Importance Of Providing A Great, Easy Online Customer Experience
When you give your customer an easy in-store experience by making the store simple to navigate, giving assistance when it is needed, making the checkout process efficient and personalizing the service, they’ll likely to come back again, and the same can be said when you provide an easy online environment.
Huge volumes of people are shopping online these days, and your ecommerce store might be the first impression a customer gets of your buying from you, which is why it’s important you create a user-friendly environment. Doing this can have several benefits for your business, including:
Your Visitors Are More Likely to Become Customers
Most websites don’t have problems attracting visitors. However, many ecommerce owners struggle to make conversions online and find themselves wondering why, but the answer can often be a simple one: you might not be making it straight forward enough for your customer to buy make a purchase.
To boost conversions and make life simpler for your customers:
- Don’t insist that that they register first.
- Make checkout and ordering quick, with as few steps as possible.
- Optimize your website’s search facility.
- Make sure it the website is secured with SSL to boost consumer confidence.
- And finally, don’t underestimate how important a good layout and intuitive navigation is to the overall customer experience and how this can reflect in your sales.
Case studies show improving navigation not only enhances the customer experience, it also improved conversion by 18.5 percent in once case, and there are many similar case studies online that show how important navigation is for enhancing conversions.
It Boosts Customer Satisfaction
An easy shopping experience results in better customer satisfaction, which in turn can boost your business because of return visits and recommendations to friends and family.
Some companies underestimate how much a bad customer experience can affect their business, but the statistics can’t be ignored: 89 percent of consumers say they wouldn’t shop at an ecommerce store again if their previous experience was poor, while a bad mobile shopping experience is also likely to send your customers to a competitor.
But what can be far more damaging is the fact that consumers who have a bad experience are unlikely to go the store owner if they are unhappy, however, they will tell plenty of their friends.
Nevertheless, there is plenty you can do improve your customer service, such as offering an online chat for customers, including contact details so buyers can speak to you in person, or including clear social media links so customers can find you online.
It Helps Build a Loyal Customer Base
The aim of most online business owners is to attract a loyal customer base that will keep coming back, and ideally you want them to recommend your website to others, which is why loyalty programs are so popular.
However, while loyalty programs have their place in improving customer retention, they won’t compensate for a poor online shopping experience, so what changes can you make to enhance customer loyalty?
Almost any expert will tell you that personalization and features like live chat are important drivers, but there is also another factor: simplicity.
However, creating a straight forward online shopping experience goes beyond the checkout and intuitive navigation: it involves reducing the amount of decisions the consumer has to make, or decision fatigue as some describe it. And research demonstrates that when you improve decision simplicity by just 20 percent, loyalty can be enhanced by 86 percent.
Further, as highlighted in additional research, simplicity is the main feature of some of the world’s top ecommerce businesses, including Amazon, and the simpler the customer experience is, the higher the customer loyalty.
Keeping it simple also has two other major advantages: according to the Harvard Business Review: consumers are happy to pay more for an easy experience, and more likely to recommend the brand.
Increased Consumer Confidence
You’re asking a lot from your customer when they buy from you: You’re expecting them to:
- Trust you with their credit card and personal information.
- Trust you to deliver the goods.
- And provide them a high quality of service.
Trust can be difficult to win over, especially among small businesses that aren’t well known. In fact, some consumers say they still lack the confidence in ecommerce, with trustworthiness and security still a common concern among would-be Internet shoppers.
However, poor usability can also impact on consumer confidence, but a site that works well, that is intuitive to use and easy to navigate shows the customer that they are important to you.
Moreover, it demonstrates that you’re determined to keep them satisfied and helps to create the all-important consumer confidence that every business needs if they are going to run a successful ecommerce site.
It Can Give You an Advantage Over Competitors
As an online business, you’ll have an unlimited number of other websites to compete against, and depending on the niche you’re in, competing on price isn’t always an option. However, you can still set yourself apart by making your customer’s online shopping experience exemplary.
81 percent of customers say they are willing to pay more for a good customer experience, and if you’re wondering what the consumers interviewed consider ‘good customer service,’ they mean having:
- Easy access to information and good usability.
- An easy means of asking questions.
- A simple returns policy.
- Personalized shopping options.
As Danny Rippon, CRM Business Solutions for Oracle, whose company conducted the research, stated:
“Our report has made one thing absolutely clear: getting customer experience right can help increase revenue and win customers away from competing organizations.”
Your customer’s online shopping experience should be every bit as easy for the customer as an in-store experience would be. And providing your visitors with a simple, enjoyable way to shop online can boost your brand – and your sales – in many ways.
Repeat customers, improve confidence in your company, enhanced customer satisfaction and enhancing customer loyalty are all easier to achieve when you give your visitors a stress-free online shopping environment and checkout process, and this is what every ecommerce business should be striving to do for their customers.