The world of ecommerce is huge and growing, with new merchants launching a store every day. To put a number to it, there are now over 1 million Shopify merchants! With so much competition in your market, how can you set yourself apart from the crowd? Our answer - developing a really great customer experience. Just as you have many competitors, customers have many choices with regard to where they spend their cash, so they look for the best of the best, and for many, the deciding factor comes down to the experience on offer.
Today we’re going to look at five things you can do to craft a great customer experience that will attract new customers, and keep them coming back for more.
#1 - Build a website that’s fast and easy to navigate
It all starts with your website, and if your site is running slow or it isn’t responsive where it should be then customers will look elsewhere. Look at your top landing pages for your site and declutter them, looking for images that need resized or elements that could be cut. Your biggest page is likely to be your homepage.
If you want more in-depth info about how you can improve your site speed, check out our previous blog about Lighthouse.
Have a clear, succinct, and eye-catching homepage
For many, it’s tempting to try and get as much on the homepage as possible to try and communicate the brand to new customers, but the best option is actually to cut back. Your homepage should be able to quickly communicate your brand, products, and value proposition so that customers can quickly understand what your site is all about. Use high quality, eye-catching imagery, and succinct copy. Check out Commerce Tea’s episode on breaking down the homepage for a deeper dive into your homepage content.
Streamline your checkout process
If it takes an age to checkout on your store, customers will drop off. Go through the purchasing process step-by-step and look for any friction that you could improve upon. The easier it is to get to checkout, the better the experience for your customers.
#2 - Use clear and engaging product pages
Your homepage gives customers a preview of what you do, but your product pages are where you really have an opportunity to clinch the sale. Here’s what you’re going to need to really add to the customer experience:
High Quality Visual Content
Notice we didn’t just say photography? That’s because you can do a lot with the visual content on a product page from photos to videos, 3D models, diagrams, and more. Work out what visual content would really interest your customers – for example, if you sell apparel, consider a video to show how the garment moves when worn, and if you sell earphones show a diagram or 3D model to demonstrate some of the technical aspects. Make it engaging and interactive for the customer to really explore your products.
It sounds obvious to say “have a clear call-to-action” but you’d be surprised how often this goes under the radar. Look at the placement, color, and wording of your call-to-action. Pick a color within your brand’s color scheme that pops, and make sure that the placement is in an easy-to-find part of the product page. You don’t want to lose a sale because a customer gave up hunting for your checkout button! If you’re using accelerated checkout buttons such as Apple Pay and Google Pay, make sure customers can easily spot the difference between your Add to Cart button and the accelerated checkout button.
Shipping and Returns Info
Consumers appreciate it when a brand is transparent about their shipping and returns information. Displaying your shipping rates and times on the product page means customers don’t have to wait until checking out to find out how much their order is going to cost. Make the process easy for your customers and then even if they make a return, they’ll be likely to make a purchase again at a later date because they know you’ll give them great customer service if they need it.
#3 - Create compelling, community led content
Your content on social media should be led by what your customers need and want. Think about why your customers buy your products, not just why you want them to buy them. Look at who your main audiences are, what they’re interested in, other brands they buy from, and why they might buy from you. From there, develop content with those customers at the heart of it. This might be working with influencers that they’re interested in, writing blogs or collaborating on some photo or video content involving your products and what they do best, which will in turn pique the interest of your customers.
Another way to create community led content is to use the content your customers create. User Generated Content is a powerful tool - your customers can see real people with your products not just a carefully styled model on a website. Run photo contests and feature some of the photos in email marketing and on social media. You want to show customers that you care about including and involving them in your content and brand.
#4 - Personalize wherever possible
We’re at a point now with social media, search engine advertising, and email marketing where you can really personalize the promoted content your potential customers see. Make sure you’ve got your store connected with whatever social media and email marketing platforms you’re using and personalize ads and content wherever possible. Use store data to personalize product recommendations and promotions so your customers see products that are relevant to them.
#5 - Engage customers regularly
Your relationship with your customers and their experience doesn’t just end when they click “Pay Now”– it carries on way past the point where they even receive their order. You want to continue to show your customers that you care about their opinions and feelings regarding your products and brand. Set up automated email workflows that continue to get in touch with customers with personalized recommendations for new products based on what they’ve previously bought. You can also send exclusive promotions to your most valued customers. Send newsletter style emails on a regular basis with engaging, interesting content to show your customers mean more to you than just making a sale.
Our last article goes more in-depth about engaging existing customers, have a read here.