In the Age of Amazon, customers expect great experiences to go hand-in-hand with online shopping. When online sellers fail to live up to these expectations, people inevitably shop elsewhere, harming brand loyalty and damaging the bottom line.
Finding unique ways to differentiate online experiences in an Amazon-dominated world is the primary challenge for online sellers today. For most companies, it’s virtually impossible to compete with Amazon from a convenience standpoint, but they can benefit significantly from improving the customer journey and having memorable interactions through various channels.
Here are five techniques for online sellers to take their eCommerce customer experience (CX) to the next level.
1 - Review the Pre-Purchase Experience
Successful eCommerce CX requires a clear understanding of each stage in the customer journey, starting with everything before the purchase.
The journey begins as soon as a customer notices your brand, so it’s vital to immediately highlight your brand’s value. Companies can achieve this by placing clear information front and center on their online store. Include details on what you offer, what benefits your customers can enjoy, and what choices are available.
While every company needs to figure out what works best for their visitors, a welcoming, informative pre-purchase experience can create immediate brand trust and lead to quick sales.
2 - Remove Friction in the Purchase Process
Information is critical throughout the customer buying journey, so brands must make information accessible and non-disruptive right up to (and after) the customer clicks “pay”.
What do we mean by “non-disruptive”? Well, have you ever clicked on a previous page to double-check your order only to notice that the website wiped your basket? If that information was on the basket page, chances are you wouldn’t have needed to re-do your order.
Consider making sure that product specs, pricing, availability, and company policies are accessible from every page without causing friction in the purchase journey. Also, look for other potential hiccups that could cause customers to abandon their order, such as too many pop-ups, a complicated checkout process, no live chat support, or difficult-to-find contact details.
3 - Remember to Nurture Post-Purchase
Once customers complete their purchase, it’s vital to remember that the experience is far from over. They expect accessible customer support during the delivery period and even technical or product support once the item is in their hands. But, again, with an experienced, dedicated team of CX experts, eCommerce brands can solve this challenge and keep customers coming back for more.
ECommerce brands must also figure out how to keep customers engaged, loyal, and happy to purchase again, which requires regular communication on new releases, company announcements, and promotions across multiple channels.
4 - Blend Online and Offline Experiences
As customers, we sometimes like to handle products in person before committing to a sale, but we still want the bargain deals we see online. So how frustrating is it to find a product at the best price online, only to be told that the cashier can’t apply the online discount in the store?
Online sellers can avoid these situations with the proper use of technology, data management, and a strategic customer journey transformation. For instance, if a customer regularly purchases the same product online then visits your physical store, the cashier could offer a special discount on that regular item at the checkout.
When online sellers effectively merge their eCommerce and in-store experiences, customers have more flexibility and trust in the brand, opening up opportunities to create a lasting impression.
5 - Make Yourself Readily Available
Customers want fast, friendly support and will take to the streets if they don’t get it. Unfortunately, social media has become a soapbox for disgruntled customers, so one angry Tweet can damage brand reputation in seconds.
Online sellers should ensure customer support agents are always on-hand to deliver rapid responses to queries and complaints across all channels. Customers prefer mobile apps, social media, and eCommerce sites for live chat and appreciate prompt email responses and accessible phone conversations. With a team of CX agents available around the clock, companies can ensure every channel is covered and quickly solve customer issues before they become black marks on the brand.