Customer experience or CX is always on top of the mind of every e-commerce brand’s marketing executive. That’s because CX has a direct impact on revenue generation, customer satisfaction, and loyalty.
As per the findings from the Forrester, “CX transformation is no longer a nice-to-have, it’s a necessity,” and by 2020 CX will become the core brand differentiator, replacing price and product variables.
In the last few years, the growth of the e-Commerce market has spelled out many challenges as well as transformations that have strengthened brands and businesses to be better equipped in understanding customer behaviors, reacting short market pulses and driving marketing initiatives on the go.
The growing competition and emergence of new e-commerce companies have changed many marketers’ perspectives by shifting their focus from profit margins and ROIs to other essentials like customer satisfaction, products, and services quality and customer loyalty.
The other obvious reason for this change is that most brands have a common agenda and push across a very similar marketing strategy through their e-commerce websites and mobile apps. This has made brand differentiation and recognition as an impossible target to achieve. But the good news is, with too many additions to this industry like the cloud, data analytics, robust reporting tools, CRM platforms, AI-powered tools, increased personalization, adoption of omnichannel sales, direct marketing through social media, email marketing, the e-commerce development solutions segment is ready to explore strategies for better CX.
But before diving deeper into the ways to augment an e-commerce website or application’s CX, below are the benefits that CX can guarantee for brands and businesses:
- Achieving Customer/Audience Trust: No sales can move forward if the brand is unable to gain customers/audience’ trust on the quality of their products or services. Customer experience even on offline mediums is a very large determinant of customer satisfaction. Therefore, on a mobile and digital e-commerce platform if a brand is able to understand the buyers’ behavior and expectations and accordingly make changes in the CX helps them garner trust that translates to repeat-purchase.
- Increase Transparency and Reliability of the Brand: A site or an app with options to increase personalization in areas like payment, shipping, product selection and better CX helps the brand to appear more transparent and trustworthy. It simplifies the decision making of buyers by allowing them to focus more on online shopping rather than researching deeper to check brand’s reliability.
- Motivate Customers to Engage in Sales: Often, it is not the hefty discounts and attractive offers that fully convince customers to buy products or services. A site or an app with all the necessary features for faster, simple and convenient transactions helps customers have a pleasant experience, motivating them to engage in buying activities or re-visit the e-commerce platform for more.
Five Simple Ways to Boost CX on every e-commerce Platform:
- Increase Personalization: Most websites or apps can be powered to offer customized experience by adding relevant call of action buttons and giving multiple options on products, services and to perform actions like buying, check-in, check-out and payments as per their convenience rather than asking them to follow a standard set of procedures for performing the same actions. This helps every visitor choreograph every buying action or move on their own rather than being forced to act due to limitations in the features of the website or app.
- Adding High-quality Content: Content is the most useful tool to evoke desire and response from customers and hence warrants too much attention. Every e-commerce website and application developer and services provider must focus on building the platform with good quality and hi-res images and also include options to zoom in and out to gain better clarity of the product. Moreover, today’s digital audience expect visuals and text content to be worthy enough to catch their limited attention. Therefore, content developers and marketers must frequently update the e-commerce platform with visually appealing video and image content as well as catchy taglines and captions.
- Simplify Product Search: The problem of any shopper checking an e-commerce platform with countless products and merchandise listed is finding exactly what they are looking for. A shopper is most likely to be bored and frustrated if the website or app does not quickly provide the information they are looking for. This may lead to cart-abandonment. Including vast options for filtering on products or services based on their price, physical traits like color, size, pattern, material etc and sorting features simplifies a buyer’s search, thereby enhancing their experience on the e-commerce site.
- Increasing Customer Services Quality: The days of emailing the customer services departments or waiting endlessly as the executives put one’s call on hold are long gone ever since e-commerce companies have started adopting self-service options and offering personalized customer support. Instant messages with customer services teams, chatbots, FAQs, customer review columns, email and contact information on the website or the app helps customers seek what they are looking for without too much waiting time. The speed of service delivery and conflict resolution makes customers happy and feel more connected with the brand.
- Add Review and Ratings Columns/Sections: Most customers prefer brands that hear them out and encourage their participation. Review columns and rating sections help create an impression that the brands are listening to the customers’ opinion on the products or services. The additional benefit of including these features is that brands and e-Commerce companies would be able to capture the buyers’ expectations, measure their affinity towards rival brands, changes in brand perception and accordingly take measures to increase customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Many marketers and technology leaders of e-Commerce companies are struggling to blur the lines between the customer and the brand while also correcting the imbalance between technology and marketing strategies in capturing the intricacies of buying behaviors from the siloed customer and sales data.
With AI, analytics, the blockchain, machine learning and many other cutting-edge technology tools taking the center stage, brands will be able to meet their targets by upping the ante of CX.
Customer centricity and empathy will become the new benchmark for every strategy or solution package that aims at enhancing the CX.