Customer Experience Tips for E-commerce Companies
E-commerce in the last one decade has surpassed all the boundaries imaginable. According to Statista, the volume of online sale of physical goods in the USA in 2016 was 360.3 billion dollars – a figure that is expected to grow to 603.4 billion dollars by the year 2021. However, without paying close attention to customer experience, e-commerce companies are bound to fail. If you are also entering or have already entered the e-commerce space, we bring you 17 best tips on how to improve your customer experience.
Work hard and build a reputation
It is very important for you to build your brand value and integrity first. As per Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon.com – the largest internet company in the world by revenue – there are no shortcuts to hard work. Customers want to interact with a brand that caters to their needs. If your online store has made a good impression in customers mind, they would not hesitate in coming back to you repeatedly. Further, they would highly recommend their friends and family to purchase from you. Jeff believes in building a reputation of a brand that would do anything for its customers’ happiness.
Make your website mobile friendly
Sachin Bansal, founder of Flipkart.com – India’s home-grown, largest e-commerce company – believes that a majority of online shopping today is done by customers on their mobile phones. Even if they do not complete the purchase, customers would want to surf for products on their mobile phones. Hence, it is imperative that you provide a great mobile experience.
Be passionate about what you do
The founder of Zappos.com, one of the most customer-centric companies in the world, Tony Hsieh considers it very important for you to be passionate about customer service. He recalls that he never wanted Zappos.com to be only about selling clothes and shoes. It was his desire that customers feel elated when they receive a Zappos box. Zappos today is one of the most loved brands in the world.
Build a long-term relationship
When Diapers.com – an online retailer for baby products – was started, owners Marc Lore and Vinit Bharara focussed extensively on the experience that they provided to their customers, who were mothers. This helped them in building deep and satisfying relationships with their customers in the first few months of starting up. Consequently, these relationships gave them much repeat business. Marc also considers doing everything to satisfy the customer’s requirement as a prerequisite to building a safe and long relationship with them.
The sooner you understand the importance of technology, the quicker you will grow. Deep Kalra, the founder of MakeMyTrip.com – one of the leading online travel agencies in India – believes that the future is the intersection of mobile and artificial intelligence (AI). For instance, to improve the customer experience, organisations can use technology such as chatbots, which promise a quick and effective resolution of customer queries. At MakeMyTrip, Deep encourages trying out new technology to stay ahead of its competition and to stay connected with its customers.
The best results in e-commerce are achieved when your efforts are continuous and consistent. Sophia Amoruso of Nasty Gal – an American retailer that specialises in fashion for young women – believes that her team’s persistent focus on all things from photography to copywriting to product selection has helped them stay on top in the customers’ mind.
Pay keen attention to customer feedback
If you don’t pay attention to the feedback about your brand, you might miss some very crucial areas of improvement. The customers and their feedback must be at the core of any business. Jack Ma, the founder of the Alibaba Group has rightly said,
Do not focus your eyes on the competitor. You are too small to focus on your neighbour or competitor. Focus on your customers. Making your customers happy is important.
Use the data received effectively
It is always an advantage to keep a track of customers that are unhappy with your product and, subsequently, target your efforts on making their experience better. Susan and Eric Koger of Modcloth.com – an American online retailer of vintage-inspired clothing for women – use historical data available with them to experiment and bring in styles that their customers are expected to like.
Believe that content is king
The content that is available on your website and social media should be enticing enough for your customers to visit your website. The founder of Dollar Shave Club, an online store for personal grooming products, Micheal Dubin reveals that by giving his customers great content to read and relate to, he managed to get in nearly 5000 subscribers for his website on the first day of launch itself.
Have a product that meets customers’ needs
In order for your customer to choose you, ensure that the initial products you offer are unique and impactful. It must solve the needs of customers. Andy Dunn of Bonobos, an e-commerce apparel company specialising in men’s clothing, first introduced denim products to the market. It was only after the products were accepted and liked did he think of expanding into sweaters and tops section.
Be open to challenges
When the founders of Flipkart, Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal founded the website, there were not many takers for their idea. However, Sachin Bansal has stated that they took each challenge as an opportunity to do well. By consistently taking up and solving new challenges, Flipkart grew into one of world’s biggest eCommerce companies.
Have a customer focussed culture
Tony Heish of Zappos.com considers having satisfied team members as the key to creating fulfilling relationships with your customers. If the work culture is right, everything falls into place. It is also imperative that the organization makes customer experience the DNA of its business.
Do the extraordinary
We all have heard that customer is the king but the key to successful customer service in e-commerce lies in keeping him happy come what may. Marc Lore and Vinit Bharara of Diapers.com have implemented a 24*7 service for the moms who need help. According to them, if a customer needs a product, you have to do whatever it takes to deliver it at the earliest.
Experiment and analyze the results
Sophia Amoruso of Nasty Gal tried controlled experiments of different kinds to know exactly what her target audiences would like. She would pick up her best designs and post them on Myspace.com. If she received negative responses to the design or model, she would replace and try again.
Exploit social media
Social media has a massive impact on customer experience today. Andy Dunn of Bonobos suggests using the social media avidly to create an in-person store experience. According to him, this is much more personal than any retail store experience. Further, owner of Threadless.com, Jack Nickell admits that they were one of the first users on Twitter and currently, they have more than two hundred thousand Twitter followers on their handle. He also says that the initial push is helping the customer base grow continuously, even today.
Be loyal to old customers
A business should never forget the loyalty that its old customers have demonstrated. Various studies have shown that acquiring a new customer is anywhere from five to twenty five times more expensive than retaining an existing one. Founder and CEO of Zappos, Tony Heish says that the number one growth driver for his brand has been the repeat customers and the positive word of mouth generated by them. Any business must value its loyal customers and make them feel loved and important.
Bear in mind the future requirements of customers
It is important to keep going back to your customers to know what they expect from you in the future. Susan and Eric Koger of Modcloth.com allow their customers to give them suggestions on what they expect the brand to bring forth. Both of them expect that in the next five years, they would still keep involving the customers and use that information effectively to meet customer needs.
Technology has made our lives convenient. The multiple e-commerce brands and their laser-sharp focus on customer experience have made many customers leave brick-and-mortar stores to explore better and convenient options. You must tread this path carefully and use the above-mentioned tips to build up a long sustaining relationship with your customers. It won’t be long before you also attain the kind of success these brands have seen.