By 2021, the eCommerce industry is estimated to reach over $4.9 trillion in sales. As more companies invest in this rapidly growing industry, customers have the luxury of choosing where to spend their money. Creating a good experience for your customers so that they return is more important than ever. Here’s our list of 5 ways to improve the customer experience on your site to set you apart from the crowd.
1. Pay attention to social media.
Many companies have now created funny, brash, or viral social media personas. This can be a great way to get noticed by customers online. However, customer comments can spread like wildfire on these platforms. Therefore, it’s important to invest in a social media strategy that effectively handles customer complaints and problems quickly. You may want your own brand posts to go viral, but you don’t want a customer’s bad experience to do so.
2. Clearly display additional costs.
Unexpected costs can kill sales in eCommerce. Most customers that experience high additional costs for shipping, servicing fees, and taxes will simply abandon a cart – and will likely never return to that site. By defining shipping costs or other fees on the home or product pages, you can keep these surprises to a minimum. Unlike impulse buys in a store, customers shopping online have more time to consider their purchase. Giving them all the necessary information will help them make a faster decision and has the added benefit of increasing trust for your brand.
3. Have clear and robust navigation paths, filters, and search options.
Think of a brick-and-mortar store. Products are organized into sections and aisles that make it easy to find what you want. Customers can get discouraged quickly if they can’t navigate your store to find the right item. While it’s easy in person to scan racks of clothing looking for a blue shirt, doing so online can be a daunting task. Providing multiple filters and search options can help your customers find what they need and keep them on your site longer.
4. Respond to customers quickly.
As with social media, the rise of online reviews means that bad experiences can quickly become major problems for brands. While large companies can generally survive these issues, smaller businesses can lose everything when mistakes go viral. Most of the time, bigger problems can be avoided with timely responses. Provide multiple ways for customers to report issues and give them accurate timelines for when they can expect a solution. While it would be impossible to avoid any customer complaints, handling them correctly can actually win you points and turn an upset customer into a repeat one.
5. Keep technology up-to-date.
Technology is constantly improving. As newer technology is released, customer expectations change. In the dial-up era, it was normal for a site to take minutes to load. Now, sites that take longer than 10 seconds to load see nearly all of their visitors leave. Staying up-to-date on new technology and doing regular maintenance on your site allows your customers to focus on your products rather than your website.
For more customer experience tips, check out 3 Ways to Improve Your Customer Experience.