How to make your e-commerce business better. Source: Shutterstock

How to make your e-commerce business better. Source: Shutterstock

How to improve your e-commerce website and business

ASIA’S e-commerce market is both crowded and competitive. However, it’s a market that’s worth billions and growing at 10.5 percent per annum (CAGR) — which makes it attractive — to veterans and new players alike.

There’s money to be made in this space, and one of the ways to do it is to make sure customers see value in what a business offers and how they offer it.

Here are some ways that e-commerce companies can differentiate themselves from their competitors, delight customers, and enhance the overall user experience they provide:

# 1 | Use customer data effectively

Customers don’t mind sharing personal data with businesses online, provided it is used in a way that helps them (directly).

One of the things that e-commerce players like ASOS and Patagonia have cracked is the data problem in the e-commerce experience puzzle.

These two companies ask customers for data such as their height and weight and analyze them alongside purchase and returns data from people of similar physical characteristics in order to make recommendations on what size to purchase.

Obviously, this helps customers immediately as they’re more confident about making a decision about the size they need to buy, but also ensures there are fewer returns as a result of poor sizes/fittings — which significantly boosts the customer experience and also improves efficiency and lowers costs for the business.

# 2 | Build your “see it in your size” offering

More popular in the US and EU than in Asia, this is something that many e-commerce brands in the region can benefit from immediately — and without much effort (except for the higher photography budget)

Studying how businesses such as Good American, Madewell, Everlane, and Universal Standard have implemented the feature can help evaluate whether adding the option into the product page or within categories itself is a better idea.

Although this seems like an option only for fashion brands, it’s something that other e-commerce businesses, including electronic components and automobile spare parts sellers can adopt as well — albeit with a different title than “see it in your size”.

# 3 | Kill the wish-list and the save-for-later options

This might sound counterintuitive to start with but it’s a great idea for e-commerce companies that really want to make sure customers buy the products that they like.

Killing the wish-list and the save-for-later options is key for e-commerce businesses as those options usually cause customers to file things away in a section of their account they don’t always go back to when they need something.

Amazon notifies customers when there’s a price drop in one of these items, and this might bring customers back, but there’s a great psychological impact when customers see the items in their cart and buy them right off the bat.

In fact, the “select to checkout” option that Alibaba group companies such as AliExpress and Lazada offer, allowing customers to keep items in their cart and choosing only the ones they want to pay for right now is a great alternative.