How to build a better customer experience in digital commerce

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July 6, 2022

Providing a better customer experience is a competitive differentiator—delivering a truly exceptional one means it must be smooth, simple, and memorable.

Before the pandemic, it was common for consumers to research products online even when they intended to make an in-store purchase. Now, buyers prefer to research and purchase online. The EY Future Consumer Index found 43% of U.S. consumers shop online more often for products they purchased in stores previously. As more people turn online, they are also becoming more savvy shoppers. And in turn, the digital commerce space has become a virtual battleground—forcing brands to look for a competitive edge.

Providing a better customer experience is that competitive differentiator—delivering a truly exceptional one means it must be smooth, simple, and memorable. Let’s dive deeper into the importance of customer experience and how your organization can create a better one.

the importance of a better customer experience

Imagine losing one of your loyal customers for good. After just one bad customer experience with your product or brand, that can happen. According to research from PwC, even if people love your product, 59% will walk away after several bad experiences, and 17% will walk away after just one bad experience. Providing a better customer experience in digital commerce has become a key differentiator. That’s because when it comes to online shopping, people have choices. And consumers are increasingly loyal to the products and brands that consistently provide exceptional service with minimum friction. Not only are they more loyal, but they will also spend more. PwC’s research reveals 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience. And the more expensive the item, the more they are willing to spend.

strategies for building better customer experiences in digital commerce

Consumers currently have more places and ways to shop than ever. Here are some key strategies to build better customer experiences, putting you ahead of the competition:

personalized and optimized product listings

To turn browsers into buyers, you need personalized and optimized product information. Some best practices to keep in mind include:

cross-sell and upsell with relevant products

When planning an upsell strategy, too many choices can be overwhelming. Instead, offer a few targeted options. Or reduce complexity by creating bundles. Suggest products that make sense and are relevant to their needs. Use data and customer behaviors to make informed recommendations to solve a pain point. And remember: the ability to cross-sell doesn’t end once the customer makes their purchase. Use that opportunity to offer additional products and special offers.

create digital shopping opportunities within social media platforms

Social media isn’t just about conversations anymore—it’s about commerce. We learn from GWI 54% of social media users use these platforms to research products and services, and 71% are more likely to purchase products and services based on social media referrals. Facebook offers the largest audience with nearly 2.45 billion monthly active users, although Instagram isn’t far behind. Take a moment to analyze where your target customer spends their time. Once you decide on your platforms, define specific goals for each.

enhance shopping experiences with AR

Augmented reality (AR) provides consumers with immersive shopping experiences. One option offers a convenient “try before you buy” experience where customers can virtually try on jewelry, make-up, and other products. Preview placement gives customers a glimpse of what a product could look like in their home. If you’re selling a product with a steep learning curve, an interactive user manual might be a great AR application to help users better understand how your product works. Or social media filters offer a unique way to showcase a new product. Brands like Gucci, Starbucks, and Adidas have successfully launched custom Instagram filters to promote their brand and generated millions in engagement and revenue.

deliver the highest quality customer service

According to Forrester, companies increasingly leverage visual engagement like video and co-browsing to cut through the customer conversation clutter, become better understood, and connect emotionally. You can bring a personalized touch to the digital experience by allowing shoppers to chat online or video. Co-browsing takes customer service to a different level by allowing agents to access a customer’s browser and collaborate online in real-time. Or use social media for online customer support. Building better customer relationships via online social support can equal huge wins regarding increasing customer lifetime value.

Today’s buyers expect an excellent buying experience from start to finish. To do that, you’ll need the ability to maximize efficiency and scale to improve conversions. By offering a frictionless path to purchase, you’ll be able to increase sales, reduce product returns, and build better customer experiences ultimately driving more revenue.

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    author

    Kerri Angel

    Senior Marketing Manager, North America

    Kerri Angel is the senior marketing manager for North America at inriver. She leads the field marketing efforts to generate revenue and build brand awareness for North America, working closely alongside the sales, partner & alliances and customer success teams.

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