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5 Ways to Provide Great Customer Experiences in Ecommerce

Today, consumers have many online shopping options to choose from, making the customer experience a key competitive differentiator for ecommerce companies

The pandemic accelerated a shift to online retail which continues to grow globally. Ecommerce sales are expected to reach reach £4 Trillion worldwide by 2026.
Have you decided if you want a piece of that pie?

Today, consumers have many onlne options to choose from, making customer experiencea key competitive differentiator for ecommerce companies.  

A positive customer experience helps build relationships with consumers, increases brand loyalty and strengthens trust, which reduces customer churn and boosts revenue. According to research by Genesys, of 70% of consumers say a company is only as good as its customer service.

Ecommerce companies that don’t deliver superior customer service will see customers leaving, never to return.  A survey by PwC found that in the U.S., one in three consumers say they will walk away from a brand they love after just one bad experience.

To thrive in a crowded market with everyone competing for share of wallet, ecommerce companies must integrate customer centricity into their DNA, operating with a focus on enhancing customer experience to create happy, satisfied, loyal customers.  

Ecommerce companies looking to optimise the customer experience should eliminate potential friction points in the customer journey by:

1. Investing in a top-notch customer experience team

Investing in staffing and training a dedicated, human customer experience team is key to delivering exceptional customer experiences. A report by PwC noted that human interaction matters, finding that 82% of U.S. consumers want more of it in the future.

These dedicated experience teams play a vital part in shaping the customer experience; 79% of consumers say the experience a company provides is as important as its product or services.

Consumers today expect stellar ecommerce shopping experiences. This expectation is a key driver for building a customer experience team focused on providing a high level of service that meets and exceeds customer expectations. Optimizing this touchpoint gives customers the ability to connect with brand experts who can help resolve their issues quickly, efficiently and effectively, and demonstrates a commitment to providing top-quality customer experience.

When customer experience team members focus on being responsive and maintaining positive relationships with customers, it enhances the overall customer experience, which can increase sales and allow ecommerce businesses to outperform their competition.  

2. Leveraging customer service technology

Self-service features that reduce friction in the customer experience can be effectively deployed by ecommerce companies to increase customer satisfaction. 

Customer service technologies that provide speed and convenience improve responsiveness and support the customer experience teams, freeing them up to assist shoppers with more complex problems or issues.

Automating customer service through a ‘live chat’ contact channel for 24/7 customer service and integrating a customer experience automation platform designed for FAQs significantly reduces the time it takes for a customer to resolve an issue. Both of these tools allow customer questions to be satisfactorily resolved with the click of a button or through a quick chat.  

My company, Browze, experienced first-hand the benefits of this technology. Recent improvements to the company’s self-service customer experience automation platform helped boost customer satisfaction by 30% from 2020 to 2021.  

3. Offering free shipping 

E-tailers can improve the buying experience by offering free shipping once a minimum purchase threshold is met – a practice that consumers consider more customer-friendly. Most U.S. consumers expect free delivery with a minimum order of $25-$50, and will abandon their shopping carts if free shipping is not offered, moving onto a competitor that does offer it. 

Expensive delivery is one of the biggest pain points associated with online shopping. A new report by RetailWeek, The CX Factor: 1,000 consumers on what turns them on (and off) your brand, found that “by far and away the biggest turn-off for consumers is expensive delivery, with 78% of shoppers citing this among their top three bugbears when shopping online.” 

4. Providing hassle-free returns and refunds

Return and refund policies are major factors shaping the customer experience. Many shoppers will check return and refund policies before shopping with an e-tailer and won’t buy from companies unless they provide frictionless, worry-free returns and refunds. A smooth, seamless return and refund process is key to keeping shoppers happy and converting them into return customers. 

In a UPS study examining evolving trends, preferences and expectations of online shoppers, 73% of surveyed consumers said that the returns experience affected whether they would continue shopping with a retailer. The same study found that the main reason cited for a poor returns experience is delay in getting a refund. Furthermore, research by Klarna found that 84% of online shoppers would turn their back on a retailer after a bad returns experience. 

There is no doubt that frustration-free return policies are key to increasing customer satisfaction and loyalty. In fact, Browze saw its Customer Satisfaction Score improve from 50.5% in 2019 to 80.9% in 2020 after the company introduced a new hassle-free refund policy. 

5. Optimizing for mobile 

There are more than 290 million smartphone users in the U.S. alone, and many of these users are shopping on their mobile devices. According to Oberlo, nearly three out of every four dollars spent on online purchases today is done so through mobile devices a

These statistics make a compelling case for e-tailers to optimize their ecommerce sites to enhance the consumer shopping experience on mobile devices. That means making sure websites are easy to navigate and pages load quickly on mobile devices. Google data shows that 53% of website visits are abandoned if a mobile site takes longer than 3 seconds to load. 

With more and more consumers shopping on the small screen, it is critical for ecommerce brands to provide an appealing and intuitive mobile experience.

When it comes to online shopping, consumers have a lot of choices. Ecommerce companies that want to capture share of wallet need to embrace a customer centricity that eliminates friction and pain points to deliver positive customer experiences.

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Covid 19 – Sort out your SEO

SEO structure starts on your website. It is called on-page SEO, and it is the part of your SEO process over which you have complete control. There are guidelines issued by the search engines, which will help you to fill out your websites SEO. Here are fifteen of those guidelines.

1 – Keyword Research

Research the best keywords for your site. Look at what your competitors are using for keywords, and try a few keyword tools. Remember to target your audience and consider all the word that they will type into the Google and Bing search engines.

2 – Put your keywords in bold

This is an old trick, but is still effective. All you have to do is highlight one or two of your keywords when they first appear on the page. You do not have to keep highlighting the same keyword; you need only do it for its first appearance. You can also use italic.

3 – Make your URLs search engine friendly

Do not name your pages (URLs) with numbers and symbols. Add in some words to make them easier for a human to read. In addition, you should try to make some of those words as descriptive as possible, and adding in a few keywords will help too.

4 – Install a SSL Certificate

Websites that are secure using https:// instead of http:// now appear higher in the search results. If you cannot install your own SSL certificate ask your host to do this for you. When it is installed, you have to make sure all your website pages are secure and not with mixed content. Also make sure that all your website version with http:// and with www. all forwarded to your new https:// URL.

5 – Organize your website

You need to make sure that your website and your menus are well organized so visitors can easily find what they are looking for. Add Call To Action and Forms to your pages to make it easy to contact you or shop.

6 – Increase the quality 

Google and Bing/Yahoo are optimized to search out high quality content. Their methods for determining quality are fairly crude, but it will not help your case if your content is weak, fluffy, heavily SEOed and has multiple obvious spelling mistakes. Search engines measure how much time people spend on your website after using search. If you have a bad website people will leave it faster.

7 – Add a keyword to each page title

Your page title is a very important piece of text because it tells the reader what the page is about and it tells the search engine what the page is all about. So, you should try to add a keyword or two into the title. Just make sure the title is still easy to read for humans.

8 – Be wary of your loading and render times

The render time is the time it takes for a web page to go from white, to starting to load. A long render time will increase your bounce rate. The loading time is the time it takes from the beginning of the render, to the point where everything is loaded. A long loading time will damage your websites SEO.

9 – Optimize your internal linking

Every page should have at least three internal links on it. Three is the bare minimum, and this includes checkout pages too. Internal links are the ones that link one page to another. External links are the ones where you link your page to one outside of your website.

10 – Use H tags on your pages

Learn how to use them correctly and then apply them to your website. They show the search engine which words are important and which are not. It will help you if your web content is quite varied.

11 – Integrate social media

There are hundreds of widgets that you can add to your website. They will help you to link social media and your website. Do not put the widgets everywhere, but the addition of a few here and there will help your SEO in the long term.

12 – Optimize your images

Make sure they do not take too long to load, and make sure they have their ALT text filled out. If you are able to give them a title, then you should. You should also name your image files something SEO friendly before you upload them onto your website.

13 – Create a sitemap

Create an XML sitemap. If you have a WordPress website, you can create a nice XML sitemap with the Yoast SEO tool which will create a dynamic XML sitemap for you. Then you have to add the URL of your sitemaps to your Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools account.

14 – Make your website mobile friendly

This is very important because people now do more searches from mobile devices than from desktop or laptop computers. Make sure that your website can be used easily from a cell phone. Contact forms should be easy to fill and submit. All your phone numbers should be clickable.

15 – Fill out your Meta Description tag

This is what may appear on the search engine’s results page, and is a nice opportunity to sell the content of your web page. Create this text that will make people to click on your website. You should make sure that it has keywords in it if you want to feel any positive SEO effect.