The user experience has become an important differentiator for companies engaging with customers online. Customers are no longer willing to put up with clunky, complex processes to complete their online purchases. And, with recent lockdowns and social-distancing measures encouraging more people to do their shopping online, consumers are savvier than ever. This makes an organisation’s digital presence a key component in eCommerce success.
Customer expectations have been rising steadily as organisations get better at delivering frictionless experiences. Developing a strong online relationship with the customer is a crucial part of doing business in the digital era. Businesses must invest in an omnichannel experience that delivers connection and consistency across all devices, platforms, and channels. This is the only way to compete successfully.
There are three key elements making up the eCommerce experience:
- Brand assets including messaging and visuals.
- Platforms that power shopping including technology integrations.
- External customer touchpoints such as social media or email marketing.
It’s essential to consider all three elements together to create a cohesive experience aligned to strategic objectives.
The process starts with an understanding of the customer journey and how the business can address customer needs and pain points. This should underpin a process of continuous development to ensure ongoing excellence and avoid stagnation.
Technology is the lynchpin that determines the success or otherwise of an eCommerce offering. It’s important to think beyond sales and include every aspect of the customer’s experience. A digital experience platform (DXP) helps deliver a smooth and consistent customer experience across all channels.
A robust and powerful DXP lets companies develop strong marketing assets and back these up with fast loading times, easy website navigation and strong security. This lets businesses strengthen their relationship with customers, upsell and cross-sell more effectively, offer advanced payment options, and individualise the user’s experience.
Businesses can also use the information gathered by the DXP to understand customer behaviour and trends, tailoring offers and campaigns accordingly.
We recently worked with a beauty services client to improve and automate the organisation’s bookings and online sales, removing the need for bookings to be done over the phone or in-person. Data analytics are delivering insights that have resulted in new offerings such as the ability to book multiple sessions at once for the same treatment. As a result, the business has dramatically increased its sales figures and profit, has higher customer retention rates, and has freed up internal staff members to focus on servicing customers.
Businesses looking to recover strongly from COVID-19 should consider implementing or upgrading their eCommerce capabilities. Working with an experienced and knowledgeable partner is crucial to ensure a strong return on investment and a successful project.
Kevin Miller, head of digital & experience design, Empired