Succeeding in the e-commerce space is not as easy as it appears. When e-commerce was new and customers had fewer options, their overall shopping experience didn't play much of a role in the success or failure of online businesses. All of that has changed dramatically as the e-commerce space has become more and more crowded. To stand out from other businesses and attract loyal customers, retailers must focus on what their customers are experiencing when they shop. Here are six ways that e-commerce retailers can streamline the customer experience.
- Flag Address Errors
One of the challenges of fulfilling online orders is collecting address information, which is why, if you can flag address errors before shipping, you'll achieve a better customer experience. Address errors are common, and they create major pain points in the customer experience. If you don't flag the error in time, you might send your products to the wrong address, resulting in more work for your company as you process a customer support ticket and return.
To solve this issue, use an address validation API that can automatically flag user-generated errors in your address form. Your customers will feel a sense of relief, and you will save yourself time and money on unnecessary returns.
- Make Checkout Easy
A critical aspect of the customer experience is the checkout process, which is why you need to focus on making it easy for your customers to complete their purchases online. Make sure to include options to save address and payment information for later, but also offer your customers the option to checkout as a guest. If you force every person to sign up for an account, you will lose some customers. On the other hand, if you make the checkout process straightforward, you will make a good impression because there will be fewer pain points.
- Provide Instant Support
Another great way to upgrade your customers' experiences is to provide instant support on your online shopping platform. No, you don't need to hire staff who are available 24/7. Instead, invest in a chatbot for your website.
A chatbot is an effective solution for answering common customer queries. Chatbots can refer customers to different pages on your website, such as your FAQs page or returns policy page. All the customer has to do is enter a few keywords related to their issue, then your chatbot AI can search your knowledge database and offer the appropriate solution or answer.
- Update Inventory in Real-Time
Keep your customers happy by updating your inventory in real-time. One of the fastest ways to lose a customer is by having weak infrastructure when it comes to inventory. If your customer makes an order online only to find out that you are out of stock but your website wasn't updated, there is a high chance that the customer will never come back to your store. While it might take some investment on your part, having a strong back-end system that updates your inventory in real-time will result in a better customer experience.
- Streamline Returns
Work on streamlining returns to impress your customers. Although you never want to think about it, returns are a central part of the e-commerce shopping experience. Regardless of the types of products you sell, you will have to deal with returns. The best way to make your customers feel confident with your online store is to make your returns policy easily accessible and straightforward.
- Focus on Personalization
One upcoming arena of the customer experience that deserves your attention is personalization. While this does fall under the expertise of your marketing department, it does help customers feel seen and valued by your business. When you tailor deals and products to fit small segments of your customer population, each person gets to engage with content that appeals to them as an individual. This is a great strategy if you want to build up a solid base of loyal customers.
Today's customers are waiting for the "Wow" factor when it comes to online shopping. Use these strategies to improve your e-commerce business and achieve long-term success.
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