Why Good Ecommerce Customer Experience Is A Must
2020 has been a trying year full of lessons for business owners as a majority of them had to transition from their brick and mortar business into the digital world.
Many companies were already focusing on their digital presence, but 2020 has shown us that anybody not willing to adapt will perish.
This article focuses on the eCommerce customer experience – a crucial element of this digital world.
We’ll talk about how its foundation lies in the golden rule of customer first and how to improve customer experience in the eCommerce industry!
What Is Ecommerce Customer Experience?
So what exactly is the eCommerce customer experience?
It is your customers’ perception of how your online business treats them throughout their journey with it.
This eCommerce customer experience directly affects your customers’ loyalty and behaviour.
If your customers like you, they will continue to make purchases at your eCommerce store while recommending you to others.
On the other hand, if they feel that they haven’t been treated well enough, they will quickly jump the ship.
According to research from PwC, 73% of consumers say that customer experience plays a vital role in their buying decisions.
Still, only 49% of the US consumers have said that the companies provide an excellent customer experience.
Gartner explained that customer experience management is:
‘the practice of designing and reacting to customer interactions that meet or exceed their expectations, leading to greater customer satisfaction, loyalty, and advocacy.’
The Difference Between Customer Experience (CX) & User Experience (UX)
So, what’s the difference between customer experience and user experience?
Although they are both used interchangeably, the user experience is a subset of customer experience.
The term user experience is focused on the usability of your website or product.
In contrast, the customer experience deals with the customer’s entire journey with an eCommerce store spread across various touchpoints.
Why Is Customer Experience So Important?
A market research firm Forrester says that the brands leading in retail customer experience are growing at a faster rate as opposed to those who aren’t adapting.
Exxel Outdoors increased its mobile conversion rate by more than 250% regarding eCommerce experience examples.
The case study also saw a subsequent increase in mobile revenue by 193% by improving customer experience.
A report compiled by Dimension Data says that 92% of companies that improved their customer experience saw a spike in customer loyalty, and 84% saw their revenue going up.
Once you start managing the online customer experience effectively, you can enjoy a variety of benefits.
Some of those benefits are mentioned below.
1 – It Leads To Customer Loyalty & Retention
An incredible customer experience is a decisive factor that leads to a reduction in customer churn while building brand loyalty.
As opposed to a 5-20% success rate of selling to new customers, you can enjoy a 60-70% success rate when it comes to marketing to existing customers.
According to a report, 43% of US customers spend more with retailers and brands they are loyal to.
Customers remember their experience with your eCommerce store and reward for a stellar experience with repeat business and share their positive experiences online with their friends and family members.
Furthermore, you should always bear in mind; customer retention is still more cost-effective than customer acquisition.
Acquiring a new customer is up to 5X costlier as opposed to retaining the existing customers.
You can engage your existing customer base by using your social media channels and SMS marketing instead of spending more money on advertisements to acquire new customers.
2 – Higher Lifetime Value Of Customers
By adopting a customer-first approach for your eCommerce store, you will be able to bring customers back to your online store, thus building repeat business instead of one-time customers.
This leads to a higher lifetime value (LTV) of customers. On average, loyal customers will spend 67% more than new customers at your eCommerce store.
Again, how do you create loyal customers? By offering an incredible customer experience!
3 – You’ll Be Creating Brand Ambassadors
How do you reach out to the new customers in the most effective manner?
Believe it or not, it is the word of mouth that proves to be the most effective one.
The shoppers have become much more conscious and wary of marketing messages or paid advertisements.
However, 81% of shoppers will trust personal recommendations from friends and family members.
Customers satisfied with your customer experience will positively talk about your brand and your products to their friends and families via reviews, social media, and in-person, thus leading to new customers making their way to your eCommerce store.
How To Improve Customer Experience In Ecommerce
Consider visiting your favourite brick and mortar store.
You’re greeted with a warm welcome by a friendly salesperson who will help you select the best product based on your needs.
This salesperson will also consider your budget and other items that you are purchasing while answering all questions that you might have.
You’ll end up making a purchase, being satisfied, and leaving the store in a good mood – essentially, what you’ve experienced is an incredible customer experience.
This is something that you have to create for your eCommerce store!
Customer experience is how your brand communicates with your customers at every touchpoint during their journey with you.
The ability to provide an excellent customer experience is what will set your business apart from that of your competitors.
Improving customer experience can lead to boosting conversion rates.
So, how do you improve the customer experience? Continue reading to find out!
1 – Start By Trying To Make Your Customers’ Day
As per HBR, increasing customer retention by a mere 5% results in a 25% increase in profits.
The eCommerce stores that have understood the importance of customer retention are working hard to offer the highest standards of eCommerce customer experience to their customers.
You can use the following tips to ensure that your customers are delighted:
- Offer reward or loyalty points to customers who purchase products that can be redeemed later.
- Send thank you emails once customers have shopped at your eCommerce store. You can also send them handwritten thank-you notes with the shipped products if that’s feasible for you.
- SMS & Customer experience go hand in hand – ask your customers to opt-in for your SMS marketing and use it to let them know about new deals and to recommend products based on their shopping history with your eCommerce store.
- Get a referral program going that offers benefits to existing customers and new customers.
- It’s always a great idea to send free t-shirts, mugs, or keychains with orders to your loyal customers.
- You can offer free shipping as a surprise to bump up your sales!
2 – Focus On Building A Community
You can use social media to create a community for your eCommerce store.
This community can be engaged for reviews and to spread the word around.
Loyal customers who will become part of this community should be given incentives such as exclusive sales or discounts.
3 – Work On Your Social Media Skills
Speaking of social media, it is your newest best friend if you want to deliver an exceptional eCommerce customer experience to your customers.
You can use social media to stand apart from other brands using your unique brand voice and cater to your customers’ queries.
People love interacting with a brand of social media.
Any eCommerce store committed to entertaining its customers or followers on social media will soon see a spike in its sales.
Your social media team can also cater to positive and negative reviews and ensure that customers are satisfied with your services.
4 – Create & Follow An Impactful Content Strategy
Having a content strategy allows you to solve your customers’ problems, which’s the purpose of content marketing.
You can add tips, blog posts, videos, infographics, comparisons, and reviews of different products to help your customers make an informed decision.
Remember that any eCommerce store creating value for its customers is the brand they will shop at.
As a bonus tip, you should always incorporate a compelling call to action in your content that encourages your customers to take action.
5 – Omnichannel Customer Experience Is the Name Of The Game
Thanks to the advances made in technology, your customers are spread across all over the internet.
This poses a problem for you – you must be present everywhere as well.
The customers want to be catered to dealing with your live chat, Instagram account, or Facebook account.
Omnichannel marketing can help you transform your conversions and bring them to a new high!
You should ensure that you are reachable through email, WhatsApp, phone calls, live chat, and through your social media channels, thus catering to the customers whenever they feel the need to connect with your eCommerce store.
6 – Add The Flavor Of Personalisation
Forget personalising the emails that you sent.
The customers are looking for a personalised shopping experience based on a variety of variables.
For instance, they want products that match the items present in their cart or those they have already bought.
They want to avail of deals and discounts based on their location and other variables such as browsing history and shopping behaviour.
This is what you should focus on if you want to offer an incredible eCommerce customer experience.
7 – Don’t Forget To Audit Your Website
Your eCommerce store is only as good as the experience that it offers in terms of usability.
It would be best if you regularly carried out an audit of your website to check out the following:
- Is your website appealing?
- Is it easy to find specific products?
- Is the website loading properly with all of the content?
- Is the website content free of error and easy to read?
- Is the shopping cart easy to view and review?
- How good are customer service, support, and aftersales service?
- Is the customer experience enjoyable, and is the website based on the customer-first approach?
As a rule of thumb, your website should be easy to navigate, load up quickly, and help customers find what they are looking for without any hassle.
8 – Make The Checkout Process Seamless
Finally, you must ensure that your checkout process is as seamless as possible.
A hassle-free checkout process is crucial for delivering a high-quality customer experience to your customers.
It must be secure and easy to use, thus allowing users to complete it quickly and without stress.
It should have informative notes to help customers along the way and must not be tedious or time-consuming.
9 – Focus On Mobile Optimisation
According to a report, 54% of total eCommerce sales will be on mobile by 2021.
This shows how important it is to optimise your eCommerce store for mobile users, thus making the whole experience effortless.
Your forms should feature autofill on Android and Chrome, thus saving the user from having to type too much.
Research by Google says that 53% of people close a mobile page if it takes more than 3 seconds to load – that’s why you must ensure that everything happens at a quick pace.
10 – Crystal Clear Returns Policy
As an eCommerce store, you must have your fair share of returns.
It is crucial to a good eCommerce customer experience that your returns policy is mentioned on your website, and it must be easy, fair, and accessible.
11 – Always Follow Up
Following up with your customers is a good practice that shows that you care about them.
It also contributes towards creating a delightful customer experience.
You can offer them future discounts along with the follow-up or let them know about upcoming products or sales to keep their interest piqued.
12 – Customer Reviews Help With Authenticity
Having customer reviews added to products on your eCommerce stores will help the customers make up their mind and display authenticity.
That’s why it is strongly recommended that you incorporate them to offer an overall good customer experience.
13 – Improve Customer Support
Improving your customer support plays a vital role in providing a stellar eCommerce customer experience.
You should ensure that your customer support team is doing all they can to make your customers feel satisfied and heard.
The eCommerce industry is growing exponentially, and the competition is becoming fiercer with every passing minute.
A tried and tested way to survive this competition and to continue to grow is by providing your customers with an incredible customer experience.
We wish you good luck and hope you will incorporate these tips for eCommerce customer experience to grow your sales and clientele!