Online shopping has steadily increased in Australia. With that, consumers and local businesses are encountering issues online. For example, Amazon arrived in Australia in 2017 and existing Australian retail businesses began seeking new ways to better cater to online shoppers.

Some smaller businesses joined  Amazon in addition to having their own websites. This was all in an effort to expand and co-exist.

However, there are reports that sales and page views simply are not occurring for retailers. Other business owners felt that the fees involved for storage and shipping with Amazon were simply not worth it.

As such, many Australian retailers are holding their own and striving to make positive changes with their online business; changes that will increase their own profit margins and provide better experiences for consumers.

Also, sports and fitness retailers have a prime opportunity to impress online shoppers. Why? The rising awareness of fitness and health is on the rise. Statistics indicate that more than 26% of online orders are clothing related to 11% of that being activewear.

Consumers are seeking reputable companies that provide quality products and great experiences. Businesses who have both a storefront and online business should streamline shopping on both ends. While entities such as Amazon may offer more products and services, it does not always meet customer expectations.

It is of prime importance for online retailers to make the customer’s online shopping experience a pleasant one. This means having a website that is appealing at first glance and easy to navigate. In addition to that, providing prompt service and reasonable shipping rates are crucial. Listed below are ways in which you can improve business for your customers.

Focus on Design and User Experience

Your website is your virtual storefront. Just like when a buyer walks into a store, your customers want to get onto your website and instantly know where to go. That means having a sleek and accessible menu system that is well-categorized. A search bar will also help them find a specific item with ease.

Beyond this, you need to think about the overall user experience as they use your website. When they arrive on the homepage, they should immediately be able to locate the search bar, see banners for any sales/promotions, and easily navigate to the main categories so they can browse.

While shopping, product pages should feature lots of imagery. After all, the buyer cannot physically pick up and inspect the product in their own hands. So, quality imagery is necessary in order to help them see for themselves what the product is like. A good description is also required to explain any features they may not be able to see.

The pricing should be obvious, with sizes and color options easily selected from a dropdown menu. You need to include a photo for each different style or color available so that they know exactly what they are purchasing without a doubt in their mind.

Next, you need to consider the cart experience. This is the part of the buying process that can make-or-break a sale. They should be able to locate their shopping cart with an icon in the top right corner of their screen, on every page. This is the standard place for the cart, and it is the first place they will look.

On the cart page, they should be able to easily see all of the items in their cart, the variants they have selected, and the total quantity of each item. The subtotal for all items in their cart should also be displayed. A shipping calculator may also be shown on the cart page, but that is where many businesses begin to lose would-be customers.

Make Your Shipping Fees Reasonable & Obvious

One of the major reasons why buyers click away when they are about to make a purchase is because of shipping fees. Unexpected shipping fees can completely ruin the shopping experience for a buyer and make them leave in search of a competitor who charges less for shipping or perhaps does not charge at all.

As such, you should work to make shipping one of the most competitive aspects of your company. For instance, if you are able to offer free shipping, you most certainly should. Otherwise, display a banner that advertises free shipping with minimum order promotion or a flat-rate shipping option.

By seeing the banner as soon as they arrive at your website, a customer will instantly know what shipping costs to expect when they go to the cart. They will be instantly delighted if the shipping option is free or less than competitors, and that’s a great way to earn and keep business.

Make Customer Service the Star of the Show

Before, during, and after every order, customers should always feel like a representative is just a click or call away. If you offer a live chat feature, it should pop up in the bottom corner of your website so that buyers can easily get help when they need it.

A FAQ section should always be provided for self-service help as well, along with a Contact Us page that can be found in a few seconds. This helps to establish trust with your company, and it makes finding help very convenient when a customer has a question. The sooner you can answer their questions, the sooner they can complete their purchase.

You should have multiple ways for a customer to contact you if they need help. Aside from live chat, which is extremely popular, you should also have email and phone service available. While phone service is becoming less and less popular, having it as an option is still worthwhile.

Finally, consider offering social media customer service. More and more companies are offering customer service (especially through Twitter & Facebook) so that customers can easily reach representatives with a much shorter wait time.

No matter the method, a customer should wait no more than 1 business day to get a response. Preferably, they will receive one within a few hours. After all, in the world of instant, a customer can quickly find a competitor who has the answer instead.

Start Selling Today

Looking for more ways to take your Sport and fitness eCommerce business to the next level?

Check out our 10 Tips to Building a Successful Sport & Fitness eCommerce Business guide today.


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