Why the time is now to empower customers to self-serve with digital guidance
Digital options have been crucial for consumers to continue the activities of daily life under lockdown. COVID-19 has forced consumers to rapidly adjust their shopping habits. It’s not surprising that the National Retail Federation estimates retail sales will actually rise to $656 billion and online sales to jump to $117 billion this year. U.S. consumers added an additional $40 billion in online holiday shopping sales over November and December 2020 — a level of eCommerce engagement that wasn’t expected to hit until 2024.
Customers are clearly still buying during the pandemic’s uncertainty; and because there’s higher eCommerce volumes, it means even more people are also struggling to complete purchases online. Beyond eroding customer satisfaction and a company’s brand reputation, bad customer experiences can have a direct bottom line impact. To actually maintain growth into the new year, businesses must innovate the digital experience by being proactive. Being proactive means anticipating customer needs before they even realize they have a question. A proactive snippet of information provided at the point of hesitation keeps the customer on track.
The Need for Innovative Customer Guidance
An estimated 42 percent of eCommerce customers have attempted an online transaction that they were unable to complete it, and when encountering a struggle online, 62 percent of customers have abandoned the shopping experience altogether. Companies need to make every dollar and purchase count now before customers actually have the post-pandemic choice to go to a storefront or stay online. If businesses can’t be there for customers when they struggle online, it’s time to change the way they do things.
Insights Must Be Actionable to Be Valuable
Sure, a majority of companies are investing in multichannel experiences, but as companies attempt to mitigate customer struggle, they must pinpoint the specific struggles customer have and address them proactively. Current analytics solutions can provide basic insights, but too often are not accompanied by actionable next steps to address real issues.
Digital is driving the customer preference out of convenience during the pandemic. But many frustrated consumers can easily take their purchase power elsewhere if companies cannot seamlessly guide them through the online experience. In fact, a majority of consumers that encounter customer experience problems do jump to a competitor.
Innovate Now for Your Future Digital Customers
Being able to solve customer struggle will drive your digital maturity to the next level, ensuring you meat goals and that you acquire and retain customers.
One increasingly attractive option here is AI-powered solutions that deliver immediate action. Identifying where and why customers struggle in the course of their online journey can gain easy-to-understand insights. It also enables proactive guidance so that customers can complete their tasks without the need to reach out for help.
Eventually the pandemic will come to an end. Customers will expect the best experience regardless of whether they make a purchase in-store or online. Businesses that don’t choose the right digital innovation will be left behind. By embracing innovative solutions that help customers directly, decision-makers will be able to deliver quantifiable results that ultimately give those organizations a competitive advantage post-pandemic.