It's no secret that customer experience is important. In fact, it's so important that companies are now starting to focus on it more than ever before. But what exactly is customer experience? And why should you care?
Customer experience, or CX for short, refers to the overall feeling a customer has when interacting with a company. This can include everything from the way they're greeted when they walk in the door to the quality of the product they receive at the end. In short, CX is made up of all the little moments that make up the customer's overall impression of a business.
Why should you care? Because improving your CX can lead to better customer retention rates and increased profits. In this blog post, we'll outline some steps you can take to improve your company's CX and create happier customers.
Let’s get started.
What is eCommerce Customer Experience?
The customer experience (CX) in eCommerce refers to a customer's perception of their experience before, during, and after visiting your online business. Think of CX as the "fingerprints" you leave on your customers. Every trip step is critical, from the first impression to repeat purchases. As a result, businesses should examine every touchpoint with customers who buy with them.
According to research from PWC, 86% of customers are willing to pay more for a better experience. Good experiences lead to increased revenue, great ratings, and long-term consumers. A negative customer experience, on the other hand, has the opposite effect. That is why understanding the importance of customer journey stages is required in your business.
Importance of a Seamless Customer Experience
An optimized customer experience is paramount for any organization, whether it’s an international company with thousands of employees or a Small to Medium-sized Enterprise
CX is cited as a competitive differentiator by 81% of businesses. The top factor driving digital transformation is improving CX, followed by customer demand for digital - with businesses citing benefits connected with improving CX including:
- Increased customer loyalty (92%)
- An uplift in revenue (84%)
- Cost savings (79%)
This effect is not industry or sector-specific nor contained in B2C / B2B, but universal. As a result, success is becoming more contingent on the capacity to meet, if not exceed, expectations in practically every engagement.
We can now perceive a direct connection between providing an excellent experience and business success. But don't just take my word for it; according to a recent Qualitrics research, 89% of organizations with considerably above-average customer experience management have gained revenue in the last year. This is much higher than 61% for organizations with the average customer experience and 38% for companies with below-average customer experience.
With the tremendous majority of companies focusing on the customer experience, you can't afford to fall behind!
Components of a Great Customer Experience for eCommerce
This can be divided into three main categories:
- The website experience
- The purchasing experience
- The post-purchase experience
Let's take a look at each of these in more detail.
1. The Website Experience
The website experience is the first interaction that customers have with your business. It's important to make sure that your website is easy to use and navigate. Customers should be able to find what they're looking for quickly and easily. There are a few things you can do to improve your website experience:
- Make sure your website is responsive. More and more people are shopping on their mobile devices, so it's important that your website is optimized for mobile.
- Use clear and concise copy. Write your website copy in a way that's easy to understand. Avoid using jargon or industry-specific terminology.
- Use high-quality images. Customers should be able to see what your products look like before they purchase them. Use high-resolution images that accurately represent your products.
2. The Purchasing Experience
The purchasing experience is the second interaction that customers have with your business. This is when customers actually make a purchase on your website. It's important to make sure that your purchasing experience is smooth and easy. There are a few things you can do to improve your purchasing experience:
- Make sure your checkout process is simple. Don't make customers jump through hoops to make a purchase. The fewer steps there are in your checkout process, the better.
- Offer multiple payment options. Customers should be able to pay for your products in the way that's most convenient for them. Offer different payment methods, such as credit cards, PayPal, and Amazon Pay.
3. The Post-Purchase Experience
The post-purchase experience is the third and final interaction that customers have with your business. This is when they receive their order and use your product for the first time. This stage is one of the most important, as it's when customers decide whether they're going to continue doing business with you.
The difference between a good post-purchase experience and a bad one can be the difference between a lifelong customer and a one-time buyer. So, it's important to make sure that your post-purchase experience is positive. There are a few things you can do to improve your post-purchase experience:
- Follow up with customers after they've made a purchase. Send them a thank-you email or give them a call to make sure they're happy with their purchase.
- Offer customer support. If customers have any problems with your product, they should be able to reach out to you for help. Offer multiple customer support channels, such as phone, email, and live chat.
By improving the website experience, purchasing experience, and post-purchase experience, you can create a great customer experience for your eCommerce business. But how do you implement these changes?
Steps To Improve the eCommerce Customer Experience?
Now that we've answered the question, "What is customer experience," it's time to move on to how you can improve your own CX. Here are five steps you can take to get started:
1. Define Your Goals
The first step in any eCommerce customer experience improvement journey is defining your goals. What exactly do you want to achieve? Do you want to increase customer retention rates? Increase profits? Get more positive reviews? It's important to be specific here. Vague goals like "improve customer satisfaction" are not going to cut it. You need to have a clear idea of what you want to achieve before you can start working towards it.
Here's a practical example: Let's say you run an online store that sells pet supplies. One of your goals could be to increase customer retention rates of those who purchase cat food by 5% over the next year. By focusing on CX of this segment of customers to achieve this very specific goal, you'll be able to create a plan of action that's much more likely to succeed. When things are too vague, it's easy to get lost along the way.
In this instance, a good way to increase customer retention rates would be by surveying customers who have recently purchased cat food, and then sending them follow-up emails with coupons for their next purchase.
2. Identify Your Customer's Journey
The next step is to identify your customer's journey. This means mapping out every step of the customer experience, from the first time they visit your website to when they make a purchase and beyond. Once you have a clear understanding of the customer journey, you can start identifying areas where you can make improvements.
For example, let's say you want to increase the number of customers who make a purchase on your website. To do this, you need to focus on the customer journey leading up to the purchase. Are there any steps in the process that are causing customers to drop off? Is the checkout process too long or complicated? By identifying and addressing these issues, you can increase the number of customers who make a purchase on your site.
3. Get Feedback From Your Customers
One of the best ways to improve your eCommerce customer experience is to get feedback from your customers. You can do this through surveys, interviews, or focus groups. Pay close attention to what your customers are saying and look for patterns. Are there certain areas of the customer experience that are causing problems? Is there something you're doing that's causing customers to leave your site without making a purchase? Use this feedback to make changes to your customer experience.
For instance, if you're finding that customers are having trouble navigating your website, you may want to make some changes to the design or add more product filters. Or, if customers are saying they don't like your checkout process, you may want to streamline it or offer more payment options.
4. Make Changes Based on Data
Once you've collected feedback from your customers, it's time to make changes to your customer experience. But don't just make changes blindly. Make sure you're basing your decisions on data. Use analytics to track how your changes are affecting your business. Are you seeing an increase in sales? A decrease in customer churn? If not, keep tweaking until you see the results you want.
A great example of this is when a company implements a live chat feature on their website. They can track how many customers are using the live chat and compare it to sales data. If they see that live chat is resulting in more sales, they know they're on the right track. But if they don't see an increase in sales, they'll know they need to make some changes.
5. Continuously Measure and Improve
Finally, it's important to remember that the customer experience is always changing. What works today might not work tomorrow. That's why it's important to continuously measure and improve your eCommerce customer experience. Set up systems to track key metrics like customer satisfaction, conversion rates, and net promoter scores. And always be on the lookout for ways to improve.
For example, you might want to experiment with different customer support channels or test new shipping options. By continuously measuring and improving your eCommerce customer experience, you can ensure that your customers always have a positive experience when they shop with you.
Use Post-Purchase Software to Make Noticeable Improvements
If you want to make improvements to your customer experience, post-purchase software is a great place to start. Afterall, the post-purchase experience is an important part of the overall journey. A whopping 86% of customers have stated that the post-purchase experience is fundamental to their decision of whether or not to purchase again.
AfterShip is a leading post-purchase software that helps eCommerce businesses automate their shipping and tracking. With AfterShip, you can send automatic shipping notifications and offer accurate tracking options. AfterShip is the perfect tool to help you improve your eCommerce customer experience. We'll help you save time and money so you can focus on making your customers happy.
The sooner you invest in a strong customer experience by improving your CX software, the sooner you can begin improving your customers' connections.