01 Aug How to Build a Customer-Centric Ecommerce Store
Ecommerce world… A lot of competition!
First of all, let us tell You that, right now, You are going to read some facts and situations that maybe will become You really skeptical about creating an ecommerce but, don’t panic! With help with apps like Clever ecommerce, everything will be more simple.
Did you know that 96% of U.S. customers have made at least one online purchase, while 80% of them buy online monthly?
Given these figures, it’s not surprising that online sales are expected to double in the period between 2016 and 2020.
For you as an online retailer, this means lots of competition.
According to Gartner, in 2019, almost 90% of businesses will compete mainly on customer satisfaction.
Therefore, to maintain a competitive advantage in the overcrowded digital landscape, you need to focus on building a customer-centric ecommerce strategy.
Here are a few tips that may help you.
Provide Omnichannel Customer Support
According to Microsoft, 96% of online consumers say that the quality of customer support determines whether they would make a purchase.
The hyperconnected era has changed the way people communicate with businesses. Instead of filling out contact forms or making phone calls, they’re now increasingly using chat, IM platforms, and direct messaging on social networks to connect with your brand.
Moreover, they expect you to get back to them across multiple channels, in real-time. Here are a few customer service channels you should use:
- FAQ pages: stats show that many customers prefer self-service over connecting with live customer support. This is where having a solid FAQ page can help. Include all the frequently asked questions and make sure you provide detailed answers and valuable links.
- Use live chat support to humanize customer interactions. Consider combining live chat with AI chatbots on your site or social accounts. This is a great way to ensure that your customers get 24/7 customer support, even when your customer service reps clock off.
- Add a simple and mobile-friendly contact form to your website.
- Be available on social networks. Apart from answering direct messages, use social media monitoring tools to track your brand mentions and provide instant feedback.
Most importantly, don’t forget the golden customer service rule – no matter which channel you use to interact with customers, always be calm and kind with them.
Optimize the Checkout Process
One of the major problems online retailers face is poor conversion rates, as well as the rising shopping cart abandonment. The reasons for that are multiple and one of them is not optimized checkout pages. Namely, to convert a lead into a customer, you need to provide them with the information and help needed to make wise buying decisions.
Focus on the layout of the checkout page.
- For starters, simplify the checkout process by adding easily visible checkout buttons both to the top and bottom of the page.
- Include security seals and credit card logos. With the rising cybersecurity risks, this is a key step towards gaining customers’ trust.
- Pack the entire checkout process onto a single page and ask customers for only those details you really need.
- Most importantly, don’t force a customer to register when making a purchase. Let them complete an order and then ask them to provide some basic information so they can track their order.
Share product details transparently.
Now that you’ve created a seamless checkout page, you need to be honest with your customers and offer realistic product information.
- For example, write a detailed product summary. Just adding a product or brand name is not enough for a customer to make a buying decision. They will want to know more about the size, weight, color, and customization options of the product.
- Let them know whether the item is available right now.
- Recommend products related to the one they bought. For example, if a customer bought a diving mask, why not recommend the underwater camera or a snorkel? This is an amazing up-selling opportunity.
- Provide a customer with detailed shipping information. Most importantly, tell them what their order number is and let them know how they can connect with you for further information.
Optimize payment options.
According to the World Trade Organization, 90% of global trade is based on some form of trade finance.
Namely, selling online allows you to connect with customers from all across the globe. However, to get them to buy from you, you need to optimize your payment methods. Therefore, trade finance includes all financial instruments that ensure frictionless international transactions.
To meet the needs of a wider number of customers, you need to diversify your payment options. Not everyone wants to use their credit card or cash when making purchases. In this case, offering payments via PayPal, Google Checkout, Amazon Payments, etc. will increase their satisfaction noticeably.
Personalize User Experiences
SalesForce says that 62% of online customers expect online stores to provide personalized offers. A great majority of them is even eager to pay more and share their sensitive information to receive relevant deals and offers.
What does personalization mean in ecommerce marketing?
For starters, you could offer targeted product recommendations. Track each customer’s behavior on your site and interactions with it to learn more about their preferences. Based on their searches and purchases, create product recommendations that meet their preferences. This is a great way to up-sell your product by offering products that have some additional features and are higher in price.
Big ecommerce brands also leverage geo-targeting. Namely, they detect customers’ location so they can provide them with relevant product offers and correct pricing and shipping information.
Collect Customer Feedback and Use It Strategically
To build a customer-centric online store, you first need to collect customer feedback regularly. There are numerous ways to do so:
- Listen to them on social networks.
- Observe their interactions on Q&A platforms.
- Use your keyword research tools to find out what they’re searching for.
- Send out post-purchase surveys.
- Encourage customer reviews both on your site and social networks.
- Pay attention to their frequently asked questions and live chat conversations.
This way, you will understand their major needs, preferences, and main points. Above all, you will learn what they like or not about your site and be able to improve their experiences in the future.
Alternatively, turn online reviews, customer testimonials, and user-generated content to your advantage. Use them on your homepage, product pages, or checkout page to engage audiences and build trust with them.
A user-centric online store is what sets you apart from the sea of similar businesses. It lets you build stronger relationships with your target customers, inspire them to buy from you and, most importantly, get them to come back to you again and again.
Now that you know everything you need to build a customer-centric ecommerce store, we recommend you read this post about 6 old fashioned tips for excellent customer service.
Raul Harman, editor in chief at Technivorz blog.
He has a lot to say about innovations in all aspects of digital technology and online marketing.
You can reach him out on Twitter.