A few years ago, for brands to provide a good ecommerce customer experience, they simply had to ensure basic features, a decent design, and easy navigation on their online store.
But, customer demands kept increasing and continue to. This means customer expectations have grown and basic experiences have fallen by the wayside.
Today, brands need to consistently keep up with customer demands to provide satisfactory customer experiences. And that often includes competing with the experiences that the likes of Amazon deliver!
In this blog, we’re sharing a few things we have learned about what the new-age online shopper seeks for a great online shopping journey.
Ways to enhance eCommerce customer experience on your Shopify store
1. A comprehensive customer account page
eCommerce sites such as Amazon, Walmart, and Alibaba, among others, have set the bar high for customer account pages. Most eCommerce customer experience teams maintain a laser focus on the home page, product pages, and checkout page. Now is the time to also focus on giving shoppers their own personal space – a customer account page.
It matters because this is the page that will hold all useful information for the customer. It is where customers go to track their orders and get an overview of their purchase history. It is where they get to save the products they really like and would want to purchase in the future or maybe even place reorders on some previous orders.
A customer account page should be designed with the customer at the heart of it, and should house a number of things:
- Customers’ personal details – name, gender, location, delivery, and billing address
- Payment methods and saved card details
- Shipping information
- Deals, offers, discounts, and reward points
- Manage returns and exchanges
Seems like too much?
Flits makes it easier for you to set up Shopify customer account pages. It doesn’t just enable you to offer all the above features but also makes signing up for an account easier with the social login feature. It also comes with two customer account page templates that you use to customize the look and feel of the page to match that of your store.
Ready to take the first step to deliver a great customer experience? Set up a Shopify customer account page with Flits.
2. Experiences that appeal emotionally and sensorily
One of the key things that truly helps engage customers in eCommerce stores is to appeal to their emotions and senses. Research shows it can improve brand impact by a whopping 30%.
And a study backed by Harvard Business Review reveals that fully emotionally connected customers are 52% more valuable to brands.
Even though sensory experiences such as smell, touch, and taste are not possible online, there are a number of ways for brands to engage other senses – sight and sound, specifically.
So how do you make your Shopify customer experience create emotional connections with customers?
Here are some ways leading Shopify stores are engaging their visitors:
1. Augmented Reality (AR)
Brands such as Amazon and Sephora have heightened customers’ experiences beyond imaginable. Amazon enables customers to visualize furniture in their own homes. Sephora lets shoppers upload selfies and try products virtually.
2. Virtual Reality (VR)
Another extremely engaging medium is VR. It enables immersive experiences that appeal to multiple senses, making the customers’ shopping experience more tactile and accessible, even though seemingly.
eCommerce brands have been using video a lot – to show product features, products in use, etc. Video is more impactful than other static content and helps bring products to life, keeping the customer experience fun with visuals and sound. And it’s one of the easiest to implement too!
3. Comprehensive product pages
Customers come to your website for one thing – to buy products. Hence, your product page has to be built to impress, engage, and let the customer know how the product will help them.
You need to create a balance between sharing as much product information you can about the product and leading them to take action, make purchases, and convert.
In short, as Neil Patel puts it, a product page should “provide the information, assurances, and motivation the visitor needs to become your customer.”
Here’s what you can include in your product pages:
- A well-written product description
- Key product features
- How the product will benefit the customer
- Explanatory videos
- High-quality images
- Clear call-to-action
- Information that answers customer questions – exchange, return policy
- Payment methods and options
- Social proof – reviews and ratings, testimonials
- Product recommendations
- Clear, concise copy in simple language
And if you’re ready to up the game, here are a few more things you can consider including:
- Product how-tos
- FAQs (frequently asked questions)
- 3D models to give shoppers a better understanding of the product
4. An omnichannel experience
An omnichannel experience is one where customers can choose the channel and device through which they want to engage with a brand. As customers hop from your Facebook page to your website to your app, you can create rich experiences across channels.
Omnichannel shoppers spend 50% to 300% more compared to traditional shoppers. That’s too lucrative an opportunity to miss out on. Isn’t it?
How can you provide an omnichannel experience to your customers?
A one-size-fits-all approach may not work for omnichannel customer experience. Different brands use unique strategies.
For example, Nike connects its app with the in-store experience. When customers are in the vicinity of a Nike store, they get updates about the store layout to make their in-store shopping easier.
Ikea does something a bit different. The brand’s intuitive app also infuses VR technology, which allows shoppers to visualize furniture in their own homes. Their in-store experience is similar, where customers can get lost but use the app to locate what they’re looking for.
Some tips to create omnichannel customer experience:
- Choose a few channels – two to four – to begin with. Don’t stretch it too thin.
- Have a comprehensive plan for each channel that your brand is active on.
- Stay consistently active, current, and updated. All your channels should evolve over time.
- Integrate your channels into each other so that your customers don’t have to start over on different channels.
- Filter all the important customer information and bring it to one centralized location.
5. A personalized shopping experience
A study shows that almost half of the customers (49%) make purchases on impulse when brands provide personalized shopping experiences. But 71% of customers express frustration over non-personalized experiences.
Today, shoppers expect brands to remember them. Not just that, they want brands to understand them – their likes, dislikes, needs, and wants.
Here’s how you can personalize customers’ online shopping experience:
- Monitor the customers’ activities on your eStore – what are they looking at, which pages are they spending more time on?
- Analyze their likes and dislikes based on their activity and past purchase.
- Offer and recommend products that they’d be interested in and that will help make their lives easier.
- Ask them for feedback and address their issues.
- Tell them about upcoming products they shouldn’t miss.
- Add value to your relationship.
- Keep your customer relationship-building process creative and consistent.
6. Proactive and responsive engagement
Today, customers expect brands to reach out to them and show up on the different channels where they are looking for products. Conversely, they’re okay if brands pop up at places when they’re not even looking for anything. And if you’re not doing this, remember, other brands are.
Whether you reach out to customers or they come to you, as a brand, your goal should be one – to help customers take the next actions. And so, to increase engagement, you have to be both proactive and responsive.
Here’s what that entails:
- Send them regular newsletters and email updates.
- Engage with them through paid social media marketing activities.
- Feed them ads while they’re browsing at other things. We mean display advertising.
- Direct messaging and SMS marketing.
- Tell them you’re there through chatbots and live chats.
- Be where your customers are searching for products. We mean search engine optimization.
- Send them cart abandonment emails to re-engage them.
- Exit-intent pop-ups.
- Ask them for feedback, reviews, and ratings post-purchase.
7. Receive proactive and responsive support from brands
In the same manner, when customers reach out to brands for help with issues and queries, brands need to be ready to offer support to them.
But wait. What does proactive support mean?
It means identifying and solving things before they become issues. For example, you can anticipate questions that customers might have and already provide answers through the FAQ page, instructional videos, or a knowledge center on your website.
And what about responsive support?
It’s pretty self-explanatory, when customers reach out to the brands with questions and queries, brands should be ready to provide the answers and solutions. For example, customers browsing your products might have many questions. They look for a way to contact you – email, call or chat.
So, how important is it to provide proactive and responsive support? For starters, it can increase customer retention by 3-5%.
Want your brand to offer proactive and responsive support? Some cues:
- If your brand is omnichannel, you should offer support on all your channels.
- Offer prompt support. Customers can get impatient. Moreover, they know they have other brands to go to.
- Bring in empathy. Customers want brands to care for them and listen to them.
8. Seamless supply chain experience
Imagine customers browsing your website are unable to shop because products are sold out or out of stock. It’s obviously not a happy experience. Damaged goods, late deliveries, and delayed action to product exchange requests – all these can lead to customers feeling dissatisfied. And most times, customers won’t come back to your brand ever again.
A seamless supply chain is an essential success factor in customers’ online shopping journey.
It’s important to optimize your supply chain in order to keep any roadblocks at bay and to ensure a good customer experience.
Check out this infographic to understand the why and how of a seamless supply chain from data gathered from customers.
9. Buy Online Pick Up In-Store option (BOPIS)
The concept of BOPIS is simple. Customers can order online but pick up the item themselves from the store. A similar concept is a curbside pickup, where a customer orders online but picks up the product from a predetermined location near the physical store or warehouse.
These concepts are soon becoming the norm. That’s because here are some of the benefits they offer:
- Customers can pick up orders faster and do not have to wait for delivery.
- They can save on shipping and heavy packaging charges.
- They can ensure the product is in good condition as they’re picking it up themselves.
A study shows that 77% of consumers shop online for convenience and 72% for free delivery. BOPIS offers both – the convenience of ordering online and picking up the order at no cost.
This concept definitely gives a better customer experience. Customers are busy and most may not have the time to coordinate doorstep delivery. Scheduling an allocated time for in-store pickup provides convenience to them. Moreover, it saves their time, too. All these factors lead to less stress and higher levels of customer experience.
10. Multiple payment options
Not all customers are comfortable with one type of payment option. Hence, you must offer customers as many possible payment options, eg., credit card, net banking, Apple Pay, cash on delivery, etc.
Cash on delivery (COD) and pay full later might not be ideal in the case of online sales, but these are also ways in which you can grow customer loyalty. It builds trust and makes customers stick to a brand longer.
Another important factor to consider is subscription models. More than 50% of customers feel subscriptions are more convenient compared to other payment options, especially, when they buy products or services on a regular basis.
11. Build a community around your brand
Imagine a brand without engagement, interaction, or conversations with its customers. Such a brand clearly can’t hold customers for too long, even if they offer the best of products. Because customers want to feel cared for. They want brands to understand their needs and behaviors. That’s what brings us to – community.
A community is where your brand’s most loyal and engaged customers could come together. It’s the place where customers can build relationships with each other and with your brand.
But what do communities do?
That’s completely up to your brand and how you want to add value to these loyal customers.
Here’s what some brands do:
- Conduct open discussions about products and services.
- Talk about the benefits of products and services.
- Share reviews and opinions.
- Share issues, problems, and complaints, too.
- Conferences, meet-ups, and workshops.
Some Shopify brands like Gym+Coffee have built a cult-like community around their brand. These are consumers who are not just sharing their purchases online, but also ensuring they keep the others in the process motivated!
Is your eCommerce customer experience paying off?
To understand whether or not your customer experience efforts are working or not, you’ll have to quantify customer experience. But, it’s not as simple to quantify something as intangible as customer experience. Is it?
Customer experience is multi-layered and you can track three important metrics to get a true sense of it. Here they are:
Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)
CSAT is a metric to measure customer satisfaction. Customers are asked how satisfied they are with a recent interaction they had on a rating scale, usually from 0 to 10. This could be a purchase, a return, or a customer service call.
Net Promoter Score (NPS)
NPS helps you gauge what percentage of your customers are likely to recommend your business. This survey asks a simple question: On a scale of 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend our brand to your friends?
Customers who rate 9 or 10 are promoters. Those who rate 7 or 8 are passives. Those with a rating 6 or less are detractors.
Customer Retention and Loyalty
To measure customer retention and loyalty, brands often use this formula:
- Choose a period, say a month or a year
- Subtract the number of new customers (N) in that period from the total number of customers in that period. (E)
- Divide this number by the number of customers at the start of the period (S).
Multiply the result by 100 to get the percentage.
A good brand is now synonymous with a good eCommerce customer experience. Providing excellent customer experience consistently is a complex task. One that demands looking into the smallest of features that could make online shopping easier for a consumer.
So the next time your conversion rate worries you, remember to think like the consumer and experience your Shopify store.
But until then, we’d say the 11 strategies above are sure to win you more brownie points than your competitors!
Ready to take the first step to offer a great eCommerce customer experience for online shopping?