In the world of ecommerce, everything accelerates quickly and nothing stays the same for very long. With customers having access to boundless options for any single product, you need to make your website unique in order to stand out. You also need to stay on top of the onboarding process with your customers.
1. Improve Customer Experience by Offering Live Chat
Live chat is the most preferred way of communication for people looking for support. J.D. Power topped it on their list of customer communication with 42% of customers preferring it to emails, second place at 23%. If you sell confusing configurable multi-piece items, the most excellent copy in the world may still not answer every customer's question, and they may leave your website to visit a store to ask a sales associate their questions.
Including a little chat widget in the corner of the screen is a great way to give new customers peace of mind when placing an order. In fact, Furstperson found that 77% of customers won’t make a purchase on a website if there’s no live chat option available. If redesigning your website is too costly, something as simple as being available to guide your customers to the correct resources may be the most affordable alternative.
2. Don’t Ask For Too Much Information
“Shop from the comfort of your home” was a common marketing angle in the late 90’s when ecommerce was still in its adolescence. Now, most people shop online, but merchants run into the problem of price-shopping. Someone may be checking out, get second thoughts, and leave their cart to shop somewhere else for a better deal. Cart abandonment is ranked as high as 80% by some researchers.
Cart abandonment is largely unavoidable, so making sure that the customer has a cart to come back to is essential. The best way to do that is to give them a quick and easy way to create an account with your website. Hook your customers with something enticing like, “Sign up now and receive a 10% discount on your first order.” Once someone starts signing up, the longer the form is, the more skeptical they can become. Make the required information easy to enter so people don’t leave the page without filling it out. Here is an example of the fields you should include:
- Email address
- Security question
If someone has to go get their wallet or wait for a long series of verification emails to sign up, you’re running the risk of losing them for good.
3. Have Good Customer Data
Using tools like Google Analytics is a great way to gauge who is shopping with you. Brick-and-mortar stores have a huge advantage of seeing who walks in and out of their store. Using things like Google Analytics and surveys let you determine and differentiate your various customer types. You want something concrete to measure so you can answer questions like:
- “Is this promotion engaging with new customers?”
- “Where are the new customers coming from?”
- “Are they referrals from a mention in a blog somewhere?”
This information can help you make sure you’re targeting the right customers. Inappropriately marketing to customers is costly, and you need to make sure you’re using the right tools to find the correct answers. You may need to contract a specialist, but building the right surveys and collecting the right consumer data from your site is a business expense that pays off in the long run.
4. Build Your Customer Experience Around Customer Data
When you first start a new business, you have a specific customer in mind. You probably pooled a small group of enthusiastic supporters, and their feedback was direct and helpful. As time goes on and your business grows and changes, your customers and their needs change too. You may even reach an entirely different customer base from when you started. Being adaptive to this is crucial.
“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” is not something that usually works well with ecommerce. Building customer models around different groups of people with survey results (like specific sets of interests, or product purchase history and wish list items) can help you to reach your different customer bases. If someone abandons their cart while looking at a pair of sunglasses, allocate some money to show ads on Instagram or Twitter to show them those sunglasses. This is also a good time to again highlight that “New customers get 10% off their first purchase!” promotion.
Another way to use this data is to see who is shopping from which location. If no one in Texas is buying, maybe stray away from cowboy motifs. If a lot of people in the Pacific Northwest are buying from you, maybe show someone wearing a Seattle Seahawks jersey on the homepage. Apart from getting a good deal, a lot of customers are still engaged with buying “an experience.” Asking the right questions and finding out who your customers are can help you highlight why buying from you is their right choice.
5. Good Email Campaigns Keep Customers Coming Back
Emails are tricky but using the right wording can help get customers through the door and retain them. Welcome potential customers that sign up on your website with an engaging header and a quick, actionable copy. Include a link to their cart as a way to complete a sale.
Order Confirmation emails are probably the best type of email template for engaging with customers. While newsletters and welcome emails can contain great content and drive people back to your site, neither of them holds a candle to the eagerness with which customers click on Order Confirmation emails. Their open rate is about 70%, making them outrank all other types of emails. Since customers generally read these emails for about 14 seconds, find out how to promote other products.
It can be best to include the tracking information and order items in addition to some information about related items. Many shipping software solutions, like ShipStation, make this possible. Create different email templates for different items, and above the order confirmation section, include related items to the one(s) ordered. Provide information that showcases your brand’s uniqueness or any charities you work with. By wreathing the shipping information with additional context into what your brand is and how your customers should continue shopping, you can increase your conversions and even help you onboard more customers.
Customers have so many options when it comes to buying goods that even the smallest details can affect a purchasing decision. You don’t want to lose customers due to simple changes you can make to improve their customer experience and retention. If you implement the above tactics, you will be able to increase your customer satisfaction, while also growing your bottom line.