E-commerce has undoubtedly become a powerful entity within the retail landscape following COVID-19 restrictions in 2020. With global record sales experienced last year, 2021 sales are forecast to reach 4.5 trillion US dollars.
With e-commerce now more prominent than ever before, ensuring that you deliver high-quality customer service has never been more critical. Customer experience within e-commerce covers the entire customer journey from how they feel when using your website to your order fulfilment process to customer communication.
Why is e-commerce customer experience so important?
A positive customer experience is crucial for e-commerce businesses in 2021. It dictates whether a customer will use your services again, how they review your business online and whether they recommend your business to people they know.
A customer experience report conducted by PWC found that 73% of customers believe customer experience is the most crucial factor in purchasing decisions. However, only 49% of consumers in the United States believe that businesses generally provided a good customer experience.
70% of consumers stated that speed, convenience, helpful employees and friendly service were the most important factors for customer experience. Research has shown that delivering these aspects could help businesses become more profitable.
43% of consumers stated that they would be willing to pay more for greater convenience, whilst 42% said they would pay more if they received a friendly and welcoming experience. 65% also stated that they believed a positive customer experience was more influential than advertising.
Ways to provide a better e-commerce customer experience
We know how important customer experience is within e-commerce but knowing what to improve is another story. Here are some of the key ways in which your e-commerce business can improve its customer experience:
Choosing the right employees
Given that 70% of consumers stated that a welcoming service was one of their most important factors for a positive customer experience, it truly pays for businesses to pick professional yet friendly employees. Companies offering blunt and delayed responses to customer queries are guaranteed to result in dissatisfied customers. Employees who provide prompt, detailed and friendly responses, whether via email or social media, can really go a long way.
A user-friendly website
Customers want to find the exact products they are looking for as quickly as possible. If your e-commerce website is designed so that it is difficult to navigate and browse through products, customers are unlikely to return. It’s essential to ensure that the search bar is easily viewable and that products are categorised logically so customers can easily find what they want.
Simple checkout process
A complicated checkout process is a guaranteed way to encourage shopping cart abandonment. The checkout stage can be the most critical within the customer journey for various reasons. Customers want to know whether their payment will be secure and their payment and delivery options. Therefore, the following must be visible during the checkout stage:
- Trust marks – including logos from trustworthy companies to show that your site is secure such as Norton or Verisign.
- A range of payment options including Visa, Paypal and Klarna
- A range of delivery options including times and prices
Creating a personalised experience
Contextual marketing is all about delivering the right message to the right person at the right time, to create a relevant, personalised experience. Previously, this merely involved including someone’s first name in an email; now consumers expect much more. Using data such as user location and product browsing history can allow businesses to target relevant offers and ads that are likely to engage the customer and encourage impulse purchases.
Making all your support channels clear on your website can help build consumer confidence, as they know exactly where to go if they have a query. Features such as live chats are particularly favoured by customers, as they know they can chat in real-time and are likely to get their question answered quickly.
Detailed product listings
When customers spend their hard-earned money on a product, they want to know as much detail about it as possible. Therefore, businesses must include high-quality images from different angles and descriptive product descriptions to give the customer all the information they need before purchasing.
Optimise your website for mobile
In 2021, it’s forecast that 54% of total e-commerce sales will come from mobile. Businesses must, therefore, ensure that their website is just as good when accessed via mobile as it is for desktop. Having fast load times, autofill options, and ensuring that buttons are appropriately sized will create a seamless mobile experience.
Displaying customer reviews on your website is an excellent way to build trust with your prospective customers, as well as provide them with information on individual products. Seeing that others were happy with a particular product is likely to encourage them to purchase, as well as any comments praising fast delivery and customer service.
Fast order fulfilment
Today’s biggest consumer expectation is that orders will be delivered within a matter of days if not the next day. Therefore, e-commerce businesses must ensure that their order fulfilment process is as efficient as possible from suitable packaging to fast shipment.
If you think your e-commerce business’ customer experience could be improved by a more efficient order fulfilment process, please speak to Pointbid Logistics on 0121 326 7368.
Or, contact us using the form below