How do you stand out from the overwhelming number of eCommerce stores currently operational online? A great way is by creating a strong positive customer experience, which helps you be recognized and also increases customer retention. According to HBR, increasing the customer retention rate by 5% increases profit by at least 25%.
What is eCommerce customer experience? According to BigCommerce, “The term eCommerce customer experience refers to the sum of every touchpoint, engagement, thought or feeling that occurs or is exchanged between the customer and your brand – as experienced from the customer’s perspective.”
How do you create a positive customer experience, both on and off the online store? We share a few suggestions below.
Creating a great UI/UX
Arguably, the most important aspect of your eCommerce customer experience (CX) is the user experience on the website. Ensure that the user experience is positive, with:
- aesthetic, engaging site design
- cohesive content that centers around brand USP
- device responsive online store
- mobile-friendly search, filter and galleries
- fast-loading site with easy navigation and no broken links
- easily searchable site with AI-powered eCommerce plugins
Regularly conduct UX audits, including gathering customer inputs, to ensure that your UI/UX is up-to-date, user-friendly and contributing positively to your eCommerce CX.
Another great way to improve the on-site customer experience is through personalization. Salesforce found that “Intelligent product recommendations allow for natural, logical opportunities to upsell and cross-sell”. That’s why 24% of all orders come from “engagement with AI-powered product recommendation”.
By using an AI-powered product recommendation engine, you can create multiple highly personalized opportunities for upselling and cross-selling. The customer can interact with relevant products and select the right one for them, faster.
In addition to making it easy to use the site and find the right product, also make it easy to find the site itself. Wherever your customer or prospect is, they need to be able to find your online store. Targeting on social media and search engines is very important in this context, and remarketing is key.
As we’ve mentioned in this blog, product recommendation engines “also drive social media ads presenting the ‘same, similar or complementary products’, as well as emails or texts promoting the purchase of relevant items, ‘perhaps with a personalized promotion code’.”
Creating immersive, engaging website content
When it comes to your website, you need to create content that is clearly centered around a single key brand USP. Home page design and content should showcase and communicate the value proposition immediately (above the fold or below) upon visiting the online store.
Each product page should be populated with content that presents enough information, without becoming overwhelming. All information (product specs, pricing, availability, return and shipping policies, etc) should be accessible within one click from the product page.
Enhance the experience by using video and 3D imagery to help customers visualize the product better. While 2D imagery has been the norm for many decades, with the advent of new technologies like AR, VR and the metaverse, 3D imagery is rapidly becoming a requirement. (Not all eCommerce brands are currently using it, but the metaverse is the future of the internet and it makes sense to be prepared.)
Making fulfilment easier
Off-site customer experience is important, and to get it right, focusing on delivery should be your top priority. Centralize inventory data to ensure that all channels present up-to-date, correct information. This makes sure that there is no issue of stockout after checkout on any channel.
Whether it’s overnight delivery or a longer timeframe, implement supply chain optimization to meet the commitment, every time. Offer multiple fulfilment options such as BOPIS (Buy Online Pay In Store) and BORIS (Buy Online Return In Store), to satisfy every customer requirement and give every user a positive experience. You can also present multiple payment options, including subscription services. In a survey conducted by Paysafe, fifty-three percent of respondents said, “Subscriptions are a more convenient method of paying for goods or services they regularly use.”
Nurturing a strong user community
It’s important to build a community of brand users. Shopify’s 2022 Future of Commerce report “revealed that 40% of brands are looking to create more ways for customers to interact with them in 2022 and beyond.”
Create special programs and communities for your most loyal customers, offering them special merchandise, points and offers. This could be created and developed on social media, on the online store itself, or even via physical meet-ups.
Many brands are now using NFTs as part of their loyalty programs and user community development, which is a new way to keep users engaged and involved. By using NFTs, you can create unique experiences for your customer community, keeping them delighted and engaged in the long term. Loyalty programs powered by NFTs can provide a real competitive advantage.
Investing in regular communication
When do you talk to your customers? Is communication important? When you regularly communicate with your audience, they feel heard, appreciated and more positively inclined toward the brand. It’s important to communicate with your customers, prospects and the general public at various important touchpoints. At a bare minimum, these should include:
- messages with incentives for abandoned carts
- thank you messages upon purchase
- follow-up emails with requests for feedback upon delivery
Ensure that all communication of this kind is straightforward and to the point.
In addition, customer support is highly important to create a positive customer experience. “According to a Zendesk study, 87% of American respondents claimed that great customer service influenced them.” Integrate an AI-powered chatbot for 24×7 support. Real-time customer support on chat or call by a human executive is important too.
How do you measure your eCommerce CX?
You can measure customer experience through various objective measures such as customer retention, purchase frequency, order return rate and loyalty program participation, as well as subjective measures such as CSAT and NPS.
Request feedback and act on it, regularly. Do not make decisions too quickly and easily – base all your decisions on data, gathered from website analytics and from customer feedback. Study the analytics to understand where people spend time on the website, how they are interacting with the site and how much time they’re spending on the store.
Listen to your customers by conducting surveys and interviews on a regular basis. To learn more about off-site customer experience, conduct studies such as social listening and brand monitoring to understand what customers love and hate about your brand. By studying user-generated content, you can learn what the client thinks about your brand products and service.
In a Forbes article, it was reported that “Customers desire to feel appreciated. When companies fail to deliver that experience, customers often choose to switch brands. The most painful thing about this is that it can take up to 12 positive experiences to make up for a single negative one.” Make sure that your eCommerce customer experience is consistently positive. Allow us to help you. Reach out to our team today to discuss how to get started today.