E-commerce Customer Experience: The Shift from User Experience

E-commerce Customer Experience: The Shift from User Experience

March 28, 2017

The days where e-commerce sites were expected to be simply functional are long gone. The age of the customer is here. As an e-commerce retailer, you better shift your attention from the user experience to the customer experience if you are in it for the long run.

Would you return to a retail shop if you were greeted by unorganized isles, the goods were mispriced, and the staff was rude? Not only would you never step foot in that place again but chances are you would tell your friends and family to stay away too. The same logic applies in the online world.

Online shoppers are, first and foremost, seeking convenience. The minimum they expect when they enter your site is that you deliver on convenience. A seamless user experience while navigating through an e-commerce site is where you need to start from. The design, language, processes, and content determine how a potential buyer perceives and ultimately interacts with your brand. However, the user experience is just the beginning. The goal is to create loyal customers and UX, unfortunately, won’t get you very far with that. Loyal customers have expectations that exceed functionality. They want to be delighted and pleasantly surprised by your service.

A positive customer experience leads to more sales and good word-of-mouth. The most devastating result of a negative customer experience, other than losing existing customers, is that it hinders the acquisition of new customers.

One of the best ways to elevate the e-commerce customer experience is to provide your customers with a sensational customer service experience. Customer support agents are the most important representatives of your brand because they constantly engage with your buyers. This places them at the center of your customer experience management initiatives. It is, therefore, very important to assess their performance. The easiest way to do that is to ask for direct feedback on the agent’s performance right after the interaction is complete and subsequently act fast on possible negative feedback.

3 reasons why you need to focus on customer experience

Technological advancements

Technology is continuously evolving and thus it empowers the consumer. The constant introduction of alternate platforms, combined with the proliferation of devices and the rise of social media and shopping apps, create more and more opportunities for online merchants to engage with the customer.

In practical terms, this means that the e-commerce business should establish communication channels in several different platforms. The idea is that the customer can reach the brand at his convenience, with ease and at any given point of the customer journey.

An additional point to be taken into consideration here is that the modern e-commerce customer expects a seamless customer experience across all channels used to interact with the brand. For example, the experience of buying in one channel directly affects the customer’s experience in another channel. As an e-commerce merchant, you should align efforts across all channels and maintain the quality of the experience consistent.

Increasing competition

The number of players seeking to get a piece of the market is bound to rise as e-commerce business revenues grow. The increased competition is forcing e-commerce vendors to differentiate on more than just product selection and price. Investing in customer experience is a fail-safe way to stay ahead of the game.

The customer experience has many aspects, some of which are not quite that glamorous and often overlooked by online vendors. One of the least appealing features of the e-commerce customer experience is its dependency on back-end systems, such as inventory and warehouse management systems, or order management. The truth, however, is that such systems support a consistent cross-channel experience and have the power to set the brand apart from its competitors.

Less value time on the site depending on device

Research indicates that the time consumers spend on the site is decreasing when using mobile devices. This poses a challenge for the e-commerce business. The brand has less quality time to engage with the customer.

The fastest way to showcase the value and build trust on that limited time frame is to get to know your customers and give them the personalized customer experience they expect. Customer surveys are a great way to measure and manage the expectations of your customers. Turning customer feedback into actionable insights can truly support and enhance an elevated omnichannel customer experience.


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