4 Tips To Crafting a Seamless Online Customer Experience

unspecified.pngIt’s always been a fascinating phenomenon how Apple captivates its customers with such great products and shopping experiences that they’re happy to queue for hours (and days and even weeks) for the latest product release. So, you’re not selling the next best smartphone or personal computer, but you want the same hype and loyalty around your products, AND you only have an online store? This is totally an achievable goal, even if it seems far-fetched. Check out the four tips below to improve your online customer experience.

First impressions are everything. But, really, EVERYTHING.
Just like interviewing for a job or going on a first date, the very first impression your website gives a viewer is crucial. Are links broken? Is the information architecture easy to navigate? Are items out-of-stock? These are all questions to ask yourself as you optimize and maintain your website. Your customers need it to be easy to browse your products, add items to their carts, then check out. Don’t make it a wild goose chase for them to find their shopping cart or a product they want.

Do not underestimate the value of customer loyalty.
Did you know that annually, return customers spend 120% more than one-time customers? They are also far more likely to take advantage of a discount offered. The more you communicate promotional deals and new product information to existing customers in a timely manner, , the more return customers you’ll acquire. Our latest data report breaks down just how important customer loyalty is to your business, including key takeaways on how you can improve your loyalty rate.

Make checkout easy.
More shoppers abandon their shopping carts than actually purchase items. Sixty eight percent of shoppers to be exact. Be sure to include all costs upfront because when shoppers abandon a cart, 56% of the time it’s because they are presented with unexpected costs.

While a lot goes into building a branded eCommerce site, your main focus should be on making the customer experience so seamless that the user has no reason to leave the site prior to making a purchase. The cost of eCommerce solutions, like Shopify Plus orMagento, are worth the investment for the guidance and reliability they provide in helping you implement user-friendly, search optimized websites.

Additionally, when choosing a payment system for your online store, it’s best to go with something reputable. You wouldn’t want to lose a customer at the very end of their buying process because they didn’t feel comfortable entering their credit card information on your site. Build trust with your customers by offering known online payment options, like PayPal, at check-out.

Positive Customer Experience = Free Marketing
What is the impact of a positive, seamless customer experience on your bottom line? Free marketing. You have brand advocates and you may not even realize it. Every time  a happy customer that tells others about your brand in person, in an online review, or through their social channels, you are receiving free word-of-mouth marketing. According to Nielsen,84% of consumers always or sometimes take action based on personal recommendations, and 70% said they’d behave the same when it came to online consumer opinions.The more positive experiences you create the more new customers you’ll attract. You can also leverage those customer advocates with a referral program to encourage even more sharing of your brand and products across channels.

These four tips only scratch the surface of what it takes to craft a seamless customer experience. We deep dive into these topics, including how to build a five-star support team, in our latest Ultimate Guide to Scaling Your Retail Business chapter.

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