Why Customer Experience is Vital in eCommerce

19 September 2019 - 9:12, by , in Best practices in price monitoring, No comments
Reading Time: 5 minutes

Years ago, customer interactions were limited to call centers or retail outlets. Nowadays, by the technology rise, the field of customer experience became more opened up for new opportunities for engagement. The customer experience (often referred to as CX), defines the perception of the experience that the customer had with your brand. In fact, in the situation where you and your competitor have pretty much similar products, good customer experience might be a true game-changer.
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Why customer experience plays a key role in the success of your business?
 

How much do you love the holiday season?

The part of the year where you feel a little bit more special, where you have a  gathering with your family and friends, and you are so overwhelmed with opening cards and presents. It gives you the feeling that someone thinks and cares about you enough to devote time and energy to write you a card or to find you a present that they’ve chosen based on knowing you as a person. That feeling of being special and remembered by someone is something that businesses want their customers to be left when they finish the purchase.

Brick-and-mortar stores can use a variety of proven ways to improve customer experiences such as store design and polite and helpful staff. In the online world, things are a bit harder, but the final aim remains the same – providing a positive customer experience in order to turn your customers into loyal ones. When you go above and beyond in fulfilling your customer’s needs and wants, you are taking safe steps in making their shopping into a wonderful experience. One great example could be a Chicago-based clothing company, Trunk Club who seems to know how to make you feel as it actually is a holiday season.

Thus, if customers have a positive experience, it is very likely that they will continue buying at your store.

So, what exactly can you do to provide a positive customer experience?

Define your customers

The first step in providing a good customer experience would be to know who your customers are. This step is essential in your strategy due to the fact that all the further steps should come around this one. It is necessary to first identify your customers, and afterwords to understand them as well. By doing so, you’ll be able to define their wants and needs and then make your business strategy accordingly. If you make a mistake here, it will definitely reflect everything else – you’ll find yourself using wrong strategies, in a wrong time and place, defining wrong prices, and finally, spending more then earning. In order to know what to offer, you first must understand who are the ones to whom your offer refers to.
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The power of personalization
 

Indeed, eCommerce stores are limited by the lack of human interactions with the customers. Even though technology can not entirely replace personal interaction, there are some tips and tricks that you can use to improve the shopping journey. One of the certain ways to accomplish that is by personalization. Research that was done by Accenture Interactive states that 91% of customers are more likely to buy from brands that recognize them, and therefore provide them recommendations which they find useful. Using personalization to obtain great customer experience isn’t anything new, but what changes over time are the tactics that brands are using to reach this goal. One of the very common ones, offering customers products based on their previous buying history, was found invasive in the mentioned study. Instead, customers are looking for more engaging customer experience.

One great example could be a Chicago-based clothing company, Trunk Club who seems to know how to make you feel as it actually is a holiday season.

They use style experts to help customers make a personalized box of clothing based on their choice of color, fabrics, and style. All that a customer has to do is to pick a style, and style experts will combine a perfect collection. As if you have a personal stylist just for you. After that, a package arrives at the customer’s address, where they are left with the same feeling as if some of their family members or friends have chosen for them a perfect gift – in the right size and style, just as they like it. Of course, they have the option of returning the package, but that option is obviously very unlikely to happen. By doing this, they are making their customers into loyal ones by showing them that they understand their needs even before they’ve made a purchase.

Provide a great website
 

Will customers buy something on your website also depends on some other aspects of customer experience such as having a good website. This doesn’t mean that your job is finished by putting a few nice pictures. The speed and the structure of the website has to reflect your targeted customers in all possible ways. Another research has shown that users form their customer experience based on two main factors: familiarity and simplicity of the website. In this case, the very popular one “less is more” has found its true meaning. Keep it simple – don’t confuse your visitors with complex websites where they can not find what they are looking for and make them waste their time. Even though the changes are welcomed, do not overstep with them too. Users want to be able to make their way around your website, so there is no need to constantly change something just for the sake of it.

Customers feedback is important
 
How can you know if the users had a positive customer experience if you don’t ask them? You can do this by sending a follow-up email to every customer using surveys where you can get an insight into their customer experience. Also, it would be very useful to connect this to a support agent so that if your customers have any additional questions or comments they can get an answer as soon as possible. By doing this you get to see what are the most common complaints and problems that complicate the customer experience. Another benefit is that you provide your employees with the opportunity to speak their minds about some new ideas which might help with providing a better customer experience. You can go further by organizing training for members of the support team in order to offer even better customer service. Every customer finds some of the communication channels as more easier to use than others, so you have to be able to catch all the information regarding customer experience regardless of their type – emails, comments, phone calls, social media, etc.
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Measure the ROI that comes from customer experience
 

According to Statista shopping cart abandonment in 2018 was 75,6%. The main reason for such bad results again lies in the customer experience. Customers find it time-consuming to search for the wanted products, or too difficult to create an account or to do the payment. In that case, they will leave before making the purchase and it is obvious that they wouldn’t rate their customer experience extremely high. Another way to measure customer experience is by using Net Promoter Score (NET) which gets this information by asking a simple question: “Would you recommend this company to a friend or relative?”. This NTE is used by many companies due to it’s simple to implement.

We are witnesses of customer’s expectations getting constantly higher. Having the possibility to choose from so many available options has put the customers in a better, and more powerful position. So, to gain/retain customers, the eCommerce world has to put a lot of effort into providing a better customer experience. As time passes, the bar is just getting higher and higher, so it became inevitable that businesses understood the importance of one satisfied customer.

Do you have some examples of good or maybe bad customer experience? Feel free to share it with us!
 

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