Meeting customer demands and satisfying them is getting increasingly difficult, as more and more retailers come up with new and innovative strategies to wow consumers.
But what makes a fashion online store appealing to consumers? It is all about advanced merchandising capabilities. Let’s take a look at some of the features.
1. Outstanding Imagery
In an eCommerce site, product images are your shop window. They have the power to attract and even convince customers to purchase an item. Therefore, ensuring all your imagery is well-defined, and free of defects is key. Defects may include:
- Excessive compression
- Low resolution
This kind of task is time-consuming. But Artificial Intelligence has found its way into this field and provides a solution. By using Computer Vision, some solutions in the market that are able to spot any of these defects automatically. At the same time, they also show warnings every time a product image is not big enough or when product imagery does not show all the necessary views. This saves a great amount of time to merchandising teams, who can speed up their performance.
2. Product Reviews
In the social media era, peer reviews are one of the most useful features. Retailers can leverage them to monitor whether customers embrace their products or they have complaints about them. And they can take advantage of positive reviews as they convey trust towards the products you present and towards your brand or marketplace in general.
All in all, it is a good feature to include in any eCommerce site. Why? Because 63% of consumers are more likely to purchase from stores that show product ratings and reviews.
3. Cross-Selling & Upselling Widgets
Anyone who owns or manages an online shop aims at increasing the average order value for their clients’ purchases. You can achieve this through many strategies, but some of the most common are cross-selling and upselling. Selling related or complementary products can lead to a high increase in profit.
In fact, Amazon has reported 35% of revenue coming from these strategies. The next approaches are some of the most commonly used in single product pages by major retailers:
- Suggested items according to browsing history: Cookies allow knowing which items a visitor has previously taken a look at, and show them again in product pages.
- Visitor’s wish list: Allowing eCommerce visitors to save items in a wish list makes it possible to remind them they liked those items anytime.
- Popular or less popular products: You can highlight products that are selling very well or that are selling less in order to increase sales.
- Items other users also bought: Looking at visitors’ profiles, you can show items similar users bought to increase the chances of conversion.
- Get the whole look: Inspire your customers by recommending full looks they can buy.
- Similar items: AI-based solutions also allow retailers to show look-alikes so as to better match the visitor’s taste.
Product recommendations can truly shape the future of your eCommerce site and give it a push. Good-quality data can help your team power relevant recommendations.
4. Live Chat
There are a few things customers dislike about buying clothes online. The top one is probably the inability to touch the items and try them on. But what they also appreciate from traditional brick-and-mortar stores is being able to ask for help to a store assistant.
Quite the opposite, when customers buy online they are more likely to go to another store than calling or sending an email. This is why having a live chat that pops up might come in handy. Answering any questions from your customers in real time might reduce abandonment and make you more competitive. Some companies are even starting to use chatbots to automatically answer questions at any time of the day.
5. Advanced Search
Search features are essential in an online shop. First of all, because visitors using site search are twice as likely to make a purchase than other regular visitors. These urges retailers to measure up and provide top-notch advanced search functionalities.
- Autocomplete: Make it easier for customers to type in keywords by suggesting the end of the words they start typing.
- Use Natural Language Processing (NLP): Retail brands and marketplaces can leverage this subfield of AI to understand what customers type in and return relevant results. It allows you to match the search with synonyms, etc. and also autocorrect mistakes visitors make while using your search bar. This will prevent frustrating experiences with no-result pages and improve usability.
- As-you-type search results: showing results in real time as the user types the keyword will help you improve efficiency and the overall user experience.
- Quick view: They allow users to take a quick look at the product by hovering over the item.
- Proper and exhaustive filtering: Filters are quite tricky to implement. They rely on quality data. That is why providing comprehensive and well-structured product data can help retailers put in place those filters. As a consequence, visitors will be able to access exactly what they want much faster.
6. Material Descriptions & Washing Instructions
Another thing that extremely disheartens consumers when buying online is not being able to touch the materials or know if garments need any special care.
They can’t feel the fabric or read the item’s label. Retailers and marketplaces should, therefore, make this information available online by showing the layout of the garment. Product Information Management systems make it easier to handle all these kinds of information. And they allow it from a single platform that helps retailers achieve product data consistency across all channels.
7. Info On Sizes & Body Type
There is another outstanding way to provide visitors with the confidence they need to buy your products. This is to provide the size of the item appearing on the product picture, as well as the size of the model wearing it. By showing how tall is the model, for example, you can also give shoppers an idea of how long the garment will look on them.
Using different kinds of body types, as Asos does, for instance, can also guide consumers towards what will be the best fit for them.
8. Secure Website & Payment Platform
eCommerce is one most threatened industries by cyber attacks, as it holds a great amount of sensitive information, such as credit or debit card details. That is why security concerns are important among consumers. 60% of them believe retailers don’t put enough effort into preserving their credit card and personal information online.
Only for 9.9% of Gen-Z and Baby Boomers, who are digital natives, this concern is top-of-mind. But in light of the huge amount of attacks retail sites suffer every day worldwide, it is important to take into account several aspects:
- Use a secure https hosting: Using SSL authentication in your online store will help protect your website and any stored data.
- Avoid keeping confidential data: Your servers shouldn’t store highly sensitive data, such as CVV codes or credit card numbers, as they could be easily stolen.
- Keep a backup of the necessary data: Make sure to have a backup of the information. This will prevent any loss of data in case of any breaches or breakdowns.
9. Delivery Time & Fees
Make sure you show the expected delivery times, especially if it typically takes your brand or marketplace a couple of weeks to have a package delivered. Don’t forget to always show the shipping fees a bit in advance. This will make sure consumers are aware of the extra cost before they reach the checkout page. As a result, they are less likely to abandon the purchase due to last-minute, unexpected additional charges.
And what about your brand? What are the main features that make your eCommerce successful?
Sources: iPerceptions, BigCommerce, Amazon