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With the advent and popularity of online shopping, the retail industry has continued to show exceptional growth in the coming years.
In fact, total retail sales are projected to amount to $7.9 trillion in 2026. Stepping into a retail store, you are transported to a world of brand displays, customer service and in-person interaction with the products that interest you. If a brand has a good understanding of this, consumers can expect to get the same online experience.
Online shopping is a convenient alternative to the in-store experience. Brands that are successful in building a quality strategy for retail are those that have consistent branding across digital and brick-and-mortar stores.
As the e-commerce market is getting more competitive, many business owners overlook the basics, especially when it comes to creating a good customer online shopping experience. Here are four ways to improve the buyer’s shopping journey and keep them coming back for more.
Related: The 5 Critical Components of a Great Customer Journey Map
Make your site responsive
Many people are making purchases on their smartphones. Your website should be responsive to ensure that your customers can enjoy a great shopping experience on smartphones, and any device. With a responsive design, your website will look extra appealing and be easy to navigate on any platform.
When it comes to responsiveness, fast checkout is also a crucial aspect when it comes to improving customers’ shopping experience. It’s quickly becoming a necessity for businesses in the modern world. It makes buying as simple and convenient as possible.
Related: User Experience Is the Most Important Metric You Aren’t Measuring
With customers expecting faster, more streamlined checkout experiences, it’s no wonder why fast checkout alternatives are gaining traction. Whether it’s through mobile payment apps or using facial recognition to speed up the process, businesses are turning to a fast checkout alternative to provide their customers with a better shopping experience. By making the checkout process faster and easier, businesses can increase conversions by removing any friction. Additionally, increase customer satisfaction and loyalty while also improving their bottom line.
Invest in website appearance
A website’s appearance is one of the most important factors when it comes to providing a positive customer experience. Investing in the right design, layout and visuals can have a huge impact on customer engagement and satisfaction. The right website design not only makes a website look attractive and inviting but makes it easier for customers to navigate the site and get what they need without any frustration.
Related: The 5 Best Website Builders for Entrepreneurs — and Which to Use When
Start by investing in the homepage’s appeal with the right balance of visuals, and educational context to suit your audience. The person browsing your website may not yet be at the stage of purchasing in the customer journey. But rather they might be in the stage of awareness and consideration. Use your website as a way to give the context that browsers will need to purchase your product. Consider including customer photos, recipes, tutorials, and more, depending on your industry.
By improving their website’s appearance, businesses can make sure visitors have a unique experience when interacting with their site. This could lead to increased conversions, improved brand loyalty, and better overall customer satisfaction.
Share customer photos
When shopping online, it can be difficult for customers to get an idea of how a product feels and looks without being able to hold and see it. There is a simple way to replicate this in-store feeling online. By seeing real customer photos, everyone can get a better idea of the product.
It’s been proven that displaying photos of real customers helps create a more authentic shopping experience for everyone and increases sales. It is for this reason that strategies based on social media influencers are so popular. Social media influencers can be a great tool to encourage your customers to post about your brand. Use your customers’ photos to build original and interesting content on your website.
Offer free shipping
The cost of delivery is a deciding factor for online shopping. You have to consider the price points which generate profits, but discounts and free shipping can increase your bottom line. Amazon, for instance, offers free shipping for purchases of $25 or more.
This sets the bar as to how much a customer must spend to ‘save.’ Consider the customer’s point of view—would you prefer to get free shipping and buy more, or would you choose to pay for shipping and receive fewer items? The choice is often crystal clear for consumers.
Improving your customer’s online shopping experience ultimately comes down to making the buying process as easy as possible. So, make your site responsive, invest in its appearance, share customer photos and offer free shipping. With these tips, your online business can offer a more enjoyable experience, set itself from the competition, and encourage repeat purchases.
This story originally appeared on Entrepreneur