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E-commerce Customer Experience

10 Ways to Improve E-Commerce Customer Experience

Uthaman Bakthikrishnan

Uthaman Bakthikrishnan

Executive Vice President

When we talk about e-commerce customer experience, we mainly talk about the e-commerce website. It accounts for 80 to 90 % of the customer experience.

Besides, you will have after-sales support.

In this article, let us look at how to improve the customer experience on the e-commerce platform.

1. Mobile First

A friend of mine runs an asset management company, and they are very good at what they do. They consistently make money for their customers.

Despite making money for their customers, their go-to-market wasn’t going great. That’s when they realized that their customer segment wanted a mobile app through which they could invest, not through the web portal.

They got their mobile app, and their business has been growing exponentially.

They are not even an e-commerce site.

Imagine how much impact it would have on your e-commerce site if you didn’t have a mobile strategy.

Most e-commerce purchases are impulsive in nature. 30% of my purchases on e-commerce sites are based on the recommendations provided by the e-commerce vendor.

This brings us to personalization

2. Personalization

Personalize product recommendations to your customers based on the user’s location, shopping, and browsing history.

The biggest obstacle for most e-commerce businesses is abandoned shopping carts.

A slight nudge in the form of a text or an email asking them to complete the abandoned shopping results in 20 to 30% conversions.

An offer around the abandoned items and further recommendations result in additional 20 to 30% conversions.

How so simple.

If only we could proactively nudge and send offers.

You need to personalize the shopping experience throughout the buyer’s journey based on different variables.

I buy shirts from an e-commerce portal. For me, the biggest concern is the size chart that everyone has.

So, I choose this particular portal because, apart from the regular size chart, they provide information on the shirt’s length and sleeve length.

Besides, they have a no questions asked return policy for 14 days.

It is very important to provide precise product information and images to make people comfortable purchasing.

Do check our guide on: Automotive Customer Engagement

3. Clear Product Information and Images

Imagine I want to buy organic shampoo. I am worried about the presence of surfactants and any allergy-causing ingredients.

What do I expect to see?

I’d like to see what it has. Besides, I’d like to know that these ingredients about which I am worried are not present in the shampoo.

Similarly, let us assume I am buying a wireless mouse.

What would I want to know?

I would want to know the battery life for the mouse and the range at which it operates seamlessly. 

This is why most e-commerce vendors have category managers who ensure that the product has clear information on the features and images. Besides, they ensure that the right products get shown for the search.

They look at reviews and customer feedback to understand what is missing on their pages. They continuously keep incorporating feedback.

It is vital to collect active feedback from the customers.

4. Collect Active Feedback

When I say active feedback, it means asking open-ended questions where the customers would provide honest feedback.

For instance, prompt your customers with questions like:

  1. Did the product match your expectations?
  2. Does the product you received resemble the one you saw on the site in terms of experience?
  3. Would you recommend this product to friends and family?
  4. What would you have bought if not for this product?
  5. Does our product solve your needs?
  6. Would you be interested in a repeat purchase?
  7. What do you think we can improve – features and look-and-feel?
  8. Also, prompt them with questions that your other prospects might likely want to know

Once they respond, send them a thank you message or email. Also, send them an offer with discounts and free shipping. Besides, please keep them in the loop on new products and offers from your side continuously.

This would allow you to keep delighting your customers.

5. Delight Your Customers

Increasing the customer retention rate by 5% increases profits by 25%, according to HBR.

Businesses often focus only on acquiring new customers and not retaining and growing them.

So, work hard to retain your existing customers.

Some ideas you can use for your e-commerce stores are:

  1. As soon as a customer purchases a product, send them rewards they can redeem later
  2. Send thank you email after shopping. Even better, send a handwritten note thanking your customers. Also, ask them to review their purchase and provide active feedback.
  3. Implement a referral program that would benefit both the referrer and the buyer
  4. Send free custom gifts with their names imprinted on them – pens, coffee mugs, keychains, and the like to your loyal customers

Have all your offers timebound. Besides, surprise them when they come back to buy.

6. Surprise Your Customers

How do you surprise your returning customers?

Already, you have sent them a reward for coming back. When they are in the process of shopping, surprise them with a slashing of price or provide them free shipping.

The same goes for abandoned carts as well. Slash the price or offer free shipping for the customer to complete the purchase.

7. Streamline Checkout and Payment Process

Often, the checkout process on the e-commerce site is clunky and tacky.

Let me give you the experience of my checkout process at Amazon.

I have been buying from Amazon for close to 10 years now.

  • When I choose a product, I can add it to the cart, save it for later, or add it to the wishlist.
  • Whenever I provide a new delivery address, it saves the address, and I don’t have to retype them.
  • Besides, it allows me to stay logged in on multiple devices – laptop, desktop, mobile, and tabs. I can access information from any of these devices.
  • It shows all the bank offers that I am eligible for, which I can easily access
  • It provides me with multiple payment options – Netbanking, credit card, debit card, buy now pay later, amazon pay wallet, UPI payments, and cash on delivery. All of this is easily accessible on the page.
  • As a prime member, you get free shipping and faster delivery

Besides, I have the option of 1-click checkout. I can provide my CVV number on my saved payment methods, and I am good to checkout

Do you offer this kind of experience on your site?

8. Implement Live Chat Support

Customers’ biggest concern about buying from an e-commerce vendor is the support they’d receive.

  • What happens if a faulty product is delivered?
  • What happens when the product doesn’t do what it says it’d do? What is the return policy?
  • The product says that it has a warranty for one year. When there are issues, what do I do?

There would be a lot more unanswered questions in the minds of consumers.

How do you ease all of these concerns?

It is by having an easy way for them to reach you.

The best possible solution would be for you to provide live chat support. The customers can talk to chat support; if the need arises, they can be directed to a live agent.

This would give them all the confidence to buy from you.

9. Get Social

You have to up your social media game as an e-commerce brand.

You have to respond to every social media post about your brand – positive or negative.

How do you do that?

There are hundreds of tools that can help mine the social media platforms for mentions about your brand. You can pick and choose what is appropriate for your brand and mine social media to your advantage.

Once you engage with people and their comments, they tend to look at your brand favorably.

After all, who doesn’t want to be noticed?

10. Create an Impactful Content Strategy

Let me give you an example.

Michelin was 11 years old in 1900, and only 3000 cars were running in France.

Their goal was to increase the demand for cars and thereby sell more tires.

To do this, Andre and Edouard Michelin published the Michelin guide for drivers – accommodations, petrol stations, maps, how to change a tire, etc.

They printed 35000 guides and distributed them to motorists. They expected this to up their sales, but that didn’t happen.

They decided to add value by changing the content without removing their focus on selling more tires.

The brothers categorized the restaurants and added them to the guide. It started doing well, and they focused the guide on restaurants.

26 years after the first guide was published, they started awarding stars to fine dining restaurants.

Today, the Michelin star rating can make or break a restaurant. With this, the tire company became a household name and an authority on restaurants and cuisines.

More the tourists, the more cars and more the tires.

What do tourists need?

Naturally, a guide that would help find the best restaurants, and the Michelin guide does that well.

Their company’s brand awareness went up, and they are rated the No. 1 tire company in the world.

Likewise, figure out a strategy to help you become No. 1 in whatever you do.

For instance, if you run an e-commerce store focused on fashion products, you can create content that gives style advice, tips, fashion trends, etc.

Create a content calendar and plan this out. You would only be happier as a business.

Customer experience today has become the differentiator in the market. Today, customers are not satisfied with just a great product offering – they want exemplary service and experience to go with it.

More so in the case of e-commerce companies, as it is a new age, and the demography that buys from it expects stellar service that they have gotten used to from brands like Apple, Amazon, and Netflix.

So, up your customer experience game with the tips in this article.

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