Across the Board

Blog on e-business and online payments.

6 Things Shoppers Want in Online Stores

There is no doubt that shopping online is quickly becoming one of the go-to methods for purchasing products. Buying online provides a fast and convenient way for purchasing goods from the comfort of your own home. However, many online retailers fail to meet the demands of their consumers, which in return affects their sales.

It’s important that you do not make the same mistakes with your business. Here are 6 things shoppers want to see in online stores.

Detailed Descriptions

When you visit a local retail store, there is no need for item descriptions, as you are able to pick up the items and get a close look at them, but this is not the case with shopping online. Instead, when purchasing items, online buyers must rely on product descriptions to help them decide on which items to choose. It is for this reason that shoppers demand that eCommerce stores provide fully detailed descriptions, involving every individual aspect of the product.

A Mobile Website

When you visit a shopping site from a mobile device and you cannot find the item you want, it can cause that you search elsewhere. Your consumers are not different and this is why it’s necessary for online stores to have responsive websites. The popularity of mCommerce is going nowhere, as a BI report states that mobile commerce will make up 45 percent of total eCommerce, equaling $284 billion in sales by the year 2020. This is  why many eCommerce platforms such as Shopify allow users to create mobile responsive online stores.

Free Shipping

It is no secret that a large percentage of money spent on online shopping  is dedicated to shipping costs. It is for this reason that many online shoppers are demanding a decrease, or the complete elimination, of shipping fees. There are times when the cost to ship an item can actually exceed the money spent on purchasing the item, and thus, free shipping would give buyers more purchasing power. Top tip: offer competitive shipping costs.

Simple Digital Payments

Relying on purses and wallets is long gone as these days making payments is all about digital. If your website payment processes are lengthy, difficult and clunky, it will likely cost you in sales – so you need to give your customers what they want – online payments that are as smooth as possible! Think about it, if the customer has already come this far and they are ready to make the transaction and purchase your product, how could your eCommerce website possibly screw up now? Don’t allow it. Ensure your eCommerce store accepts a variety of payment methods and currencies.

Live Chat

Instead of watching your customers click away from your store because nobody is around to answer their questions in real time, consider adding live chat support to your website. In fact, the survey found that 63% of visitors were more likely to return to a website that offers live chat. Live chat provides convenient answers that customers need. It also offers your business other benefits, such as reducing staff costs.

Superior Photos

Unlike buying items in person where you are able to physically see the product, when shopping online you must rely on pictures. This means that it is necessary for online retailers to post clear pictures of every angle of the product so that buyers know exactly what they are purchasing before it arrives at their doorstep. In addition, there should be an array of photos for each item, offering different perspectives. This will also reduce the amount of return requests your store receives.

Customer Reviews

There are few things more telling about a product than its customer reviews, which is why they are proven sales drivers – with 63% of customers more likely purchase from a website that provides them. User reviews provide an honest and reliable insight into the pros and cons of the item that your potential customers  consider to purchase. Unfortunately, there are many online retailers that do not have a review section and this is turning consumers off. eCommerce stores must focus on implementing a review system to aid buyers with purchases and help them  eliminate any doubts that they may have.

In Summary

While online shopping is a great way to find multiple products without having to leave the comfort of your own home to visit local retail stores, it also has its drawbacks. To satisfy the  shoppers needs, eCommerce stores must provide detailed descriptions of products, so that consumers know what they are purchasing. A mobile website is also ideal, as many potential buyers will be accessing these stores via their mobile devices, and if not properly formatted, this can make for a confusing and underwhelming experience.


In addition, with the ever increasing costs to ship items, online retailers need to find ways to decrease or eliminate the fees with shipping, which will cause buyers to purchase more products. When you want to increase sales and conversion rates of your eCommerce store, take heed to these 6 things shoppers want in online stores.


Michelle Deery is a team member of Heroic Search in Tulsa. She specializes in writing about eCommerce and digital marketing.

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