The online shopping experience is the way your customers encounter and engage with your brand and products. It includes your shoppers’ end-to-end eCommerce journey, across touchpoints, from the moment they search for products, to the continuous interactions they receive before, during, and after purchase.
eCommerce has been on a rise, with the recent rapid growth occurring because of the pandemic. In 2021, the number of online shoppers is at 2.14 billion, making the digital buying journey a critical component of any brand’s success.
The traditional shopping experience is focused on how customers interact in a brick-and-mortar store, with the physical space and products and help of salespeople. On the other hand, the eCommerce experience, while inherently at a difficult spot in terms of delivering “a personal touch” has opportunities to offer convenience, relevance, trust, and value when done right.
How to Create the Best Online Shopping Experience
There is no one-size-fits-all online shopping experience but there are several factors that make up the core of what a successful one looks like. Given the competitive nature of eCommerce today, brands should make sure that the shopping journey is customer-centric and omnichannel-ready to attract, engage, and retain customers.
- Know your customers. Who are your core customers? What products are they looking for? What do they expect from your brand? With an in-depth understanding of who your brand is for, you can better create customer journeys that match the expectations of your shoppers.
- Design the customer journey according to your shoppers. How do your core customers shop? How do you make sure that each shopper persona finds delight in the online shopping experience? From search to purchase, from your website to social channels, your brand must deliver frictionless experiences customized per individual customer. This makes online shopping not only fast and convenient, but also personal and worth coming back for.
- Set up the right infrastructure and tools. Is your website device-responsive? Are you gathering and analyzing data to continuously create a better customer experience? Having the right tools in place is one of the foundations of excellent shopping experiences. From presenting accurate product search results to making the payment step as seamless as possible ensures that customers have a great time with your brand.
3 Ways to Improve the Shopping Experience of Customers Online
Thanks to ongoing advancements in technology and innovation, the eCommerce space doesn’t lack digital solutions that help brands deliver online shopping experiences that convert one-time shoppers into loyal customers.
- Make sure product discovery is working. When customers can’t find what they’re looking for on your website, it is difficult to begin a shopping experience on a good note, let alone, establish one. You can offer effective product discovery by setting up a personalized recommendation engine or a search bar. This can showcase accurate and relevant products. In addition to modernizing traditional text search with artificial intelligence capabilities, you can also enable shoppers to search your online inventory using an image.
- Build confidence by featuring user-generated content. Remove customer doubts when buying online, especially for high-ticket items like home décor and jewelry. User reviews, customer feedback, and images posted on social are some of the content you can include across your site including the homepage and product detail pages to boost social proof and trust in your brand.
- Remove frictions in the buying process. Make sure the shopping experience throughout your site is smooth and intuitive. For instance, set up informative and accurate filters so shoppers can narrow down a selection of products to the most relevant items. Or when it comes to checkout, be sure that shoppers are not bogged down by a “sign up for an account” prompt at the exact moment when they have the highest buying intent.
To learn more about online shopping experience best practices, check out this comprehensive list here.
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