Consumer habits are constantly changing, and businesses are under pressure to provide a seamless customer experience (CX) that reflects those changes. Customer expectations are higher than ever, with 73% of customers saying CX is their deciding factor when making purchases.
So, how do businesses improve their eCommerce CX? Winning customers over with an exceptional CX strategy is the first port of call for any eCommerce brand looking to boost its sales. Businesses should focus on consistency, security, efficiency, personalization, and mobile optimization to improve their eCommerce customer experience.
This guide will explore practical techniques for developing a successful CX strategy and creating a seamless eCommerce customer experience.
1. Deliver a consistent omnichannel experience
eCommerce customers interact with a brand through multiple channels. Consistency is essential. Customers will interact with various touchpoints, such as social media, websites, live chat, and a physical store, throughout their buying journey to purchase a product. Their experience should be seamless and stress-free as they move from one point to the next.
You may offer multiple channels that don’t link well as a brand. Customers don’t enjoy repeating themselves at numerous touchpoints. Most customers, 86%, are willing to pay more for a great customer experience. Mapping your customer journey from start to finish can help develop a consistent omnichannel experience.
2. Provide a personalized experience
Personalizing your customer’s experience by showing them related products and user-generated content (UGC) is vital to your CX strategy. Customers are almost four times more likely to click on mobile in-app personalized messages based on their customer journey.
“To provide a personal experience for your customers, you need to understand their buying behaviors,” says Daniel Apke, CEO of Land Investing Online. “This is similar across B2B and B2C eCommerce. Create a customer profile for each visitor and tailor their experience to their needs by analyzing their activity.”
Customer personalization spans web pages, emails, apps, and social media platforms. Designing a personal experience for your customer using their browsing data will create a unique and dynamic shopping process for each individual. Personalization can also generate higher customer satisfaction and increase conversion rates by up to 15%.
3. Enhance security and customer data storage
Protecting your customers from security threats is part of an effective CX strategy. Simple ways to improve the security of your eCommerce store include:
- Encrypting the online store.
- Password protection protocols.
- Use a verified card processor.
- Add security plugins.
Two-factor authentication can help your customers protect their data when using your store. Providing a secure environment for your customers to shop will also increase their trust in your brand.
You should take extra care about the politics of privacy and terms of subscriptions. It’s very important for users to be sure that their email addresses, phone numbers, and any other sensitive data will be safe. This includes protecting them from spam and not selling their information to other companies.
4. Use eye-catching visual elements
Use high-quality images and videos across your store to capture customers' attention. The visual elements of your website reflect the product you’re selling. Use larger product images that customers can zoom into to see the details.
“It takes less than half a second for a customer to form an opinion of your website,” explains Jarret Austin, owner of Bankruptcy Canada Inc. “You will lose customers if your website is slow or low quality. Websites that are unresponsive on mobiles will also leave your customers feeling unimpressed. Including high-resolution images and short video clips could set you aside from your competition.”
Make sure images load only when users need them to. Having a lot of high-resolution images and short video clips loaded upfront can lower the performance of your website and cause a bad customer experience.
5. Boost efficiency with automation tools
eCommerce automation tools, such as chatbots, can improve your customer journey by reducing waiting times. Many chatbots and artificial intelligence (AI) systems are now available with conversational intelligence that allows customers to ask simple questions. This will enable customers to serve themselves and reduce waiting times.
Automation tools are a powerful element of a CX strategy. They also reduce company costs and response times.
6. Combine human interaction with AI
Using AI helps free up valuable time for employees to deal with important customer issues.
Some useful ways to assist humans with AI are:
- Voice search
- Product recommendations
- Virtual assistants
- Searching for customer data
One of the most valuable ways to combine AI with human interaction is by sifting through vast amounts of data.
“AI can analyze customer feedback to determine whether it is positive or negative,” says Veselin Mladanov, Content Manager at ThriveMyWay. “AI tools can analyze text to see if a customer is dissatisfied. This can help businesses to dissect their CX offering and focus on what the customer enjoys. You can also use AI to analyze competitor reviews and feedback to improve the brand reputation.”
AI can reduce costly human errors and find customer information in a fraction of the time it would take a human.
7. Follow customer trends with tracking technology
Tracking customers’ behaviors allows you to stay one step ahead of the game. By getting your customers to sign up and create a profile, you can see their favorite products and what they buy. You can use the analytics tools on your chosen platform to track product views, conversion rates, average spending, and more.
If you want to learn more about your users, you can also use qualitative methods to explore their needs. Individual in-depth interviews and user tests can be a great source of invaluable data for CX optimization.
“Interacting with your customers through reviews and testimonials is a valuable method of tracking their behavior,” explains Jim Pendergast, Senior Vice President of altLine Sobanco. “The internet is filled with places where your customers can voice their opinion, from blog posts to forums. If your customer base is unhappy, you’ll know about it. Interact with your customers regularly to find out what they want from your business.”
8. Share CX responsibilities across your business
Remind your team that the customer experience falls on the shoulders of every staff member. Customers will interact with your employees at various points throughout their CX journey. Analyzing your customer’s CX with your employees allows them to understand their input and how they can strengthen your strategy. Anyone who connects with your customer is responsible for giving them a positive experience.
9. Get creative with internal content creators
Internal content creation utilizes the creativity and knowledge of your employees to generate social media posts that’ll resonate with your followers. Leveraging existing team members is useful because they understand the brand identity and customer needs. Employees may have received feedback from your customers about content they liked or disliked that they can then use when creating content.
10. Bring innovative experiences to the customer
Adding new and exciting experiences to your customer’s CX journey will keep them returning for more after they shop. Customers love freebies, discounts, and loyalty schemes that reward them for choosing your store. You can provide product tutorials and walkthroughs on your website to keep your customers engaged for longer and prevent frustration.
Taking an “out-of-the-box” approach to your eCommerce business with innovative ideas will set you apart from your competitors.
Improving your eCommerce customer experience is easy with a few simple changes to your strategy. Implementing changes based on customer feedback will go a long way with those customers and show your community that you’ll respond to their suggestions. Try to remember the following when finding ways to improve customer CX:
- Personalization helps the customer feel valued
- Customers interact with a brand across various channels
- Simple changes can make an impact
Keep your finger on the pulse of CX trends to continue building your eCommerce business and grow your customer base.
Published January 9, 2023