The pandemic has had a major impact on buying behaviour. Most significantly, online purchases have both soared and diversified, and what consumers look for from eCommerce brands has changed. It’s no longer enough to simply sell online - you need to provide a seamless, personalised customer experience.
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Throughout 2020, retail businesses came under close scrutiny. Those that took a proactive approach to the challenges of COVID-19 fared well, resulting in 38% of consumers trying out new brands. As we take slow steps towards a new normal, the brands that thrive will be those that encourage loyalty, with 70% of shoppers saying this is a major factor in whether they’ll continue to use a business in the future.

And, of course, loyalty stems from the experience you provide. Now more than ever, it’s important to understand customer expectations, and improve your business accordingly.

How To Improve the Customer Experience

Whilst the economy may be set to reopen, the pandemic has resulted in lasting change, and the eCommerce boom is far from over.

Here’s how to get ahead of the game with that all important customer experience.

Focus on Your Omnichannel Strategy

Your market is more diverse than ever before, and each customer has unique shopping habits. They don’t all use the same channels, but they do all expect consistency across the board, wherever they interact with your brand:

  • Sync product details and inventory - these should be accurate and updated in real time wherever you have a presence, so make sure your platform is capable of automatically syncing product information.
  • Track sales and supply data - build an integrated eCommerce solution to keep tabs on performance across all sales channels, and ensure you’ve got enough supply to meet demand.  

Why - brands that focus on an omnichannel strategy see greater loyalty, since they have the structure in place to adapt to individual customer preferences.

Make the Mobile Experience a Priority

We know that COVID-19 is impacting consumer buying behaviour by shifting it online, and over half of internet shopping is done through a mobile device:

  • Ensure your site is responsive - consistency is key, and customers expect the same seamless experience from your site across all devices.
  • Optimise for efficiency - mobile bounce rates are higher than desktop, and 53% of shoppers will abandon a mobile site that takes more then three seconds to load. Optimise for speed and ease of use.
We are always looking for innovative solutions that help brands use customer feedback to drive business growth.

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Why - consumers want convenience, and any friction is likely to send them elsewhere. If you’re not prioritising the mobile experience, you’re ignoring a huge section of your market.
Create the Optimum Digital ExperienceTo stay competitive, you need to make the shopping experience fast, easy and engaging:

  • Upgrade the checkout process - when customers can check out with ease, they’re more inclined to spend. Allowing them to save payment and shipping details speeds up the process by 60%.
  • Consider fulfillment options - connecting your online checkout with a POS system gives greater flexibility for fulfillment, like advanced delivery options. Throughout the pandemic, 58% of shoppers opted for traditional delivery and 28% local delivery. 23% chose to pick up items in store, and 21% from pick up points. Providing multiple options is a key selling feature, catering to the preferences of a broadening market.
  • Make it personal - whilst online can never fully replicate the in-person experience, there are ways to bridge the gap. Innovative brands are experimenting with AR, allowing consumers to get a feel for how products would look in their home, or how clothes would suit for example. You could also consider live stream shopping events, where your audience can interact with sales reps and select products for purchase.

Why - with innovation, you make life easier for the consumer. You give them better service and offer a true brand experience. This is exactly what they’re looking for, and is the best way to compete in a crowded marketplace.

Grow Your Brand in 2021

Both consumer behaviour and expectations have evolved, and the customer experience is now imperative. By making it the focal point of your approach for 2021, you’ll attract new shoppers that value your efforts, increase trust and build loyalty by meeting consumer needs in the changing world of eCommerce.

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