WordPress is a fantastic resource not only for building your website but also extending to effectively run your eCommerce services as well. Most business owners are using WooCommerce to allow their site to sell and handle all of the process items that come with an eCommerce business. It can be tough to know where to insert a human touch in the buyer’s interaction with your website.
Your audience is used to shopping online and using stores that run WooCommerce in conjunction with WordPress. In fact, web-based sales are projected to eclipse $3.5 trillion within the next five years, according to eCommerce data by eMarketer. WooCommerce is now powering close to 40 percent of all online small business stores. That’s a staggering amount of potential and revenue!
So how we do we level-up on our WordPress eCommerce site?
Here are five ways you can create a great human experience on your WordPress eCommerce site.
1. Modern Design
Similar to how a brick-and-mortar store creates an experience with its layout and décor, your online store should do the same. While you’ll want to stay true to your brand look and feel, online shoppers have come to expect and appreciate a clean modern website design. They want a clutter-free environment where they can easily find and view products.
Large, high-quality images are critical on an eCommerce site. According to a recent study, eCommerce sites with larger product images can increase eCommerce sales by up to 9 percent. Your hero image – or main home page header image – is key as well and should be professional and connect emotionally to your brand and its products. For product images, a card website layout design is a modern way to showcase products on eCommerce sites and is popular with customers. This card layout eCommerce website design style allows shoppers to easily browse products and navigate from one product to another.
There are plenty of WordPress themes that allow for a store owner to put together a great story for your customers to enjoy while finding the products they’re shopping for. Storefront by WooCommerce has become the gold standard to begin building your store.
2. Product Find-ability
Product findability is very important in your eCommerce store. You want your customers to easily find what they are looking for and enjoy the process of getting there. A usability research study by Baymard Institute invested eight months exploring how users navigate, find, and select products on eCommerce websites. Here are some of the best practices for product findability from that study:
- Parent Categories and Sub-Categories: Have parent categories be clickable and group clickable sub-category options under them in your drop-down menus. This makes it easy for your customers to view and digest products and supports explorative product browsing similar to a brick-and-mortar shopping experience.
- Have a “What’s New Filter: Similar to how stores put their new merchandise front and center so that you see it when you enter the store, having a “New Arrivals” or “What’s New” filter encourages repeat customers. The Baymard study showed that many customers look for this feature and enjoy its presence on an eCommerce site.
- Offer Alternative and Supplementary Products on Product Pages: Simulate the personal shopping experience some stores offer by featuring a “may we suggest” feature where you show complementary products to the one the customer is currently viewing. This feature isn’t just for the big online retailers. On a WordPress eCommerce site, which we specialize in at Mode Effect, you can accomplish this with the WooCommerce Recommendation Engine plugin.
3. Meaningful Customer Service
In the digital landscape, we’re so focused on automation and setting services to run on our WordPress platform. As I mentioned at the beginning of the article it can be tricky to insert that human touch into the overall experience. So this is why customer service is the key for your eCommerce site to separate yourself from your competition.
Aim to create a customer service experience similar to what could be experienced in a brick-and-mortar store. If your product lends for a “try before you buy” option, which has become very popular with online shoppers, consider adding this feature.
4. Brand Connection
Engaging your customers with your brand is becoming increasingly important in generating repeat business and product loyalty. Brand-building is all about creating an emotional connection to your company and its products.
Using the blog on your WordPress site and becoming a “brand journalist” is a great way to create an emotional connection with your product and share content that is relevant to your business and your audience. The Chalkboard online magazine, published by the company Pressed Juicery is an excellent example of brand journalism to check out for ideas and inspiration.
Also, think about ways you can showcase your customers engaging with your product like starting a social media campaign. Be sure to feature your social media feeds – like Instagram – on your eCommerce site’s homepage.
5. Social Experience
Aim to make your customers experience social by prominently featuring and linking to your social media channels on your eCommerce site. A report by Epsilon Data Management on the social and mobile impact of the online shopper journey showed that retailers social media posts and pages have a greater influence on the stores and brands consumers buy from than any other channel. Add features like the ability to pin to Pinterest or Tweet to easily allow customers to share your products on social media.
WordPress is one of your most powerful tools to use as a hub to connect all of these social efforts to engage with your customers on all social channels. WooCommerce easily allows customers to review your products, which will help other customers make buying decisions and add valuable social proof.
Adding reviews to your online store can be accomplished via a plugin (WooCommerce Product Reviews Pro) on a WooCommerce eCommerce site.
There are many ways to create a human experience on your eCommerce website. It all starts with good website design and development and thinking through how you want your customers to experience and interact with your website and its products. To learn more about creating an eCommerce store on the WordPress WooCommerce platform or migrating from an existing eCommerce site to WooCommerce, check out this previous post.