Experience-driven commerce: A 5-step transition to the future of eCommerce

Retailers might think that unbeatable product prices is the only way to win the eCommerce race, but the reality is far more drifting than the assumption. The truth is, competing on the basis of low prices is not a sustainable strategy for B2B eCommerce and other retail businesses. Brands are moving from product-as-a-service to experience-as-a-service economy. Today’s consumers, 2.14 billion online shoppers, to be exact, want to buy from companies that acknowledge their preferences and needs and build an emotional connection with them. And, they are ready to take on a rewarding journey of exploring, interacting, and shopping with B2B and B2C eCommerce brands. With marketers around the world baffled with experience-driven commerce crowned as the future of eCommerce and the sudden interest in extending impeccable eCommerce customer experiences across all touchpoints, it’s imperative to know what experience-driven commerce means and encompasses. After all, experience-driven commerce is the foundation of a successful and omnichannel commerce strategy of the future.

What is experience-driven commerce?

In simple words, experience-driven commerce deals with bettering the end-to-end customer experiences both online and offline. Every action, every campaign, and every marketing activity deals with adding value, creating valuable content, improving eCommerce customer journeys, and designing personalized user experiences in eCommerce. As the future of eCommerce, experience-driven commerce brings together the power of content, data, and insights to offer your shoppers a personalized, omnichannel, and memorable eCommerce customer experience during every interaction across all touchpoints.

Why does experience-driven commerce matter?

The eCommerce market has changed dramatically since its inception. There was a decade when product quality and price could do the trick, but today’s customers are different from their predecessors. They have come to expect an elevated eCommerce customer experience and impressive eCommerce customer service across the web, mobile, social, and all the other online stores.

Having an easy-to-use eCommerce website functionality along with a good product at an unbeatable price is good to have, but not a must-to-have. Rather, it has been replaced by eCommerce customer experiences.

Today, not only are there an increased number of online shoppers trusting online B2C and B2B eCommerce channels to purchase products, but there is an ever-increasing number of breakpoints and channels to do so. Be it in-store, webstore, social store, smartwatch app, or any other platform, customers desire consistent and unique eCommerce customer experiences everywhere.

From video tutorials, landing pages, installation guides, product images, warranties, return policy, shipping details, and reviews, everything besides the catalog-based data helps you improve customer experience eCommerce and transition towards the experience-driven economy.

What customers want in an eCommerce site is a plethora of product information and personalized solutions that help them make a buying decision. Experience-driven commerce helps in designing personalized user experiences in eCommerce, one that addresses their needs and wants.

Regardless of whether you are a B2B or B2C eCommerce company, your buyers demand a smooth, pleasant, and easy eCommerce customer experience. And remember, if you aren’t able to satisfy your customers, your competitors are more likely to carve them out of your eCommerce customer acquisition base. It is precisely why experience-driven commerce matters, and is the future of eCommerce- because it helps brands to understand their customers on digital and physical touchpoints and then deliver critical eCommerce customer service and experience at the right time and touchpoint.

Experience is the new product

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The 5-step transitioning to future of eCommerce

Now that you know what experience-driven commerce is and why it is the future of eCommerce let’s unveil the 5-step process to achieve it.

Step #1: Focus on your customers, not your products

The first step to delivering personalized eCommerce customer service and experiences is knowing and focussing on your customers.

  • What customers want in an eCommerce site?
  • How do they interact with your brand?
  • What products do they seem most interested in?
  • Do you have a better B2B/B2C eCommerce conversion rate online or offline?
  • Which touchpoint do your customers engage the most with- webstore, social store, physical store, mobile store, etc.?
  • What products are abandoned the most by your customers?
  • Are your customers able to interact with you throughout their eCommerce customer journey?
  • Do your customers interact with you post-sales? What is your customer return rate?
  • Are you shoppers happy with their overall eCommerce customer experience?

You’ll get the answers to all these questions once you start understanding your customers, keeping a keen eye on them, and attending to their needs. True, they want product images in high-quality with zoom-in features, clear messaging, and sufficient product information, but you have to package it in a way that appeals to your customers and resembles what they are looking for. When you know what your customers want, when they want it, and at what breakpoints do they want it, that will help you explore the various ways to improve eCommerce customer experience and become one of the best user experience eCommerce websites in the market.

One point to note over here is that B2B eCommerce customers have a different approach to B2B eCommerce shoppers, so you have to follow a distinct eCommerce customer acquisition and retention strategy. B2C eCommerce users prefer user-generated personalized content such as text, videos, reviews, blogs, product stories, and more. On the contrary, B2B eCommerce shoppers desire more product-based information like its characteristics, capabilities, specifications, availability, and delivery status. The information about your customers as an eCommerce customer service guide.

Step #2: Invest in your eCommerce website for your customers

Once you know what your customers want in an eCommerce site, now it’s time to put all that knowledge to good use. A B2C or B2B eCommerce site functions as an online brick-and-mortar store for your business, which is why you must include everything that you would in a physical store.

As per eCommerce customer experience analysis, high-quality product images, ample product information, details about shipping and returns, live tracking, promotional campaigns for sales/deals, reviews & testimonials, wishlist feature, stores profiles, local payment solutions, product recommendations & suggestions, filter search, and voice search are amongst a few of the most requested features. When designing personalized user experiences in eCommerce, indulge in localized eCommerce customer experiences and optimize your online store for mobile and social channels.

Step #3: Improve customer experience across all digital channels

Omnichannel eCommerce customer experience is the future of eCommerce, and there is no denying that. And experience-driven commerce aims to provide that. You need to consider all the present touchpoints- desktop, tablet, mobile, in-store, and social and the future ones as well. As a part of your eCommerce customer experience analysis, identify which channels are performing well, average, and below average.

Look where the conversions happen and where your customers buy your services, and weigh your best selling and least sold products. Evaluate your eCommerce customer service throughout the research, purchase, and maintenance & support process. Opt for a consistent eCommerce customer experience approach for all your touchpoints. Practice the mobile-first approach, improve in-store digital experiences, design interactive online pages, and hit all digital commerce channels simultaneously. Focus on designing personalized user experiences in eCommerce to create the most impact on all your brand breakpoints.

Step #4: Go beyond sales

Several B2C and B2B eCommerce view a purchase as a one-time action. However, experts suggest that most business is earned from repeat customers and not new ones. Your customers’ eCommerce journey doesn’t end at a sale; it simply starts there. So, don’t become one of those brands that don’t take care of their customers after purchase because that won’t drive customer loyalty or referral traffic. Show your customers you’re committed to helping them use the product/service by offering them post-purchase support. Sharing order history, live tracking, delivery information, easy returns, user documents, video tutorials, and product recommendation emails are all a part of experience-driven commerce.

Another part of showing your dedication towards your customers is by being empathetic towards them. Reply to your customers’ reviews, both positive and negative. Dive deep into the negative testimonials and ask them what went wrong. Engage and support them throughout their eCommerce customer journey.

PS: The better your offline and eCommerce customer experience is, the lower your eCommerce customer acquisition cost. After all, customer retention is four times cheaper than customer acquisition.

Step #5: Monitor customer behavior at all times

Your customers are changing, and the only way you can be aware of it is by eCommerce customer experience analysis. Once you understand their eCommerce customer journey and implement initiatives that ensure personalized eCommerce customer experiences at all costs, you’ll forge a deeper connection with them. Keep updating your customers’ personas, track their data, analyze their shopping behavior- their likes, dislikes, and preferences, evaluate their geographical information, and then find ways to improve eCommerce customer experience.

Evaluate why your customers do not complete their purchases and abandon their carts. 

  • Are the shipping costs too high?
  • Did they find the same product at a lower price on another eCommerce site?
  • Do they have issues with delivery?
  • Are they unsatisfied with the warranty and return policies?
  • Is it because of the negative reviews?
  • Are they able to find what they are looking for quickly?
  • Is there a virtual assistant available to help them close their online purchases?

The more you know about your customers, the easier it is to market and sell your products or services to them, and the better is the conversion rates, not to mention a drastic reduction in the cart abandonment rates.

Keep your ears to the ground

To achieve long-term success, you need to understand how well your delivered eCommerce customer experiences are performing and how you can improve them. Your customers are everywhere, and you need to target every eCommerce customer acquisition touchpoint. Resonate with your customers, keep them close, and focus more on building impressive eCommerce customer service experiences.

Remember, experience-driven commerce is the future of eCommerce, and the sooner you give in and start exploring ways to improve eCommerce customer experience, the easier will be the transition to the experience-led economy. And if you need help, our eCommerce experts are ready to help anytime.

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