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The Best Content for Your Online Shop – Part 3

Your customer has found his way into your shop, he trusts you, he finds what he is searching for, he is persuaded by your product description, places the product in the shopping cart and then he disappears. What went wrong here?

Your store content, your blog, or your product can still be good, but your text optimization shouldn't end once your customer has decided to make a purchase. Behind the product page lurk a number of hurdles and challenges that a shop owner must overcome in order to keep customers happy and welcome them back again in the future.

In the final part of our series on the best content for your online shop, we take a look at the content regarding your checkout process and your service-mails. We explain what should receive attention in order to convert your users into satisfied customers.

Your customer has found his way into your shop, he trusts you, he finds what he is searching for, he is persuaded by your product description, places the product in the shopping cart and then he disappears. What went wrong here?

Your store content, your blog or your product can still be good, but your text optimization shouldn't end once your customer has decided to make a purchase. Behind the product page lurk a number of hurdles and challenges that a shop owner must overcome in order to keep customers happy and welcome them back again in the future.

In the final part of our series on the best content for your online shop, we take a look at the content of your checkout process and your service-mails. We explain what should receive attention in order to convert your users into satisfied customers.

Strengthen Customer Confidence

Many users decide to cancel the purchase and leave the site with the product already in the shopping cart. In order to prevent this, your checkout process must be designed so that no doubts are raised in the customer's mind. Although the "final yards" often consist of automated processes and formalized procedures, some shopping, basket and service-mail content can strengthen customer confidence.

1. Checkout: Shopping, Registration and Payment

Various studies show that bounce rates of more than 60 percent are not uncommon in the ordering process. For you, that should mean don't confuse the customer but rather communicate in a clear, simple and organized fashion.

What belongs on the shopping cart, registration and payment pages?

Even if there is, ideally, just a small amount of content on the checkout pages, this should still be optimized. Communicate here as clearly as possible: At no time should the customer start to have doubts and consider whether he or she is making a mistake or question whether the shop is reputable.

It is helpful to:

  • Organize the checkout: The whole shopping cart, payment and delivery processes should be as easy as possible for the customer. Organize the process and the individual checkout pages clearly. A progress bar showing the customer's status in the purchasing journey provides optimum orientation. Likewise, the individual call-to-action buttons must be suitably prominent and well-labelled.

Overall, the checkout process should not take too long, so don't include too many steps. The user must be logically guided through the ordering process. That means, for example, he or she should receive confirmation when something is placed in the basket, and the "order" button should be easy to find in the same place on each page.

  • Communicate the shop's features: Although you should avoid any unnecessary and distracting information, it may be advantageous to alert the user to the store's benefits. Quality and safety seals of approval can strengthen customer confidence. You can also advertise free shipping and a 30-day return policy in the shopping cart.
  • Offer product details: Don't keep your customers in the dark. Let them see what they are buying right away, in the shopping cart and on the payment page. A picture and details, such as the color, price (with any discounts) and size of the product, should be easily seen. Information regarding delivery and available features will also provide clarity and boost user confidence. Enter the available shipping and payment methods clearly. And offer the option to delete items and change the total number of products. Users must always feel they are in control of their shopping journey.
  • Make the registration process simple: Collect only the data you really need, not details that might be "helpful" to have. If the customer has to provide too much information, then he or she is also likely to disappear faster. You could perhaps even think about a guest login. Your registration form should use clearly labelled fields and also specify which fields are required. Opt-in registration for a newsletter or advertising material can also be useful.
  • Communicate clearly: Avoid making it necessary for the customer to have to think about the order process. All content, buttons and invitations should be clear so that it's obvious what you want the customer to do.
  • Offer a contact option: If your customer may need some initial help, ensure the possibility for assistance is available.

Take-Away Points:

  • Create a well-organized checkout
  • Communicate the shop's benefits
  • Give informative product, payment and shipping details
  • Make registration as easy as possible
  • Keep your customer informed about what to do, and keep all communication clear and simple
  • Offer a contact option

2. Order Confirmation

In order confirmations, clear and direct, yet friendly, communication is paramount. A confirmation email reassures your customer that the order has been processed.

What goes into an order confirmation?

The order confirmation summarizes what the customer has ordered on what purchase terms and restates the delivery and shipping arrangement.

Your order confirmation should include the following content:

  • A meaningful subject heading with products and/or an order number
  • Your online shop data
  • An order number and customer details
  • A short, friendly letter
  • Delivery address and conditions, the order placement date, anticipated delivery date and shipping method
  • Payment arrangements and, where appropriate, billing address
  • A detailed list of ordered products, including pricing and quantities
  • Shipping and packing costs as well as a summary showing the total order cost
  • Terms and conditions and legal rights (for example, the right of cancellation, supplier details)
  • A link to the shop/customer account

Stylistically, order confirmations are usually factual and direct. The cover letter is almost the only content that you can personalize. Thank your customer and provide information about any further steps that may need to be taken. You should then once again provide the customer with a detailed overview of the product ordered, plus details of all conditions and selected options.

In addition to its primary function, the order confirmation is often used as a cross-selling channel. Companies like Amazon use their email to display products that match and complement those already ordered.

Take-Away Points:

  • An order confirmation must not be just a sales contract
  • The format should be clear and user-oriented
  • A confirmation email will reassure the customer
  • Provide the customer with a detailed list of what has been ordered
  • Use a short letter to make a connection with your customer
  • Consider advertising on the order confirmation

3. Shipping Confirmations

The shipping confirmation will resemble the order confirmation. It is used to inform and reassure the customer about the purchase.

What belongs in a shipping confirmation?

Shipping confirmations are quite similar to contracts or order confirmations and are usually very plain. They contain everything that is legally important as well as delivery and payment terms.

The short letter enclosed with your order confirmation is almost the only place you can add a personal touch.

Among other things, a shipping confirmation should include:

  • A meaningful subject line, perhaps containing the article and/or order number
  • Your online shop data
  • A customer number and customer details
  • An order number, if required
  • A short, friendly cover letter
  • The delivery address and conditions
  • An estimated delivery, or a delivery date, and shipping method
  • Shipment tracking information
  • Payment arrangements and, where appropriate, billing address
  • A detailed list of ordered products, including pricing and quantities
  • Shipping and packing costs as well as a summary showing the total order cost
  • Notification of the terms and conditions and legal rights (for example, the right of cancellation, supplier details)
  • A link to the shop/customer account

There are strict legal guidelines covering the advertising allowed on the shipping confirmation. So whether you offer cross-selling products, ask for a product review or refer to your active social media channels, you should check this aspect very carefully.

Take-Away Points:

  • The tone here is usually plain and professional, so an individual and appealing letter could provide a welcome change
  • Check the legally important aspects of your content

More about Shipping Confirmations:

Your online shop content serves as your customer advisors and sales assistants.

Accompany your customers on the journey to and from your online store. Good content and a well-structured store are the key to satisfied customers. Inform and persuade your customers about the benefits of your products to promote confidence in your store.

Each customer journey has more touchpoints than those featured here, and a shop will have a lot more content to be optimized. However, we hope our series has given you a closer understanding of the most important aspects of your online store content and that one or two of our suggestions will make your online store even more successful.

 


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