What Makes a Good Online Shopping Experience in a Post-Pandemic World?

3 Simple Tips to Improving Your eCommerce Site

There’s been a lot of discussion about how the pandemic, and the ensuing lockdown, boosted online shopping to unforeseen numbers. In 2021, there will be over 230 million online shoppers in the U.S. alone, according to Oberlo. 

But the rise of ecommerce is something that was easy to predict. People like convenience, and online shopping offers a way to browse and purchase anything imaginable from the comfort of our own couches. 

Bearing that convenience factor in mind, online retail sites are fighting to grab the attention of shoppers (and with it, their business) by offering the best shopping experience. This begs the question: What exactly makes a good online shopping experience?

Avoid Review Overload

According to Bizrate Insights, 91% of online shoppers say they read reviews, with over 14% reporting that they read more than ten reviews before making a purchase. Over half of those shoppers go to external websites to find the reviews, using Google searches, Reddit posts, YouTube videos, and more. 

That’s a lot of time spent away from your site just to read reviews. The worst part is that online shoppers don’t know which reviews they can trust. Anybody can write a review, and a lot of less scrupulous companies employ fake reviewers and ratings bots to boost their numbers. 

That leads us to one of the biggest factors in creating a good online shopping experience for your customers: Providing them with all the information they need about a product on your site. The best way to do this is by using an easily digestible format like video. 

A well-done explainer video, or series of videos, that features an expert using and speaking on the product  will give the shopper the information they need to make an informed purchase without having to leave your site. 

Expert-led videos also solve another big problem. 

Overcoming The Restrictions of Online Shopping

A big part of why shoppers spend so much time seeking out reviews and opinions on a product before purchasing it online is that they’re trying to compensate for the lack of being able to see the product in real life. There is no way to touch, hold, smell, taste, or use a product when it’s being bought from an online retailer. 

The Robin Report estimated that the cost of online returns in 2020 was $550 billion, and that number is expected to grow heavily in 2021. The reason for this is exactly what we stated above. Products aren’t being properly represented in online retail, and people are receiving purchases that aren’t what they expected. 

By featuring video reviews of your products on your site, you largely solve that problem. Videos that feature people holding a product, speaking about its functionality, and demonstrating how it is used — helps shoppers get a better idea of the product size, weight, texture, etc — ultimately leading to more informed purchase decisions.  For example, a professional trainer speaking on the texture of a protein powder while demonstrating how he uses it to make his morning protein shakes is way more helpful and informative than a written review.

Video reviews supplement the online shopping experience with things you could normally only find in a brick-and-mortar setting. The shopper sees how the product is used from somebody who knows how to use it. That means less product returns from disappointed shoppers because they’re more educated at the point of purchase. 

Compare and Contrast

Another benefit of using review videos is to show the shopper how a product compares to other similar products on the market.  

For instance, let’s say there are five comparable wireless headphones on the market, and a shopper is unsure which will suit their particular needs. Video reviews can be effectively used to talk about what makes each product unique and what differentiates it from other products on the market. For example, a professional musician talking about his preferred headphones and why this pair is best for his needs, allows shoppers to build a better understanding of whether or not they’re the right headphones for their needs. 

Using this approach, the expert reviewer speaks on what stands out about a particular product and sets it aside from the rest. This way, the shopper really learns about the product and is able to make a decision they’re more likely to be happy with. 

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