3 Reasons Why Customer Experience in Your eCommerce Business is Terrible

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At first glance, the headline may make you want to turn away. You’re already thinking: “I handle and treat customer complaints well and effectively. Why read another post on improving customer experience?”

You’re entitled to your assertion of course, but that doesn’t make it right. In fact, it’s more likely that your customers do not agree with you. According to Bain, 80% of companies say they deliver superior customer service, but only 8% of people think these companies deliver superior customer service.

The proliferation of ecommerce stores selling similar products has made it more pertinent to differentiate your brand through providing excellent customer experience. According to Walker, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator by 2020. So investing in customer experience is a smart move now, and even more so in 2018.

Consider some simple reasons why your customers may feel your your brand’s customer experience should improve.

1.) Terrible/No Personalization

I’ve spoken with some ecommerce store owners who feel that personalization begins and ends with using a customer’s name in emails or other messages.

Sure, they’re right, but if you’re thinking that’s what personalization is all about, then you’re missing out on a lot. For example, a study by Janrain shows that 74% of users become frustrated when content such as offers, ads, and promotions isn’t relevant to them.

Imagine living in a West African country which isn’t exactly known for cold weather and seeing a pop-up offering 50% off on a winter suit in an ecommerce store. That sounds extreme, but sadly, it happens.

One way to improve personalization in that example above is using real-time info like location or time when making recommendations or offers in your store. That way, users do not see offers or recommendations inappropriate to them.

Other ways you can personalize offers and messages include:

  • Sending offers and messages based on personal information like birthdays
  • Making recommendations based on purchases of similar customers
  • Making recommendations based on customer feedback in surveys

You’re not limited to the examples above. Use your imagination and the data at your disposal for more ideas.

2.) Poor Choice of eCommerce Platform

It’s likely you’re doing the best you can, given the resources at your disposal to provide an excellent customer experience for your customers. And that is commendable. But could your use of some resources be limiting what you can do to help your customers?

Some ecommerce platforms may not have the ability to integrate with other software that can enhance your customers’ experience. Integrations don’t just make your customers’ lives easier, but they simplify your life too.

In the words of Kenny Kane in an article for BigCommerce:

“Taking good care of your customer doesn’t have to consume a large amount of your time. There are plenty of app solutions and integrations that can aid in processing customer inquiries in a timely manner, and let you get back to everything else.”

As a checklist, look at the factors below and consider how many influenced your choice of ecommerce platform for your business:

  • Load time
  • Mobile performance
  • SEO capabilities
  • Cost
  • Security features
  • Ease of use
  • Available payment options
  • Integrations

For further help in making your choice, this excellent infographic from the folks at Lodlois provides a superb side-by-side comparison of the top five ecommerce platforms.

You can do more personal research and read reviews online to help you choose a suitable ecommerce platform for your business. Or you can also ask for recommendations from others in the business, if you know any.

3.) Poor Site Usability

In most physical stores, products are labeled and arranged according to type. So ordinarily, you won’t expect to find mouthwash in a section for soap. It should be the same with your online store.

Realize that just like in a physical store, customers will be:

  • People who are just window-shopping (browsing) and not ready to buy
  • People who know what they want to buy already and know where to find it (probably repeat customers)
  • People who know what they want to buy but don’t know where or how to find it in the store

Sort out product search for your site. Make sure your tags, categories, and filters are in order.

Ensure your site loads fast, like less than three seconds fast. Ecommerce giant Amazon further discovered that they experienced a 1% decrease in sales for every 100 milliseconds of page load time on their site.

Now Amazon is a well-known brand and already has lots of loyal customers. You probably do not and may never have such luxury. So you don’t want to annoy your customers and make them opt for other brands. Because whatever you’re selling, there are probably hundreds or thousands of sites selling the same products.

Also, don’t forget to fix your site’s broken links, as that is equally frustrating. Maybe not as frustrating as waiting forever for a site to load, but frustrating all the same.

When you improve customers’ experience in your ecommerce business, you’ll make more money, and have more loyal customers, but that’s obvious.

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