Building an e-commerce store is not an easy job if you do not know how to treat customers. They always have high expectations and, if you manage to keep up with it, customers will see you as a professional and reliable player in the business. Here’s a list of five things customers expect from your online shop.

1. Fast loading time

This is the first contact visitors have with your online store. You might think that one or two seconds do not count, but in this case, loading time can be a crucial factor that decides whether the visitor continues or ends his journey on-site.

As studies have shown, loading time is a major contributing factor to page abandonment. Slower page responses results in increased page abandonments, because nobody likes to wait. Kissmetrics presents the data like this (see picture below): a 4 seconds page load time increases the page abandonment with 25%. Visitors rather close the tab and go on another online shop to look up what they want to buy, than to waste time waiting for your page to load.

The main conclusion of the study is that “a one second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions”. So, put it in numbers and you get a shocking result: “if your e-commerce website makes 100,000 $ a day, a 1 second delay could potentially cost you 2.5 k million in lost sales every year”.

So, take some time to improve the loading speed page on your website, in order to decrease page abandonment rate and bounce rate. One of the first things to do for a better loading speed is to make sure you have a reliable web hosting provider. You can test the loading time with several tools: Pingdom Tools, Page Speed Insights, GTMetrics, WebPage Test, etc.

2. Promotions and free shipping

Catch your visitors as soon as they enter your online shop and guide their journey on-site with promotions. Maybe visitors are just prospecting the market, just looking around for alternatives and not having a specific goal in mind to buy something. So, when they see a 50%, 75% discount they might hurry up and order, because they do not want to miss the special price.

According to Thomas Smale, loss aversion is a powerful conservative force, which means that we will strive harder not to lose something, than we will to gain something. This explains the mechanism of promotions: people are willing to leave money on the table to avoid the possibility of losing something.

The “End of Season – Summer Sale with up to 75% off” from Primrose will determine some visitors to click on “start shopping” and explore the variety of products.

On buyshedsdirect.co.uk, you can see a great example: they use time pressure to drive visitors to order, by placing a countdown on the homepage that announces visitors that “The Big Summer SALE’ ends in less than two days. The red colour for the “SALE” section is used to get the visitor’s attention and check out what products are on sale.

Besides this, free delivery to most of United Kingdom is provided, a great hook for visitors.

For example, at Abel&Cole, you save up to £38, and if you order this week you get two gifts, by simply inserting a voucher code when you check out. Simple and efficient!

3. Customer service

Nowadays, it’s very important to build and maintain a good relationship with your customers. Gain their trust and transform visitors into loyal customers and promoters of your business. Follow the sales follow you design for your business and apply specific tactics to drive customers through the final stage of it.

Customers have had enough of automated responses, so they will be more than delighted to get their answers they need from a real person. Use human faces in the pictures related to the contact forms, phone number and email for better results. Make the customer support method easily available, easy to use and free.

Besides the standard customer support methods, offer assistance (especially to VIP clients), structured and clear help platform, tutorials (video tutorials have a great impact on customers) and simple, yet detailed, FAQ section that contains answers to all possible questions, and concerns visitors might have.

4. Social media links

Social media links help people to share products they like with friends or family. So, when someone sees a shared product by a friend, tends to check it out, and it’s more likely to buy it, based on the recommendation. Basically, social media links work on trusted recommendations and increase credibility in your e-commerce store. Therefore, using social media links can increase visibility and brand awareness.

Several studies have shown that after seeing a brand response to a review, 71% of consumers change their perception of the brand. Also, when brands respond to product misuse with guiding explanations, shoppers who see the review response are 186% more likely to purchase, and product sentiment increases by 157%.

As I have recently read, the key to spreading the word is that many people have followers with similar shopping interests which mean they already have an incentive in learning more about your brand. People trust people like them!

Here are some examples on how to use social links:

On Morrisons, you can pin a product on Pintrest or like it on Facebook. In the fashion industry, you have more sharing options. For example, on Boden you can tweet the dress you like.

On Warehouse, the social buttons are not very visible, because they are not coloured, and they perfectly fit the website’s design:

5. Pricing details easily available

Display the prices from the beginning provide as much information about pricing as you can. People want to make sure there are no extra costs and that the payment method is safe. Drive away their fears concerning payment, by showing secure shopping certificates and Visa, Mastercard, American Express, etc. logos.

Here’s an example from Topps Tiles Shop:

ASAP