Dec 1, 2020
Guest Posts

How to Improve Virtual Shopping Experience & Capture Purchase Intent


irst impressions always matter, and in the case of an eCommerce store, the pressure to deliver that seamless and positive first impression is much more pressing. However, with the thousands of solutions available on the Shopify App Store, narrowing down the features you need to improve your virtual shopping experience can be a bit tricky.

Furthermore, simply providing a frictionless experience in your store isn’t enough. As a merchant, you need to be able to identify customer needs and interests and anticipate them.

Luckily, we’re here to help. 

Having worked on different solutions focused on improving the on-site experience, we know which tactics are of priority for any merchant who wants to increase engagement or boost conversions. 

So, here are some of those tactics we’ve tried and tested again and again that will always lead to positive results. 

9 Tactics to Improve Virtual Shopping Experience and Capture Purchase Intent 

1. Autosuggest keywords while shoppers are searching

Everyone loves how easy it is to search for a product, website, or article on Google. The search engine is built to cater to shoppers' every need. However, besides the sophisticated algorithm, the search engine does one thing right– it anticipates the needs of its users.

Autosuggest is a feature built into the Google search engine. It shows relevant autocorrect keywords based on what the user has started to type. This autosuggest feature is something that you can easily enable in your Shopify store, and it will inevitably improve your virtual shopping experience.

You can set up auto-suggest by using Searchly, an app on the Shopify App Store. This will make it so that your shoppers don't have to spend time typing out their entire keyword. Instead, this feature will display auto-filled keywords based on what shoppers have searched in the past and will recommend products that match them. So, if the shopper begins searching "Blue", Searchly will show suggested auto-fill keywords like "shirt" and "pants". The shopper can then select the keyword that matches what they were going to type or continue refining the results 

Faster and easier search experiences are sure to translate into more conversions!

An enhanced search bar is one of the simplest yet most effective ways to connect customers with what they are looking for!

2. Simplify search experiences with a search filter

Site search is 1.8x more effective at producing conversions. With an efficient search experience, your shoppers can find the exact items they are looking for and checkout in record time. Unfortunately, a large number of merchants still choose to use the very basic default search functionality on their Shopify store. 

You can provide an easier search experience on your Shopify store by allowing shoppers to filter search results based on reviews, product color, size, discounts, etc. These search filters allow your customers to narrow down their search for the item they are looking for. Using Searchly, you can enable different kinds of search filters and customize how these filters look, even if they are browsing on a mobile device. 

Shoppers love convenience! Adding filters to your product search will contribute to a much better virtual shopping experience.

Also read: How to Use Product Search Filters on Your Shopify Store to Provide A Personalized Shopping Experience

3. Recommend ‘Similar Items’ on product pages for lower drop-offs & higher average order values

One of the major points of drop-off that many merchants witness is at the end of their product pages. Once shoppers reach the end of a product page and there aren't any suggestions or engaging activities, they will often end up exiting your website from this point.

You can solve this and increase on-site engagement by displaying product recommendations on your product pages. You can place the "Similar Items" recommendation widget here so that shoppers can navigate to other items related to what they were looking at.

Well-placed recommendations on your Shopify store can help you successfully engage your customers and nudge them to convert. You can upsell and cross-sell products while the shopper is actively browsing on your site. This s a great way to increase your average order value, and extract more revenue from customers.

If your customer has put an item in their cart, then it is the perfect time to capture purchase intent by cross-selling them on related items.

Also read: How To Start Upselling In Your Dropshipping Store: 5 Easy Steps.

4. Allow bulk buying with volume discounts 

Some items like skincare and health supplements are perfect for bulk buying. Many shoppers also prefer to stock up on specific items like pet food in large quantities rather than buying one at a time. You can cater to this need by allowing your shoppers to shop in volume, and incentivizing them to do so. The best way to incentivize bulk buying is by setting up volume discounts that vary depending on how much they buy. 

Using the Volume & Discounted Pricing App, you can set up customized discounts for specific items. Naturally, shoppers will feel better purchasing in higher volumes when they receive a deal on their orders. They get a better price, and you receive more revenue. It's a win-win!

5. Lower negative experiences due to stockouts with back in stock automations 

Many shoppers start browsing a store and end up selecting a product only to find that it is out of stock. This is sure to lose your customers, lower your conversion rates, and increase negative impressions about your Shopify store.

With back in stock automation, you can easily lower these negative experiences by providing shoppers with the option to subscribe to updates on these unavailable products. This way, shoppers won't feel like they have wasted the time they spent searching for the item. 

Back in stock automation works by allowing you to capture a shopper's interest in an out-of-stock item by placing a subscription form on your product pages. Once the item is back in stock, these subscribed shoppers will automatically be notified, so that they can come back and finish their purchase. You can set up this automation using the Back in Stock - Restock App.

Back-in-stock notifications can also capture purchase intent for upcoming product releases.

Also read: Complete Guide to Back in Stock Alerts for Shopify Stores

6. Set up pre-launch subscription form to understand shopper interest in soon-to-be-launched items 

If you plan to launch a new item, you can understand the purchase intent of your audience and build traction towards this product launch with this simple trick. You can set up a subscription form to capture interested shoppers on the product page. This is a message that informs visitors that the product is not launched yet, but that they can subscribe to be notified as soon as it is available.

This helps you learn how many of your shoppers want to buy the item so that you can plan your inventory better and ensure that you get sales as soon as the product launches.

You can set up a pre-launch subscription form using the Back in Stock app

Also read: 10 Tactics to Hype New Product Launches to Increase Shopify Sales

7. Personalize your customer account page for better engagement and retention 

Personalization has proven to help merchants enhance the experience that shoppers have on their Shopify store. One of the most underrated tactics, that many merchants overlook, is customizing the customer account page. By making the customer account page more personal with features like reorder, wishlists, and rewards, you can encourage shoppers to spend more time on your Shopify store.

Flits is the only Shopify app made to help you personalize your customer account page. With this app, you can add robust features like wishlists and rewards, and customize the page's design to match the rest of your store.

This can not only help you convert more store visitors into registered customers but also help you bring back past customers to your Shopify store post-purchase.

8. Offer live chat to humanize the virtual shopping experience

While shopping, consumers will often have questions about the product line in regards to the size, color, or fit, as well as general inquiries about stuff like return policies. With a live chat, you can solve these small doubts instantly and ensure your visitors have a positive virtual shopping experience.

Apps like Crisp Chat by Crisp can serve to help merchants connect with their store visitors in real-time. These live chat apps add a chat window on your Shopify store so that shoppers can reach out without having to go through the hassle of emailing you.

While it isn't for everyone, many merchants set up customer support agents to provide their shoppers with round-the-clock assistance with their purchase, answer questions, or guide them through the checkout process.

9. Enable photo reviews on product pages for instant credibility

One of the best ways to ensure your shoppers have a better on-site experience is to provide them with the information they need to make better purchasing decisions. This is where credibility-boosting tactics like reviews help.

Research shows that you can increase your purchase rate by 270% by collecting 5 reviews on a Shopify product page. One way to easily collect and display reviews on your Shopify store is by using the Loyalty, Wishlist, Reviews UGC app by Growave.

This Shopify app enables you to send review requests through email, manage collected reviews, and even lets your shoppers upload pictures of them using your product. You can also customize your review widget to match the rest of your Shopify store design. With these reviews, you can let store visitors get an honest look at your products while simultaneously showing how well-loved they are. This will make these visitors, especially new ones, more confident about purchasing from your store.

These Shopify Apps will help you provide the best  virtual shopping experience possible!

If you have followed the strategies in this article, then you will have definitely contributed to a better virtual shopping experience for your customers!

We hope these 9 strategies help you improve your store's virtual shopping experience. With an easy and seamless experience on your Shopify store, your visitors will be able to find the products they want quickly, get more personalized help, and be better engaged. 

Happy selling!

Guest Blog Post: Vanhishikha Bhargava is the Head of Content and Partnerships at Appikon, a Shopify partner building apps to enable stores to capture customer intent and improve on-site customer experience.

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