5 Ways Your Ecommerce Site Can Deliver a Personal Experience
When ecommerce technology makes online shopping easier, everybody wins. At ATAK, we build ecommerce sites for clients every day, and there is a lot we have learned in regards to creating personalized ecommerce shopping experiences.
Personalization tools improve user experience, and reduces buyer objection and hesitation. In digital marketing, we refer to the entry points for these objections as “friction” – something that the customer has to push through in order to continue to purchase.
Friction is introduced any time a user feels that they cannot trust the company they are working with, or they encounters a technical obstacle. This is anything that complicates the user experience, such as insufficient information, or choice paralysis.
With the use of dynamic tools, automation, and smart application of hands-on customer service, your ecommerce website can provide personalized experiences that attends to the biggest causes of friction for ecommerce customers.
Below are five of the largest contributors to ecommerce friction and how to solve it.
1. On-the-fly Shipping Calculation
A study from UPS found that 73% of customers are influenced by free shipping offers. These numbers make it clear: online shoppers are used to free or low-cost shipping, and they want to know their shipping costs up-front.
Free shipping minimums can reduce the cost of each transaction and improve fulfillment efficiency. This shopping behavior can further be encouraged by adding an automatic tracking tool to calculate how much a purchaser needs to add to their cart to qualify.
Not all sellers can offer free shipping, but automatically calculating and sharing shipping costs and shipping options is a customer confidence booster. It’s also a money saver – your fulfillment staff also doesn’t want to spend time and materials on low-value orders.
Don’t underestimate the impact that shipping can have on checkout completion! A bit of automatic calculation can keep your visitors shopping.
2. Automating ‘Related Products’
Many customers know what they are looking for, but have trouble putting it into words.
By using your customer interaction data to build robust relationships between related products, your site’s data can reduce time spent sifting through irrelevant products, and help customers discover the perfect product to add to their cart.
Nextopia’s Product Recommendations provides robust and dynamically generated related products, while giving ecommerce sites the option to build custom cross-sells. This saves time for busy store owners by letting shoppers’ trends influence recommendation behavior.
Your product catalog is only going to benefit your sales if customers can find what they want to purchase quickly and easily. KISSmetrics found that 40% of online shoppers will abandon a site if it takes over 3 seconds to load.
Once you’ve overcome any load time delays, set your sights on search performance. Each of those searches performed is another test of your site’s load speed and overall data performance. Refining search behavior dynamically can provide the right answer to your customers more efficiently.
This is another arena where Nextopia shines – the ability to build relationships between product and customer attributes, and refine search by sizing, shopping preferences, and demographic data. These tools make the ecommerce shopping experience feel less like a chore and more like you’re working with a personal shopper.
4. Live Chat
By using a live chat platform, you add another trust factor to the ecommerce shopping experience, by reassuring the customer that there’s a real person at the other end of the line.
An important part of building that trust is your ability to follow through with responsive answers. Customer support teams can now add live chat to existing Zendesk or CRM ticketing workflows, reducing the time spent learning a new customer service platform.
We recommend using Olark, which has fine-tuned controls on how the chat box behaves when the operators are offline. On our own site, this acts as a backup to our standard email contact forms; customers can be sent to policy and contact pages in this same way.
Your customer support teams can add to this efficiency by building shortcuts for common answers, to reduce response time and keep live chat messaging consistent.
In a 2016 study, 24 found that 28% of online customers preferred to interact with customer service teams with live chat. Live chat reduces customer friction especially well, because it minimizes the amount of effort the customer makes to contact you.
Remarketing helps to further your relationship with a customer once they leave your website. Some tools include; reminding them of abandoned carts, sending them recommendations, refills and add-ons.
Remarketing campaigns can take many forms. The most popular are email automation and display advertising, but there are also social media and SMS to consider.
Email automation tools, like Mailchimp, help recover abandoned carts and earn return customers. Get more sophisticated with these automations by using Mailchimp’s Goals tool to send out ultra-targeted automated messages
Remarketing with display ads is also a way to stay top-of-mind. However, it’s important to limit the ads sent to a customer on your retargeting list, as you can give off a stalker vibe, instead of a friendly reminder.
Finding the Right Mix of Friction-Reducing Tools
Creating a low-friction experience for customers is part of the never-ending battle to increase conversion rates. The most effective automation tools and processes can vary by industry, product, and country. Ultimately, if your customer experience is user-friendly, speedy, and seamless, you will have more success meeting the high demands of modern consumers.
Lyndsay Peters is the Director of Search Marketing at ATAK Interactive, helping the full-service agency develop data solutions for paid and organic conversion analysis. ATAK Interactive is a Los Angeles B2B marketing and ecommerce agency helping clients find the right mix of development and marketing to build business success.