Running an e-commerce business is more than just selling goods online. Many companies make the mistake of focusing all of their time on sales and none on improving the customer experience. Nowadays, customers expect a top-notch experience.
Some signs that your e-commerce customer experience isn’t thriving include a decrease in sales volume and social media engagement or an increase in customer service requests. If you want to improve your customer experience, you have to start by identifying the issue.
1. Your brand’s value may not be clear
Customer experience is about more than someone knowing your brand exists. Some companies do an excellent job spreading the word about their website but don’t explain why customers should care.
For example, if you donate a portion of your proceeds to charity, that information should be front and center on your website. Still, you don’t have to donate money for your brand to have value.
If your business sells workout equipment or fitness apparel, you actively improve people’s lives by helping them get in shape. Sites that sell camping equipment help people experience the great outdoors. Think about how your business helps people and make that information apparent on your site and social media.
2. Your site could be challenging to use
Your online marketplace should make it easy for customers to find things. Many customers know what they want to buy before navigating to your site. Ensure your online store has a search feature that lets customers find specific items. Add tags with relevant keywords to products as you upload them.
Your site’s layout shouldn’t be busy and confusing. Your pages should load quickly, regardless of whether you built the site yourself or used a service like WordPress. Consider adding product categories and subcategories that make your products easier to browse.
Your product detail pages should feature all of the information customers need to make an informed decision. A potential customer wants to know the product’s features, size, dimensions, weight, and available colors.
Additionally, the item’s return policies and shipping fees should be apparent. Consider adding a similar products section to each product detail page to help customers find what they want to buy.
3. Your customer service experience may be lacking
The e-commerce customer service experience doesn’t end at the point of sale. In fact, the customer journey extends far beyond that.
For example, customers may have questions about their product after receiving it. They could have had trouble with shipping. Maybe they need to return it and utilize your reverse logistics process. Perhaps they need some outlet to provide customer feedback.
It should be easy for customers to reach you if they need assistance. Consider offering customer service via phone, email, live chat, and social media. Having multiple ways for customers to reach you means you’ll appeal to the contact preferences of each of your customers.
Try to respond to customer service requests as quickly as possible. Treat each request with care and do everything you can to help your customer. If you’re having trouble responding to requests, it may be time to outsource your customer service. Alternatively, outsourcing other aspects of your business will give you more time to respond to customer service requests. This will help increase customer retention and create more happy customers overall.
4. Your shipping may not be fast enough
When online shopping, most customers expect their orders to arrive within 2-3 days. If your average shipping time is longer than three days, there is a good chance people will eventually shop elsewhere.
In some cases, shipping delays are out of your control. Still, if your warehouse is disorganized or understaffed, orders will take longer to get out the door, resulting in late shipments and a loss in repeat customers.
If your business is still relatively small, handling packing and shipping in-house may make sense. That can be key for a more personalized experience for your customers. However, as your business grows, you’ll find it harder and harder to manage your own direct-to-consumer shipping. Consider using a third-party logistics (3PL) service to speed up your shipping times.
Some e-commerce solutions have nationwide warehouses that store, pack, and ship your items for you. These services often match your orders to the nearest available warehouse to optimize shipping times for a better e-commerce experience.
In addition to speeding up shipping times, 3PL services free up time for you to focus on other aspects of your business.
5. Your mobile experience may not be satisfactory
Many customers use their mobile devices to shop online. Customers want an e-commerce website layout optimized for mobile devices. According to Think with Google, customers are 90% more likely to immediately leave your site if a page takes longer than five seconds to load.
If your customer data suggests more than a third of your customers use a smartphone when visiting your site, it may be time to consider a mobile app. Mobile apps tend to feature optimized designs that load quicker on smartphones. If you’ve built a mobile app, you’ll need to keep it updated. Consider outsourcing your app’s creation and maintenance.
If you don’t have the time or money to focus on a mobile app, you must optimize your website for mobile online shoppers.
Boosting E-Commerce Customer Experience
Your customer experience strategy is a vital part of your online business. Customers expect your site to be easy to use on both their PCs and mobile phones for a good digital experience.
To do that well, outsourcing some aspects of your e-commerce business may be needed. And if you find the right partner, you can enhance your e-commerce experience, create more brand loyalty, and better meet customer needs.
If you’re unsure of where to start, you may need to look into outsourcing with a complete e-commerce solution. Solutions can offer ways to improve warehouse management, help speed up your shipping times, and help with product information management. If you can boost your customer experience, why wouldn’t you?