As more and more shoppers seek convenience, a vast purview of options, and fair pricing, eCommerce shopping has slowly come to alter the retail industry. Consumer activity in eCommerce has been so furtive that the industry’s revenue is expected to reach $4.5 trillion by 2021, indicating that the dramatic move away from conventional retail will not be reversed anytime soon.
As such, delivering a stellar eCommerce customer experience today is not only advantageous to companies but also a necessity. As an increasing number of people shop online, their standards for a positive customer experience grow. According to research by PwC, 73% of all people consider customer experience to be a crucial component in their buying decisions, but only 49% of U.S. customers agree that they provide a good customer experience. In order to help eCommerce organizations close that gap, we have assimilated a list of five tips in this article that will help you understand how to improve customer experience for eCommerce.
1. Build a user-friendly website
The most crucial element in running an eCommerce store successfully is its website. This is because your website is usually the first touchpoint in your prospective customer’s journey, and thus you have to ensure that the first impression people have is a good one.
You can do this by building easy-to-navigate web pages that allow your customers to gain an intuitive grasp of how to proceed on your website to browse products or seek the services they need. As such, the UI of the website should be categorically organized, much the same way a physical store is. Also, ensure that the search button is easily discoverable and links to all your resources.
Building an easy-to-use website with a well-designed search bar can not only allow customers to find what they need but also makes for a great customer experience. Take the example of Zara’s website. It places the search bar in a way that it is big and clearly visible. In addition to that, it also lists its product categories as a carousel so that the user can skim through them easily to land upon the category that they want to shop.
2. Use upselling & cross-selling strategies
Providing items related to your customers’ purchases is also a very effective way to improve the customer experience for your eCommerce store. However, while doing so, ensure that you don’t bombard shoppers with every relevant product there is, but rather push items to your customer that will complement their shopping cart.
You can also craft compelling CTA(s) and provide offers to customers to persuade them to buy more or higher-priced items. Again, make sure that the frequency of your messages is just right since incessant upsells could alienate clients.
By providing high-value discounts and complimentary items, you can tie people to your eCommerce store so that they buy regularly and become repeat customers. Dollar Shave Club is the perfect example of this. Their confirmation email above shows you how it not only allows customers to know about an incoming shipment but also upsells other complementary products.
3. Employ chatbots to reduce cart abandonment rates
Were you aware that as many as 88% of shopping carts of eCommerce stores are abandoned by customers, irrespective of the industry they belong to?
Many a time, customers add products to their cart without fully understanding what they want or how and which product could fit their needs the best. This makes customers hesitate to buy a product that they might not be satisfied with later. What’s more, buyers could also be confused about different aspects of your website, such as what’s the return policy, how many payment options there are, among others, which often arises as a result of lack of customer support.
In order to help buyers understand these things, you can employ a chatbot to provide customer support to buyers at every hour of the day. Retail chatbots are not only available round-the-clock, but they also remind buyers about products in their shopping carts by tracking them from the time they add products to their cart and activating cart reminders to encourage them to make a purchase.
When it comes to choosing a chatbot for ecommerce stores, there are plenty of players in the market. But Acquire’s Chatbot and Intercom’s conversational platform are industry leaders.
4. Build a great community on social media
According to a study from IAB, around 90% of consumers claim that they would recommend a brand and its products to others after engaging with them on social media.
This is great news for eCommerce store owners. Social media not only allows them to interact with customers through their unique brand voice but also gives them a chance to retarget customers. By being active on your social media page and engaging customers on a daily basis, you can build a dedicated community of followers.
Take Black Milk Clothing, for example. The brand has a host of Facebook groups across the world, along with a huge group called “Sell, Swap, Buy”, with more than 15,000 members.
The brand uses its Facebook page very wisely, sometimes even featuring Instagram photos of their customers wearing or flaunting their products. This maneuver serves a double purpose: it makes existing customers happy and also gives prospective buyers a chance to see what their products look like on real people, giving them more incentive to buy their products.
5. Provide excellent customer support
As said above, the power of excellent customer support can never be understated. And while chatbots come in handy to service customer queries at odd hours of the day or even handle an inordinate number of basic inquiries simultaneously, it doesn’t quite provide the interpersonal connection that a human does.
A customer with a defective product is obviously going to be comparatively more emotional. Having them engage with chatbots could potentially leave them sulking because of the lack of empathy, prompting them to leave you a bad review. That is why you should ensure that your customer support personnel is always equipped to quite literally save the day for your customer, and in the process, save yours too.
At the same time, be extremely pedantic about who you place your faith in since these support personnel are the face of your brand for your consumers. Educate your support team personnel in the art of customer support through real-life examples and exemplars. Take Zappos, for example. Known for having an obsessive focus around its customers’ experience, Zappos is often the benchmark for providing customer support, along with, of course, Amazon.
Shown above is just one example of Amazon‘s many successful customer support stories, where a customer support personnel services the customer while roleplaying with them, adding an extra dimension to their experience in the process.
When everything’s said and done, delivering a satisfactory customer experience is certainly no cakewalk. It is a continuous process that involves tailing the customer on their buyer journey and helping them at every stage in the process. It also involves understanding your audience well and creating the right support systems for them to enjoy a good experience shopping with you.