eCommerce experience is the totality of every exchange between shoppers and your brand online. It involves every touchpoint, interaction, feeling, or impression that occurs as customers first encounter any of your digital channels, such as your website and social media accounts, up to the point they decide to complete a purchase or stop doing business with you. eCommerce experience is a part of the overall customer experience which involves both online and offline.
Why is eCommerce Experience Important?
As a critical and defining component of online success, the eCommerce experience can make or break the customer journey. Done right, you can attract, engage, and retain shoppers, boosting organic engagements, customer loyalty, and revenue. Done wrong, you could instantly miss potential customers to competing brands with just a few clicks.
Oracle found that 86% of consumers pay more for a better customer experience, and 89% of shoppers left a brand for a competitor after having a poor experience. The quality of eCommerce experience can impact not just conversions, but also brand loyalty, customer retention, and shopper recommendations. Ensuring that shoppers receive a great online shopping experience with your brand can help create a positive impression, healthy bottom line, and good ROI from your marketing campaigns and technology investments.
How to Improve eCommerce Experience
Several components are involved in the overall eCommerce experience. Here are a few examples of ways to improve it at the three major stages of the buying journey.
During the pre-purchase stage, brands must attract shoppers’ attention and entice them to explore more. A crucial element at this point in the customer journey is product discovery. When you are not able to connect shoppers with the item or content that they are looking for on your site, it instantly sends a bad impression about your brand and can even prompt potential customers to abandon shopping with your brand.
- Make sure your homepage is always fresh and relevant to keep shoppers interested in your products. You can create dynamic product collections that are automatically updated with new items. You can also promote shoppable editorial content to inspire shoppers with style ideas while they’re browsing your products.
- When shoppers choose to use your search engine, be it textual or visual search, ensure that it delivers accurate product search results. This way, goal-oriented and inspired shoppers, who have high-purchase intent will stay on your site, and be a step closer to making a purchase.
The purchasing stage involves the key moments that encourage shoppers to actually pay for products that they want. At this moment, a seamless eCommerce experience is critical along with relevant points of interactions that make shoppers feel confident enough about their pending purchase.
- Ensure that product detail pages (PDP) are on point with the right information that includes high-quality photos, customer reviews for social proof, and accurate product descriptions.
- Encourage spontaneous purchases with relevant product recommendations not only on the PDP but also when shoppers add products to cart or even at the checkout page. Just make sure that the products add value so as not to distract shoppers from completing the purchase.
- Build trust with a clear and streamlined checkout experience. Make sure the shipping terms, return and exchange policies, and payment options are visible and transparent.
eCommerce experience doesn’t end when you turn browsers into paying customers. The post-purchase stage is equally essential to boost customer retention and long-term loyalty.
- Set up nurturing email campaigns that entice customers to shop with your brand again. You can send emails to users who have left items in their shopping cart. You can also promote relevant products that are similar to those they have viewed on your site.
- Create a customer loyalty program with perks that are attached to your merchandising strategy. For example, you can add as freebies or at a discounted price your dead stock.
For more tips on enhancing the online shopping experience, check out the list here.