Nowadays, brand-consumer interaction is the foundation of good business. There is no such thing as the corporate veil anymore – people want to connect and communicate with brands on a regular basis, especially with companies that sell physical products. eCommerce has become one of the most competitive industries in the world, so it only makes sense to build a customer-centric store that will establish a more personal relationship with its target demographic.
After all, what else is there to set you apart from your top competitors? If you remain a silent brand, you will start falling behind, simple as that. But it’s not just about regular communication, it’s also about the perks and features you offer on your site that will boost UX and skyrocket SEO engagement. With that in mind, let’s break down the best ways to build a customer-centric store to maximize your eCommerce success.
Weave artificial intelligence into the search function
Let’s start by emphasizing the role of artificial intelligence in eCommerce. Without a doubt, AI has become an inextricable part of modern business, and you should invest in smart software if you want to make your store as efficient and effective as possible when it comes to finance and productivity. Particularly, though, you should pay attention to the search function on your site.
This is one of the most important features, one with the power and potential to inspire people to buy, but also deter them from your website – it will all come to down to how smart it is. Oftentimes, people will venture onto your website without a clear goal in mind. They might have a vague idea of the type of product they’re after, but it will be up to your search algorithm to display and offer products that are tailor-made for them.
How can you achieve this? By tracking their past online behavior and shopping habits, their likes, and dislikes. Your search feature needs to be able to predict customer intent in order to maximize the conversion potential. Ultimately, both sides stand to benefit.
Create an omnichannel communication structure
As we’ve mentioned in the intro, continuous brand-consumer communication is the hallmark of good business nowadays. There is nothing quite like the feeling of being able to get in touch with your brand and get a quick answer to your question. Potential customers and leads are increasingly communicating with brands via chat, direct messaging on social media, and even voice calls in an attempt to circumvent the lengthy email process.
This is your opportunity to build an image of a customer-centric eCommerce store that pays special attention to the customer’s immediate needs. All they have to do is reach out, and your 24/7 chat team will get back to them in a matter of seconds or minutes. This is customer satisfaction 101 in the 21st century.
Be transparent about pricing to manage cash flow
Finance management works for the customer, as well as your company. As a business leader in the competitive eCommerce field, it is your duty to allocate resources and manage cash flow meticulously. Also known as debtor management, maintaining cash flow ensures you’re able to keep the company afloat while boosting the innovation process to stay competitive.
On the other hand, you can only ensure continuous cash flow with a customer-centric approach to finances. Incentivize your customers to buy and pay for your products in full by offering a diversified payment schedule and various payment methods.
Allow every type of transaction from credit cards, to payment platforms, and with their local currency enabled. Extend lines of credit for your customers and offer discounts and deals for VIP members. This level of attention to customer needs and financial capabilities will help build a trustworthy business, a business that focuses on the customer’s needs.
Use surveys and user-generated content to your advantage
Word of mouth is also one of the most important marketing methods for a growing eCommerce business. Through word of mouth, you can create a brand identity that will spark an emotional connection with your audience. Complement WOM with captivating content and storytelling, and you can ensure customer satisfaction.
In turn, this will boost your brand’s reputation, drive business to your site, and improve brand dissemination across the web. To boost word-of-mouth marketing, you will need to focus on satisfaction surveys and user-generated content to build social proof. Complement these content types with influencer marketing, and you will have built a customer-centric image that puts the customer first.
Optimize for seamless mobile browsing
And finally, every eCommerce store should boast a performance-driven mobile design. The online world is becoming increasingly mobile with each passing year, as people are browsing and searching for products while on the go.
To let Google know that your Ecommerce site caters to its mobile customers, be sure to use AMPs (Accelerated Mobile Pages) that ensure stellar performance on all handheld devices. And remember, eCommerce sites are notoriously cumbersome for mobile browsing, so be sure to eliminate all extraneous widgets, optimize your photos, and scale the resolution to speed up your site’s performance.
eCommerce is becoming less and less about the product and more about customer experience. After all, your focus should be on customer retention and lifetime value, and the only way to keep these two metrics in check is to build a customer-centric eCommerce website. Use these tips to achieve this goal and future-proof your business for years to come.
Keith Coppersmith is a business and marketing expert who has experienced both the rise and fall of many businesses. As a regular contributor at BizzmarkBlog, he enjoys writing and providing insight into the marketing industry based on both practice and theory.