Ecommerce customers have high expectations when they shop online. With no shortage of online shopping destinations to choose from, brands that come out ahead of the pack are often those investing in an amazing customer experience. Those that fall behind tend to suffer; in fact, nearly two-thirds (58%) of consumers will stop shopping with a business due to a poor customer experience.
From browsing and evaluating to checkout, shipping, and post-purchase, each step in the customer journey is an opportunity to delight, rather than disappoint, a customer. But what do customers want, and what does it mean to create a delightful customer experience? These current statistics will point you in the right direction.
Convenience: Free delivery is the #1 reason people shop online
Not only is free delivery the top reason people shop online, but many of the top reasons point to the importance of convenience in the online shopping experience. Free delivery, easy returns, a quick checkout process… getting your shopping done from your couch is quite appealing for the busy consumer.
So how can you make it as easy as possible for consumers to make the purchase they’re eying? How can you remove friction from the buying process—not just through an intuitive conversion path, but also by offering benefits that motivate customers to complete their purchase?
Confidence: 81% trust the advice of friends and family over business advice
One of the benefits of shopping online for consumers is an infinite inventory and access to an endless number of customer reviews. Those reviews matter a lot, particularly in a world where consumers don’t trust businesses nearly as much as friends and family, as a HubSpot study found.
This same study also found that 65% of consumers don’t trust advertisements, and 71% don’t trust sponsored social media ads. While these channels can be helpful to get brand exposure, what matters for winning over that customer is trust and confidence. Key ways to build those include sharing customer reviews and even encouraging referrals and recommendations. Helping customers feel good about their purchase decisions translates into a positive brand experience.
Speed: When it comes to important support questions, 90% of consumers expect an immediate response
Today’s consumers expect speed across nearly every online interaction. That translates into greater demand for fast customer support. Almost all consumers expect an immediate (30 minutes or less) response for important support questions, and have similar demands for sales and marketing questions.
Staffing up to provide speedy customer service is critical. Speed translates into delight, and lack of speed consistently builds frustration among customers. Consumers are tired of needing to dig for contact information or jump through hoops to reach a support rep. Being able to easily contact support and getting a quick response is critical to delivering on the speed consumers expect now.
Transparency: Extra costs are the top reason consumers abandon shopping carts
Surprise fees can be one of the quickest ways to turn an excited potential customer into a frustrated visitor who abandons your site. About half of shoppers who abandoned carts did so because of extra costs—shipping, taxes, and other fees—that surprised them during checkout.
If you’re unable to offer free shipping or limit fees, transparency is key. It’s critical to set the right expectations for shoppers so they’re not frustrated when they’re finally ready to checkout. Transparency can further build trust to win over new customers and build a strong reputation to keep customers coming back.
Flexibility: Consumers are 62% less likely to purchase from a site if they have a bad mobile experience
Consumers interact with a brand through a variety of channels and on both mobile, and desktop. A negative experience on one channel translates into an overall poor customer experience. The impact of this is significant—if a consumer has a bad experience with a site on mobile, they are 62% less likely to purchase from there in the future.
Analyze the channels that your customers use to interact with your brand to make sure to optimize for each experience. Ensure your site is easy to navigate on both mobile and desktop viewing. In addition, each social media channel has its own best practices for you to follow to make for a positive user experience. Investing in those methods and channels that your customers use most will provide them with the flexibility to connect with you on their preferred channels.
Relevance: 80% of shoppers are more likely to buy from a company with a personalized experience
The importance of personalization often comes up in conversations about conversion optimization. But why is it so important to customers? Personalization increases relevance—it increases the likelihood that a customer is going to find something they’re interested in, whether it’s the espresso machine that’s right for them, or the camera lens that fits their current model.
Surfacing personalized recommendations, or even customizing customer service to a specific customer, can tailor the experience to their needs. This helps build a brand-customer relationship that goes beyond a simple transaction.
Create a Better Customer Experience
Each of these themes—convenience, confidence, speed, transparency, flexibility, and relevance—are principles that can be applied to any aspect of the ecommerce customer experience.
For example, the browsing experience can be improved by speed of page load, transparency of product materials, or personalized product recommendations. The product protection experience can be improved by transparency of coverage, flexibility of options, and ability to instill confidence in a big purchase. The shipping experience can benefit from speed of delivery, convenience of returns, and flexibility of shipping/pickup options.
Delivering a great customer experience is critical to winning over—and more importantly keeping—customers in a world of endless shopping options. Implementing these key themes across the ecommerce customer journey can add up to a great experience that keeps customers coming back again and again.