Today’s digital landscape appears to be growing at an unstoppable rate. New innovation and technology are released worldwide on a daily basis, and with this rapid growth, comes increasing consumer expectation and demand.
In an updated report on the nature of B-to-B customer experience, Walker have revealed that ‘by 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator.’ The report details three key areas that a business should focus on in order to continue to meet their customer’s expectations. These are personalization, ease, and speed.
To make sure your business stays ahead of the game, you might want to take a look at these 10 ways to improve the ecommerce customer experience, they could help you transform your success rates, acquisition and retention rates.
1- Intuitive Experiences
Customer experience (CX) and user experience (UX) go hand in hand. They are both crucial to the success and survival of your business. Simply providing customer service is no longer good enough, the phrase ‘product is king’ is no longer the case in retail. Customers want to best of both world: efficient and effortless browsing on a website that works seamlessly, and a memorable experience that they keep them coming back to buy from your business. From the moment they land on your homepage, right through to the moment they receive their order confirmation, the customer should be delighted with every click. In order to achieve this, you should ensure that your website has intuitive functionality and navigation, whilst delivering unique brand interaction. Customers want to get to know your brand, be able to connect with your products, browse relevant, recommended content and click ‘buy now’ on the checkout page with ease.
2- Product Reviews
Product reviews are imperative to both the success of your business, and the customers’ overall experience. Customers have come to depend on product reviews and feedback. According to People Claim, 70% of customers look at reviews and ratings before making a purchase, 41% of whom claim they will read 4-7 reviews before parting with their money. Displaying product reviews is not only crucial to your customer’s experience, research shows that a rating or review create a 74% increase in conversion.
3- Avoid Shopping Cart Abandonment
The checkout process should be a quick and painless experience. In 2017, Baymard published statistics from 40 different studies on e-commerce shopping cart abandonment from 2012-2018. They found that on average, 70% of customers abandon their shopping cart. This is, in part, due to the nature of ecommerce shopping. Many users are simply window shopping, looking at price comparisons, saving items for later or exploring gift options. A deeper look showed that ‘1 out of 4 shoppers have abandoned a cart in the last quarter due to a too long / complicated checkout process’. If your analytics show that your customers are abandoning their cart just before they initiate the payment process, take a look at your checkout design, you could increase conversion rate by 35% just by making changes to the design and functionality.
4- Free Delivery
Competitive product pricing is no longer the only deciding factor for customers when they are weighing up who and where to buy from. Shipping, taxes and fees are a huge turn off for customers, and research attributes a massive 60% cart abandonment rate to those not wanting to pay the extra shipping costs. Offering free shipping options could increase your average revenue per user (ARPU), your customer loyalty and retention rates. There are a number of ways you could do this: include the cost of shipping in the price of the product, offer a yearly free-shipping subscription fee or free shipping above a certain price threshold. This last option could also increase your average transaction value (ATV) as people are more likely to buy add on items to quality for free shipping.
How to Offer Free Shipping without Losing Profit Margins
5- Free, Easy Returns
In the same vein as offering free delivery, offering free returns gives customers security and confidence that if they don’t like the product they receive, they can return it at no extra cost to them. Research has shown 86% of shoppers want a return shipping label provided with their purchase. Ultimately, you have to flexible and lenient when it comes to ecommerce, customers want complete freedom when it comes to how they shop online, and this includes the returns process. By providing them with the most hassle-free options will ensure they experience 100% satisfaction, which is guaranteed to bring improvements in loyalty and retention rates.
6- Omnichannel Shopping
Continuing with the theme of ultimate convenience, retailers need to be able to quickly adapt to the demands of the growing digital landscape. This means adopting an omnichannel strategy, whereby consumers have multiple payment options. Omnichannel shopping offers customers a fully-integrated shopping experience by connecting user experiences from traditional brick and mortar shopping, to reading customer reviews online, to making a purchase via a smartphone on a store’s app. Studies have shown that by providing customers with multiple touchpoints and seamless transitions from channel to channel has the power to help you retain an average of 89% of customers.
Personalization is one of the six pillars of customer experience. Personalization involves demonstrating an understanding of your customer’s specific needs and adapting the experience to their circumstances. Make sure that you use their name, acknowledge any past interaction and use their preferences to make messages feel personal. The aim of using personalization is to make the customer feel important and valued, to build an emotional connection so that in return they want to invest themselves in your brand. The benefit of payments technology means that there is an abundance of data available on customer shopping habits that retailers can use to customize and personalize the customer experience. Take advantage of this incredible resource, it could be the very thing you need that boost your sales.
The Bottom Line:
Improving customer experience is the only way to increase conversion rate of an ecommerce website without increasing traffic. This doesn’t just improve sales but also yields better ROI. So, if you have still not started working on improving customer experience, start it now!