Last year’s events compelled certain consumer categories to buy online across product categories. ECommerce will continue to grow, thanks to its convenience and accessibility. Brands have noticed and are re-assessing their web strategies to ensure that they’re providing an optimal experience for customers.
As an established digital agency in the Ecommerce industry, The Good Marketer sat down and provided some insights into what exactly customers are expecting from Ecommerce brands at the moment, and why it’s changing. This, of course, is an interesting glimpse into the mind of the modern consumer.
Some key findings
Recently, a survey of 1000 US customers was conducted, which gave some key initial findings that provide another interesting glimpse into the elements and factors that come into play when in-market users are moving from consideration to conversion stages.
- 78% of respondents expect a website to be easy to navigate
- 71% expect websites to load quickly
- 68% expect websites to have a wide selection of products
- 61% expect a website to be engaging and fun to use
- 57% expect a site to have a beautiful design
- 45% expect checkout is easy
- 41% anticipate an order will arrive within two days
- 30% want features like personalized recommendations, product reviews, wish lists and more.
So, with this in mind, how can digital marketers achieve these expectations? Let’s go through this:
1. Convenience and value for money
Let’s start with convenience. Customers expect a convenient shopping experience, and this could be obvious. However, there are many ways that eCommerce brands can offer an even better website experience for their customers while also taking into account the changing ways in which people shop online. Consumers want to get what they need quickly and efficiently.
In other words, they want to feel like they’re in control of their purchase. If a website is difficult to navigate, customers will likely be frustrated and abandon their purchase.
The best eCommerce brands make it easy for customers to find what they’re looking for. They showcase their products in an attractive and organized way, making it simple for shoppers to add items to their carts and check out. They also offer promotions and discounts that make it affordable to shop online. In a world where people are increasingly price-conscious, eCommerce brands need to offer value for money.
Personalized recommendations, experiences, and product offerings are the most impactful ways to show that you understand your customers.
Review your data to identify customer segments and their needs, then craft unique messaging, product assortments, and experiences for each. Automated marketing can help by delivering personalized content in real-time, but it’s important to ensure that the overall customer experience is still human-led. So use AI where necessary, but don’t rely on it.
3. Interactivity, adaptability and insights to help customers buy smarter
Customers are never 100% sure about their purchase decisions until they’ve bought the product and had time to try it out. A great way for eCommerce brands to show that they’re committed to customer satisfaction is by offering interactive product pages and post-purchase insights, and customer service.
This could include 360 product views, zoom features, video demonstrations, user reviews and ratings, social media sharing, and the ability to save products for later. Interactive product pages make it easy for customers to gather all the information they need before making a purchase decision.
Once they’ve purchased, eCommerce brands should provide post-purchase insights such as order tracking, returns and refunds, and customer service contact information. This will help customers feel confident that they’ve made the right decision and that they can easily get in touch if something goes wrong.
4. A frictionless checkout experience
“A third of customers say they’ve abandoned a purchase because the checkout process was too complicated.” – Baymard
The checkout process is the last hurdle customers have to clear before becoming loyal brand advocates. This is why it’s so important to make sure that it’s as simple and smooth as possible.
There are many ways to achieve this, such as reducing the number of steps required to complete a purchase, using one-page checkout, and providing guest checkout. You can also make it easier for customers to pay by offering various payment options, including PayPal, Apple Pay, and Android Pay. Finally, ensure that your website is optimized for mobile devices, as many customers prefer to buy online on their mobile phones.
5. Personalized customer experience and support
“A quarter of customers expect brands to offer personalized experiences.” – Accenture
Customer service is an area where eCommerce brands often fall short, simply because they don’t have the resources or technical capabilities to offer a human-to-human interaction. However, this doesn’t mean you can afford not to have a customer service system in place.
One way that eCommerce brands meet customer expectations is by offering self-service solutions, including FAQs and online product manuals. You can also create an interactive knowledge base where customers can search for their own answers before contacting your customer service team. Finally, give your customer service team the tools they need to improve efficiencies and handle product inquiries, returns and refunds quickly and effectively.
Offering a personalized customer experience is another area where eCommerce brands can excel. Personalized content, including email campaigns, product recommendations, website experiences, etc., enhances the overall customer experience by showing that you truly understand each customer’s individual needs. In addition, providing a personalized post-purchase experience can help you build lasting customer relationships and win brand advocates.
6. Being highly accessible from any device
“Nearly two-thirds of customers say that if they cannot conduct a transaction via mobile, they will use another channel.” – Demandware
The rise in mobile shopping is one of the most important trends in eCommerce today. Over two-third of digital buyers are smartphone users, and many people shop on their phones at least once a day.
This means that your website needs to be responsive or mobile-optimized so customers can use it when they’re out and about. In addition, it provides the ability to browse and purchase your products on mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets. This way, customers can make purchases at any time, anywhere.
Accommodating mobile users doesn’t stop with customer experience; you also need to accommodate mobile search engines, which can often index mobile-optimized websites in a fraction of the time it takes to index desktop sites.
7. Offering an easy returns policy
“About half of all customers say they would shop more online if returns were easier.” – Accenture
If you can reduce the number of reasons someone might return to your website, you’ll win customer loyalty and improved conversion rates. One way to help do this is by having a generous returns policy in place.
Nearly half of all customers say they would shop more online if returns were easier. This is because many customers are hesitant to purchase items online if they’re not sure they can easily return them if they don’t fit or dislike them.
Make sure your returns policy is easy to find on your website and that you provide clear instructions on how to return an item. In addition, they offer a variety of shipping options for returns so that customers can choose the most convenient one for them.
8. Transparency and trust
“A majority of customers say they would be more likely to shop with an eCommerce retailer if it were more transparent about where and how its products are made.” – Demandware
In an age where information is readily available, customers want to know as much as they can about the products they’re considering purchasing. This includes where and how the products are made.
Most customers say they would be more likely to shop with an eCommerce retailer if it were more transparent about where and how its products are made. This is because customers want to feel confident that they support ethical and sustainable businesses.
Make sure your website includes information about your company’s values and the origins of your products. In addition, use social media to share photos and stories about your products and the people who make them. This will help build trust and transparency between you and your customers.
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