Customer experience (CX) is ever-evolving as new technology platforms and channels enable brands to meet their customers where they are. Especially for ecommerce brands, CX strategy should be a priority as shoppers expect a personalized, positive experience online.
Identifying where your processes fall short and where you can improve is necessary to building a robust CX strategy. Today's customers are not only empowered with information and resources, but also expect that their needs are met in real-time.
It’s necessary for brands to understand the changing expectations of their consumers, the tech tools that can help them meet these demands, and the content that powers the online shopping experience.
Let’s dive into some CX strategy best practices for ecommerce brands.
Optimize for Mobile Engagement and Shopping
Customers expect to access and interact with businesses whenever, wherever, and however they choose. This includes discovering products, making purchases, asking questions, and managing their accounts via mobile devices.
More than 57% of website traffic came from mobile phones in 2022, compared to 41% in 2016; users are continuing to shift away from desktop and move towards mobile. Here are a few ways you can optimize your brand’s ecommerce website and overall CX strategy for mobile:
Integrate social and site by connecting your ecommerce product catalog to Instagram and other social media channels so users can shop as they scroll.
Invest in chatbots to help answer questions on your website or over messaging platforms like Facebook Messenger rather than offering a customer service line.
Provide responsive website pages (loading quickly from any device) or apps for smartphones.
The Alo Yoga app allows users to shop from influencer social media posts collected by the brand as well as from typical product pages. This CX strategy gives users a smoother, quicker shopping experience than using a browser on their smartphone would.
Provide Real, Personalized Website Content
You've probably heard this before: your customers expect personalized service and want it delivered authentically. But what does that mean?
Your customers don't want to be treated like a number. Treat them like VIPs, friends, family members, and part of the team. They want to feel like you understand them as individuals with unique needs, even if they're not always looking for the same thing.
The best way to provide a customer experience that shoppers can connect with is by showcasing user-generated content (UGC). UGC, media featuring your brand or product and created by real customers, is 35% more memorable and 50% more trusted than traditional branded content. When shoppers see someone like them on your brand’s site rather than a model or professional, edited product photography, they’re more likely to buy your product.
Custom map brand Mapiful not only allows users to log in and design their own personalized maps, but they can also filter this UGC gallery by print type, custom styles, and other dimensions to find the right product.
Providing a personalized experience combined with authentic UGC is clearly valuable. However, data privacy regulations make these experiences challenging to design, as they usually require the use of protected data and original content. That is why multiple industries, from apparel to hospitality, use content management platforms like Pixlee TurnTo that prioritize brand safety.
Customers want personalization and authenticity because it makes their lives easier in many ways: by providing context, making ordering more convenient, and saving them time. They also want to feel like they are being listened to by companies, so they feel valued as customers and won't hesitate to leave if they think otherwise.
Prioritize a Solid Ratings & Reviews Strategy
As consumers ourselves, we all know the sway that customer reviews hold over us when we’re deciding whether or not we should make a purchase. While the majority of ecommerce brands know this, and do have reviews set up on their sites, many brands aren’t maximizing the value they get out of positive customer sentiment. Similarly, they aren’t experimenting with other ways to collect customer feedback.
The Ratings & Reviews tech provider you trust should diversify the ways you ask for and showcase customer feedback. For example, Pixlee TurnTo’s inbox submission allows buyers to submit reviews straight from a review solicitation email (RSE), specifying additional details about themselves that can help other shoppers like them. Once these reviews are displayed on-site, they’re more likely to persuade a shopper to buy than a traditional review would.
Bob’s Red Mill asks reviewers to specify their dietary restrictions, cooking style, and more to provide site visitors with maximum context.
Checkout Comments™ are another way to display customer feedback. Right after purchase, shoppers are asked why they decided to buy a product, and those answers can be immediately, and automatically posted to the item’s product page. This is a great way to build social proof into your CX strategy, especially for new products that may not have garnered reviews yet.
Offer Omnichannel Customer Support
Customers have never been more connected than they are today; if there's an issue with one communication channel like email, they may go elsewhere until it's resolved instead of waiting for an answer over email alone. Your CX strategy should meet customers where they are.
Customers also expect their issues to be resolved in a way that is relevant to them — preferably quickly — so providing multiple digital customer engagement options will help ensure that the end-to-end experience is consistent and easy for everyone involved.
Omnichannel communication is essential for a few reasons:
It provides an alternate method for customers who may have been unable to communicate with you on one platform for any reason.
It gives you access to valuable data that would not otherwise be available if the customer had given up on contacting you via your primary method of communication.
People are accustomed to having access to whatever they want, whenever they want. Whether via SMS or social media, make sure that customers can ask questions outside traditional channels like phone calls or web forms on your website.
Here are some common customer engagement channels:
Help desk: A forum manned by a person or team of people who handle customer inquiries
Knowledge base: A database of articles or “knowledge” about how to use the product/service
Social media: Your brand’s social profiles, including comments, DMs, and other feedback opportunities on those platforms
Live chat or chatbot: Gives your customers the ability to connect with someone immediately when they need it most
Phone: Never forget the power of a traditional phone conversation
Having a variety of communication channels for your customers to reach you will surely pay off in the long run. Everyone has their preferred method of communication. Some people hate phone conversations, while others hate emails. The power of choice is key to keeping customers happy and maintaining a good CX strategy..
Additionally, the average consumer spends almost two and a half hours on social media every day. If your brand doesn’t have a presence on the social platforms your target audience frequents, or if you don’t have a strategy in place to respond to their DMs and comments, this should be a priority. Professional video editors can help you design content for today's video-focused apps like TikTok.
Data privacy is more important than ever
Securing customer data and protecting the privacy of your customers is a huge part of delivering a positive customer experience and retaining customers in a connected world. Therefore, it's important to build internal processes within your company that emphasize identity security and protect access to customer data to prevent breaches.
81% of Americans think the potential risks of data collection by companies outweigh the benefits. This is why it’s important to consider the laws and regulations related to data protection (like Cookie laws), and work them into your CX strategy while retaining customers.
Make sure you’re clearly stating what data you’re collecting and what it will be used for without overwhelming your site visitors. Take a look at other brands’ cookie banners when starting your research.
Customers are more informed and connected in the 21st century and have more options to interact with their favorite brands than ever before. They demand a great experience from every brand they discover — and if you don't deliver, they'll find another one that does.
As customer expectations increase for better service and faster delivery times, companies need to work harder than ever before to provide an exceptional CX strategy.
The key is knowing what your customer wants from their experience. Once you have this information, you can start planning to meet those needs and invest in the proper tools, like a UGC or Ratings & Reviews platform.
A robust customer experience is a true competitive advantage. Challenge yourself by leveraging these opportunities to improve your CX strategy — it could mean the difference between business growth or stagnation in today's fast-paced world.
Pixlee TurnTo Contributor
Pixlee TurnTo welcomes contributed content from leading marketers, influencers and ecommerce experts.