E-commerce has seen some significant changes over the last decade, and in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the trend toward online shopping has become the norm for hundreds of thousands. But while many brands are embracing and optimizing their e-commerce site for an advancing digital marketplace, others are left behind, still running their eCommerce on decade-old platforms that offer lackluster customer experiences.
An e-commerce platform today needs to be much more than just a tool for facilitating online orders. Brands need to reinvent their site to be wholly CX-focused and mobile-first while also offering the optimal trifecta for consumer satisfaction—convenience, competitive pricing and shipping options, and personalization.
Rethinking the E-Commerce Experience
When redesigning your e-commerce site (or creating a new one), brands need to focus on customer wants and needs, and not necessarily want might look good from the business's perspective. Consumer expectations have changed drastically over the last decade, and even within this last year, as many more now turn to online shopping.
To remain competitive, follow these guidelines to ensure positive CX throughout the entire customer journey.
Make it User-Friendly
Nothing is more frustrating to a customer than going to a website and finding it difficult or confusing to navigate. Consumers want to find the information or product they are seeking easily and quickly. They shouldn’t have to click through a multitude of pages to find it.
Set up your e-commerce site with easy-to-find categories, make the search function easy to locate, and be sure that everything is tagged correctly so that search results return the proper products. A useful search feature can mean the difference between increasing sales or losing customers.
Make the Checkout Process Seamless
Secure and seamless—that’s all you need to focus on when creating your checkout process. Customers should be able to get to their shopping cart from any page on your e-commerce site. Additionally, the more payment options you offer, the better. Consumers today are used to many retailers and e-tailers, providing a wide range of payment options—you don’t want to lose a sale because your payment options are limited.
Offer a Personalized Experience
Improving customer experience means offering a personalized experience. This needs to be done throughout your site with product recommendations based on previous searches and purchase histories, as well as relevant and targeted ads. A customer is willing to pay more when receiving outstanding CX and a more personalized customer experience.
Offer Many Options for Customer Support
Customers who wish to contact customer support should be able to do so by their preferred method, whether by phone, email, or chat. Offering online customer support via intuitive chatbots also helps to support your own live customer service team, reduces response time, and provides an overall better customer experience.
Provide engaging and informative details about your products or services that tell customers everything they need to know. Sparse information isn’t going to do much for the customer’s decision-making process, and they may visit a competitor site for more complete information about a product.
Be Consistent With Your Branding
Your brand should be well represented on every page of the site. Whether this is done by color scheme, logo placement, or overall design, this ensures a smoother and less confusing customer journey.
Create a Mobile-Friendly Version of Your Site
Consumers often use their smartphones to make online purchases. Having a mobile-friendly version of your e-commerce site isn’t just good CX, it’s a necessity.
Adapt to Growing Trends
2021 is the perfect year for brands with a brick and mortar presence to adapt to growing trends. For example, online shipping options that include curbside pickup has become a new consumer expectation. The more you can predict and adapt to meet new consumer demands, the better chance you’ll be able to offer a superior consumer experience.
When you start to look at your business from the customers' perspective, it's easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer number of initiatives you could tackle - a more straightforward checkout process, streamlined customer support features, or even more robust product discovery. No matter what path you embark on, anything you do to improve their experience will increase brand loyalty that will have a direct and meaningful impact on your business. Not sure where to begin? Let one of our team members show you a quick demo of how TABLE, when leveraged on your website or app through our native SDK, can help your business shine.