Every e-commerce business knows that a happy customer is a loyal customer. And that equates to more purchases from your store.
With the global e-commerce market projected to hit over $5.5 trillion this year, ensuring your customers are happy is key to retaining them. But what do you do when you’re in a retail funk and aren’t exactly sure who your customers are?
Whether you’re a new online seller trying to figure out your target audience or a larger retailer re-evaluating your customer approach, knowing who shops at your store is the first step to improving the customer experience on your site. Below are 10 valuable tips to help you understand your customers better, so they keep your store top-of-mind for future online purchases.
1. Identify Your Target Market
Sometimes, it’s the simplest of steps that get overseen, and not knowing your target audience could be the difference between profit or loss.
Demographics like age, gender, ethnicity, income, and geographic location can give you the information you need to direct your products and/or services to the right people. They’re also useful in telling you where else your key audience spends their time. If they are frequent visitors of Instagram, for example, you could use that info to create targeted ads on that platform and direct them to your site.
2. See Things From Your Customer’s POV
You can’t understand your customers if you don’t look at things from their perspectives. When they visit your site, what do they see? Is your website easy to navigate through? Do pages load quickly? Do products have sufficient details that answer all of their questions? Can they find your contact info easily? Are orders turned around in a timely manner?
Recent studies show that over 60% of customers will jump ship after just one bad user experience. Knowing their pain points (and improving them on your site) is key to ensuring your customers continue shopping at your online store, and should be a serious priority.
3. Go Straight to the Source
If you’re unsure about how your customers feel, ask them. Not only is this one of the easiest tactics you can do, but it also provides you with valuable information you can use to enhance the experience on your site—especially since 89% of consumers are likely to purchase again after a positive customer service experience.
An effective way to acquire helpful insights is through customer surveys that ask specific questions like how they heard about your website, whether they found itfeed easy to navigate, and what they would rate their overall experience, just to name a few. The only catch? Ensure you actually make the changes, since 73% of customers will leave bad reviews if they feel their issue isn't being taken seriously.
4. Back It Up With Data
A database or customer relationship management system (CRM) stores customer information that can help you identify patterns, such as what your customers are buying (and when), which can help you up-sell or cross-sell to increase revenue. You can also use the data to assess your website’s performance, including response times for orders and shipments.
The best part about a CRM is that it tracks your customers’ behaviors in real time, allowing you to course-correct any challenges you find along the way, quickly and efficiently.
5. Work on Your Keyword Research
Nowadays, having a site with little to no search engine ranking is like owning a brick-and-mortar with no searchable address to locate it.
According to HubSpot, 75% of online users don’t scroll past the first page of search engines. If your online store is pages in, you could be missing out on plenty of revenue. Instead, take some time to work on your SEO by discovering phrases your target audiences are using to search for the products and/or services you offer. This will also help you adjust your site’s features to accommodate your customers even more.
6. Get Personal
Your online competition is stiff, which means giving your customers a personalized approach is crucial to making them feel like they matter. In fact, a study from BCG shows that highly personalized content can compel customers to add more items to their cart by a whopping 110% and increase overall revenue by 25%.
Providing your customers with helpful content that includes product recommendations can give the impression that you are paying attention to their wants and needs, and doesn’t require a lot of work to achieve—especially if you have the right partner to help you (hint hint).
7. Create an Optimal Customer Experience
According to Salesforce, the standard for a great digital customer experience is higher than ever—67% to be exact—and is often the deciding factor between a shopper making a purchase or ditching their cart and looking elsewhere.
There are many factors that make up a customer experience, from website performance and navigation to clear product details and a seamless checkout process. The goal is to provide an enjoyable customer journey from the moment they enter your site. This experience should also continue after they’ve left, with follow-up emails thanking them for their purchase, or even offering a discount for future purchases.
8. Leverage Social Media
With over 4.6 billion people across the world using social media, it only makes sense to utilize this information to learn more about your customers. Not only do social platforms like Instagram, Tik Tok, Twitter, and Facebook provide insights on what your customers like, but also who they follow, where they’re based, and what they’re buying.
Take some time to monitor your customers' social interests, as well as find out who your followers are (and who else) they follow. On the flip side, keep the content on your social pages engaging and full of shareable images of your products and/or services, with links back to your store.
9. Showcase Social Proof
Here’s a fun fact: Nearly 80% of consumers say that social proof like ratings and reviews significantly impact their purchasing decisions. Even more, 94% of online shoppers are more likely to frequent a brand with positive reviews than those without any.
Clearly, having some sort of validation on your store that supports your brand and its products is a great way to earn trust from new customers, retain existing ones, and build overall brand credibility. Just make sure to spread the social proof love throughout various pages, including the home page and individual product pages.
10. Support Your Customers
At the end of the day, you can have the fastest website with the lowest prices. But if your customer service is less than stellar, it won’t matter.
Nearly 95% of consumers are more likely to purchase from companies that provide an excellent customer service experience. This means going above and beyond what you think your customers want, and giving them what they need, like easy-to-locate contact info or live chats that offer immediate support. The reality is, sometimes your site will run slow or provide some other hiccup that you can’t necessarily control. But if you can assist your customers in a timely manner, those glitches will likely be forgotten about and replaced by genuine gratitude for taking care of them right away.
Your e-commerce business will only be successful if your customers are happy. The good news is that making them feel that way is both possible and can earn you a great return on revenue. The secret is to do your homework, find out who your customers are and what matters to them most, and then create a pleasant start-to-finish user experience that leaves them feeling well taken care of—and you earn a higher average order value (AOV) for your continued efforts.
Give Your Customers an Experience They’ll Love
Granify can optimize your website to appeal to each customer’s unique shopping behaviours. The result? A higher conversion rate and happier customers who feel their needs are always well taken care of.
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