Shopping and selling online has become a popular trend, specifically post-pandemic, and both consumers and sellers are finding it convenient. One potential reason behind the success of online shopping is the demand and supply theory that works in sync.
Sellers are consistently looking for new platforms where customers are readily available to buy the product. Having a huge customer database is certainly a significant way to lead the competition.
Despite consistent practices followed by online sellers to improve their platform for shoppers, there are areas that need to be enhanced.
There are a number of reasons why customers face challenges when shopping online, and dissatisfied consumers often abandon the cart.
The article enumerates potential problems that prevent consumers from ordering products online.
1. Constant Price Fluctuation
Online shopping sites work on discounts and offers to attract customers. On the other hand, customers are also looking for better offers, and usually, they compare different online platforms to check the price and attributes of the same product.
Buyers don’t leave a single way to confirm the product’s price to ensure they are getting a good offer. Whether they need to scroll other websites or contact a friend who has purchased the same product, they just do everything they can for a better deal.
If you are among those buyers, you might find it difficult to switch between phone and computer while shopping. In that case, you can import contacts from iPhone to Mac to easily WhatsApp your friend from a computer and ask for the actual price.
2. Incomplete Product Information
Correct, accurate, and updated information makes all the difference. Sellers must input product information carefully to allow customers to make an informed decision. Online platforms work on the combination of images and text.
While the text gives detailed information about the product, the images give a close idea about appearance and other statistics.
Clear the images and better the conversions. Sellers should refrain from displaying incorrect information just for the sake of selling the product.
Online platforms should work on displaying the size and measurement information, product quality details, and color information to keep the buyers informed.
3. Wrong Item and Quality Issues
Wrong product shipment to buyers is common in the online shopping industry. Not only this leaves the consumers frustrated, but they avoid shopping from the same platform again. Online shopping sites are all about digital and electronic things.
However, humans input all the information based on which the customers receive the product. If the online staff inputs wrong information about the product ordered by the customers, the latter will receive the wrong item.
Product checks for quality and specification before dispatch may help online shopping platforms avoid such problems.
4. Hidden Costs & Surcharges
Several online platforms impose hidden charges on the products they sell. Based on the eCommerce platforms and the product you purchase, these charges vary significantly, and you may not even realize you are paying extra.
One of the most common examples of hidden costs is delivery charges. With open access to the digital world, customers check and compare every single detail before ordering anything online.
Online sites should charge reasonably for delivery charges, or the delivery charges should be minimum to retain customers.
5. Vague Return & Exchange Policies
Even when the online shopping site says ‘no question asked’ return policy, you can expect some kind of inconvenience if you have to return the product. This makes customers think about the return and exchange policies or if they have to pay additionally for that.
Buyers think twice before they order any product online. If the product is not adequate or the fitting is not appropriate, how would they return it to the seller? They are worried about how they are going to recover the money they spent on purchasing the product.
Sellers must keep their return and exchange policies clear and transparent so that the buyers can shop peacefully.
6. False Commitments & Claims
Adding unnecessary claims on the product will only fool customers. That way, the buyers may buy the product from your website once, but they will avoid making any subsequent purchases doubting the credibility of the website and the seller.
Online shopping sites can trap customers but cannot retain them for longer. As soon as the customer realizes that they are cheated on receipt of the product, they will not come back to the website. Never forget that word of mouth matters in online shopping.
So, provide correct information and answer all your customer’s questions in the most honest way possible.
7. Inaccurate Logistic Tracking
When a customer purchases online, regular updates on timelines are a common expectation. Whether the payment is made on the purchase or they opted for payment on delivery, they are eagerly waiting to receive the product.
Not getting accurate information leads to the cancellation of the product midway. Many times, customers consider calling the seller to know the status of the product delivery. In that case, it’s the sole responsibility of the seller to share accurate information about the consignment.
Having an accurate tracking system is the perfect way to keep your customers up-to-date with the logistics and delivery of products.
8. Unavailability of Multiple Payment Options
Many eCommerce platforms do not offer multiple payment options such as UPI, credit card, or COD options. With online fraud increasing rapidly, customers prefer the COD (Cash on Delivery) payment option to stay safe.
Non-availability of secure payment options leaves the customer dissatisfied, and they prefer buying from another platform. Since online frauds are on the rise, customers refrain from sharing their credit card or bank account details online.
Sellers must offer all secure payment options with clarity on discounts, coupons, or various tax structures to improve the buyer’s shopping experience.
9. Inaccessible Post-Sales Support
Customer service is the key to winning customers and retaining them in your database. When buying online, customers don’t know the seller directly, so they don’t know whom to contact in case they face any trouble with the product they receive.
When a customer calls, it’s their duty to provide them with the best possible answer or suggestion. The customer service executives contribute a lot in keeping the customers happy and ensuring they keep coming back.
Sellers must ensure that they are within the reach of their valuable customers and that the best post-purchase support is offered to the buyers, regardless of the issue.
In conclusion, while online shopping has gained immense popularity, there are still areas that need improvement to enhance the overall shopping experience for consumers. Addressing these challenges can lead to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Online sellers can improve the shopping experience by maintaining price consistency, providing complete and updated product information, minimizing wrong shipments and ensuring product quality, avoiding hidden costs and surcharges, implementing clear and customer-friendly return policies, being honest about claims and commitments, offering accurate logistic tracking, providing multiple secure payment options, and delivering accessible post-sales support. These measures contribute to building trust, enhancing customer satisfaction, and fostering long-term relationships with online shoppers.
By addressing these challenges, online sellers can create a shopping environment that instills confidence, trust, and satisfaction in customers, leading to increased customer retention and loyalty.