With the eCommerce industry changing rapidly, it’s absolutely crucial that retailers embrace adaptability to stay ahead of the competition.

The good news is that eCommerce is no longer a difficult sell: It’s often the only option and it’s growing fast. Since the start of COVID-19 lockdowns, eCommerce penetration of the market saw 10 years of growth in three months, according to data from McKinsey Quarterly

Just as important, the McKinsey report shows that 75 percent of consumers have tried new stores, websites or brands during the pandemic, and 60 percent of those plan on integrating those new brands into their post-pandemic lives. 

All retailers are vying for this new pool of customers online, and reaching them is about making the virtual pathways to your business as smooth as possible. 

GroupBy Inc., an eCommerce software provider, has produced a guide: “Take Your Foot Off The Brakes: How To Buy eCommerce Software Now.” The guide has helpful advice for modern retailers, including the main obstacles to greater sales online. 

Here is what you need to know to ensure your success is not impeded by these challenges. 

Continually Low Conversions

Perhaps the most important way to streamline your online business involves the perfection of your search capabilities.

Research shows that up to 80 percent of customers will leave a site after a frustrating search experience. There are many options for buying online, and most customers will never return after encountering a single obstacle. That makes it imperative to streamline your searches so that your product data is presented in the way your customers want. 

“To drive successful searches and valuable conversions your product data needs to be accurate, complete and tuned into the way people shop for your particular products,” said Roland Gossage, Chief Executive Officer of GroupBy Inc.

The customer experience relies heavily on your platform’s search capabilities, so make sure it’s been fine-tuned to ensure sales.

Noticeable Null Searches

Picture this: a customer types a search term in your website and receives no relevant results. This is called a Null Search, and it’s not good. 

Is that customer going to try again, or immediately leave your site and never return? The answer is usually the latter. 

That’s why site searches must provide predictive and relevant information to ensure that the customer is connected to the right product. Adding in artificial intelligence (AI) for your site searches can be a powerful tool. The AI will learn about your customers and what they search for, making it easier for the site to quickly provide the product they’re looking for. 

Abandoned Cart

Have you ever seen someone walk a full cart of groceries to the cashier, and then leave it there and walk out? 

Probably not. 

But that happens every day in the world of online shopping. The average abandon rate of online shopping carts is nearly 70 percent, according to research from The Baymard Institute

Why does this happen? 

Maybe it’s seeing the final price tag after taxes and shipping. Or maybe it’s security concerns about giving credit card information to an unfamiliar brand or website. 

But according to GroupBy, the most common reason is just a bad user experience. 

That might be unhappy with the delivery date, or they might experience an obstacle in the buying process that confuses them. 

The point is that your business must provide an “omnichannel experience.” This means not only removing roadblocks to purchasing, but creating a process that empowers customers to shop the way they want. 

Slow loading

Let’s face it: Most of us don’t have that much patience for load times. 

We can talk all we want about the greater convenience of buying online, but if a web page takes too long to load, that customer may leave and never come back. 

According to Google Marketing Strategies, if a page’s load time increases from 1 second to 3 seconds, the likelihood a customer will give up increases by 32 percent. For a five-second load time, the customer is 90 percent likely to leave. 

In the age of the Internet, mere seconds can make the difference between a business that succeeds and one that does not. 

Conclusion

Clearly, even minute improvements to your website’s searchability and optimization will pay huge dividends. Customers have many options just a click away, so it’s vital that the pathways through your website remain as fluid as possible, all the way to “Submit Order.”