Organizations have increased their experience optimization spending by 50% because it is producing incomparable results. Customers today want to have all their queries answered within seconds. Customers also enjoy the liberty to shop at their convenience, pay through varied methods, and choose their mode of shipment too.
The dynamic shift in the needs of customers has coaxed enterprises into rethinking their strategy, and this time, customer experience is at the helm of it. Various studies have predicted that over 80% of customers are willing to pay extra for a quality experience and Amazon’s Prime offering is a living example of it. Today, Amazon has over 100 million prime users alone in the United States. A considerable percentage of online shoppers subscribe to Prime for its unlimited one-day delivery feature.
Why is Customer Experience Important for E-commerce Players?
When the e-commerce wave hit the millennial, it was all about online platforms offering a maximum discount. Then the new age shoppers ran into problems like fake products, late deliveries, and slow customer support, and credit card frauds. When the dust settled, only a handful of e-commerce was left, and now their priority was no more customer acquisition but customer retention.
The sure-shot way of retaining customers is to optimize the shopping experience for every customer. Product recommendation, multiple payment options, and omnichannel customer support are perhaps the tools of personalized customer experience for every individual.
A HubSpot study revealed, 85% of customers have agreed to never shop from an online store after just one bad experience, which shook the entire e-commerce ecosystem. The sudden change in paradigm has helped customers identify players who are focusing on winning in the long run.
By optimizing the customer experience, new e-commerce start-ups can aim to gain a loyal user base and then grow with the help of product recommendation, referral sales, and word of mouth marketing.
Where to Start with Customer Experience?
New and even established e-commerce stores will face issues when starting to optimize the customer experience for the better. Here’s a roadmap that has helped unicorns create a memorable customer experience:
Step 1: Start with customer journey mapping.
Copy your competitor or the most popular online store in the market is not a good strategy. Often these players belong to a different niche and have customers who are entirely different from your customers; hence their needs vary accordingly.
Customer Journey Mapping is the right way of finding obstacles that are negatively impacting the customer experience on your platform. Here’s how a customer journey map helps:
- you identify obstacles and remove them
- you to discover why carts are abandoned
- e-commerce stores bracket customers according to their gender, age, and location
- online stores try new things and see how they are performing
- you manage all the available resources in a manner that brings positive results
Step 2: Simplify the Online Shopping Process
Customer journey mapping will highlight all pertaining problems that can lead to cart beings abandoned or customers churning. Here are some of the changes you can make:
- Cut steps and simplify the checkout process
- Stop forcing customers to create an account, use number based OTP system for verification
- Allow customers to bookmark, wish list and save products for later use
- Put a “progress bar” that showcases the number of steps left in completing an order
Step 3: Involve Customers in Creating an Exceptional Experience
Since CX is all about customers, it will be beneficial to include them in creating an exceptional experience. There are varied ways through which e-commerce stores can seek inputs from customers. The survey, monetized feedback session, and time to time feedback are some of the easiest ways of seeking recommendations.
Leveraging social media platforms for reaching out to customers and seeking feedback is perhaps one of the most underrated ideas. Social media works the best for players that offer online sales because it hardly takes 2-3 minutes to like a product and place an order.
Underrated Benefits of Improving CX for E-commerce Players
- Incomparable customer loyalty
- Customers are willing to pay extra instead of churning.
- Increased NPS leading to higher referral revenue
- Improved brand value
How to Make CX the key differentiator?
The real question is how e-commerce players can turn CX into a key differentiator? Here is some recommendation that has worked wonders for Amazon, Flipkart, LensKart, Ajio, and many other popular online stores.
All your marketing gimmicks, holiday sales, customer support, and social media campaigns should have customers at the center of attraction. When you start building a business with a customer at the helm, the customers ensure that it becomes a success. Offering a quality experience coaxes customers in to talk about. In the social media age, where customers are always tweeting and posting photos on Instagram, e-commerce stores can gain free marketing worth a lot.
Your marketing collaterals can be engaging, like social media posts that urge customers to comment and win a discount coupon, or your customer support should be flexible enough to reach a customer at a time they want you to and through channels that are best suited for the customers.
Facilitate Faster Product Discovery
A considerable percentage of customers now prefer Amazon over Google to discover new products. Amazon has optimized its online store in such a way that it offers the most relevant result. While a vast selection of assortment is one reason why Amazon can offer better product discovery but then catalog creation, category definition, content management, and attribute values play a crucial role in faster identification of the relevant product.
Misplaced attribute values lead to brand interference, which tweaks the return rates. Catalog management is crucial for online stores because it offers additional benefits like theme-based bracketing, accurate product recommendation, minimized return rates, and influences customer loyalty.
Simplify the Shopping Experience
Optimizing product discovery and easy checkout are two different things and require a focus on two different processes. While faster product discovery can be achieved with catalog management, to achieve simpler checkout, e-commerce stores need to focus on category definition and CTA management. By adding relevant buttons, CTAs, and icons on different pages and reducing the steps it takes to place an order, online stores can complement faster product discovery and create an unmatchable experience.
Use Up-selling and Cross-Selling Options
A customer that buys a smart television is likely to buy a home theater, or a customer who buys a bed is often looking for a mattress. Offering recommendations related to products viewed or purchased can prove to be a game-changer. Here are some of the most commonly used tabs for cross-selling and up-selling products:
- Frequently Bought Together: A Customer who buys a mobile device will also buy a screen guard.
- A Newer Version of This Product: Amazon uses it to sell the latest model of a product.
- Best Seller in Category: It helps e-commerce online stores minimize return rates because the best products are delivered.
- Customers Your Age Bought This: Riding high on the latest trends, this up-selling tab helps online stores promote their highest selling products.
Highlight Your Return Policy
67% of customers look at the return policy before placing an order because returning product and receiving a refund is a part of the customer journey, and they play a crucial role in shaping the overall customer experience of a platform.
By highlighting the return policy on the product page, online stores can make it easier for customers to make a decision. Easier e-commerce return policy and instant refund make it easier for customers to buy products online because it assures them they are not going to lose their money.
By 2040, the e-commerce industry is expected to process 95% of the entire retail transaction, and the player that takes away a huge percentage of its home will be decided based on the experience they create.
By investing in customer experience innovation and management, organizations are building a loyal audience base that will continue to shopping even when the rates go high and will also bring in other loyal users. Customer experience is not only a critical differentiator but also the key to successful marketing.