How to Improve Your E-Commerce Customer Experience

Megan Wenzl
5/14/2021

Businesses can create an effective e-commerce customer experience by identifying critical touchpoints and providing convenient opportunities for users to engage and convert. 

E-commerce in all forms continues to rise and expand at an astounding rate. 

As a result of this incredible growth, competition among retailers is skyrocketing.

More often than not, other retailers sell the same products you do. How, then, do you differentiate yourself from your competition? How do you find success?  By creating an online shopping experience for your customers that focuses on a personalized, seamless, and uncomplicated buying experience from start to finish. 

It’s not an easy thing to do. In this article, we discuss how to improve the online shopping experience for customers to make sure customers buy from you online. 

Personalize the Buying Journey for Improved Customer Experience

At the end of the day, consumers buy items that fill a need or solve a problem they’re having. 

The more you can create a personalized online shopping experience, the better consumers will feel that what you’re selling will fit their specific needs. (And the more likely they are to make a purchase.) 

To do this, focus on person-centered selling at as many touchpoints and on as many channels as possible: 

  • Product recommendations
  • Site search options
  • Emails
  • Coupons
  • Browsing suggestions 

To find the best channel, analyze data from behaviors like individual search, recently viewed, and purchase history. In addition, analyze data about demographics such as location, email, and name. This data will help you determine what your customer needs. Then, create the most personalized online shopping experience possible to meet that need. 

For example, according to Shopify, companies such as Pura Vida and top e-commerce developers use a customers recently viewed product data to recommend items that other shoppers liked or purchased that are similar. 

Offer Frictionless Touchpoints

Your customer’s buying journey consists of a series of touchpoints. These touchpoints are where they interact with your brand, and they span the entire purchasing process — from initial brand awareness to loyalty over time. 

To keep your customers coming back, these touchpoints need to be frictionless. In other words, every place your customers interact with your brand should be effortless and uncomplicated for them.

So what are some important touchpoints you can focus on?

  • Website: Hire a web designer who has experience making websites to navigate and user friendly, with uncomplicated search and check out features across all devices.
  • Email marketing: Short and visually appealing with clickable links, coupons, and a call to action that drives your customers to explore your brand further. 
  • Customer support: Provide easy-to-locate FAQs, the option of a contact form with data autofill, and the ability to chat live for questions and concerns.
  • Customer reviews:  Have a visible place for customers to leave and read online reviews without redirection or completing multiple forms.

Customer journey mapping is a way to keep track of these and other touchpoints to determine which ones need improvement to create the best online shopping experience for your customers. Having a customer journey mao in place, and adjusting it frequently, gives you the best possible data on your customers and their shopping habits related to every touchpoint throughout a customer journey with your brand. 

Sell on Social Media

Creating the best online shopping experience for shoppers means meeting them where they are. And today, that’s on social media. 
Get this. According to HubSpot, over 53% of the entire world is on social media. And, more than 1.3 million people join social networks every day. 

Social commerce — the buying and selling of products on social networks — is more than just posting photos of the products you sell. Here are some of the ways in which you can be effective in social selling: 

  • Develop relationships directly with your customers by engaging with them on social platforms and having conversations with them. Doing things such as telling your story on social will make customers feel connected to your brand. Shinola is a great example of a company that tells a good story. 
  • Provide value to your customers. You can do this by producing content on social media about topics that are both meaningful and product-led content. Then, post your content across multiple social channels. 
  • Use consumer data to create a personalized shopping experience. 

Extend Maximum Convenience 

According to research on e-commerce trends by Linnworks, convenience is the most significant contributing factor to making purchases online. In fact, 76% of shoppers prioritize a convenient buying journey over anything else. 

Shoppers Prioritize Convenience

Source: Linnworks

To create maximum convenience for your shoppers, invest in the following: 

  • Seamless cross-device shopping: Shoppers want the ability to begin shopping on one device and carry that buying journey over to another device — without interruption. To accomplish this, it's critical your business recognizes what makes a good mobile website.
  • Social Commerce: Finding new products on social media, with the option to buy those products on the same social channel (without being redirected to a retail site).
  • Guest checkout:  The ability to check out while providing as little personal information as possible.
  • Flexible payment options: Shoppers expect the option to buy now and pay later. 
  • Transparent shipping and delivery: Knowing the shipping costs and delivery timeframe for purchase before checking out. Transparency also includes being kept up-to-date on when and how the purchase ships and its expected arrival — in real-time. 

Optimize Your E-Commerce Customer Experience Through Engaging on Your Users Terms

It’s essential to continuously improve your customers’ online shopping experience to thrive in a competitive market.

Focusing on what your customers need through personalization and providing frictionless and convenient touchpoints across multiple channels are the keys to success in e-commerce. 

author

Megan Wenzl

SEO Content Manager, Linnworks

Megan is a writer based in Chicago. She is dedicated to creating useful and engaging content to help businesses succeed. She has written about a range of different topics including customer experience, web design, and root beer floats.