A Better e-Commerce Experience: Pumping up Your Customer’s Pulse


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Customer PulseCustomer PulseBusinesses are all about the numbers. From in-store to online, the customer experience is becoming more of a focus for small businesses and marketers as they begin to see the impact it has on their customers’ decision process and their business’s bottom line. The “UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper” study, conducted by comScore, looked at what elements of the online shopping customer experience drive brand preference, customer loyalty, and recommendations. Whether your e-Commerce site sells bikinis or software, here are things you’ll want to keep in mind and practical tips you can take to move forward.

The Trends of e-Commerce

Online retailers aren’t going anywhere and e-Commerce is still on the rise. Year after year, online retail spending continues to increase. comScore found that in 2012, retail e-Commerce spending in the U.S. surged 15% to reach $186 billion, its second consecutive year of growth in the mid-teens. Mobile devices and social media are causing an online shopping experience shift. Consumers are becoming more mobile and it’s up to online retailers to tailor their site and offerings to these customers. Mobile shopping features, such as location-enabled coupons or a mobile app, are a must for businesses looking to reach omnichannel shoppers. If your business has a brick-and-mortar, location-enabled coupons through social media can help your e-Commerce store boost in-store sales and build a stronger online brand and presence. Key e-Commerce trends, aside from its growth, are the influence of mobile, social and how businesses cater to those users.

A Better Purchase Process

In order to drive repeat customers and build stronger brand loyalty, e-Commerce businesses need to exceed the expectations of their customers. A better purchase process can reduce the number of abandoned shopping carts and increase customer retention numbers. When the shipping cost is the most common reason that people abandon their shopping carts, you should be taking a look at how you can provide better shipping options and information to reduce cart abandonment rates. People want online retailers to provide estimated delivery date and shipping costs early in the checkout process so they don’t have to enter all their information before finding out the shipping cost and delivery date. If possible, offering in-store pick up is one option you should consider as 38% of online shoppers have selected “ship to store” on a past purchase have purchased other items while in the store for pickup. Consider where it is in the purchase process that you’re losing customers and evaluate how you can target those weaker purchase points for a better customer experience.

Improving the Post-Purchase Experience

Even though no business wants to have customers returning their products, returns are inevitable. Returns are currently an area of low-satisfaction for many online shoppers, but your business can stand out from the crowd if you provide a better post-purchase experience, including how you handle returns. When asked about what drives their likelihood to shop with a retailer, 62% cited the ability to be able to buy online and then make returns in a store. After the initial purchase, what actions is your customer likely to take? Because the experience doesn’t stop at checkout, e-Commerce businesses need to re-evaluate the post-purchase experiences they are currently offering customers. Are you making the return process easy and accessible and are you thanking your customers for choosing your business?

In order to pump up the pulse of your online shopper, evaluate how your business is using social media and reaching mobile shoppers. Spend some time evaluating your purchase process to find the areas that need improvement in order to reduce abandoned carts and increase conversions. In an analysis of Amazon, Business.com notes that a one-step checkout can reduce your cart abandonment rate. Because the experience doesn’t start there, consider the possible post-purchase actions your customer could take and how your business can better enhance those experiences.

(Image Source: freedigitalphotos.net)


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