Online shopping has transformed the traditional retail landscape as consumers benefit from competitive pricing, unparalleled variety and unbridled convenience. E-commerce sales hit $4.9 trillion globally in 2021, demonstrating the massive shift from conventional retail and that it’s not going away any time soon.
By: Jake Rheude, Red Stag Fulfillment
And by 2025, those numbers will grow to $7.4 trillion at a CAGR of 50%.
Personalized digital experiences have become a cornerstone of how e-commerce businesses develop, nurture, and nurture customer relationships. An exceptional and unparalleled customer experience is paramount to becoming a digital-first business in an e-commerce market.
86% of customers would pay comparatively more (13-18% more for a service or product) for an improved and better experience. It also means they wouldn’t buy from the same company if they had a bad experience with them.
Yet, many e-commerce businesses overlook basic capabilities and aspects of a seamless customer experience, such as relevant search results, easy website navigation, clear product information, and more.
Here are some ways to provide a unique customer experience for e-commerce buyers.
1) Smart search
For e-commerce businesses, site search is an essential tool for driving conversions and creating baskets, whether they are returning or new customers.
Customers want search results that are applicable/relevant to them; they want to know if the products they want are in stock. Therefore, they want relevant suggestions, up-to-date and accurate information with detailed product descriptions.
However, various features and search features on websites unfortunately disrupt the customer experience. They focus on keywords rather than the connotation of those words in terms of relevance and context. In contrast, intelligent semantic search takes into account the context and meaning of words, just as human sellers would.
Personalized, intuitive and intelligent search capabilities are imperative to delivering an exceptional customer experience. Thus, you need to make sure and provide accurate information about what is in stock as well as the benefits of buying the product making your search feature rich.
2) Deliver seamless mobile experiences
Mobile e-commerce sales accounted for 54% of total e-commerce sales in 2021. Your mobile experience should be impactful, simple and effortless.
Insider Intelligence predicts that mobile commerce volume will reach $620.97 billion in 2024. And the two virtual devices driving the mobile commerce revolution are tablets and smartphones.
As more and more customers turn to mobile, today’s e-commerce retailers need to ensure they take a mobile-first approach. Optimize product images and listings for a mobile app or mobile device, whether they sell through their websites or third-party marketplaces.
Delivering an exceptional mobile e-commerce shopping experience enables sellers to deliver a significantly improved customer experience.
79% of smartphone users have made an online purchase through their mobile in the past six months. Additionally, ensuring that all links, CTAs, and buttons have the correct margin and size is imperative to avoid difficulties.
Mobile websites are usually displayed on relatively much smaller screens. Thus, using visual content like videos and infographics is preferable to reading long texts.
3) Personalize the customer experience
Personalization increases impulse purchases, leading to fewer returns and increasing customer loyalty. For example, Amazon is a great example when it comes to personalization. Their homepage gives you personalized recommendations based on your recent buying and shopping trends. Artificial intelligence technology can help your business embrace personalization, helping you deliver a personalized and relevant experience to every customer.
For example, you can view products based on customer-focused performance data and top business priorities. Plus, machine learning capabilities mean you can react quickly to changes in customer behavior and external factors like weather.
Personalized e-commerce customer experiences through marketing channels or on-premises can increase profits by 25%. Therefore, now more than ever, e-commerce industries need to take advantage of advanced technologies and tools to help support excellent web design while delivering a personalized and unique experience.
4) Flexible delivery and purchase options
The flexibility and convenience of choosing from multiple delivery and purchase options is one of the great ways to enhance and enhance the customer experience.
Customers don’t just buy the product. They also want the best deals, offers, and perks. Lack of flexibility in delivery and purchase options can hamper the overall performance and results of your e-commerce experience.
As consumer demands evolve and progress, giving your customers the ability to choose what’s convenient is a great gesture of goodwill.
Customers enjoy this effortlessly because the brand they opt for is willing to facilitate them in the best possible way. As a result, they feel responsible whenever they have various options and are allowed to make a selection based on their preferences.
This is one of the best ways to significantly improve the customer experience. For example, an e-commerce seller might indicate that customers can easily have their goods delivered within 24 hours of ordering.
With customer benefits like downloadable VAT invoices, expense trackers, and pay-by-invoice, businesses need to dramatically improve the customer experience.
5) Rich information and content
Providing accurate information, such as stock levels and product details, answering common questions, and clarifying pricing can dramatically improve and amplify the e-commerce customer experience.
Google aims to organize global data, and consolidating product information for retailers and shoppers is an essential part of that mission. To help users find products and content in search optimally, Google recommends that websites identify the products mentioned.
Plus, your content should do more than just answer product questions precisely. For example, it must also communicate a story to inspire and captivate the user.
81% of customers do research online before making an online purchase. Keep in mind that the ability to research products is a key reason people buy online rather than in-store.
Therefore, it is paramount to provide buyers with accurate and detailed product pages that answer all their questions.
Customers today are looking for more meaningful and unique experiences, so they won’t be primarily drawn to a particular brand just because it’s famous. As an eCommerce seller, you need to work harder for your customers to ensure an optimized and seamless digital customer experience.
The pandemic has forced e-commerce businesses to focus on customer experience, making it an instant priority for all businesses. Those with a practical customer experience tactic are likely to survive and thrive in this rapidly changing e-commerce market.
A good customer experience also influences repeat purchases. So, in essence, it’s imperative for the growth of your e-commerce business. You need to have a solid digital e-commerce plan to pay attention to the essence of online customer experience.
Companies that excel at delivering unique customer experiences have a powerful marketing tool in their arsenal. It can impact consumers more than any outlandish ad campaign in a variety of ways.
For this reason, it’s essential to leverage all the sources at your disposal to create and deliver a great digital customer experience, from personalization and technology to thoughtful site design and retargeting.
Above all, the experience you build must guarantee convenience and must be an inspiring and immersive adventure to keep your customers coming back. Hopefully, the techniques mentioned above should help you create a seamless customer experience for all users.
Jake Rheude is the VP of Marketing for Red Stag Fulfillment, an e-commerce born e-commerce fulfillment warehouse. He has years of experience in e-commerce and business development. In his spare time, Jake enjoys reading about business and sharing his own experience with others.