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What the Which? top 5 retailers have in common

As well as overall online experience, Which? asked consumers about various other factors such as price, quality, product variety and aspects such as the returns process.

Among the consumers’ preferred websites were LizEarle.com at number one with a satisfaction rating of 94%, followed closely by RicherSounds.com, Rohan.co.uk, SeasaltCornwall.co.uk and WexPhotoVideo.com, who all received a rating of 93%.

According to Which?, as well as the standard desire for quality goods, great prices and a helpful customer service team, online shoppers are looking for delivery options that are quick and convenient. They also highlighted the importance of offering a personal experience, making the customer feel like they are still getting the experience they would in a physical store.

The Which? top 5 have all mastered these points; now, find out how you can improve your online store with your shoppers in mind.

Ensure easy navigation

Poor navigation will only lead to drop offs. If a shopper can’t navigate to where they want to be: a specific product, delivery information, or whatever it may be, they will become frustrated. Especially in today’s time-poor world.

Clean design with menus kept to a minimum so as not to confuse or deter the shopper from going to the part of your site they want to visit is an essential when it comes to creating a great online store navigation.

Sticky navigation is also a good idea as this allows the shopper to easily control where they want to go, which is particularly beneficial when they decide to move to the checkout.

Make it personal

When a shopper ventures into a physical store more often than not a shop assistant will ask if they need anything, and, failing that, they know that they can ask a member of staff for help at any point. But in an online store, getting personal touches like this are not always so obvious. By adding a live chat option, this ensures that any questions a shopper has can be answered quickly and efficiently, making the experience more natural, more personal and far less confusing.

Remove form complication

Forms are often long and frustrating, and are often a large reason for shoppers leaving a website. By keeping forms simple, you’ll see a higher conversion rate -  and much happier customers. So, how do you do this? Well, simply make sure you are only asking shoppers to enter the information you really need from them. For example, if you’re selling jeans, do you really require the shopper’s date of birth? Probably not.

Another way to reduce frustration and cognitive load in the checkout is by adding progress indicators. Progress indicators give shoppers a much better idea of which step of the checkout process they are at. Numbering or labelling the stages of your forms allows consumers to estimate how much longer your forms will be, and can prepare them for the next stage - i.e. getting their credit card ready at the right time.

Offer convenience

Another one of the key points mentioned in the Which? survey was delivery convenience. Over the past few years, delivery has become huge, with many online retailers offering a wide range of different delivery options - from standard, to free, to same day, and let’s not forget the option of click and collect.

However, if you are going to pride yourself in great delivery options, make sure you can actually (ahem) deliver the goods. Too many retailers risk collecting incorrect address data due to poor or no address validation. Using type-ahead address verification dramatically reduces the amount of time it takes a consumer to enter their details. This means they’ll get through the checkout process quicker and easier… as type-ahead address verification auto-suggests addresses based on what the shopper has entered, even overcoming typos, and you can also be sure that the data you are collecting is clean and accurate. This combats the issue of failed or late deliveries, meaning happy customers.

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