You’re confused and clicking through a website while trying to find some information to make a purchasing decision, and then you find it, their Ecommerce FAQ page.
It’s a happy discovery, you’ve been feeling impatient and just want to know what you came to learn. After reading the FAQ, your pressing questions have been answered, and you’re better informed to make smart decisions.
The Big Benefit of Ecommerce FAQs
The above scenario probably seems familiar, and it highlights the handy nature of website FAQs (or Frequently Asked Questions pages). More than that, it also shows why any website that offers complex services or products shouldn’t be caught without one.
Due to the fast-paced nature of information found online, readers are getting shorter attention spans by the day. So, if your products or services require some explanation to fully understand, providing an Ecommerce FAQ page is massively helpful.
Otherwise, you’ll have frustrated visitors who can’t find what they need, leading them to search around your competitors’ websites instead.
When to Use an Ecommerce FAQ page (and When Not)
Understanding the nature of your product or services, you should already have a good idea if they require a FAQ page to answer customer questions.
When to Have FAQs
Consider if there are common ways for customers to get confused when interacting with your business, whether it be navigating your ordering and return processes or simply understanding the nuanced specifics of your product.
If you find that there are parts of your business’ process that could use some explaining, then an Ecommerce FAQ page is a safe bet.
For Example: Here’s an excellent Ecommerce FAQ page from Best Made on the axes they sell. It answers general questions about the way they ship their products, and what one should expect when using them.
Another great way to decide if a FAQ page is warranted is by looking through your recent customer correspondences. Is your inbox frequently filled with people asking for clarification, or does your website have support tickets submitted often?
If so, this is a prime indication that your business could use a thoughtful FAQ. More than that, by tracking the questions that are asked repeatedly you can better cater your FAQ to your audience.
When Not to Have FAQs
But if after all this you learn that engaging with your business is a straightforward experience for your customers, and questions are relatively uncommon, then it’s best not to clutter your website with one more unnecessary page. If anything, finding an overly simple (or complex) Ecommerce FAQ page is more likely to annoy customers away than assist them.
In such a case, just make sure your contact information is readily available on your website for those outlying questions that some customers will have.
5 Qualities of a Great Ecommerce FAQ Page
If you decide that your website could use a FAQ, it’s time write good questions and answers for your customers. Emphasis on the word ‘good’.
Not much feels worse than creating a helpful resource, only to find out that it performs poorly in action. To ensure your FAQ is effective, here are some important rules of thumb to follow:
1. Write Questions from the Customer’s Perspective
Write questions so they come from the customer’s point of view and answer them from your business’ point of view.
This mock dialogue creates a more conversational, relatable, and enjoyable method of framing your questions and answers. Visitors to your FAQ will have more confidence in its content when they see you know where they’re coming from.
2. Write in a Positive Tone
Always maintain a confident, constructive, and encouraging voice when writing your questions and answers.
This is true even if the question is about potential problems that customer’s may encounter with your products and services. The objective is to help customers understand how to best interact with your business, not scare them off with unlikely shipping problems before they have a chance to even happen.
For Example: The Cards Against Humanity FAQ page uses humor wonderfully to inspire enthusiasm in its product for potential buyers.
3. Keep it Short and Simple
You want your Ecommerce FAQ page to showcase authority, but be careful not to get too wordy with your answers.
Attention spans are short enough already, and you don’t want to turn readers away by giving them lengthy bloated responses. Focus on clearly and concisely answering questions by staying on subject and giving brief explanations that don’t waste words.
For Example: Bank of America features a lengthy FAQ, but compartmentalizes its questions and answers down to keep things shorter and simpler.
4. Conclude with Contact Information
In case your FAQ doesn’t answer a customer’s question, add your business contact information at the end of the page.
This not only gives customers the ability to get in touch and have their unique question answered, but also paints your business as communicative and welcoming. Giving visitors multiple ways to reach you, such as providing an email address and a phone number, is even better.
For Example: DropBox offers three different ways to find additional support at the end of their FAQ. They link users to their support contact info, along with their twitter support account, and their community forum.
5. Include a Call-to-Action
While not completely necessary to assist your customers, including a CTA is a major opportunity to stimulate their activity.
To do this best, put yourself in a visiting customer’s shoes. After having all their questions answered, what would be the next step for them to engage with your business? Including a call-to-action that brings them directly to this next step will encourage them to continue on.
For Example: At the bottom of Hulu’s FAQ page they organically include a CTA inviting visitors to manage and upgrade subscription plans.
Effective FAQ Plugin for WordPress
It allows users to design their FAQ page with an unlimited amount of questions and answers, and includes a customizable FAQ widget. The plugin also supports multiple lists and categories, and has customizable visuals to best match the tone and style of any website.