Whenever you go to your favorite retail outlet, you are usually greeted by a friendly salesperson who is willing to help you pick the best product according to your requirement. They take into consideration your budget and solve any query you may have during the process. In the end, you make a purchase and leave the store happily. This what we can call an offline customer experience.
Customer experience is the way a brand communicates with its customers at every step of the way during the buyer’s journey. As the e-commerce store continues to clutter, e-commerce shops need new ways to make their customers shop from them on a continual basis.
In this article, we will look at 8 ways in which you can improve the customer experience for your e-commerce store.
1. Delight Your Customers
According to HBR, increasing customer retention rates by 5% increases profits by at least 25%. Organizations that understand the importance of retaining customers, work hard to provide a seamless customer experience to their existing buyers. Few of the customer delight ideas for e-commerce store are as follows:
- Email reward or loyalty points after purchasing which can be redeemed on a later purchase
- Send out thank you emails after shopping. An even better way is to send a handwritten thank you gift card depending on the volume of your customers
- Implement a referral program that will give benefits to both your existing customers and new shoppers as well
- Send free gifts such as t-shirts, mugs or keychains along with the order to your most loyal customers
2. Be Proactive
“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.”
– Bill Gates
When you are running a business, sometimes things will go inevitably wrong. Delayed product delivery, angry customers, fake reviews, product returns or returns, etc. are nothing new to an e-commerce business. Your response to such situations decides the experience that your brand delivers.
Did an angry customer send you a stinker because the product delivery got delayed? The best advice is to stay calm and respond appropriately. Perhaps you can throw in a freebie the next time they buy from you or call them up and apologize.
Being proactive in your response gives you an opportunity to make things right, and during the process, you might retain a customer as well!
3. Surprise Your Shoppers!
Online buyers like happy surprises. You can intelligently introduce surprises during the buyer’s journey to enhance the customer experience. It is often recommended to offer free shipping. You can skyrocket your sales by implementing this strategy a bit differently. Instead of being brazen about it, mention it during the checkout process. This will encourage the shopper to buy from you again and help you spread your word of mouth in their network.
You can use this strategy for the abandoned cart as well. Instead of sending your shoppers the typical “We miss you” emails, surprise them with an incentive to complete the purchase.
4. Build a Community
A community is a group of people who are die-hard fans of your products. It is the end result of everything you do, represent and stand for as a brand. Community members are advocates of your products. Social media and email are two of the most potent channels to build a community. You can encourage your community to leave reviews and ratings on your product pages.
Featuring shoppers’ photos (With their permission) on Instagram and Facebook is a great way to generate content. Doing so will make them feel recognized, and it will also portray your store as a customer-centric brand.
5. Up Your Social Media Game
Social media allows brands to project their unique brand voice. If it’s not feasible for you to have a dedicated social media person at the moment, chalk out a specific amount of time every day to respond to social media queries pertaining to your store. Make sure to address each query and review whether positive or negative on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc.
For example, Wendy’s is a US-based fast-food restaurant chain. Along with its over-the-top, edgy sense of humor, they are also known for being proactive with their social media game. Here are 2 examples, where they respond to a positive and a negative tweet:
Being active on social media instills trust in your shoppers that you care for them.
6. Follow a Sound Content Strategy
The reason why people look for something is to either move away from pain or move towards pleasure. The purpose of content marketing is to help your shoppers to solve their biggest problems. You can incorporate blog posts, tips, interviews, videos and infographics related to the products you sell. For example, if you run an e-commerce store focused on fashion products, you can create content that gives style advice, tips, fashion trends, etc.
7. Deliver Omnichannel Customer Service
Your customers are present across all channels on the internet. You should be as well! Make sure that the necessary contact details such as customer care email address and contact details are clearly visible on your website.
Incorporate live chat on your website that lets you communicate with your customers in real time. The evolution of chatbots has made it easier for the customer service department to be available round-the-clock and automate responses to frequently asked questions.
As discussed earlier in the article, being present on social media also facilitates overall customer service activities.
8. Personalize Customer Experience
We are in the age of personalization. Personalized emails are no longer sufficient. You need to personalize the shopping experience throughout the buyer’s journey based on different variables. Make use of recommendation engines to suggest personalized product recommendations based on the user’s location, shopping and browsing history.
Apart from this, e-commerce stores can also use exit intent pop-ups, discounts, abandoned cart messages, etc. to ensure that your customer experience game is on point.
The cutthroat competition has saturated the product features and pricing aspects of any organization. Customers are no longer satisfied with an excellent product offering solely. To stay ahead in the game, you need a unique offering that sets you apart from the rest of the competitor. Providing a stellar customer experience through your e-commerce store and other avenues is a surefire way to help you achieve just that!