With the rise of ecommerce over the last few years, customers are turning to the online world to fulfill their needs. With a global marketplace and a multitude of online options, ecommerce businesses need to look at how they can go above and beyond when it comes to meeting customer needs. From a clear website to easy checkout options, fast and free delivery, and customer service around the clock, here are some of the ways in which you can exceed new customer expectations and why it matters.
How Expectations Have Shifted
The pandemic has changed the world we live in and shaped the modern marketplace. According to SP Global, US ecommerce sales grew by a staggering 32.4% between 2019-2020. While this growth figure dipped slightly between 2020-2021, it is still expected to be on the rise over the next two years and beyond, with total sales hitting $1.056 trillion next year alone.
It means more people are shopping online than ever before and far from a flash in the pan, it’s a shift that’s here to stay. With the growth of online giants like Amazon, customers are expecting more from their online shopping experience. Fast delivery, multiple payment options, ease of site navigation, speedy loading times, and an omnichannel experience are considered standard practice now. If ecommerce brands fail to adapt to this new landscape, they risk being left behind.
Ideas for Encouraging Customer Loyalty
Encouraging new customers means setting your ecommerce site apart from the crowd. Customers will be drawn towards businesses that can give them what they need in a seamless and speedy fashion and by delivering more than just the basics, you can earn yourself customer loyalty.
Here are some ideas about how your ecommerce brand can go above and beyond and give customers a reason to choose you.
A great digital experience
One of the most important factors for ecommerce brands is to deliver a great digital experience. According to sitecore, 67% of customers will pay more for a great experience and 66% of people say that a frustrating website experience will negatively impact how they perceive a brand.
A few hallmarks of a great digital experience include:
- Ensuring your site has a fast load time
- Making your site easy to navigate
- Organising your products so they are easy to find
- Having a search option
- Making your site mobile friendly
- Providing a consistent experience across all channels
- Linking social media pages
- Clear contact information
- Keeping it simple
No roadblocks to buying
When it comes to online purchases, customers want to get from A to B clearly and without anything causing frustration along the way. As an ecommerce store, you should look to make your online buying process fast and simple for your customers.
Customers may be more likely to abandon their shopping carts if they need to sign up to become a member, fill in an extra form, provide too many details, or even join a mailing list. If you want to secure the sale and ensure customer satisfaction, you could reach out after the sale has been completed, rather than trying to lock your customers into sharing details and committing to signups on their first purchase.
Fast and free delivery
Amazon and Amazon Prime services have paved the way when it comes to customer expectations and ecommerce. With the big online giants offering fast and free delivery as standard, customers have become used to this level of service and have come to expect it from other online brands too.
Not only is free delivery expected but it’s also a good way for ecommerce brands to upsell, especially if there is a minimum price threshold to qualify for the service. This piece from Forbes highlights just how important free shipping is – a staggering 77% of shoppers have abandoned a purchase when they realised that the company offered unsatisfactory shipping options.
Multiple customer service options
Customers want to know they can reach out and connect with a human when they need to. While customers prefer speaking to an actual agent, chatbot services are a fast and convenient way to help customers feel like they are being assisted in the meantime.
Your customers will also prefer various options to reach your customer service – from direct phone lines to emails and even social media. By having various touch points to assist customers, you can build trust, prevent damage control when it comes to dissatisfied customers, and ensure that you provide a top-tier customer experience along the way.
Personalization is the pinnacle of great customer experience. An extraordinary 91% of consumers said they are more likely to shop with companies that recognize and remember them and provide them with relevant offers and deals. Personal marketing, relevant offers, targeted emails and newsletters all add to the customer experience and remind customers that they are more than just a number.
A seamless omnichannel experience
With 98% of Americans switching between devices in an average day, the omnichannel experience is essential now more than ever . A huge 90% of customers also expect a consistent experience across all channels. The omnichannel experience is your opportunity to go above and beyond as a brand and tie all the ends together to create a coherent journey from start to finish. Implementing a solid omnichannel strategy will allow all your touchpoints to work together and create a frictionless experience.
A creative edge
Shoppertainment is the latest buzzword when it comes to new trends in ecommerce marketing. You might already be delivering a seamless service and a frictionless buying experience, but you can go one step further by offering creative and immersive interactions with your brand.
A study by Nielson found that 83% of TikTok users prefer video ads. We’re in the era of moving imagery, interactive screens, and viral memes, and creative thinking brands can make use of that. Shoppertainment can take on many different forms – from tik tok and instagram videos to live streaming, gaming, and influencer marketing – it’s about showcasing your brand and your products in a way that engages, excites, and connects.
Brand transparency drives customer trust and in the 21st century, it’s also a driving force behind how people pick the companies they want to spend time with. Sustainable shopping and ethical practice could be the mark that makes all the difference when it comes to a customer choosing you or your competitor.
For example, statistics from 2020 show that 34% of consumers choose brands that demonstrated ethical values, and 43% chose brands who had environmentally sustainable practices. In the modern world, ethics and brand identity are deeply entwined.. From giving back to making sustainable tweaks to your products, there are many ways to integrate better brand ethics into your ecommerce business.