eCommerce shopping has skyrocketed since the advent of the internet and has opened doors for various brands to communicate with and reach new audiences with greater ease. eCommerce is now often the primary point of contact between brands and their customers so it’s worth optimizing their customer experience to keep existing customers and attract new ones as well.
Now, to improve your customer’s eCommerce shopping experience, you’ll have to adopt a customer-focused approach. If you’re going to develop an effective strategy, you have to understand what makes the users tick. That means that your eCommerce strategy has to be tailored to your customers, and it should be easy for them to interact with your platforms. You have to design your website, social media platforms and applications to enhance customer experience by making it user-friendly, responsive and easy to navigate.
That said, here are some tips for improving your customer’s eCommerce shopping experience:
1. Leverage Social Media
Social media has become an integral part of eCommerce strategies for most companies for its ability to reach various audiences. Since people are active on social media, the advantages of using it to increase engagement are relatively high. You can interact with customers, address customer complaints and even do product launches via social media.
Plus, there’s the opportunity to spread awareness even further through influencer marketing. Considering all this, social media has proven to be effective in improving your brand’s visibility online.
There are plenty of online tools, such as hashtags and sponsored ads, that you can use to drive traffic. You can also utilize the power of search engine optimization (SEO) to elevate your search engine rankings through effective and relevant keyword usage. Social media is also flexible and allows you to tailor your content to your specific audience. All you need to do is determine your customer’s needs and tailor the customer’s experience accordingly.
You could also use social media to build a community, a group of advocates for your products or services. These are the people you want to keep on your mailing list and ask for reviews online.
2. Make Contact Information Readily Available
Customers have a short attention span online. If people want to reach you for any reason, be it an inquiry or complaint, make yourself reachable. Ideally, you want to make it easy for users to find your contact details online. This is also especially important if people have to contact you to set up an appointment or get a quote.
Make sure that your number and email address are visible on your webpage. If it’s hard for customers to contact you, it may negatively affect how customers perceive your business. The key is to make things easier for the customer. In addition, making your contact details readily available shows that you are transparent and have nothing to hide.
3. Personalized Customer Experience
Traditionally, it would have been difficult to tailor your customers’ shopping experience because of limited technology. But that has changed. You can now personalize user experience through methods such as tracking online activity using cookies. Then, using that data to create relevant suggestions for users. Consider personalizing your eCommerce platform based on your gathered data regarding your buyer’s persona.
Also, you can use customer relationship management (CRM) systems to store user data and tailor customer experiences, too. Through CRM, you can refer to previous purchase records to suggest promotions specific to every customer. In addition, if customers have any complaints, you’ll be able to track their history to address issues with greater efficiency. That said, CRM is indeed a great tool for improving the customer experience and service delivery of your business.
4. Use High-Quality Photos
Given the amount of visual content that flows through the internet regularly, make sure your content is always a step higher than the rest. To grab users’ attention, your content needs to be of high quality all the time, keeping in mind that you’re competing with other businesses that are also actively using online eCommerce platforms to drive their business. Therefore, it’s imperative to use high-quality images or videos to set yourself apart from the rest of the competition.
To make people want to buy your products, ensure you use images with clarity and precision to give an accurate view of what the product looks like. The idea is to attract users with this high-quality content. Sometimes, a picture can be the difference between making a sale and losing a potential customer. So, you must make every picture count. Also, using inferior quality or unclear images doesn’t make a good first impression on users.
5. Provide Self-Service Options or FAQs Section on Your Website
In your bid to make the shopping experience better, provide a frequently asked questions (FAQs) section to allow users to solve service issues on their own. It’s very common for users to troubleshoot problems by themselves. So, to make it easier for them, you should provide a customer forum section on your website or social media account where they can leave their questions, and from there you can identify recurring customer complaints and inquiries and address them accordingly. They can be a useful resource since some problems are usually minor and users can address them on their own.
6. Offer Free shipping
It’s no secret that people love free shipping. It means that they won’t be liable to pay for any hidden transportation fees. So free shipping makes the buying experience more practical and convenient. As much as possible, offer this option for your products.
Just be ready to shoulder the shipping costs if you offer it for free to your customers. But to help you with that, you could partner with affordable carriers with low freight charges. Doing this might burden you at first but with the customer retention you’ll be getting in the long run, this promotional tactic will be worth it for your thriving business.
7. Go Omnichannel
Gone are the days when if you wanted to buy something, you had to go to a store physically. Digital shopping is the new norm. Single-channel models are outdated. There are now many channels for reaching customers and selling products online. You can take advantage of these channels, such as mobile apps, email, websites and social media to sell and advertise your products. So, it only makes sense for you to incorporate the omnichannel business model in your eCommerce marketing strategy.
However, it’s possible that you could choose to prioritize certain platforms ahead of the others. The determining factors will vary depending on the situation and most importantly, the nature of the business and its customer base. But, regardless of your preferences, ensure that every open channel is well optimized to ensure you maintain contact with your customers or audiences with greater ease.
8. Make Sure the Website Is Usable
Most customers will pass through your website to view your content and catalogs. So, make sure that the loading time is quick. Ideally, a webpage shouldn’t take longer than three seconds to load. Several factors could affect load times but the most common one is poor website design.
For example, using pictures with big file sizes could affect loading times. This means you should get rid of bloatware and clutter on your website; otherwise, it could affect usability. Moreover, it could be that the elements of the website were poorly created and needed minor readjustments or redesign altogether.
Always remember that with online shopping, first impressions matter. So ensure your website is ready for extensive browsing and excellent customer usability.
9. Simplify the Checkout Process
With online shopping, you should realize that customers have short attention spans. Therefore, you want to make the check-out process quick and easy. You certainly don’t want to lose the customer simply because the checkout process is too complicated. If a customer wants to give you their money, make it easier for them to do so by simplifying the checkout to 3-4 steps. Otherwise, they could get frustrated quickly and give up.
Also, you want to give a user the ability to save their wish list items with ease as well. Customers may want to go back to these wish lists and make purchases when they’re ready to buy.
10. Ask for Reviews
Reviews play a huge role in getting customers to trust your brand. That’s why it’s okay for you to ask your customers to drop a review on your page for the sake of transparency and visibility. Generally, people trust user opinions and reviews and tend to refer to them before using your website or even making a purchase. For those people who may have never heard about your website or products, these reviews are decisive because they reveal the experience that other customers have had with your business.
So, as a responsible business person, you must ensure that your customer service is a step above the rest because people only give positive reviews after having exemplary customer experiences. Nothing beats a happy customer’s good reviews.
In eCommerce shopping, it’s important to have a customer-centric approach to optimize the customer experience. Value your customers by ensuring that their experience with your brand is positively unforgettable and that they’ll be coming for more. Usability is a major factor to create great shopping experiences online. So don’t skimp on it. The end goal is to make the shopping experience smooth and delightful every step of the way. You can use the above tips as a starting point to provide an excellent customer experience.