Shopping online has become increasingly popular and is the new mode of commerce. E-commerce makes it easier to find products, compare prices, find reviews, and make purchases without exerting too much effort. Now people have almost any item available to them with a click of a mouse. They can buy cosmetics, furniture, electronics, clothes, food, and much more with ease.
The shift towards online shopping was already happening, but the pandemic accelerated it. Consumers turn to online stores to safely purchase their supplies, and businesses turn to e-commerce to stay relevant. The sudden shift to online shopping has left some executives out of touch with consumer behavior. For executives to better understand the business environment, there are several aspects customers enjoy about online shopping that every e-commerce site should offer.
- Big Selection
Physical stores occupy limited space. They can only stock what they believe the shop will be able to sell in a single location. If they don’t have what a customer is looking for, they have to let that customer go or direct them to another store, usually miles away.
Online stores operate on a model that offers endless customer choice. Rather than choosing what a store can fit in a single location, they shop from the entire distribution network. E-commerce gives the business the means to offer a wide selection of products and product ranges.
People like options and having the ability to compare various products and prices quickly. Rather than having to waste time and energy going from place to place to find the best option, they can have it all in front of them on the same screen. People online shop both with a mission in mind of what they want and just to browse and potentially buy something. Sometimes they may forget about a store they love until it pops up in their search engine.
- Special Offers & Discounts
Retailers run a variety of promotions that make it hard to keep score. Sales, discounts, and limited offers can be confusing, so they can’t take advantage of them if the customer doesn’t understand them. Online shopping typically has more special offers and discounts on offer, but they are easier to operate for customers.
Online, a customer can see at checkout exactly how the discount is applied and more easily see what items it does not include. There is no need to explain to the cashier the discount applicable or ensure that the POS system adds it to the order correctly. The process is automated for the benefit of the consumer and the business’ operations.
- Clear Product Descriptions
Online stores have more product descriptions than they do at brick-and-mortar locations where space is limited. Customers can view long descriptions on a website, blog posts to explain the product, and guides that offer further advice. It can be harder to get a salesperson to help or offer the same level of information in physical stores. Clear product descriptions are an excellent feature for comparison shoppers or when purchasing something specific that a person needs to know meets their criteria, like being machine washable or free of dyes.
- Not Having to Leave the House
Running errands isn’t always enjoyable, especially during a pandemic or when you have a hectic schedule. Additionally, not having to mess with traffic, lines at checkout, and the wasted time is a big draw for e-commerce.
Shopping at home also takes the pressure off people to feel like they have to buy something while at the store. Sometimes it’s nice to walk away and think about a big purchase before committing. Coming back for a product is a click away and not through the hassle of taking the time and energy to get to a physical location.
- Easy Shipping
Shipping is easy and allows people to track their orders and know when to expect them. E-commerce order fulfillment shipping services enable a business to quickly deliver any product to the customer’s doorstep at a low cost. The order fulfillment service is always available, so online stores also don’t worry about a closing time. They are open 24/7, so the customer can shop at their leisure.
- Simple Customer Service
Customer service is vital whether in an online store or an in-person store. Customer service online is usually easier since customers don’t have to travel to the store and potentially deal with a salesperson who can’t help them properly. Automation and AI can deal with minor issues efficiently, leaving the human agents available for more complex issues. For some people, emailing or chatting online with customer service is usually a breeze and takes the anxiety out that a person may feel during in-person disputes.
A Value-Driven Shopping Experience
Online shopping has come a long way, and it is here to stay. An understanding of the key benefits of online shopping will help your business align better with customer behavior. Gear your operations towards the customers’ needs, and your business will adapt well in an ever-evolving retail industry.