Great products, competitive pricing, and solid marketing. These are some of the keys to attract people to your online store. However, that alone doesn’t lead to conversions. You need a strong customer experience to engage buyers.
The impact of a positive customer experience (CX) is remarkable. Look at these statistics to get a glimpse into how important it is to create an excellent user experience:
- Leading companies that focus on customer experience outperform poor performers by as much as 80 percent.
- Brands that excel at customer experience bring in 7 times more revenue than competitors.
- Customers are likely to spend 140 percent more after positive customer experiences vs. negative ones.
- Customers that have positive customer experiences are likely to remain customers five years longer.
So, what does it take to achieve a strong customer experience? It starts with a customer-centric mindset to put your shoppers at the forefront of your decisions. For e-commerce sites, that means an excellent experience before they purchase.
Marketing your products starts the first time a customer becomes aware of your brand. Everything afterward defines the CX. You must define the value of your brand and products early and often.
When customers do encounter your site, you need to be able to drive them quickly to the products or services they are looking for and provide them the information they need to make decisions. This means pictures, videos, product specs, sizes, prices, availability, and anything else they would want to know. If they have to hunt for it, they may hunt elsewhere.
Once you’ve converted a customer, you need to focus on proactive steps to retain that customer and get them to return. Collecting their email address and getting an affirmative opt-in during the shopping or check-out process allows you to market to them after the purchase.
From a simple order confirmation to a thank you to a promotional offer for additional purchases, you need to remind them of who you are and the value you provide to remain top of mind.
Your e-commerce site
The design of your e-commerce site and the way it works has a lot to do with how customers feel about their experience. In delivering a great customer experience, you’ll need to provide great customer service and a strong user experience (UX).
Customers should be able to have a consistent experience across every touchpoint. From your website to social media to blog posts to branding campaigns, everything should look and feel the same. Inconsistency sends mixed messages.
If a website is difficult to use or customers have a hard time finding what they want, they are more likely to shop elsewhere. Simple and intuitive navigation along with robust search is essential. Any other ways you can reduce friction, such as chatbots to help customers find what they want or one-click checkout, can make a big difference.
The harder it is to find and buy something, the less likely customers will convert.
Fourteen percent of B2C customers and 22 percent of B2B customers said their most recent online experience was personalized. It’s become an expectation. It’s also an opportunity to increase sales. When you can suggest products and services customers may like, you can increase cross-sells and upsells.
Just ask Amazon. More than a third of the company’s revenue comes from products they highlight with personalized suggestions.
Whether someone is using a Private Virtual Network (VPN) and encrypting their data or not, customers need to know your site is secure and safe. With so many instances of data breaches in the news, customers must trust you will protect their data properly.
The more technical aspects of website design also play a big part in customer experience.
For example, how fast a page loads. Research done by Google shows that the bounce rate (customer’s leaving a site) increases by nearly a third if page load time increases from one to three seconds. If it takes a page five seconds to load, 90 percent of customers are gone.
Making sure your site formats properly on mobile devices is no longer optional. More than half of web traffic now occurs on a mobile device. Customers want an easy way to buy products and services when they’re shopping on smartphones.