Today’s online shoppers have a world of choices. With a quick search, almost any product or service they need is at their fingertips. And there’s a high chance more than one e-commerce store is willing to sell those products to them. In many cases, it doesn’t matter what type of footprint a retailer has. Whether a store is 100% digital or has brick-and-mortar locations, online shoppers want convenient and unique value.
While consumers may be after a hassle-free experience, they also crave something they can’t get anywhere else. Visiting your e-commerce store must be worthwhile, perhaps even memorable. Otherwise, your coveted client base will find few reasons to return. A competitor will happily scoop them up instead.
An enhanced online experience motivates customers to stay loyal, increasing their lifetime value. Plus, it can boost your company’s revenues over time. But how do you improve the connections consumers make with your e-commerce store? Let’s look at four ways.
1. Make Current Customers a Priority
Converting new leads is excellent for business. It shows your marketing dollars are paying off. You’re hitting the mark with your messaging, convincing prospects you’re their ideal solution. While growing market share may be admirable, though, it can’t happen without keeping the customers you’ve already got.
If your churn rate is moving up instead of down, you may be overlooking a significant revenue stream. This source is existing customers who, for whatever reason, are growing disillusioned with your store. Churn drivers could include a lack of relevant rewards, inadequate product quality, and a poor-performing website. When you notice an uptick in your churn rate, it’s your job to figure out the whys behind it.
Once you uncover the drivers, it’s time to determine how much you need to reduce your churn rate. A retention marketing strategy helps you achieve your goal by using customers’ feedback. Amazon ads can meet your customers where they’re already spending time shopping. Start with the steps your online shoppers go through to make a purchase.
Could your store provide more helpful, detailed product information? Perhaps your site lacks personalization because it doesn’t leverage behavioral data. You could have complicated checkout and return processes. Regardless of the reasons behind churn, implement appropriate fixes while gauging how consumers respond. Look at the numbers, but also ask customers for their insights.
2. Offer Self-Service Options
Shoppers aren’t only going to your online store to buy something. Inevitably, they’re there to initiate a return, inquire about a shipping problem, or update their account. Some people may need more details about using a product, such as a manual with step-by-step instructions.
When consumers can’t find helpful information, it lowers their satisfaction levels. It can become a hassle when they must contact customer service for assistance. Waiting for a rep, explaining the problem, and getting a resolution takes a lot of effort. Many customers want self-service options instead, especially for more simple requests.
A 2022 report discovered 81% of consumers would like more self-service options. However, only 15% are delighted with the tools businesses offer. Unfortunately, about 53% of companies think their clients are OK with their self-service features. Don’t fall into the trap of believing you know what your customers are thinking. Find out what tools your shoppers need and take the necessary measures to provide them.
3. Set Expectations
Would you be happy if something you ordered online took a month to arrive? At the time, you had no idea the item was on backorder. If you did, you might have bought a different product you were sure would arrive in a few days.
Remember, online shoppers can’t see a store’s inventory. Without information about stock levels, they assume all products on a website are available. This assumption goes for added services, too.
Say someone is interested in buying a new smartphone and signing up for cellular service. Your store doesn’t indicate the new phone they want is out of stock. Nor does it explain anywhere that you won’t ship phones to home addresses because your company is concerned about fraud. Shoppers must have their phones sent to one of your local stores to verify their identity in person.
Imagine the confusion and frustration shoppers will experience if they discover these things mid- or post-purchase. Setting expectations with the details shoppers need to know helps avoid these scenarios.
4. Keep It Simple
When people shop, they have a decent idea of what they need to find. But being able to locate what they’re looking for is often challenging. Your e-commerce store may not be a physical location with aisles consumers can wander through. Nonetheless, digital stores have layouts shoppers can get confused by.
If consumers find it hard to search for products and navigate your website, they’ll probably leave. The same goes for complicated checkout processes requiring too many steps. One of the main barriers to online shopping is difficulties with finding products. You can overcome this obstacle by searching for items on your site to see whether it’s easy to locate them.
For instance, does your search function return relevant results for the keywords you enter? Is there a way to look up items by categories and features? Maybe your store doesn’t filter products by ratings, price ranges, or other groups. Perhaps you need to support voice searches better. Think about ways to make your layout navigation effortless while eliminating unnecessary steps.
Delivering Remarkable Experiences
Using technology to replicate in-person shopping experiences can lead to complicated decisions. Your online store has seconds to make an impression. Consumers desire quick, clear-cut, personalized interactions. They may not be connecting with a human, but they still want to know their needs matter.
When e-commerce sites don’t live up to these expectations, it becomes difficult to keep people coming back for more. The way tech works may be complex on the back end. However, not letting those complexities spill over to the front end can improve customers’ experiences. It’s easier to build loyalty when you surprise consumers in a good way.