We live in a day in age where we have an abundance of data at our fingertips, as well as a range of technologies to use within our online stores.
Increasingly, we’re seeing more personalized strategies from brands to attract customers, engage them, and hopefully, get them to return again and again. That’s the dream 🙌
But, to do this consistently, you need a customer experience platform (CXP) to enhance the ecommerce experience for your shoppers.
‘Ecommerce customer experience,’ say what?
Let’s start with the basics: when we speak of ecommerce customer experience, we’re talking about the end-to-end journey—from initial discovery to final checkout that a given customer experiences when interacting with your brand. The level of seamlessness and relevant content you’re able to deliver heavily influences your shoppers’ behavior and loyalty—so, you need to get it right. But what does ‘right’ look like?
What customers today expect from an ecommerce experience
As a result of the pandemic, more shoppers rely on online methods to conduct their shopping. Brands are jumping on this knowledge by investing heavily in their online experiences—think social storefronts, dynamic emails, and behavior-responsive websites. For brands that not only want to keep up, but be ahead of the curve, they need to create more personalized online experiences for customers. In fact, 70% of customers deem it important for brands to provide them with personalized experiences.
So, how do we achieve this?
Our latest guide gives a thorough walk-through of how to create better ecommerce experiences (personalization + merchandising + visual user-generated content [UGC]), the obstacles that could be hindering your own efforts, and some winning brand examples to show how it’s done (with winning results).
For now, let’s look at the fundamentals any brand needs to ensure that the experiences they crafted are the best they can be.
Getting the most out of your ecommerce experience efforts
Use real-time data
Using accurate, real-time transactional and behavioral data is the foundation of any good ecommerce experience strategy. You can’t know your customers and what they want without reliable and timely insights—let alone show them the products they will most likely take action on!
Strike while the iron’s hot by having your campaigns respond to shoppers’ behavior as they browse. For example, having your product recommendations change to feature items that are similar to the ones the customer has viewed within that same session. This helps you to be more targeted with what you show people and turn potential bounces to clicks and conversions.
Opt for tech that ensures quick deployment
Another thing that’s key to powering effective ecommerce experiences is the speed of ramping up and also deploying campaigns. It shouldn’t be a strain to get up and running with a CXP technology, so when you’re selecting tech vendors, look for those with:
1. Good plugin options for popular ecommerce platforms
2. User-friendly interfaces for ease-of-use
3. Good third-party integrations for data and campaign consistency across touchpoints
Dig deep with segmentation and insights
You always want to start planning your ecommerce experiences by identifying important user groups. There are many ways to segment your shoppers; it could be based on traffic source, geolocation, discount affinity, category affinity, behaviors—the list goes on! However, you need to divy people to best serve your business goals and encourage conversion by delivering relevant, targeted content.
From there, you can launch greater revenue-generating experiences across the customer journey and then drill down into performance insights.
Make use of omnichannel delivery
What a customer experiences from your ecommerce store should be coherent across your other brand channels as well (social, email, app, etc.)
Make sure that, when crafting campaigns, you’re considering every possible touchpoint at which someone could encounter your brand. Then, waste no time in delivering similar custom experiences to that person on each channel they interact with you on.
Harness authentic, visual content
Modern consumers quickly see through generic advertising, especially when it comes to visuals. That’s why user-generated content (UGC) is your brand’s new best friend.
Including authentic visual content from real customers, say, within a specific product page, can be highly impactful in influencing purchase decisions. It gives people a more realistic view of what a product looks like on a customer just like them—incentivizing them to buy, save for a later date, or not buy (and save you $$ on costly returns).
Test, optimize, repeat!
Deciding which design, text, imagery, promotional offer, or other campaign variant is going to work shouldn’t be left to guesswork.
It’s crucial that, post-launch of your personalized campaigns, you test the performance of different variables. Then, optimize them according to what’s working. Doing this also helps you intimately understand the motivations of your customers and evaluate how to better serve them based on those insights.
So, what’s next?
Now you’re clued up on the building blocks to giving customers the best possible ecommerce experience. Dive deeper into this topic with us in our new guide, and learn more about how to implement the likes of segmentation (while seeing instances where brands have done this successfully) to get on the path to winning customers for life!