With all of the things that you need to think about when setting up and running your business, your ecommerce shopping cart often gets overlooked. We often get in a hurry to get the site built and running so little things like Contact Us pages, Shipping FAQs, Order Confirmation, and Email contact forms can get overlooked. You always planned on going back to get them up, but then other things pop up and you never seem to get back to it.
The first thing to consider is to make sure that you always have a detailed Shipping FAQ that will answer basic questions such as “When will my order ship?” or “What is the return policy?” This keeps you from wasting your time answering redundant emails that will waste your time and take time away from building your business.
You can also reduce the number of repeat emails by adding a Contact Us page with links to important information pages such as your Terms and Conditions, Return Policy, and a Shipping FAQ page, as well as a contact form. Most online shoppers expect these kinds of pages, and you will lose sales if you do not have them on your site. Keep in mind that for every customer that contacts you with these questions, five more will simply point their browser at your competitor’s site.
A few ideas for the types of questions to answer on your contact and shipping pages are: How long does is take the order to ship? What shipping methods do you use? Where does the order ship from? What happens if an item is out of stock? What is the return policy?
By answering as many of these questions as possible on your site, you are making your customers more trusting of your site, as well as eliminating time wasted by you and your customer service team answering the same questions over and over. Make note of repeat questions that do come in, and add them to your FAQ section. Not everyone will seek out these answers, but the ones that do will save you time and allow you to concentrate on getting new sales.
It is important to include links to all of your information pages at the top of your Contact Us page so people will be able to see if they can get the answer themselves before they contact you. You should also include a Live Chat link if you offer that service, and your phone number, on this page. A Contact Us form is better than simply providing an email link, because the form will give the customer some guidance as to the types of information you need, which will help them to get better service.
Whenever possible, try to make your checkout process a single page. Not every shopping cart package will allow you to do this, however. If you must use multiple pages, then add something on the page that says “Step 1 of 3” so the customer doesn’t give up and leave your site before ordering your product.
It is also a good idea to make your action buttons (Check Out, Submit Order, etc) big and bold. This helps users to get around the site and keeps them focused on placing the order. You should also put a summary of your return policy at the top of the checkout page. This keeps the customer from leaving the shopping cart to go find your policy. The goal is to keep them in the shopping cart. If they stay in the cart, they are much less likely to leave before completing the transaction.
Once the order has been submitted, the process does not end. A good order confirmation page is very important, and a follow up email is essential. You should include information about expected shipping times, a link to your Contact Us page, as well as your phone number. You should also invite them to contact you with any questions. You should also send them a follow up email when the order ships.
In Summary, you need to include the following:
- A Shipping FAQ that details your shipping methods and return policy.
- A Return Policy page which fully explains the return process and what is expected from the customer.
- A Contact Us page with links to your information pages and a contact us form.
- A Product FAQ page or section of another informational page.
- Customize the Check Out pages with step numbers, large action buttons, and a return policy summary.
- Order Confirmation page and email with estimated shipping times and contact methods.
- A follow up email after shipping with a tracking number, another thank you, and a discount coupon.
Here at KARTHOST.com, we will be happy to help you with any part of the process where you need assistance. As always, keep in mind that we aren’t successful unless you are.