Online competition is fiercer by the minute. Customers have numerous brands to choose from, and to succeed; your business needs to nurture a unique bond with your customers.
Focusing primarily on the diminishing world of products and services in this environment sets your online business up for survival.
To set yourself up for success, you need to create a customer-focused approach that allows you to identify the needs of your customers and adapt accordingly-
In a saturated market of makeup and beauty products, Fenti could stand out because it concentrated on solving the customer’s issues. They aimed to be more inclusive and cater to people with darker skin tones, unlike their contemporaries. Its success can be attributed to its customer-centric approach, which helped it generate 500 million euros in sales in its first year.
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Customer Experience is a broader term that encompasses every interaction your customer has with your eCommerce store.
Retail and eCommerce do not function in a vacuum anymore. Your customers are as much a part of your journey as your employees might be. They dictate how fast your brand will grow and how much sales you can rake in the long run.
Unfortunately, most business owners are unable to make the most of them. They are too caught up in vanity metrics like conversions, not realizing that the customer lifetime value is what impacts the bottom line.
And the only way to increase customer retention and lifetime value is through customer experience.
And more often than not, they either neglect or rush through the process when the aim should be to hold the customer's hand and guide them through the journey.
Your aim should be to create a communication channel, not mere touchpoints. Try to establish a bond and not complete a transaction. This mindset will help you improve customer experience for your Ecommerce Store.
When working on improving your customer experience, It’s easier to devise actionable goals if you divide the task of creating a good customer experience. Good customer experience comprises pre-purchase, post-purchase, and eCommerce customer service experience.
To better understand the impact of each, let’s consider the example of an online store, “TeaTime,” that sells herbal tea-
Much like a physical storefront, you should be able to reach out to your customers, and you'd want to be able to establish communication and impact the decision-making. Like any other business, you’d like to convert more visitors into customers.
A quick fix happens to be offering discounts or freebies to new customers. You can always entice customers with a low price or a one-time offer; the issue here is that you’re limiting yourself to a single transaction. The customer will also view it as just that- a one-time interaction. If you want repeat customers, you should be able to capture their attention and offer more than just some monetary benefit. If the eCommerce site engages the visitor by asking them about their tastes, ad troubles, and if they have any preferences. You can recommend the right product to them through a simple quiz or survey. This way, they can establish a connection and offer much more than just a simple discount.
By doing so, they are not only improving the e-commerce customer experience and collecting valuable information about a potential customer that goes beyond their name and mail id. This will help your marketing team create retargeting campaigns or better understand their targeted customer profiles, further reducing acquisition costs.
Another aspect of the eCommerce customer experience, in this case, would be how the visitor interacts with the website. An eCommerce business can make the mistake of having never-ending product listings, making it difficult for first-time visitors to find what they are looking for. So instead of listing out all products based on the ingredients, TeaTime should categorize their teas according to their health benefits. In other instances, you may organize based on use cases, etc.
Aroma Retail is a Shopify store that has leveraged its live chat feature to quiz its website visitors about their preferred scents. This helps them suggest suitable fragrances from their store and increase the website conversion rate.
These seemingly small changes significantly impact the customer experience, and you drive in more revenue.
Your responsibility to your customer does not end at the sale. Your business's interactions with your customers after they’ve made up an essential part of the eCommerce customer experience.
We all have friends whose eyes are glued to the door when they place their order. Hell, we are that friend sometimes! And the messages regarding the packaging, dispatching, and delivery of products make the wait so much easier. The post-purchase experience encompasses this communication along with cancellations, returns, etc. Learn more on Benefits of Handling Returns and Exchanges through Self-Service
But it doesn’t end there. Much like the pre-purchase experience, the post-purchase experience, when designed correctly, can help you go the extra mile in serving your customers.
Let’s consider TeaTime, for example. A customer came on their site looking for something to help them sleep better. They filled out the quiz, and TeaTime suggested their camomile tea would be the right fit. Once the customer places an order, the best practice for TeaTime is to send out a message a week after delivery and ask the customer if the tea has had any impact.
It shows the customer you care and opens up a subtle way of collecting customer feedback. What’s better than to get it straight from the horses’ mouth?
Another aspect of building a strong bond with your customer is rewarding customer loyalty. It's easy to neglect your long-term customers in the rat race to find more. But customers with high CLVs are the backbone of your business and should be paid equally, if not more attention, than new leads. A rewards and loyalty program will help encourage long-term customers to stick around for longer.
Not only does this save you the trouble and money of finding new customers for every purchase cycle, but it also generates new brand ambassadors who are bound to refer you to their friends and family. Think about it- they love your product/service and have been given exciting offers and benefits. Can’t you picture them sending a compelling message to their best friend?
In many ways, the post-purchase experience is crucial in creating loyal customers.
Checkout below Case Studies on How Ecommerce Brands Improved CX
In recent years, privacy and data protection have become one of the most significant issues eCommerce entrepreneurs face. Cybersecurity issues can lead to a loss of revenue and customer data. But its most significant impact is on the viability of the business. As a business owner, you must ensure that any information your customer shares with you is safe. This is an integral part of the eCommerce customer experience in today’s landscape.
When customers decide to invest in your brand and its offerings, they demand good products, efficient service, and practical customer support.
There are varied channels through which a customer can contact your brand. Whether email, SMS, live chat, or social media, the customer support experience should be seamless across all channels and invariably match their expectations. Providing omnichannel customer support becomes essential in creating a good eCommerce customer experience.
Self-service is the quickest, most cost-effective, and most understated channel for customer support. With the increasing number of online purchases from any store, the overwhelming ticket volume becomes a barrier to any online business’s growth. And as multi-channel support becomes a norm for the eCommerce industry, it is difficult to provide a quick and seamless customer experience across all channels.
However, self-service provides an excellent fix for this issue. It allows customers to solve their problems without contacting your support team. Marketplaces like amazon have pioneered this feature and used it to their advantage. With an account section allowing customers to take order actions like cancellations, they have successfully provided a great customer experience while reducing costs.
Even at Richpanel, we observed that many of our clients, such as Bumpboxx and Snow, could reduce ticket volumes by 70% by utilizing our self-service flows. It positively impacted their profits and helped them scale their operations.
Multilingual support allows you to reach a wider audience worldwide. There’s nothing like the comfort of talking in your native language. If one of your aims is to improve eCommerce customer experience by providing maximum ease- providing multi-lingual support is a no-brainer. It allows you to stand out and also offer more comfort and convenience to your customer base. Learn More on Ecommerce Helpdesk
At this point, it is reasonably apparent that conversion is not a good measure of success regarding the eCommerce customer experience. So, what metrics should you be using instead?
Customer satisfaction scores are a direct measure of customer interactions. Customer satisfaction is a simple scale that can be used after agent interaction, purchase, etc., and help you understand your performance in specific areas/tasks. This enables you to hear about your customer's experience but also helps you evaluate particular areas of your business that need work.
Click rate is an excellent measure of appeal. This helps identify if your brand messaging is resonating with your customers, and if they are drawn to click on new products, consider the discounts and offers you are putting out. This is a great way to analyze the user experience on the site and their behavior as well.
Customers expect brands to be present on different channels on the internet. Social media is emerging as the leading interaction tool between online brands and supporters, allowing them to become a part of the customer’s daily life.
Social engagement helps define your success in establishing communication through such channels. It allows you to capture the attention of potential customers who have not interacted with your brand as of yet. With this endeavor, you aim to become the brand that first comes to mind when they need the product/solution you offer.
You can rely on your support tickets to pinpoint the areas you need to improve upon and the issues your customers commonly face. This will help you respond to their needs and make the necessary changes in your processes, website, or even products. This is a great way to improve the eCommerce customer experience.
Most business owners confuse bucket user experience and customer experience. While both equally define the customer experience, they have many differences.
User experience refers to the customer’s experience when interacting with certain aspects of the brand. These interactions could be with your eCommerce site or application. When building the right user experience, brands like TeaTime will try to look at their eCommerce website, product, and customer interactions through the lens of the user. This means they want to understand how easy their site is to navigate and how easy it is to place an order or make an online payment.
Customer experience is a broader term that encompasses every interaction your customer has with your eCommerce store. It helps gauge how the customer perceives the brand as a whole and if they can engage and satisfy their customers through their offerings. It includes social media engagement, how proactive your customer support team is, or how dependable your brand is overall.
An excellent eCommerce customer experience is synonymous with your brand reputation in the online market.
As we’ve seen in the case of TeaTime, the eCommerce customer experience is pivotal in generating recurring revenue and increasing the bottom-line profit. It helps improve customer retention and helps businesses succeed:
While impulse purchases are increasing, numerous products prompt customers to do their due diligence and make informed decisions. For businesses dealing with skincare, health, wellness, Baby products, or nutrition supplements, the customer will always have questions about the safety of the products, ingredients, and testing, which reflect their hesitation in buying the product. Providing clear and easily accessible information regarding these aspects will help convert that customer on the cusp. This directly impacts bottom-line profits, not to forget the cross-selling and upselling opportunities that this creates.
A good customer experience is undeniably the most important aspect of encouraging brand loyalty with a better perception of your brand and better brand equity. If you repeatedly demonstrate the importance of your customers by focusing on their needs and building a relationship with them, they are bound to stay loyal to your brand.
If you want a successful online store, your primary focus should be customer loyalty and building a relationship with your customers. Your aim should not be creating a mere transaction.
Define what kind of impact you’d like to make on your customer and how you’d like to make them feel, and then work towards creating an eCommerce customer experience that helps you achieve that. A good customer experience isn’t about the one transaction, sale, or website visit. It's about being the most trusted, empathetic, and compelling brand in their mind.
Richpanel has successfully helped over 1500+ brands create a better customer experience through omnichannel support, self-service portal, and intelligent automation. Intrigued? Find out more by booking a demo with us