Whenever you visit your favourite brick and mortar store, you'll usually be greeted by a friendly sales advisor who can guide you to the right products based on your specifications.
They take into consideration your budget and answer any queries you have. You find the perfect purchase and ultimately, you leave the store feeling happy, satisfied and eager to come back.
Why should this change online?
In this article, we cover the importance of a great customer experience in eCommerce and how it creates loyal customers.
Why does customer loyalty matter?
With thousands of eCommerce stores to choose from and the fast-paced nature of the younger generations, customer loyalty is harder than ever to maintain.
But with the cost of acquiring a new customer increasing by over 60% in the last 6 years, it’s ever-more pressing to focus on customer retention.
It may seem like a daunting task, but there are various simple, cost-effective ways to retain your customers and ensure business growth.
First things first, if you want customers to stay and put trust in your brand you need to go above and beyond with the service you offer.
Customers expect an answer to their questions quickly and to their satisfaction, whether that’s through messenger, email or social media.
Giving customers the ability to reach out at multiple touchpoints enables you to provide effective support and turn an unhappy customer into a satisfied one.
If you have the means, why not double down on your customer retention strategies with a loyalty scheme?
This is an opportunity to offer a personalised experience and entices customers to return time and again.
6 ways to improve your customer's experience and build loyalty
As eCommerce stores continue to grow, retailers need to look at new ways to make their shoppers return.
Providing an excellent customer experience is the perfect way to increase conversions and boost loyalty.
Below we’ve pulled together six ways you can get started on improving your customer’s experience.
1. Personalise the experience
A personalised experience is one of the driving factors not only for a great customer experience but for improving customer loyalty.
In fact, personalisation is one of the reasons customers are willing to share data with retailers, with 65% of shoppers saying they’d share their data for value-adding personalisation.
Using the data you’ve collected from your shoppers, you should take the time to understand your customers in order to make them feel valued.
The content, product recommendations and even ads should be relevant to each user.
So whether it be discounts on relevant products, remembering their order history or sending a complimentary birthday note via email - each and every touchpoint contributes to a customer’s experience with your brand.
2. Streamline your brand personality
If a customer feels satisfied and happy after visiting your site, the likelihood of them returning increases significantly.
In fact, research from HubSpot shows a huge 93% of customers are more likely to be repeat customers at companies that offer excellent customer service.
If you haven't already, that figure should kick-start you into action to work on your customer service, and the first step is building your brand personality.
This will allow you to be consistent across all platforms with your tone of voice and messaging, presenting the perfect opportunity to encourage engagement with the right products at the right moment.
Having distinct branding is also key for increasing conversions and brand recognition. Your engaged users will be able to easily identify your company and prompt them to shop with you again.
But most of all, defining your brand personality allows you to identify and deliver on your company values and attitudes, creating stronger relationships with your customers.
3. Optimise your eCommerce site
Consumers also expect easy-to-navigate pages that allow them to find exactly what they need, similar to how physical stores.
Having a clear search bar with tagged and categorised items is the first step in optimising your site to meet your customer’s needs.
Allow your customers to shop the way they want to and provide an opportunity for your shoppers to make a purchase on the go.
To do this, make sure your website is responsive on all devices whether a user browses on a desktop or mobile, especially with the rise in mCommerce.
But most importantly, your site needs to be speedy.
No matter where your shoppers come from or which device they browse on, slow load times can hugely impact your conversion rate and customer experience.
4. Embrace the latest technologies
Ensuring your eCommerce site is up to date with the newest technologies will set you in good stead for increasing your brand loyalty.
Reviewing your current tech stack will help you spot opportunities for enhancements, and can be extremely beneficial to your business and to your customers.
For example, take a look at visual search, AR or VR options on your site to improve the product discovery experience.
Or, AI-driven personalisation tools like recommendations to encourage upsells and cross-sells.
Giving your customers a variety of options will allow them to discover the products they’ll love the way they want to.
Plus, staying up to date with the latest trends and technology will allow you to stay ahead of your competitors and deliver the best experience for your customers - win-win.
5. Provide a seamless checkout process
Your customers may have already spent a lengthy amount of time browsing your site, so don’t put them off with a lengthy checkout process.
It’s a driving factor for improving the customer experience, boosting loyalty and reducing abandoned baskets, so it’s not one to look over.
The first thing to providing a seamless shopping experience is to offer guest checkouts.
A study shows that conversions can increase by up to 45% when retailers offer a guest checkout.
This is especially effective for your returning customers, who likely know your site and what they want to purchase.
Allowing these customers to quickly browse your site, add items to their cart and checkout quickly is the key to increasing conversions.
6. Enhance the delivery and returns process
Having a strong line of communication with your customers is vital to ensure each and every visitor has a positive experience and in return increase brand loyalty.
You’ve spent all of this time focusing on getting your customer on-site and the messages you convey throughout the customer journey, so don’t stop there.
After a customer has completed an order, make sure all emails and comms are clear and consistent right up until the order is delivered.
Or, if a customer isn’t satisfied with their order, then an easy returns process with the same level of communication will increase the likelihood of them returning to purchase with you again.
A great delivery and returns process is set to boost customer loyalty, as 86% of customers say the post-purchase experience is the most decisive factor in whether they will use your service again.
To put it simply, providing a great customer experience goes hand in hand with increasing customer loyalty.
From an optimised eCommerce site to streamlining your tone of voice across all platforms, implementing these cost-effective steps will allow you to appease your customers and keep them coming back.
To learn more about how Salesfire’s suite of tools can help you to create loyal customers, give us a call on 020 4505 9040, or book a free demo.