Online shopping websites have made significant progress in the direction of inclusivity, especially in terms of fashion. As models of all shapes, sizes, ages, and ethnicities walk down runways worldwide, it’s clearer than ever that inclusivity and diversity are not just buzzwords; they’re the standard.
However, this trend has not carried over to e-commerce, which is unexpected given that retail is a natural extension of fashion. This is especially true in this age of social media, when customers are more loud and cautious than ever. Here are the ways that trusted online shopping sites may ensure that their online clients have an inclusive experience.
Establish a clear shoplifting policy that is based on behaviour rather than race.
The retail industry can lose billions of dollars each year due to shoplifting. Retailers require rules to combat shoplifting, and those policies must be centred on behaviour, not race. Ascertain that suspicious behaviour is defined such that it does not become synonymous with suspicious persons, who may be characterised as someone who “looks” or “acts” differently due to their skin tone, hair colour, or accent.
Suspicious activity may include persons continually entering and exiting a store without making a purchase, keeping an eye on the cashier or sales employees, or canvassing the store for security cameras and alarms.
Ascertain that security personnel, who may not be retailer employees, are likewise familiar with the policy. Not content with simply writing a well-articulated and well-defined policy and posting it — take the effort to educate your personnel on all the small aspects. This makes the best online shopping experience.
Solutions for the Digital and Acoustic Environment
Technology integration that is seamless contributes to a more inclusive online shopping experience. Many people are accustomed to interacting with technology. Integrating intelligent kiosks that provide shoppers with product information benefits individuals who are hesitant to approach a salesperson. Additionally, designers will need to figure out how to improve the shopping experience through the use of cellphones. By leveraging the personal devices we carry on a daily basis, merchants may better assist consumers with speech hurdles or hearing impairments by guiding them through the store.
Rethinking the dressing room is another example. Because some people require assistance from friends or family while trying on clothing, it’s critical to create an environment where those requiring assistance or providing aid feel comfortable and secure.
Additionally, delivering a ‘VIP exclusive incentive’ to all shoppers makes buying more pleasant and approachable, thereby improving the online shopping experience. This includes sessions in the fitting room on a scheduled basis.
Increasing Access to E-Commerce
By creating accessible and disability-friendly websites, you can ensure that your e-commerce experience is easy for all consumers. The majority of the adjustments that retailers must ensure are implemented are straightforward. For instance, you can ensure that videos have captions so that hearing-impaired consumers can watch them. Additionally, you can utilise strong typefaces and larger text to accommodate visually challenged visitors and create an easily navigable website for individuals with dyslexia.
For interactive online shopping experience, retailers must design for accessibility and embrace inclusivity in order to survive and grow in today’s marketplace. It could mean the difference between a customer adding an item to their cart and checking out or abandoning their shopping cart entirely.
Collaboratively Develop Diverse Leadership Teams
It is a proven truth that more varied businesses generate more money. However, as Forbes shows, it is diverse leadership that makes the difference. A survey of over 1,700 businesses discovered that greater diversity resulted in a 19 percent increase in income.
Implementing diversity-friendly policies and creating an inclusive workplace can go a long way toward achieving your brand’s long-term diversity goals.
Contrary to Popular Belief, Avoid Pigeonholing Team Members
While recruiting diverse team members is an excellent method to increase your brand’s inclusiveness, little acts are also important. For instance, Biz Journals urges that businesses acknowledge the “spectrum of diversity.” That is, avoid categorising or assigning tasks to employees based on their jobs.
Rather than that, let their strengths — and their input — guide the team’s efforts. Assigning someone to a specific function solely on the basis of their gender or ethnicity is likewise a no-no. This is a great way to improve online shopping experience and customer satisfaction.
Bear in mind that a good photograph is often worth a thousand words, and maybe a thousand dollars.
Never underestimate the power of high-quality product photos. “While some well-known or generic products may not require that kind of visual appeal, online buyers find photos reassuring, not to mention extremely helpful in ensuring they are receiving what they want.”
“We live in an image-based world. Without compelling graphics, a website will fail to entice customers to check out. Excellent images, and many of them, but not so many that they overwhelm customers, will offer shoppers the same sensation as if they were at a store.”
Additionally, make the innovative online shopping experience as authentic as possible by including images of the product in use. For instance, next to a photograph of a vase, display the vase on a table full with flowers. Additionally, allow shoppers to zoom in and explore products from numerous angles and perspectives if relevant.
Establish and Enforce a Zero-Tolerance Policy
If you are looking on how to improve online shopping experience, establish and implement a zero-tolerance policy that clearly defines unacceptable actions for management, including the following: racial language, harassment, threats, inappropriate internet use, bringing firearms into the business, aggressive behaviour, and other misconduct. This establishes a foundation for managers to rely on and reinforce the policy, which applies to both staff and customers.
Directional Signage and Accessible Layouts
Another technique to create an inclusive experience of online shopping is through navigation and signage; specifically, through the use of iconography rather than text for wayfinding. This enables those whose first language is not English, as well as those who are dyslexic, to readily comprehend how to navigate a location. Additionally, a straightforward solution is to post store maps online. This provides neurodiverse shoppers with a sense of security and comfort prior to their arrival. By being aware of the whereabouts of all products, they can make purchases much more quickly and efficiently.
It is critical for the design industry to gain a deeper understanding of how all individuals interact with the spaces around them. We must prioritise providing a welcoming environment that gives a consistent experience for all shoppers. Whether the solution is increased technology integration, iconography, or the addition of a store map to a company’s website, these types of solutions will ultimately depend on what is best for the brand and its consumer base. As designers, it is our responsibility to ensure that the experience we deliver clients is consistent with their values.