ECommerce shopping has transformed the traditional retail landscape as consumers enjoy competitive pricing, unparalleled variety, and unbridled convenience. ECommerce sales hit $4.9 trillion globally in 2021, demonstrating the massive shift from conventional retail and that it isn't going away anytime soon.
By: Jake Rheude, Red Stag Fulfillment
And by 2025, these numbers will increase to $7.4 trillion at 50% CAGR.
Digital, personalized experiences have become the cornerstone of how eCommerce businesses develop, maintain, and nurture customer relationships. An exceptional and unparalleled customer experience is paramount to becoming a digital-first company in an eCommerce market.
86% of customers would pay comparatively higher (13 to 18% more for a service or product) for an enhanced and better experience. This also means that they wouldn't purchase from the same business if they had a poor experience with them.
Still, many eCommerce businesses overlook the basic capabilities and aspects of providing a seamless customer experience, such as relevant search results, easy website navigation, clear product information, etc.
Here are some ways to offer a unique customer experience to eCommerce shoppers.
1) Intelligent Search
For eCommerce businesses, a site search is an essential tool for driving conversions and building carts, whether they are returning or new customers.
Customers want search results that are applicable/relevant to them; they want to know if their desired products are in stock. Therefore, they want relevant suggestions, up-to-date, precise information with detailed product descriptions.
However, various search functionalities and features on websites unfortunately disrupt the customer experience. They focus on keywords rather than the connotation of those words in terms of relevancy and context. In contrast, a semantic, intelligent search considers the context and meanings of words, just as human sales workers would.
Tailored, intuitive, and intelligent search capabilities are imperative to deliver an exceptional customer experience. So, you must ensure and provide precise information about what's in stock as well as the advantages of purchasing the product by making your search feature-rich.
2) Deliver Seamless Mobile Experiences
Mobile eCommerce sales accounted for 54% of total eCommerce sales in 2021. Your mobile experience should be impactful, simple, and effortless.
Insider Intelligence forecasts that mobile commerce volume will hit $620.97 billion in 2024. And the two virtual devices driving the mobile commerce revolution are tablets and smartphones.
With more customers shifting to mobile, today's eCommerce retailers need to make sure that they take on a mobile-first approach. Optimize the product images and listings for a mobile app or mobile device – irrespective of whether they are selling through their websites or third-party marketplaces.
Providing an exceptional mobile eCommerce shopping experience allows the sellers to deliver a considerably enhanced customer experience.
79% of smartphone users have made an online purchase via their mobile phone in the last six months. Also, it’s imperative to make sure that all the links, CTAs, and buttons, have the right margin and size to prevent difficulty.
Mobile websites are typically viewed on comparatively much smaller screens. So, using visual content like videos and infographics is preferred over reading lengthy text.
3) Personalize The Customer Experience
Personalization increases impulse purchases, leading to fewer returns and increasing customer loyalty. For instance, Amazon is a great example when it comes to personalization. Their homepage gives you customized recommendations based on your recent shopping and purchasing trends. Artificial Intelligence technology can help your business to embed personalization, helping you drive a tailored and relevant experience for every customer.
For instance, you can display products depending on customer-driven performance data and top business priorities. Also, machine learning capabilities mean that you can quickly respond to changes in customer behavior and external factors like weather.
Personalized eCommerce customer experiences through marketing channels or on-site can boost profits by 25%. Therefore, now more than ever, eCommerce industries need to leverage advanced technology and tools to help support excellent website design while delivering a personalized, unique experience.
4) Flexible Delivery and Purchase Options
The flexibility and convenience of selecting from multiple deliveries and purchase options are one of the great ways to improve and enhance the customer experience.
Customers aren't just purchasing the product. They also want the best deals, offers, and benefits. Lack of flexibility in delivery and purchase options can hamper the overall performance and bottom line of your eCommerce experience.
As consumer demands shift and advance, giving your customers the leverage to choose what is handy is a grand business gesture.
Customers effortlessly take advantage of this, as the brand they are opting for is willing to facilitate them in the best possible ways. As a result, they feel like they are in charge whenever they have various options, and are allowed to make a selection based on their preference.
This is one of the brilliant ways to enhance customer experience meaningfully. For instance, an eCommerce seller can convey that customers can easily get their goods delivered within 24 hours after placing the order.
With customer advantages such as downloadable VAT invoices, spending trackers, and paying by invoice, businesses need to augment the customer experience significantly.
5) Rich Information and Content
Providing precise information, like stock levels and product details, addressing common questions, and clarifying pricing can considerably improve and amplify the eCommerce customer experience.
Google aims to arrange the world's data, and consolidating the product information for retailers and shoppers is a critical part of this mission. To help the users find products and content in Search optimally, Google recommends that websites should identify the products mentioned.
Moreover, your content needs to accomplish more than merely answering product questions precisely. For example, it must also communicate a story to inspire and entice the user.
81% of customers conduct online research before they make an online purchase. Keep in mind that the capability to research products is a critical reason people shop online rather than in-store.
Therefore, providing shoppers with accurate and detailed product pages that address every question they may have is paramount.
Today, customers look for more meaningful and unique experiences, so they won't essentially be drawn to a particular brand just because it's a renowned one. As an eCommerce seller, you must work harder for your customers to ensure an optimized and seamless digital customer experience.
The pandemic has compelled eCommerce businesses to focus on the customer experience, making it an instant priority for all companies. Those with a practical customer experience tactic are likely to survive and thrive in this fast-paced eCommerce market.
Good customer experience also influences repeat purchases. So, in essence, it is imperative for the growth of your eCommerce business. You need to have a robust digital eCommerce plan to pay attention to the essence of online customer experience.
Businesses that excel in delivering unique customer experiences have a potent marketing tool in their arsenal. This can impact consumers more than any extravagant advertising campaign in various ways.
For this reason, it's vital to leverage every source at your disposal to build and provide a great digital customer experience, from personalization and technology to thoughtful site design and retargeting.
Above all, the experience you build must ensure convenience, and needs to be an inspiring and immersive adventure to keep your customers coming back. Hopefully, the techniques mentioned above should help you craft a seamless customer experience for all users alike.
Jake Rheude is the Vice President of Marketing for Red Stag Fulfillment, an eCommerce fulfillment warehouse that was born out of eCommerce. He has years of experience in eCommerce and business development. In his free time, Jake enjoys reading about business and sharing his own experience with others.