While the eCommerce landscape may be full of shifting trends, there’s one thing that remains constant - if you want to grow a profitable customer base you have to deliver an exceptional customer experience. Read on for 7 ways to raise the bar and get the buying public hooked on your brand.

Before we talk strategy though, what exactly do we mean by customer experience (CX)? It’s easy to oversimplify and look at it from a transactional perspective, but in reality CX is a culmination of every single interaction a customer has with a business.

And it’s pretty important. 

What is CX and Why Does it Matter?

CX encompasses everything that sparks a reaction from the customer. It starts at the point of discovery and continues throughout the entire consumer-brand relationship.

It’s your online reputation, the quality of your products, and the support you provide. It’s your brand aesthetic, how you communicate, and how easy you make the buyer journey. Most importantly, it’s how you make the customer feel and the emotional bonds you create.   

CX matters because:

  1. It significantly impacts customer loyalty - 32% of consumers would stop buying from a brand they love after just one bad experience.
  2. It boosts retention and LTV - 66% of businesses that prioritize CX see improved retention rates, while 60% report increased customer lifetime value.
  3. It encourages positive word of mouth - 72% of customers will tell 6 or more people if they’ve had a good experience with a brand.
  4. It sets you apart - 81% of businesses compete primarily on customer experience.

In short, CX matters because it directly impacts long-term business success.

How to Improve CX in eCommerce

1. Start with Considered Acquisition

Today’s consumers are bombarded with digital advertising, and have become both frustrated by and immune to it. They’re taking back control of their privacy, and welcoming the demise of third-party data. 

Rather than a set back, see this as an opportunity to introduce new acquisition efforts that encourage positive relationships from the start.

We’re talking warm introductions here in the form of referral, affiliate and/or influencer marketing. These methods work because the consumer buys into the opinion of someone they trust. Not only that, they introduce elements of storytelling and community that create an authentic and engaging experience from day one.

These first impressions matter a lot to CX, so start at the beginning and rethink your acquisition efforts.

2. Optimize Site Speed and Performance

Slow loading times are the best way to block a positive CX. In fact they’re likely to be the end of the road in most cases - while 32.3% of consumers say they’re willing to wait 4-6 seconds before abandoning a page, Google data shows most people actually bounce after just 3 seconds. 

Make your site lightning fast by compressing images and getting rid of clunky or complex code. 

When it comes to the tools you use to improve the on-site experience, make sure they don’t have the opposite effect. Things like review widgets, chatbots and live chat, payment gateways and product recommendations engines should all have minimal impact on loading times (we’ve just rolled out a universal upgrade improving the speed of all our review widgets).

Regularly test and optimize site performance to keep those engagement levels high. 

3. Improve Your Store Design

The design of your eCommerce store plays a vital role in shaping CX. It needs to be visually appealing, well organized and user friendly, with any points of friction removed.

You can get really valuable insights from our Session Replays and Analytics tool here. This allows you to record and watch user sessions unfold, so you can see exactly how customers navigate your store, what page elements they interact with, and the events that lead to their purchase. You can also see where they might experience friction, and subsequently abandon a purchase.

With this information to hand, you can optimize store design for a smooth on-site CX.

In terms of visual aesthetic, this needs to be consistent. Make sure that any frontend plugins you install are customizable so they fit seamlessly with your store theme and brand identity.

4. Create Exceptional Product Pages

A product page is arguably the most important touchpoint in the buyer journey. When a customer lands here they’re showing a decent level of purchase intent, and if you lose them chances are they’ll head to a competitor, so the product page experience has to be an exceptional one. 

Give them all the information they need to make a well informed decision.

This means writing compelling product descriptions, displaying high quality images and/or video, and providing detailed product specifications. It means having transparent pricing, delivery and returns information, and clear CTAs. And it means displaying authentic review content.

When it comes the the latter, there’s some advanced features you can use to both boost CX and improve product page conversion rates:

Review Attributes - these are additional questions on review requests that provide granular detail on the product experience. They can relate to the product itself, or the customer, and give anyone browsing a better understanding of how that product fits their needs.

Visual UGC - UGC is authentic, engaging and persuasive, and photo and video reviews are the perfect source. They let the customer see the product experience with their own eyes (and can increase conversion rates by as much as 10%).

Review Nuggets - these snippets of review content make your products sing, and give the customer that last little trust signal they need to commit. We’ve seen brands boost revenue by 10.7% and AOV by 13.2% by positioning Review Nuggets next to the ‘Buy Now’ button.

5. Focus on Personalization

So far we’ve focused on CX up to the point of purchase, but to increase customer lifetime value you have to think about their long term experience with your brand. 

That’s where personalization comes in. It creates a more relevant experience for the customer and fosters a stronger emotional connection. Here’s a few personalization tactics well worth considering:

Personalized recommendations - leveraging data and algorithms to dynamically generate personalized product suggestions enhances the discovery and browsing experience for the customer. It’s also a great way to increase AOV.

Personalized emails - by segmenting your customers based on demographics, behavior and purchase data, you can send personalized content that shows you care about individual needs and preferences. Our advanced Klaviyo integration is a great tool for this.

Tiered loyalty programs - these allow you to reward and engage customers based on their loyalty level, creating a sense of exclusivity. With personalized rewards, perks and benefits, you make customers feel valued, improving CX and driving long term loyalty.

6. Support, Support, Support

Customer support has a major role to play in CX - pre, during and post purchase.

Remember that every customer will have their own preferred method of contact, so offer multiple support channels like email, phone, live chat and social media. You should also empower customers with self-service options that allow them to answer their own questions with ease. Depending on what you sell, this could be an FAQ section and/or expert Q&As on individual product pages.

When a customer needs it, support should be responsive and tailored to the individual. You can facilitate this by integrating solutions like REVIEWS.io and Gorgias, using purchase and review data to deliver solutions based on their past experiences.

It’s all about being proactive and attentive to maintain a positive CX, even when problems do arise.

7. Listen to Your Customers

It should go without saying that the best way to improve CX is to ask your customers where and how you can do better. With our Advanced Surveys feature, you can create custom post purchase surveys to gather actionable data from the very people you’re trying to please.

With multiple question types and rating options, it’s a flexible tool for collecting feedback on various parts of the customer experience - and with Survey Insights it’s easy to track performance and key trends at a glance.

By actively seeking and acting on feedback, you can gain insights into customer preferences, identify areas for improvement, and demonstrate your commitment to meeting customer needs. 

Make CX a Priority and Watch Your Business Grow

A business is nothing without its customers, so prioritizing their experience really is key for growth.

With a customer-centric approach you’ll see increased loyalty, higher retention rates, and improved LTV. You’ll also benefit from positive word of mouth and differentiate yourself from the competition. 

Of course, both eCommerce and customer expectations are constantly evolving, so it’s essential to adapt and refine your CX strategies as you go. Sign up today and explore REVIEWS.io with a 14-day trial. We’ll be here to help, staying ahead of emerging trends and introducing innovative technologies that take your CX efforts to the next level.

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