Up until recently, shopping was purely transactional. A merchant had a product a consumer wanted. The consumer purchased that product from the merchant and went on their way. But over the past couple of decades, shopping stopped being this singular moment. It turned into a series of interactions between the retailer and the consumer. And it started well before the consumer even intended to buy anything.
The retailer still has a product the shopper wants, but now the shopper has a whole slew of other retailers to choose from. It’s not enough for the retailer just to have the product, he has to prove why the shopper should choose them over everyone else.
And on top of that, satisfying a shopper’s needs means they won’t leave you a negative review. But providing an experience is what inspires a shopper to tell their friends about you.
What is customer experience management?
Customer experience refers to every interaction a customer has with a brand across every channel, no matter if it is in-store, on the phone, or online. In the context of e-commerce and online retail, customer experience management refers to how a retail company manages the experiences and interactions a customer has across its online shop.
When good experiences go bad
Just because interaction with a brand takes place remotely on a personal device, the experiences customers have online are just as tangible and important for retail businesses to consider as that in-store.
An unhappy or frustrated customer can end the interaction with your brand online simply by closing your website or app and in all likelihood never come back. With e-commerce growing almost four times faster than in-store retail and set to account for half of all sales made by 2021, businesses cannot afford to discount the importance of managing customer experience online.
Bad experiences make you lose clients
Providing fantastic experiences should be a no-brainer for online retail stores seeking to win and retain customers online. Sometimes, though, in the face of multiple business needs, investing in customer experience can be seen as less of a priority. However, providing good experiences online is business critical.
About 89% of customers stop doing business with a brand after a bad experience. All it takes is one bad experience for a customer to abandon a website or app and never come back. Companies are no longer just competing within their industry, they’re competing on the best digital experience a customer has ever had.
Of the people who leave after a bad experience, only 1 in 26 will directly tell you. Not only do you lose business, you learn nothing from it to prevent future churn. And it takes 12 positive customer experiences to make up for one negative experience.
Wasted digital advertising budgets
It’s seven times more expensive to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one, and this expense largely comes from the amount spent on advertising.
If your online retail store invests heavily in advertising to attract new customers, consider what happens when those customers land on your website or app. Does an optimal experience await them, increasing their likelihood of purchasing? Or is the experience confusing, or frustrating?
Investing in advertising without investing in experience management is a one-way street to wasted budgets.
Customers pay more for a better brand experience
Investing in customer experiences isn’t just to prevent the negatives that come from neglecting it. Customers are actively seeking and willing to pay more for better experiences. Investing in customer experience, therefore, is very much a positive strategy.
Also, if customers have good experiences on your online store, they’re more likely to return. And if they return, this means more revenue without the cost of acquiring a new customer.
The quality of the e-commerce customer experience has a direct impact on customer loyalty. You must take advantage of every opportunity to prove your dedication to your customers and their happiness.
Retailers who understand the power of the e-commerce customer experience are the ones who will continue to grow year after year. And those who are content with meeting the basic needs of their customers just won’t survive. Because the retail world is simply too competitive. If you want to be a brand with staying power, make sure your website, mobile experience, and communication strategy are all built with shoppers in mind.