7 Ways to Improve the E-Commerce Customer Experience
Turn your site visitors into loyal customers
Online shopping has changed the retail landscape completely. No wonder brands like Tesla have decided to cut costs and shift to online-only sales, proving that the e-commerce boom is here to stay.
With e-commerce sales projected to hit $4.8 trillion in 2021, most brands are investing in online stores, which significantly intensifies competition in the e-commerce world.
Meanwhile, the expectations of online shoppers are also rising, with 80 percent of consumers claiming to switch brands due to poor customer experience. Indeed, CX is the new battlefield for e-commerce businessses.
Here are 7 tips to improve your customer experience and take your brand flying ahead of the competition in no time.
1. Make product searches hassle-free
To design a better user experience, simplify your website navigation and search by segmenting your products according to type, design, use, and other classifications so that people can immediately find what they are looking for.
It's also important to optimize your image size for various screens and add all the necessary information about the product to help users make up their mind. Including intuitive filters to enable users to narrow their search saves them valuable time.
But wait, there's more. Forty-seven percent of users expect a maximum of two seconds loading time for an average website, and 39 percent will abandon a website if the images don’t load or take too long to load. So make sure that your pages load quickly; a one-second delay in response can lead to a seven percent reduction in conversions.
2. Deliver support during the checkout process
According to SaleCycle, the average cart abandonment rate is 75.6 percent. UX researcher Baymard Institute conducted a study which revealed over 25 percent of customers felt bogged down by a long or complicated checkout process while another 21 percent abandoned their carts as they couldn’t calculate their costs upfront.
For all online retailers combined, up to $4 trillion worth of product is abandoned in carts annually. In fact, $260 billion of that is recoverable, but only if you can streamline and simplify your checkout process. Here are a few suggestions:
- Make it more secure
- Integrate multiple payment options on the payment page
- Offer customer support to users during the checkout process via chatbot or FAQ
A well-timed customer support intervention can drastically reduce cart abandonment rate!
By using modern technology support such as cobrowsing and live chat support with document sharing, your sales agents can guide users through the purchasing process while keeping them engaged at all times.
A sales agent co-browsing with the customer can also prevent customers from having the urge to comparison-shop by developing a rapport with them and offering special discounts at the right time, which encourages them to complete the purchase.
3. Provide access to a CS rep on your website
According to a study, 44 percent of consumers wish they could talk to a customer service representative while making an online purchase. Zendesk claims that 73 percent of consumers fall in love with a company that offers friendly customer support, while 52 percent have made multiple purchases from a brand after a positive initial customer service experience.
Live chat support is becoming an essential feature for e-commerce businesses who wish to stay ahead of the curve.
But offering live chat support on your website is not enough. Here are some other ways you can engage customers during the online purchase:
- Employ responsive live chat to provide your users with the live chat feature across their devices.
- Offer 24/7 support with an AI-enabled chatbot to answer simple questions, while passing on qualified leads and complex queries to customer support, saving time for both the support agents and customers.
4. Optimise your website for mobile
According to eMarketer.com, smartphone retail sales will reach $203.94 billion in 2019, making up 34 percent of all US e-commerce sales. The website also predicts that “more than half of smartphone users will make at least one digital purchase from their device" and average annual spend per smartphone shopper will be $1,763.
Delivering a seamless customer experience on mobile is a necessity for e-commerce businesses. If you haven’t optimized your website for mobile, chances are you are losing a great deal of business to your mobile-first competitors.
So, grab the bull by its horns and make your website mobile-friendly today with these easy tips:
- Use a responsive web design so that your website intuitively adapts to the screen it is being accessed upon.
- Keep your site visually appealing with easy-to-consume information in the form of infographics and videos that can be viewed on the go.
- Make sure all the buttons are appropriately sized with proper margins so mobile users can easily tap them. You should also take care that all the phone numbers on the site are featured as text so that users can tap-to-call instead of copy-pasting.
- Make sure your contact forms are autofill-enabled and appropriately sized.
And here’s a bonus tip – use AMP to make your site lightning fast!
Google suggests that 53 percent of people will leave a mobile site if it takes more than three seconds to load. Consequently, Google considers the speed of mobile websites an important ranking factor.
To boost your CX on mobile, consider using AMP, an open-source framework for making your e-commerce store lighter and faster – and see your search engine page rankings rise.
5. Add a customer reviews section to your site
Every business says its products are the best. But why should a customer trust you over someone else?
That’s where customer reviews come in.
The proof is in the pudding, as "68% of people trust online opinions from other consumers, which places online opinions as the third most trusted source of product information."
Placing user-generated content on your homepage, such as testimonials from your customers, can successfully create social proof and build consumer trust in your product or service.
Besides, UGC saves you money on advertising. HubSpot claims that 75 percent of people don’t trust ads, but 90 percent trust suggestions from family and friends and 70 percent trust customer reviews.
6. Leverage social media channels for customer support
Whether you are targeting Baby Boomers or Gen-Z, almost every generation today uses social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Here's how you can use social media to improve CX:
Twitter: Twitter chats are ideal for encouraging conversations between brands and consumers. Besides, Twitter can also be used to improve your customer experience by using it to resolve customer queries quickly.
Apparel brand Zara does this by creating a separate handle for customer support:
Facebook: Facebook is a great platform to encourage real-time engagement with users.
Take a cue from Flipkart. A couple of years back, the Indian e-commerce giant launched a Newsfeed SmartApps interactive Facebook post for their Perfect Buy campaign focused on the big home appliances category.
Users could play the interactive game launched by Flipkart in their Facebook newsfeed while learning about the unique advantages of buying on Flipkart and standing a chance to win vouchers worth INR 50,000!
Here’s a more recent example of an interactive Facebook post by Starbucks:
Instagram: Stats show that Instagram has given some brands more than 25 percent engagement across social networks.
You can use Instagram to promote your e-commerce business by collaborating with influencers relevant to your industry and hosting ‘give-aways’ to generate more traffic.
7. Send automated emails with a personal touch
One of the biggest advantages of sending personalized content over one-size-fits-all promotions is that most people hate seeing irrelevant content.
Research indicates that a majority of users expect highly personalized experiences and are willing to pay for them.
Here are two ways you can create personalized experiences for your users:
- Send personalised first purchase emails - According to a study by Harvard Business Review, 56 percent of customers complain about poor follow-up. Of course, you could turn this fact into an opportunity by automating your first purchase emails and make a great impression on your new customers with relevant offers and recommendations, based on their location or browsing history, to improve engagement and sales.
- Target cart abandoners with attractive offers by email - Targeting abandoners is an excellent way to recover revenue, and you can achieve that by sending personalized abandonment emails to enhance user delight. According to Moosend, 45 percent of cart abandonment emails are opened, 21 percent are clicked on, and 50 percent of the users who click complete their purchase.
As online shoppers continue to be bombarded with choice, it is imperative for businesses to create exceptional customer experiences that will have a direct bearing on their bottom-line.