E-commerce has taken the retail world by storm. While global giants like Amazon dominate the global retail landscape, millions of more e-commerce platforms are servicing different niches and countries. It is predicted that e-commerce sales will take up 24.5% of all global retail sales by 2025! It calls for e-commerce platforms to prepare themselves to enjoy the maximum remunerations of this global jump.
Retail shoppers expect brands to deliver instant and frictionless customer experiences across touchpoints. Whether customers are buying from a brick-and-mortar store or shopping online, an engaging customer experience can keep the users hooked to a brand.
What is the E-commerce Customer experience?
E-commerce customer experience is having complete control over how your brand engages with your customers. It includes optimizing the engagement process from the online browsing experience to the purchase experience and finally following up and redressing any issues with the customer. Everything from the view and user-friendliness of the website or an application to a smooth and straightforward check-out interface followed by mediums for reviews and redressal of complaints is a part of the e-commerce customer experience.
Elevating the e-commerce experience can help platforms to build a loyal and happy customer base. Let’s look at 5 ways how you can upgrade your e-commerce customer experience and their subsequent impacts:
#1 Know your customers well
Understand customer needs
The modern, fast-paced lifestyle demands businesses to adjust to new consumer needs. Customers now want a swift shopping experience as they check out products in retail stores and switch to online applications. E-commerce platforms such as Amazon, eBay, and Alibaba owe their success to their ability to adjust to the evolving shopping experience.
E-commerce businesses should strive to make their websites and applications as user-friendly as possible. Add features such as filters for brands, price, sizes, etc., to help customers swiftly locate the desired items. Also, make the check-out section simple and quick with maximum options for mediums of payment. As per a survey, 66% of consumers lost their trust in a brand after a frustrating website experience. Websites and applications, therefore, offer businesses an excellent place to introspect their overall customer-friendliness.
Analyze customer satisfaction
E-commerce customer experience goes unchecked if there are no provisions or ways for customers to share their experiences. Businesses can set up and regularly engage in the reviews section and set up quick and easy-to-fill feedback dialogs that promptly open up after a purchase or a call/chat. It helps businesses be aware of the quality of their services and where they can improve.
#2 Be where your customers are
Optimize mobile experience
As per statistics, 54% of e-commerce sales in 2021 were initiated from a mobile. It gives e-commerce platforms an excellent opportunity to engage customers by making their platforms and applications mobile friendly. Quick loading pages, carefully placed keypad options, engagingly designed mobile interface, and broad software compatibility are crucial elements to stay relevant in the hyper-competitive e-commerce space. Remember, as per a survey, a bad mobile experience dismayed 55% of customers from re-engaging with brands.
A crucial part of an elevated e-commerce experience is to have a reliable brand persona. Customer loyalty is built when customers can rely on your brand for their needs. Engage with your customers regularly and update them on any changes and releases via social accounts.
Social media also acts as a place where potential customers can freely engage with your businesses. Optimize mediums like Instagram and Facebook shops to attract social media savvy customers. Along with traditional routes like websites and applications, leverage newer mediums accessible to your customers.
#3 Help customers help themselves
Per a survey, 67% of customers preferred finding answers on self-help portals rather than talking to a customer service representative. People often try finding solutions online rather than calling customer support when encountering a simple issue. It illustrates that your customers expect you to provide quick answers in an e-commerce setting when looking for answers.
FAQs and articles
FAQs and articles sections have provided customers with relevant answers from the start of the web revolution. Often, companies fail to optimize this section in the most impactful manner. Outdated and irrelevant FAQs and articles plague online portals. It further misguides and confuses customers regarding the relevant solution.
Optimizing and effectively managing the online knowledge helps build the customer’s faith in your company. Articles and FAQs must be regularly audited and updated based on any changes. When you help customers help themselves, you will notice a drastic decline in inbound traffic to your call center operations.
A survey found that 68% of the customers like chatbots because they provide quick answers. Chatbots can help customers find relevant answers in just a few seconds if optimized efficiently. Chatbots have also evolved to a new level, with AI-driven chatbot services providing intelligent solutions in the least time.
Another use case of chatbots is to upsell and promote new products and services. Chatbots can quickly analyze a customer’s shopping habits and patterns when integrated with CRM software. It can then successfully provide intelligent suggestions to a customer for a new product and service.
#4 Personalize customer experiences
Businesses send tons of emails and promotional messages daily to their existing and potential customers. However, with the evolving landscape of e-commerce businesses, personalization is now a necessary component of the e-commerce customer experience.
Move beyond names
When it comes to personalization, companies mainly conclude their personalization efforts by adding customer names to their generic message template. However, since every e-commerce platform participates in similar promotional activities, customers need an exciting differentiator to recognize your brand uniquely. Customers expect brands to treat them as individuals and not merely as numbers.
Customize customer interactions
Today, customers interact with e-commerce platforms via multiple touchpoints. Call center executives, online chats, emails, chatbots, and messages on a business’s social media pages are some. Companies have an opportunity to learn from the history of a customer’s interaction with their brands. It includes past purchases, issues, buying preferences, wishlisted items, and customer activities. Businesses can use the data to provide a customized ecommerce customer experience that makes them feel valued.
And why not? Customers are happy to share their information to get a personalized shopping experience. A report found that 65% of the customers are willing to share their data if that gets them a personalized and customized shopping experience. So instead of vaguely upselling accessories, executives can simply pitch products that matter most to each customer.
#5 Equip support agents with the right customer service tools
Technological advancements in the customer service domain have revolutionized customer service operations. Gone are the days when customer executives worked with age-old agent scripts and struggled to solve complex problems. Now, e-commerce platforms can make the service experience reliable, personalized, and quicker by incorporating customer service tools.
CRM or customer relationship management software is used to gather customer information in a single place. E-commerce can organize information about a customer’s demographics, previous interactions, purchase records, and information in one place. Customer service agents can provide a personalized experience to a customer by incorporating insights from CRM channels. CRM leverages sentiment analysis to increase customer loyalty and eventually upsell.
Knowledge Management Platform
A knowledge management software empowers companies to create, gather, and organize their information in a single place. Often, customer agents cannot locate the required information quickly, leading to an increase in average handling time. It not only leaves a customer frustrated but also affects the productivity of the service executive. Ecommerce knowledge management helps improving by organizing the present information held by a company. It further provides ways to create, store, and review future communication.
E-commerce platforms can further integrate their CRM and KM software to provide relevant and insightful information to their agents. It further elevates the service experience.
The expansion of e-commerce services in every industry has forced a battle to attract customers. A seamless and engaging ecommerce customer experience can help businesses to retain customers and gradually expand. 52% of the customers would go out of the way to buy from a brand to which they are loyal. Elevating customer experience thus becomes more than a necessity.
Businesses need to analyze and intelligently use the data consensually provided by the customers to tailor a memorable, impactful, and helpful experience. Along with this, e-commerce platforms need to optimize each customer touchpoint to ensure an omnichannel and seamless customer experience.