Remember the Backstreet Boys song, “I Want It That Way”? Sure, it’s about love and all that stuff, but those lyrics also describe the majority of today’s online shoppers.
E-commerce shopping catapulted after the onset of the pandemic and hasn’t slowed down since. In 2020 alone, e-commerce sales jumped to 43% higher than the previous year. Translate that to dollars, and we’re talking over $244 billion. Since then, customers have evolved, and so have their expectations.
The demands for exceptional customer service are only getting higher. Online retailers need to keep up–especially since it’s estimated that 95% of all purchases will be made online by the year 2040. With so much competition out there, ensuring you provide a shopping experience that not only meets but exceeds customer expectations is vital.
E-Commerce Customer Experience Strategies
To help you attract new customers and retain existing ones, here are 10 cx strategies to deliver the ultimate customer experience.
1. Optimize your website’s performance.
Considering it only takes around 50 milliseconds (aka ½ a second) for shoppers to form an opinion about your site, making sure it’s functioning at its very best is pretty important. This includes bounce rates, individual page performance (especially product and checkout pages), and load times, which can increase your abandonment rate by 75% if it’s too slow.
2. Ensure your site is mobile-friendly.
Last year, over $3.5 trillion in online retail sales were made from mobile users. To cater to the 82% of users in the United States who use their phones to shop online, confirm your website is just as responsive on mobile devices as it is on tablets or desktops. For an even more customer-centric approach, consider designing a mobile app to create a seamless shopping experience.
3. Delight your customers with personalization.
These days, having an online store without any personalization is like eating a sandwich without any condiments: Blah. To appeal to the 80% of consumers who are more likely to buy from a company that provides a tailored experience, incorporating personalized touch-points throughout your e-commerce site is essential.
Some personalization tactics to try include product recommendations, follow-up thank-you emails, and discounts on products that are relevant to the customer.
4. Provide high-quality product content.
Listing products on your page isn’t going to cut it if they’re not accompanied by accurate descriptions and high-resolution photos. In fact, interactive 3D or 360-degree images can increase conversions by a staggering 250% and greatly improve your platform’s user experience. Just make sure to avoid any exaggerated claims or overly edited photos, so customers know exactly what they’re getting.
5. Keep your checkout process short and sweet.
Nothing will upset a happy customer faster than finding the perfect items, only to have to jump hurdles to purchase them. Half of American shoppers will likely bail if the checkout process takes longer than 30-seconds. That’s not a lot of time to get those conversions, so minimize pain points like redundant account info, multiple pages, and technical bugs. Creating a seamless process will help get customers across the checkout line faster and potentially help your conversions increase by close to 36%.
6. Reduce your cart abandonment rate.
Recent studies show that the average cart abandonment rate is just under 70%. The main reasons? Additional costs (48%), having to create an account (24%), and slow delivery times (22%). We’ve already discussed the importance of having an efficient checkout above, but if those reasons weren’t quite enough to compel you to make changes, how about this: $260 billion of lost orders are recoverable just by having a better checkout flow and design.
Tip: Add exit-intent offers, such as a limited-time discount or promo code, any time a customer leaves your site without buying anything to compel them to change their mind.
7. Create an omnichannel shopping experience.
Many online shoppers use multiple channels during their customer journey. Omnichannel e-commerce brings all of your company’s channels together for one unified customer experience and customers who shop on multiple channels account for 30% more sales than those who shop using only one channel. Aside from allowing shoppers to start and finish their purchases on different channels, customers can also view the in-store availability of items in traditional brick-and-mortar stores.
8. Take advantage of social media.
Social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and most recently, TikTok, are wildly popular for shoppers looking for the next big trend. Not only do 74% of consumers depend on social media for purchasing decisions, but e-commerce stores with a social media presence have an average of 32% more sales than those who don’t. Utilize your social platforms to feature new products, publish reviews, and engage with customers.
Tip: Consider adding elements of social proof to your website such as product ratings or influencer spotlights to build credibility and brand loyalty even more.
9. Put the right tools in place.
We may be slightly impartial, but the fact is that using tools like machine learning can significantly improve customer interactions and generate more revenue. Instead of having to manually analyze customer information, this AI technology does it for you, and at a much, MUCH faster pace! Granify’s partners, for example, have seen $76 million in incremental revenue, with 4.76 billion sessions optimized so far this year. That’s a lot of data!
10. Just be there.
At the end of the day, all the bells and whistles mean nothing if your customers are left feeling high and dry in their times of need. The best way to make your customers feel like you care is to actually care. This means responding to customer feedback in a timely manner and having a strong customer-facing support team who understands your brand, your products, and all the nuances involved with an online retail business.
There are many factors that can make or break your e-commerce business, and a positive customer experience rests right at the top. Fortunately, there are ways to ensure your customers feel well looked after from the moment they visit your site.
- Start with a well-performing website that is also optimized for mobile.
- Offer personalized experiences tailored to each customer’s interests and needs.
- Provide product content that offers quality in both the descriptions and the images.
- To prevent cart abandonment, make sure your checkout process is quick and efficient.
- Create an omnichannel experience so customers can use varying channels to shop.
- Utilize your social media to engage customers even more.
- Implement tools like Granify’s machine learning technology to optimize each customer’s experience.
- And finally, show up and support your customers in every way possible.
Follow these tips and soon your customers will feel heard, valued, and become one step closer to developing lasting trust and loyalty with your e-commerce brand.
Invest in Your Customers’ E-Commerce Experience
Granify has the latest advances in customer personalization and data analytics to keep your customers happy for the long haul. And we are more than excited to share our strategies and recommendations with you.
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