If you run an eCommerce business, you probably know that a killer product is the only thing you need to survive and thrive in the market. True, products have a monumental impact on the success and future of your business, but that alone doesn’t guarantee customer traction, engagement, and loyalty.
In fact, product quality is no longer a standard for any brand. Customers don’t just buy products now; they buy experiences.
That said, enterprises need to deliver more than just the product-the overall customer experience. Only then can you turn visitors into customers to loyalists. Now more than ever, customers value relationships they built with brands, and in return, brands must take note of rapidly changing customer demands and still deliver unique and personalized solutions.
With eCommerce sales shooting to $4.5 trillion in 2021, brands need to comprehend the massive shift from traditional retail and forge buying experiences that make your customers worship your products and services.
In this article, we look at the best practices you must follow so as to deliver a user-centric experience that leads to more sales, revenue, and ROIs.
What is eCommerce customer experience?
eCommerce customer experience (ECX) is everything a brand makes a customer feel at every touchpoint, platform, and marketing funnel stage. So, from the time a customer hears about your brand to the moment they decide to do business with you- every interaction a brand has with a customer constitutes as eCommerce customer experience (ECX).
Why positive customer experience matters?
Simply put, Happy Customers leads to
- More Sales
- More Revenue
- More Referrals
- More Conversions
- Better Publicity
- Better Browsing Experience
- More Followers on social media
- Increased Customer Loyalty
- Better Customer Retention
- Better Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)
We all know that retaining old customers is always better than getting new ones. All product improvements and new launches go in vain if you’re unable to keep your customers. With online browsing, you have the potential to inspire current and prospective customers to make more purchases than the traditional retail method. And, customer experience (CX) plays a critical role in capturing these opportunities and converting them. It is precisely why a positive customer experience is the crown jewel for any eCommerce business.
The top ways to improve your ecommerce customer experience
As mentioned before, there is no one way to go around making improvements to your eCommerce customer experience strategy. However, when you need to optimize ECX for modern customers and their rapidly changing needs, there are some ways you can explore.
The following are some opportunities that will assist you in improving your customer experience without breaking a sweat.
Tip #1: Build a fast, easy-to-navigate site that communicates your value proposition well
In the online space, your website is your flagship- your flag-bearer. It is where your customers interact with your products and services, where you make sales, expand the product portfolio, judge for imperfections, study buying patterns, analyze customer behavior, and implement a customer-friendly marketing strategy.
Even for first-timers, you need to make an impeccable impact, one that adjusts to the modern customer demands, is easily navigable, and loads speedily. So, if you’re thinking of launching an eCommerce store, you can explore SaaS eCommerce, open-source eCommerce, and headless commerce technologies. All of them allow you to extend personalized shopping experiences to your customers and build a long-term relationship with them.
This brand (Hush Puppies) developed an intuitive and advanced website to ensure visitors can navigate the site with ease and seamlessness. It involves strategically categorizing the product catalog and its accompanying web pages and making the other parts of the site- a simple access.
Tip #2: Measure site speed and navigation
Consumers today are more impatient than ever. They will leave your site if it loads slowly or shows disoriented content that doesn’t look too good or appealing to them.
As per statistics, successful eCommerce sites load within 0.5 seconds. So, if you want your store to achieve this number, you need to:
- Avoid uploading images that have high resolution. Resize your images to the correct size before uploading.
- Avoid using pictures that are not optimized for the web. Use formats like GIF, JPEG, or PNG for images.
To optimize your website’s loading times, you can check its loading time at GTmetrix, analyze your clickthrough rates, and check your website’s bounce rate on Google Analytics.
Tip #3: Adapt your digital store for intelligent search
For an eCommerce store optimization, intelligent search is a great way to help customers build their carts, look whether the products they want to buy are in stock or not, explore all the relevant suggestions, receive accurate product information, and browse through items based on their product characteristics.
Unfortunately, most eCommerce sites hurt themselves more than help by focusing on keyword-driven searches instead of understanding the real intent behind the searched words- a perfect recipe for a bad customer experience. And, this is the difference between dumb search and intelligent search.
A site should focus more on the WHY of the search than treating them like keywords. If a user searches for budget black boots, they are looking for black boots within their budget. By comparison, an intelligent semantic search treats words like any actual sales representative would and provide relevant and apt solutions. So, empower your sites with intuitive and tailored search capabilities than judging every word like a keyword.
Tip #4: Optimize your site for mobile and web apps
Do you know, mobile eCommerce sales will account for 54% of the total eCommerce sales by the end of 2021! That’s the significance of mobile commerce or adapting your eCommerce store for mobile devices.
Optimizing your eCommerce store for mobile can result in a massive spike in your sales and conversion numbers- failure to which will make you lose more than half of your potential customers. Here are some tips to optimize your store for mobile:
- Improve your site’s mobile loading speed. Research shows users bounce back if it’s more than 3s.
- Choose an eCommerce platform that supports mobile-friendly development.
- Avoid heavy content.
- Make font legible and balance the whitespace.
- Don’t make your mobile website version visibly different than your desktop version.
- Enable autofill feature on forms for both Android & iOS.
Tip #5: Personalize customer experiences
You need to make your customers feel a connection when they land on your digital storefront. The key is to immerse your customers in your brand’s digital experience, appeal to their physical senses, and impact their emotions. And there are several ways to do so.
Integrate your online stores with augmented reality and virtual reality and bring the digital real-life experience in front of your customers. Let them try products before purchasing and give them a chance to experience trial rooms virtually.
Deliver tailored content, products, or services as per individual customer preferences throughout their buying journey. Address them by their names and provide them with recommendations after studying their buying patterns and behavior.
Tip #6: Marketing automation to cover all stages of the customer conversion funnel
Marketing automation is an all-in-one tool for your online business. It can assist with products, sales, conversions, marketing, customer outreach, analytics, campaigns, and insights- it practically does everything for you, which is why you must invest in buying one.
A marketing automation tool plays an incredible role in creating memorable customer experiences and maintaining those experiences over time. It helps with email marketing- allowing brands to connect with customers from their first interaction and purchase to post-sales assistance and retargeting. Using marketing automation, you can personalize those emails or campaigns to transform customer experiences from mediocre to memorable. Also, you can design landing pages and forms associated with leads, demand generation, or campaigns.
Marketing automation assists with omnichannel content strategy to make sure you send the right content to the right customer at the right time and all touchpoints. You can even analyze whether your customers are satisfied with your services or not, your best-selling products, track your inventory, study customer buying patterns, interests, study customer demographics, and more.
All in all, marketing automation supports your needs through the marketing funnel- awareness, interest, desire, action, and retention, which is why your digital business must have one.
Tip #7: Streamline your checkout process
Truth be told, a complicated checkout process leads to cart abandonment.
eCommerce Sites that include a long checkout form, slow loading webpage, disappearing ‘Buy Now’ button or a complex buying process are left midway or astray.
So, save yourself and your customers from this stress and simplify the checkout process- from the point they land on your site until they complete a purchase.
Add several payment options, including debit/credit card, UPI, net banking, or bitcoin. Survey all the product and payment pages to ensure that you deliver the right message.
Tip #8: Provide post-sales support
Your relationship with your customer doesn’t end after they purchase your product. The recipe for a successful digital commerce business is that you stay connected with your customers even after their purchase, make sure they’re satisfied with your product, provide troubleshooting options, and pitch new products or related products that they might be interested in. Everything described in the above sentences forms the core of customer retention.
Happy customers hold an incredible value for your business. If they loved the product, they might become your brand’s advocates or influencers. On the other hand, unhappy customers hold the power to destroy your online business with their negative reviews. But, the only way you’ll know whether your customers liked your product or not is when you contact them.
So, connect with your customers post-sales, offer them every assistance they need, address their issues, and push them to the last stage of the online buying funnel- retention. Remember, retaining customers is seven times easier than onboarding new ones.
Businesses and customers go hand-in-hand- each prospers because of the other. However, as times and technology change, so do customers and their expectations. As mentioned before, modern customers don’t buy products or services; they buy experiences. And it’s up to you, the kind of experience you want to extend. A positive online experience will ensure a steady customer influx and business continuity, while negative ones will turn your digital commerce business to dust.
Now is the time to focus on the essence of customer experience and build strong relationships with them. Create a unique, immersive, and inspiring buying experience for them, and you’ll enjoy its positive impact on your sales, revenue, and conversions.