stores. This over time earns them some reward and freebies. Everyone craves recognition and appreciates appreciation. Customers who are willing to drift to online shopping are sometimes caught in this dilemma and ask themselves the question of what having a new relationship with your store would mean for them. Integrating a loyalty/reward system as part of your store gives you an edge.

VPCart merchants can learn more on how to integrate reward system with their shopping cart.




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