Today, digital transformation pushes us to use the Internet more than ever. Whenever we need a certain product or service, we head to the Internet to search for it. And, if we don’t like a single thing in the shopping journey, we don’t give a second thought; we start looking for another brand.
So, the saying is true that poor customer experience doesn't make your customers like you, but your competitors.
The ecommerce customer experience directly affects sales and plays a huge role in business development that you cannot afford to ignore.
What is customer experience?
Customer experience (CX) is the impression your customers have about your brand as a whole throughout all aspects of the buyer's journey.
Customer experience starts at the points of interaction - touchpoints. Consumers and the product are the two main touchpoints that create customer experience. Here are two questions to ask yourself to gauge the customer experience you’re providing:
- Are consumers satisfied with the performance of the product?
- Are consumers happy with the customer service and support?
Successful ecommerce customer experience managers define the touchpoints, identify the drivers of behavior, and clarify each touchpoint's effects on the brand essence. The analysis of the touchpoints helps ecommerce brands improve customer experience.
How does improving customer experience boost your sales?
Overall, a better customer experience results in the following benefits:
- Increased revenue
- Strong customer loyalty
- Free word of mouth marketing
- Brand differentiation
- Reduced customer retention costs
Customer experience increases revenue
A good customer experience positively impacts several aspects of an ecommerce business, which generates more sales and revenue.
The results of a Groove study show that companies whose main focus was customer experience had an overall 11% increase in conversion rates.
Ecommerce brands with the customer experience mindset increase brand loyalty
When you meet your customers’ expectations and deliver a unique experience, you will have your own fans – loyal customers.
Loyal customers are your fighters on the battlefield of the ecommerce market. A happy and satisfied customer will remain loyal to your brand, and they’ll continue to work with you.
Also, it’s easier to sell to your existing loyal customers. When you have loyal customers, it’s more profitable for your business.
There is also an uncomfortable truth: if a customer doesn’t like an experience, even if they’ve been loyal to your brand, they will stop working with you. Consider this: 57% of the survey respondents reported that they’ve stopped buying from a brand because a competitor provided a better experience.
Improved customer experience is free word of mouth marketing
An improved customer experience helps you tie down your existing customers and gain new ones.
Happy and satisfied customers not only visit the platform more often, but they also share their positive experiences with others. This, in turn, encourages other consumers to interact with your brand and see what kind of experience your brand may deliver.
According to a survey by American Express, happy customers tell an average of 9 people about their experience with a brand.
Also, excellent customer experience results in more positive reviews for your brand and strengthens your brands' online presence. When you have happy customers, you have an opportunity to ask for reviews. By doing this, your visibility increases, which brings more customers to your business.
A better customer experience differentiates your brand
81% of organizations consider customer experience as a competitive differentiator.
Low price, free shipping, home delivery, coupon codes are not the only factors that differentiate your brand anymore. Pretty much every ecommerce brand offers those services.
Your brand stands out if you exceed your customers' expectations and provide a fantastic shopping journey in the context of customer experience.
If your company delivers a differentiated customer experience, you don’t need to ‘remind’ your customers why you’re different. Rather, your customers already know the value you give them and what makes your brand different from others in the market. And they will think about the positive experience they encountered with your brand whenever you offer a product or service to them.
CX centered strategy reduces marketing costs
Customer retention is more profitable than generating new customers. And, with an excellent customer experience, you’re better positioned to retain customers.
Bain & Company reports that a 5% increase in customer retention generates more than a 25% increase in revenue.
Also, a 2% increase in customer retention has the same effect on profit as cutting costs by 10%.
Plus, building relationships with new customers takes considerable time and resources. Thus, many CX management technologies focus on customer retention more as the fastest way to increase profits.
The reason improved customer experience reduces marketing costs is that word of mouth marketing, positive reviews, brand loyalty, and differentiation - all contribute to improved customer retention, that - they reduce the cost spent on customer acquisition and retention.
How to improve customer experience?
We’ve seen how important it is to focus on customer experience and change your brand strategy to customer-centric.
Let’s move on to learning how to improve customer experience in practice.
Better customer service
Customers want to get involved with a brand that delivers high-quality customer service.
Ecommerce customer service is an act of communicating with customers to support them, offer help, and solve their problems before, during, and after a purchase.
The HubSpot research reports that 93% of customers are likely to buy multiple times from companies that offer great customer service.
Here are some things you can do to deliver better ecommerce customer support:
Apply a multichannel approach: A multichannel approach is crucial for mastering customer service since most customers utilize more than one channel.
The multichannel approach of customer service means there is more than one way for customers to reach out for support.
In brief, a multichannel support system allows ecommerce customers to meet you on the channel they prefer. This can be, phone calls, emails, live chat, social media, etc. Give your customers as many options to communicate with your brand as possible.
Picking the right ecommerce customer support software is extremely helpful in managing conversations across multiple channels. We've curated a list of the most popular Shopify customer support apps to help you make an informed decision.
Offer instant help: According to one research, 53% of adult customers abandon their online purchase if they do not find a quick answer to their questions. And that’s why live chat is one of the fastest-growing channels in the ecommerce space.
Improving customer service quality and providing immediate resolutions for customers leads to an increase in conversion rates and increased sales.
There’s also research that indicates the strong correlation between the existence of live chat and an increase in brand loyalty, revenue, and sales.
Make your service is mobile friendly
Almost 90% of consumers start searching for a product online. If your business is online, that means your product and service is accessible via a smart device; consumers can find your brand anywhere with cellular or wifi services.
The experience you give on your desktop version of a website should reflect your mobile site or app.
Prioritize mobile site speed, UX, and user-flow to deliver an exceptional experience on mobile devices. A good mobile experience is a key element of a successful omnichannel strategy.
Personalize customer experience
User experience personalization means setting up the system to identify users and deliver content, support, experience, and functionality that matches their needs.
You can personalize the customer experience through:
- Your communication with customers
- The consumers’ shopping journey
To personalize the experience, you need to develop customer profiles and know your customers.
One effective way to know what your customers want is by checking their track record. This way, you can use the customers’ past experiences and approach them based on their previous behavior and preferences.
All the content you display including promo popup offers, browser language, etc. should be specific to every single customer.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when communicating with your customers:
- Tap into their emotions by minimizing the use of automated responses
- Use data to understand their needs by referring to your customers' previous behavior
- Focus on helping customers rather than selling your product
Studies show that, after the speed of resolution and response, customers look for friendliness in communication with representatives. Here are the percentage of expectations of customers from support representatives.
Improve the self-service knowledge base
A knowledge base is like an online library that offers valuable information about your product or service. This can include e-books, FAQ pages, video tutorials, and anything related to know-how. A knowledge base helps customers find answers to solve their own problems.
If we look at Hubspot’s content marketing efforts, we can see that they have a strong focus on helping ecommerce prospects. Their main principle is to help the ecommerce prospects even before they become Hubspot’s customers through their content.
73% of the customers want to resolve issues by themselves. In fact, they do not want to contact customer service in the first place. A good knowledge base directly improves customer support while enhancing the overall customer experience.
If you are still thinking about postponing customer experience improvement, be prepared to struggle in the ecommerce market as a whole. Especially since countless competitors will try to “steal” your customers. You need to take the customer experience issue personally and invest all that you can.
Implement the right strategy to improve customer experience and the sky is the limit.
This is a guest post from Narmina Balabayli & the team at Nextsale - a tool that helps convert visitors into customers by improving the customer experience with on-page notifications.