This is one of the crucial things for an ecommerce business, and customers are more likely to be attracted to specific products in particular categories thanks to the product's strong ecommerce strategy. You may be offering the best product in the world, but if you haven't designed the right buyer's journey, you won't see customers coming.
The importance of ecommerce in today's economy is that they deliver an amazing customer experience to their web ecommerce shop. We address several aspects of customer satisfaction and explain how this process can enhance the effectiveness of your business.
What is an ecommerce customer experience?
What do we mean by customer experience? It's the sum of all experiences and events your clients have with your brand. It doesn't refer only to your online business, however, we will focus today on the online shopping experience.
It starts right after potential customers have the first touch with your brand: it may be in a conversation with a friend, by watching an advertisement, site search, or any other. The first impression is very important. The next significant event is a visit to your ecommerce website - everything here can impact the perception: images, wording, purchase process, product search, the performance of the web page. If the visit is good enough, the product meets the expectations, the next stage of the customer journey begins - payment and finalization of the transaction.
If the client faces difficulties, even after the decision of buying the product, he or she may be willing to abandon the basket and buy the thing from your competition. During online shopping, there is no way to uplift customer retention, by for example personal touch, as in a standard physical store.
What is also important for future success, is to offer a cherry on the top - quick and accurate shipping, with the right package, and outstanding post-sales support.
All the actions, from the first touch, to the contact with customer support, sum up to the positive or negative customer experience. A happy client will share his or her thoughts with more or less one person (or very often none). An unhappy one will complain about your brand to, statistically, at least five people. Losing potential and existing customers means you need to invest more money to attract new ones, and you are losing a competitive advantage... not nice. Reasons, for which you should care about customer loyalty, are countless.
Why shopping experience is important?
Loyal customers are crucial for ecommerce business, as the current situation in many industries is very competitive. Loyal, satisfied customers become an advocate for your brand and will promote it, just because of the happiness they experienced during shopping online. Buyers have a million options to choose the product they want.
As an ecommerce company, you can try various strategies to build your brand and boost sales, but without giving the customers something more than just a product, you will lose a significant part of the market, and you will have to put more money into such areas as promotion, sales, special offers, marketing, which may turn out to be very expensive for you and your company. This is why today most businesses prefer to spend some more time and assign company resources to design the right customer experience map, which will bring them mouth-to-mouth marketing and advertisement, increase revenue and make the customers happy.
Research shows that loyal clients contribute to a 300 percent revenue increase over a period of three years. That is in sharp contrast with a dissatisfied customer base which can reduce your revenues by up to 14% within a calendar year.
So, summing up, why you should care about CX and improve the ecommerce customer experience?
- it's simple: happy clients means more revenue, means business growth,
- great eCommerce customer experience brings loyalty,
- this is also the way to build a positive image of your company, which sometimes is very difficult,
- a satisfied customer that gets exactly what they want means fewer complaints and returns,
- seamless customer experience will make you stand out from the competition,
- by offering a personalized experience you gain some data about what should your product look like.
NOTE: there are times when outstanding customer experience is of particular importance. One of them is undoubtedly the High Season (Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Christmas) - download our ebook "How to prepare your e-commerce logistics for high season" and make sure you meet all the requirements and needs of your buyers!
We have analyzed the profits of the right CX strategy, let's talk about how to boost customer experience. Right strategies and ideas may vary, as we have a lot of differences between industries, small and big companies, products they offer. However, we've discussed the most general approaches, that can be applied to a major part of ecommerce businesses.
Community is the key
As we have highlighted in previous sections, community, people, spreading the word about your company is a very important factor. People have a natural need of belonging to a certain social group. Not only by your products but by communication, the style, your posts on social media channels, you create a community, with fans of your brand, that will fight for the common values you present.
Those who become the natural advocates of your products, are keener to leave positive product reviews and encourage others to buy from you.
Omnichannel is what they want
When it comes to the mobile experience, social media, or sales channels, the answer always is omnichannel. Your customers are present in various places on the web, so the online experience should be designed for all of them. A smart digital marketing strategy will increase customer engagement, give you more options to interact with them, and build comprehensive brand awareness.
What is omnichannel ecommerce? It’s a business model in which a company offers various ways to fulfill customers’ orders via multiple channels. It connects all company’s touchpoints: shops, website, social, email, mobile with a supply chain. A few decades ago, to buy a thing, you had to do nothing but put on your shoes and go to a brick-and-mortar store. Sometimes it was a seller, to ring the bell at your door, proposing the stuff they had to sell, not always something you’ve needed at that moment.
Sales were rather a single-channel model, but once the internet hit households around the globe, it has changed. Also, typical stores have been given new forms – shopping malls, mobile stands, etc. It has all brought a sales process evolution, of which result is multi- and omnichannel sales. You can read more about omnichannel in ecommerce in our article here.
Personalize where you can
If we pick 5 top trends in the eCommerce business today, personalization would be there for sure. And it's not just a matter of a newsletter that starts with a warm welcome and your name, it's present everywhere. Ecommerce sales use customer data, such as location, shopping, and browsing history, where possible.
Everything has to be as much tailored just for you as possible. You receive personalized special offers and browser results. Selected products are presented to you in the online store. If we receive an offer that meets 100% of our expectations and seems to be a once-in-a-lifetime special offer, probably we won't cancel the purchase. Many companies spend a lot of time analyzing personal data and preparing a personalization workflow step by step.
Improve customer experience for mobile users
Many online shoppers use their mobile devices to browse and buy the products they want, some say it's even more than 50%. You should bear it in mind when planning the improvements in customer experience. Make sure your website and online store are compatible with various browsers and operating systems and load quickly. When browsing on the mobile device we don't have a typical keyboard, so as many fields as possible should be automatically filled-in. It's worth considering reducing content and steps for the mobile version of your shop.
Make sure your website is great
Of course, your original, desktop website should be great too, and customer experience for web pages and online shops is a very different topic. Make a good decision when choosing the right platform for your ecommerce site, there are a lot of providers that offer similar solutions, however, it's good to analyze all of the features and details of the offer, and how future-proof they are. Once designed, you rather won't be happy to transfer to another platform, if it turns out that it doesn't offer the level of customer experience you've expected. Check such providers as Shopify, Bigcommerce, Woocommerce, Wix, Shoplo, Prestashop.
It may be obvious, but it's worth mentioning that the very good performance of the website, seamless checkout process, product pages that respond quickly are an absolute must.
Another important task worth doing, which will add some overall customer satisfaction is to load the website with good quality content: educational posts, some interesting insights, presence of influencers or your customers' idols, and user-generated content as well. You may get it by organizing inspiring contests, or simply inviting your clients to share the media showing how happy they are with your product.
The smooth and easy checkout process
As mentioned above, but worth highlighting: the last step of purchasing process should be perfect. No moments of hesitation, unclear choices, too long loading. You don't want to lose the customer that has already decided to buy your product! Filling in the data should be as easy as possible. The choice of payment methods should be wide and secure. Complete information on every stage is needed. If you have problems with this, try to collaborate with the provider of your online store platform.
Fast and cheap shipping
Efficient shipment is also a part of the customer experience. People can be happy with the purchase, but when delivery is delayed, poorly tracked, or very expensive it will leave some unpleasant impression. To avoid that and to give exactly what your customers expect, we advise working with the right fulfillment partner, that will take care of all the logistics processes for you, making sure they are fast, cheap, and on the high-class level.
Make it interactive for online shoppers
How to stand out from the competition when it comes to online retailers? One of the ideas is to make your eCommerce customer experience more interactive. What does it mean? For example, you can let your clients try the products virtually - for some it may be just a fun feature, but if it brings a positive customer experience and the product is good, it may end up as a purchase.
During the shopping process, your buyers may have some questions - there is no staff to help, as in a physical store, therefore you have to propose an alternative solution for eCommerce customer service. Here come chats and chatbots. With a smart technique, you can give your customers an advisor, that will quickly solve their problems and speed up buying decisions.
Best customer service
How to do the right customer service? It could be a separate article - it's a huge chapter on how to leverage eCommerce customer experience. It's all you can do to delight your customers during the buying process and after that. You should be there for them if they need any assistance in choosing and finalizing the purchase, resolving all the issues as soon as possible.
When they move to the group that finalized the buying process, you can offer them memorable service. What can bring a smile to your customers' faces? Birthday special offer, an invitation to exclusive sales, events. What else? Survey them! It will generate an impression that their opinion is important, and you can use collected data to improve your services.
What is strictly connected to online shopping is a return policy, and this is also a part of the customer experience. Buyers will expect to have a possibility to return the product, if needed, possibly at no cost and without engaging too much. If you have a problem with handling this process by yourself, use a fulfillment company that will take care of it for you.
Boost social media
Last but not least - don't forget about the importance of social media. It's a way to give your brand some human, personal touch, to share important messages, insights, reviews. The best idea is to hire a content specialist, that knows how to behave in social media channels, how to post to get the highest engagement, and also how to respond to people's reactions, both good and bad.
How to monitor customer experience success?
Once the ecommerce customer experience strategy is designed and implemented, it's not the end of the task. To be sure you are following the right direction, you have to measure the customer satisfaction score. There are many techniques, but we will mention here those most popular and efficient.
Customer satisfaction factors
Simply, you can launch a CSAT (customer satisfaction survey) to gain answers to different questions about your clients' experience. Especially, if you are looking for an improvement in a certain area - you can do multiple surveys with selected focus and dig deeper into the subject. However not every customer is willing to spend time on long surveys.
There comes NPS (Net Promoter Score), which concentrates on the simple answer to the question: would you recommend our company and the product to others? The interviewee needs to score from 0 to 10 the probability and that's it. It won't give you a wide view of their perception but many companies choose this technique to measure customer satisfaction due to its simplicity.
To stay ahead of the game, you need to propose a unique customer experience, and this will be a point of the plan in almost every area of your business. It may seem laborious, but once a well-implemented strategy will help you save money and time, that would be needed to fix problems that may occur if your ecommerce customer experience is poor.
A stellar customer experience will bring your loyal buyers and will make you an ecommerce star. If you have issues with customer experience in logistics are - let us know, we are more than happy to help you.