The importance of customer experience in a business cannot be overstated, especially for an online business. Here’s everything you need to know about what the ecommerce customer experience is and how to level up your game to boost sales and scale.
“Focusing on the customer makes a company more resilient.” – Jeff Bezos
Trust the words of the man who built the greatest ecommerce empire from the ground up with his own hands and brilliance (because if not him, who?).
There’s no question that customers are the backbone of every business. Without them, there simply is no business to run.
Keeping buyers satisfied by meeting and exceeding their customer service expectations is key to growing your business.
In this post, we’ll talk about the ecommerce customer experience, why it matters, and ways to improve the ecommerce customer experience for your online store.
We’re gonna get straight into it.
Importance of Customer Experience
Let’s start by exploring what customer experience is for a business.
From a technical point of view, customer experience is the sum of the touchpoints target buyers have with a business throughout the buyer’s journey.
This includes everything from seeing an advertisement and hearing about the brand for the first time to participating in a marketing campaign, browsing their products, checking out, and even post-purchase.
These interactions essentially shape their perception and view of a brand and directly impact sales, revenue, and growth.
A positive customer service experience charms and excites potential buyers and catches their attention, keeping your brand at the forefront of their minds, which, in turn, boosts brand loyalty and sales.
What Is Ecommerce Customer Experience?
Ecommerce customer experience is essentially customer experience as defined above with one key (and perhaps obvious) difference – the experience takes place in the online shopping world.
And when it comes to running an online store, customer experience is even more important.
Ecommerce Customer Experience: Why Does It Matter?
With everything taking place virtually through screens, communication becomes harder. The human and personal touch that face-to-face interactions between store personnel and customers in brick-and-mortar stores offer is hard to replicate across screens.
And this is exactly why the ecommerce customer experience matters even more. However, it’s not to say that it’s harder to provide a good customer experience for ecommerce stores than for physical stores – it’s simply a different experience altogether.
If you’re looking to provide a positive ecommerce customer experience for your buyers, here are five ways to do so.
5 Ways To Improve Ecommerce Customer Experience
1. Dig Deep Into Your Customers’ Desires and Pain Points
It isn’t enough to know what social media platforms your target audience is on. such information definitely helps. But it’s only scratching the surface of what can be a top-notch digital client experience.
To really enhance the customer service experiences of your online buyers, you need to dig deep – really deep.
- What makes them laugh?
- What excites them?
- What makes them mad?
- What do they sympathize with and why?
- What are their biggest pet peeves?
Having the answers to the above questions and more will help you understand your online customers to their very core, which helps with designing personalized user experiences in ecommerce.
When it comes to communicating with your customers, it’s always better for them to be over-informed than to lack information.
This has become particularly important over the past year or so as the coronavirus pandemic derailed logistics and sent shipping and delivery times soaring. In times of uncertainty, overcommunicating provides clarity and can give your customers ease of mind.
Keeping them informed every step of the way provides transparency and visibility over your business. It also helps to set expectations, which keeps misunderstandings and disputes to a minimum.
You can do this in a multitude of ways, including enhancing user experience with clear and engaging copy and setting up email automation to hit them at specific and important touchpoints.
However, you want to be extra careful here as there’s a fine line between overcommunicating and saturating your customers with the information they don’t need.
As a business, you need to strike the balance between giving them the right amount of information to keep them satisfied and drowning them in unnecessary nitty-gritty details, which can risk you getting tuned out by them.
3. Build Functional and Intuitive Ecommerce Pages
There’s nothing like a 404 error to drive away customers.
In fact, around three out of every four online customers who come across the dreaded 404 dead-end leave and don’t come back.
To keep your customers engaged, especially with an ecommerce business, your website must be well-designed and optimized for the online shopping experience.
This means making it intuitive so customers can easily find what they’re looking for and placing pieces of information where they’re most likely to be needed.
Do this not only for your homepage but also for your product pages, which should be nothing short of informative and packed with engaging and relevant content.
Create an emotional copy to speak directly to your customers’ hearts. Show your product being used. If images don’t capture the essence and value of your product, add a video.
The bottom line here is to help customers visualize how your product can solve their problems and make their lives better.
4.Install a WhatsApp Chatbot on Your Homepage
Now, the above-mentioned ways to improve the customer experience for your ecommerce business have more to deal with your overall strategy.
If you already have a solid customer strategy in place, you can take selected technical actions to improve your buyers’ ecommerce shopping experience with you.
First of all, you want to connect with them where they’re at. And that means what’s probably their favorite chat app – WhatsApp.
Do this by adding a WhatsApp chat button to your ecommerce homepage.
Sure, you can install a regular chatbot. But with over 2.5 billion users worldwide, chances that your target buyers are active on WhatsApp are high, and it’d be much more convenient for them to interact with you on a platform they’re already on and familiar with than having to switch back and forth.
5. Provide Timely and Responsive Customer Support
Customer support from pre- to post-purchase forms a large and crucial part of the overall ecommerce customer experience.
It’s something Bezos himself takes seriously and has even called Amazon’s hotline himself just to test his customer representatives’ response times.
Things like prompt replies and low-resolution times can all contribute to an enhanced brand and customer experience. And these are, in fact, two of the most important key sales chat metrics to track.
To that end, you want to make sure you have a comprehensive FAQ page for all product- and brand-related questions. This means everything from product/material sourcing to delivery and returns – everything that can affect a potential buyer’s purchase decision.
That aside, you also want to provide quick responses to let them know their queries have been received and will be attended to.
And keeping in line with the previous point, if/when using WhatsApp chatbots to interact with customers you should also aim to provide escalation paths that allow them to reach a human agent, which is actually part of the terms and conditions of WhatsApp Business.
If you want to go the extra mile, adopt a proactive approach.
Instead of waiting for customers to reach out to your customer support with problems, get in touch with them first. Send them an email or drop them a message (after having obtained their permission, of course) to check in with them to see whether they’re satisfied with their overall customer experience with your brand.