Customers are the foundation of any company from any business domain. Business goals and marketing strategies are woven around the needs of consumers and target audiences.
In the digital age, the significance of customers shouldn’t be overlooked. Your competitors might be offering similar products and services to the same customers right at the moment. Not to miss a sales opportunity, you should make sure you have something unique to provide your customers with.
What is an E-commerce Experience?
E-commerce experience is an impression a customer gets when interacting with your online business. Depending on this impression a customer will either stay with your brand and continue purchasing or will leave you forever. The reasons for that can be numerous like poor performance, inconvenient UI, inability to complete the purchase due to errors acquiring, etc. To avoid losing clients, e-commerce companies need to enhance overall customer experience.
In this article we will disclose why customer experience is so important and what to do to improve it.
Why is Customer Experience so Important for E-commerce?
Customers prefer online shopping because it is convenient, affordable, and provides many options. However, 80% of buyers would stop buying from a company because of poor website customer experience. Thus it is important for an ecommerce business to comply with customer expectations. The better online customer experience you provide, the more chances you have for sales, revenue and growth. It is the key factor to differentiate your business from competitors. In fact, 70% of buying experiences are based on how shoppers feel they are being treated. If they get a positive impression they will become loyal to your brand and will come back over and over again.
How to Improve E-commerce Customer Experience?
Before we dwell on the ways to improve your customer experience, it is important to answer to the following questions, that will help you to understand where is the gap:
- Is our website design simple and appealing?
- Is your website mobile friendly?
- How easy is it to navigate?
- How long do the pages and content load?
- Is the product data at hand and informative?
- Is the shopping cart easy to reach and deal with?
- Do you have an online assistant or chat at hand?
So what are the ways to improve your e-commerce customer experience? Let’s have a look at some of them.
Ensure User-Friendly Experience
Firstly, your website should be easy to use for your clients. From product pages to the check-out pages, you should ensure flawless user experience on your website. Even if your customers are trying to empty their cart, the navigation should be clear.
Secondly, customers want websites that are easy to navigate and allow them to browse products and find exactly what they are looking for. Much like a physical store is, your online store should be structured with categories. Everything should be tagged and categorized in the back end. Most well-known e-commerce CMS systems allow you to reach that goal. However, not all ready-made e-commerce platforms may fit your exact needs. With custom e-commerce development, you get full control over the look and appearance and most importantly functions of your portal. Unlike ready-made solutions which are rigid and can’t be fully customized, a custom e-commerce website design offers tons of flexibility.
With rapid growth of mobile devices the number of purchases done by mobile users has exploded. According to Statista just in the USA retail m-commerce sales exceeded 360 billion U.S. dollars in 2021 and is constantly growing.
Your website should be good looking and functioning both on desktop, mobile devices and tablets to better serve your customer demands and increase the overall number of buyers.
Secure Payment Methods
While shopping online, buyers want to rest assured their personal and financial data is secure so payment methods on your website should be secure, safe, and hassle-free. Moreover, you need to make sure that your website allows your clients to pay through any of their favorite payment options.
Invest in a payment gateway with multilayered security measures. Data encryption will ensure that customer transactions are secure. Using a payment gateway protects your buyers’ data and decreases the intensity and frequency of online fraud risks.
If you can, provide a variety of payment options – especially those that are commonly widespread. Thus you are making things easier for them and at the same time boosting customer loyalty, which will ultimately lead to higher revenues later on.
Seamless Checkout Process
A complicated checkout process is very often the reason behind an abandoned cart. The checkout process should be easy and fast. In addition, a buyer should be able to see their shopping cart so that they understand how to complete the order.
Due to discarded shopping carts and canceled purchases during checkout, the e-commerce industry is losing thousands of dollars year over year. To improve the vulnerabilities that exist in your checkout process, you might want to deploy automation to analyze the patterns behind abandoned shopping carts.
The buyer must be able to see the value of their cart and all the necessary information during the checkout. Showing information about user-related deals and discount coupons can help increase sales as well. Finally, to prevent last-minute cart abandonment scenarios, an e-commerce store should ensure no slowdowns during the checkout stage.
Chatbots for Simple Customer Service Issues
Conversational artificial intelligence, in the form of chatbots, is taking eCommerce by storm. Chatbots are software that communicates with shoppers through a live chat interface. They can be installed either directly on your website or integrated into platforms like Slack, Skype, Facebook Messenger, and even Alexa.
The simplest forms of chatbots can scan user inquiries for keywords and answer their questions. More powerful chatbots can also use Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to provide more personalized user experience based on the data of a particular customer.
Unlike humans, chatbots can provide 24/7 service without the long waits of the traditional human customer help. They never get tired, so you don’t risk providing poor service. Chatbots take the repetitive and monotonous job of endlessly answering simple questions off your desk. If a request is too difficult for a chatbot to answer, the chatbot passes it to a human specialist who can solve the problem.
Custom CRM for Better Customer Relationships
Many organizations use CRM software to monitor individual customers’ data. It is important to know each customer’s data so that the sales team can know the details required to communicate with customers. Having the necessary information is useful so that each customer will be given individualized service.
CRM can greatly affect the efficiency of the sales process as it helps you gain instant access to data such as contact information, purchase history, customer service contact history, and more. This information is important because it enables you to anticipate the needs of your clients and, therefore, provide impeccable customer experience.
Collecting and integrating customer feedback data into your CRM provides you with a greater understanding of customer needs in relation to the product or service you offer. These insights can be used to identify problems and improve your offering to meet customer needs.
Another way to improve customer experience is to integrate cutting-edge technologies like Augmented Reality. One of the biggest challenges for online buyers is an inability to try on the clothes and goods they want to purchase. While incorporating augmented reality functionality you can easily bridge this gap. Many huge e-commerce retailers have already integrated this innovation into their online stores (Ikea, Target, Amazon, and many others).
Read more on how to improve customer experience with augmented reality here.
A smart e-commerce customer service strategy is critical for growing your business. With a customer identity and access management solution, you will get 360-degree customer profiling and ensure 100% customer consent, across all touchpoints. This allows you to customize marketing and loyalty programs that engage your audience.
Customer experience may not be most companies’ favorite activity, but it should be a major point of focus. When you’re looking for ways to enhance your e-commerce website, analyze your customer service and look for areas where you can improve.