How To Improve Customer Experience
Contrary to what a lot of the get-rich-quick crowd would have you believe, running an e-commerce store is not a simple task. One of the toughest parts of running an e-commerce store is dealing with eager customers who are unsure of their order’s status or have been waiting for a reply to their simple question for three days. Well here are seventeen things you, the e-commerce merchant, can do to delight your customers and avoid those unpleasant situations that your precious customers might face.
1. Focus on the customer experience
Customers want answers to their questions and they want them fast. Good customer service is really important. Customers who receive bad customer service from an online store are left irritated and unsatisfied. Moreover, they highly unlikely to return. E-retailers must ensure that they provide a positive experience to encourage repeated business. Nothing can be more frustrating to customers than not finding basic information about products, shipping information, return policies, refunds etc. Make sure your website is user-friendly and contains detailed product pages that always have thorough product descriptions with images.
2. Offer free delivery
Free shipping is a crowd favourite. It is simply must for your e-commerce site. Customers do not like to pay for shipping costs. Free shipping is something they expect at every online store now-a-days. And it becomes a real big mood spoiler if after filling up their cart they do not find the option of free shipping. If such is the case, it does not take them even few seconds to move to a different shopping site.
3. Help your customers help themselves
Educate your customers! Ask yourself: what are my customers’ support needs? What would I want if I had been in his/her place? A searchable FAQs section that covers every conceivable question will enable customers to get answers more quickly and take the pressure off customer service staff. Make sure you make all kind of information that a customer can need available on your website which can be easily accessed. This will make customer’s experience much better and also reduce the load on your customer care service.
Asking customers for feedback shows them that you value their opinion. The key metrics to focus on are repurchase / renewal intentions, as well as ‘referrability’. On top of this make sure you watch what’s going on offsite by monitoring your reputation, and by getting involved in the discussion, wherever it takes place.
5. Make sure your site runs smoothly
The people have become impatient. They want things to be quick. Service providers all over the world are aiming to make things fast. “The faster, the better’ has become the motto of today. The same is expected of your e-commerce website. A fast loading, functional ecommerce site means your customers are more likely to stay on your site and click around. They will only browse your products if they appear within reasonable time and reasonable time, nowadays, means amazingly fast. It is possible to decrease the page load time with the help of some tips and tricks. Fast loading time provides a superior user experience and improves the overall quality of the site.
6. Send Emailers
Timely emails are extremely important. Order receipt, payment confirmation, shipping confirmation, warnings about any order changes, post-sale thank you / ‘how was it for you?’ emails. Make it personal. Reassure your customers.
7. Make it easy for customers to get in touch
Customers may have a query that isn’t covered by the information available on the site. Customers may want to call customer service departments, so make sure you provide them with a number. Also provide them with an email alternative. Many-a-times, customers have to wait 2-3 days before their emails are answered. This is not good enough, especially during the festive season when customers need to know when their goods are arriving. Also offer live chat on your website which is getting popular among the customers these days.
8. Meet expectations
Mistakes are bound to happen, but it is important to deal with them well and exceed customers’ expectations. For example, if you fail to deliver an item, then don’t just apologize for the error, but offer the item discounted or free of charge.
10. Be cool about returns.
Display your returns policy prominently. Consider allowing customers to return goods offline, even if they bought them online. Pay postage costs. Nobody likes having to return goods, but if you reduce the headache factor it will help encourage further purchases.
9. Make your interface sexier
A presentable and good looking website will obviously be more attractive to the customers. After all, “Jo dikhta hai, wahi bikta hai.”
10. Include videos
Using videos on your e-commerce store has become must today or you will be missing out on your sales. Videos are the next best thing to touching or feeling a product, and what’s more they help you talk about the benefits of using a particular product. Integrating product videos can give you the much required edge to improve user engagement as well as conversion.
11. Make your website mobile friendly
An essential investment these days, with the large number of online shoppers who use their phone to make purchases, is optimizing your e-commerce website for mobile devices.
12. Ratings and reviews benefit business
It is essential for every e-commerce websites to encourage reviews because more and more customers rely on the opinions and experiences of other shoppers when making their purchasing decisions. Ratings and reviews have the power to reach a larger audience and be more influential (and less expensive at the same time) than conventional marketing methods.
13. Keep inventory up to date to avoid back orders
It is in everyone’s best interest to keep your inventory up to date. In the unfortunate event that a customer orders something that you no longer have in stock, the customer loses because you have their money and they don’t have the item they ordered. Your company loses because that customer will inevitably become annoyed and make sure everyone who follows them on Twitter and Facebook knows that your company took their money. Things might not get that bad, but at the very least, they’ll be much less likely to buy from you in the future. You can avoid this kind of headache by making sure you have an effective inventory management system in place. A good inventory management tool will help you maintain accurate inventory levels and avoid these unpleasant stock-out situations.
14. Detailed product information and images
Great product description is not just about the kind of information that you offer, but also the way you offer that information. It must be complete, interesting and engaging. Having detailed descriptions and is very essential for your online store. Also, images of your products are equally important. High resolution product images that showcase the products in all their glory are an absolute must. Shoppers want to know what they are getting, so give them what they want. Zoomable product images taken from different angles are also a great conversion booster. Customers are not going to buy a product they know barely about or have barely seen. It is very important to include as much detail as possible about each product. The more the customer knows, the more likely it is he will proceed with the purchase of items from your site.
15. Less distractions
There are plenty of ecommerce sites where there are product ads on the checkout page or links to the company’s blog or something else. Shoppers don’t like to be distracted and might abandon the cart if they find certain elements interfering with their shopping experience. So, in your website’s checkout process, only offer the order information and nothing else.
16. Impressive start page
Apart from logo, customers get the first impression from the start page. It’s really advisable that you place the most popular products of your store here. This will give people a signal that they can find really popular goods here. Another strategy you can choose for the start page is putting top-class products on it. This will create an image of a really serious store dealing with major brands and high quality products.
Trustmarks are small images or symbols that show a security guarantee by an external party (like McAfee) demonstrating that it is safe to shop on the site. These accreditation certificates give customers a sense of security confidence in inputting their private information. Visitors would be more inclined to make a purchase if they know that their payment specifics are safe. Apart from trustmarks, a clear design, convenient menus, detailed product descriptions and user reviews are also important for creating better online reputation. Just be aware that trust plays an important role in a customer’s willingness to part with their money.