So, after long lockdowns and with a new type of consumer to appease, how can you ensure that shoppers will still gravitate towards your online store over the competition?
Yes, product and pricing are still important ingredients – but, a great customer experience is the secret sauce (chef’s kiss). 74% of consumers are at least somewhat likely to buy from brands based on experiences alone and those experiences now need to transcend on and offline, across sales, marketing, and support – but don’t feel overwhelmed! Here are 5 ways e-commerce companies can improve their customer experience:
- Act on customer feedback
- Maintain an omnichannel customer experience
- Prioritize meaningful customer engagement
- Supercharge your support
- Optimize your checkout process
Act on customer feedback
Unsure where to start optimizing your customer experience strategy? Your customers can help. They are, after all, the experts in what they want and need. If you’re looking to make some quick improvements that will go a long way, surveys and reviews will help you to address obvious pain points. But, acting on collected feedback is easier said than done… Right?
“Customers get to enjoy a fully personalized experience while providing you with CX nourishing feedback”
Not anymore! With Intercom Surveys, customer feedback helps you to continuously optimize your business in simple and efficient ways – so from lead capture through to onboarding, NPS, product feedback, and churn, survey insights will help you learn and scale. Surveys happen in context (as the user is engaging with your product or service), creating a real-time feedback loop, where customer input continuously optimizes how the business operates and expands. For example, you can create messaging campaigns based on customers’ answers, personalize support content, and more. This means they get to enjoy a fully personalized experience while providing you with CX nourishing feedback.
You could even incentivize survey participation as a little extra nudge – 75% of consumers say they favor companies that offer rewards, so this is a great way to encourage loyalty and create a fun feedback experience. Rybbon is a digital rewards management solution that you can integrate within your Messenger chat conversations – with just a few clicks, you can send a reward via chat, creating a sense of enjoyment and continuous site improvement that keeps them coming back to our online store.
Maintain an omnichannel customer experience
Customers have very much gotten used to hybrid environments since the pandemic. Therefore, customer experiences should reflect that – whether that’s in-store, online, on social media or elsewhere. Omnichannel strategies bring offline, desktop, mobile, tablet, and any other relevant channel together for one, holistic experience. Marketing, sales and support should be accessible on all channels to create a cohesive experience no matter how or where a customer reaches out.
For example, 65% of social media users expect brands to respond on those channels, in the same way they would if they inquired on your website. With Intercom, you can streamline customer query messages across all of your key digital channels so that your team can read, manage, and respond to messages all from one Inbox instead of jumping between tools and channels. Regardless of the channel, you can rest assured all queries are picked up and data is kept all in one place for a clear view of your customers’ experiences. Social commerce continues to gain traction, with 82% of shoppers discovering products on social media and buying them directly from their smart phone. When customers can engage directly with brands about queries and complete transactions without leaving the app, it allows for truly seamless experiences.
“A consistent, transparent journey means a very positive experience for your customers”
This same focus on seamless continuity should also be applied to your customers’ individual orders. With Persistent Cart, your customers’ carts will stay in tact even when they switch to a different device. Not only that, but cart abandonment can be greatly minimized with other features such as abandoned cart emails and exit intent pop-ups – helpful consistency for your customer equals increased conversion rates for your business.
But what about the post-purchase experience? The ability to track orders is a must for 70% of online shoppers today. With Intercom, you can connect the Shopify app, allowing customers to check their order status right inside the Messenger. A consistent, transparent journey means a very positive experience for your customers.
Prioritize meaningful customer engagement
Effective engagement stems from adapting to behaviors, personalized interactions, and reaching out in context. Businesses need to send the right messages, to the right users, at the right time and on the right channel, to get the desired outcome. This involves a messaging strategy that is consistent and truly resonates with customers.
Product Tours are a great way to set your customer on a joyful path to purchase. For example, you can welcome customers with a friendly face by adding video pointers to your Product Tour. Customers can enjoy a personal and personalized experience as you direct their attention to a specific website element.
“Target customers based on how they’ve interacted with your website, learn what motivates them to shop with you, and use these insights to tailor their experience”
Okay, your customer has been warmly welcomed – how do you maintain that momentum? True personalization is only achieved when your site becomes reactive to their behaviors. Say for example you run an online cosmetics business – when was the last time they bought your skincare range? Are they due to order a refill?
Integrating with a data enrichment tool such as Amplitude can help provide you with these deeper insights. Target customers based on how they’ve interacted with your website, learn what motivates them to shop with you, and use these insights to tailor their experience.
You can also channel those insights to reach out in personalized ways that minimize disruption to their session. For example, with Transactional Messaging you can engage with your customer via a selection of message types – like push notifications, in-product messages, and banners. And, if you don’t quite have the words? Check out our guide on constructing messaging that truly speaks to and engages your audience.
Supercharge your support
Putting the power to self-serve in the hands of your customers is a great way to easily improve their experience. As CX expert Jay Baer told us on the Inside Intercom podcast;
“Information is an asset – if you create value for prospects, even if it’s not about your products or services, some of them will eventually reward you with their attention, loyalty, and money.”
Perfecting your FAQs and knowledge base articles will instantly increase the value customers get from your site. And, as customers want instantaneous reactions, automation will also quickly resolve repetitive questions, freeing up your team to deal with complex queries. For example, our Resolution Bot makes it even easier for customers to get the answers they need with training to recognize similar questions, and offering relevant information before a customer presses send.
Your content also needs to be relevant to each and every customer – no matter where they are. Operating across different markets can be tricky, but today, more than half of online shoppers are buying cross-border. With Intercom, you can flawlessly communicate with your customers, wherever they may be. We support multi-language live chat, emails, and articles to name but a few – and we’re building on supporting new languages everyday! Forget broken languages or culture shocks – your customers’ experience is in context and relevant to them.
Optimize your checkout process
So far we’ve made a special effort to ensure each engagement along the customer journey nourishes your customers path to purchase – and now we’ve reached the major hurdle. The checkout.
“More than half of customers will close that tab if they have to enter credit card or shipping information more than once”
There are a number of factors at the checkout that can cause your consumers to abandon ship – or in this case, carts. Not only will 34% of shoppers do so if they are forced to create an account, but more than half will close that tab if they have to enter credit card or shipping information more than once.
Timely, curated, in-app messages and Banners can be used to create an account when they arrive at your website, removing that last minute disruption from their intent to purchase. Using apps such as ChargeDesk, you can also support payments from PayPal, WooCommerce, Stripe, and other trusted payment providers – plus you can quickly invoice new customers and collect payments right from the Intercom Inbox.
Speaking of trusted payment providers, today, some 17% of online shoppers abandon their shopping carts because they don’t trust the site with their credit card information. You can create a sense of security for your consumers by integrating with well-known providers such as Stripe, which is certified to PCI Service Provider Level 1. Not only that, but at Intercom we set a standard for protection that your customers can rely on – whether it’s payment details, personal information or otherwise. This is a great security indicator to your consumers that removes any hesitancies from their shopping path.
Small improvements can have the greatest effects
Improving your e-commerce CX doesn’t need to be a huge undertaking – sometimes it takes a little more research, other times needed improvements are blatantly obvious. What matters is that you think about your customer experience as deeply as you think about your product or your brand – because it has the power to be a major point of differentiation between you and your competitors. With Intercom, you can support and engage your customers with one single platform – from helping out to checking out.