What Do Customers Really Want From Online Retailers?
Cracking the customer code seems like an impossibility to lots of e-commerce companies. But, sadly, it seems that online retailers have yet to figure this out.
Marketo’s recent report found that half of customers didn't believe that brands truly know what they want, and agreed that many businesses offered irrelevant content, unwanted products and negative experiences.
The great news is that even little changes can have a huge impact on how people react to your brand. While the exact details of your visitors’ preferences may vary, there are some common ones that consumers can all agree upon.
An Intuitive CX
According to PwC's report, improving the customer experience (CX) of a website is directly related to an increase in revenue and profitability. The report also found that customers value efficiency and convenience above all else when it comes to CX. Sadly, most sites are missing the mark by blatantly ignoring these priorities, resulting in disengagement.
Online retailers must keep customer preferences in mind when designing their websites. For example, when starting an online clothing store, you'll need to keep the site's CX as smooth and navigable as possible. Using logical organizational tabs and product filter options will make it easier for customers to browse, look at images, read reviews, and make selections quickly.
Adding in smart search bars that pick up on similar keywords is another great feature, especially if your customers are unfamiliar with your products. Be sure to do your due diligence with keyword research to get a feel for the landscape of e-commerce SEO. This will help put your site in a better position to help customers find what they’re looking for, no matter how their search query is phrased, whether it be on your own website or an initial search engine inquiry.
An Easy Checkout Process
Another critical factor in CX is an easy checkout process. Cart abandonment rates sit at an average of 75.6 percent for the retail sector, according to Statista. The reasoning behind this high rate is typically due to bottlenecks in the checkout process, including unexpected charges or a required customer account setup.
These abandonment triggers must be eliminated if you're going to provide customers with the checkout process they desire and deserve. For instance, unanticipated costs can be avoided by using an intuitive e-commerce platform that adjusts shipping charges based on the customer’s location. Additionally, customer accounts can be offered as an attractive bonus rather than a requirement, like Lancome does by listing out the benefits that members receive:
A Special Connection
According to Customer Thermometer’s research, 91 percent of consumers have had a positive brand connection with a retailer before, and the top reasons for this are highly emotional. When a customer feels like they're cared for and special, it spurs them to be more loyal and committed.
Online retailers must understand how to create and nurture this relationship from the start. When people are first checking out a business, they tend to focus on visual content to help them understand the brand’s message. Integrating highly visual content (e.g., photos, videos and other user-generated content from brand communities) provides an area of connection while communicating that the brand truly cares about its customers.
As a whole, consumers just want to be understood, avoid struggle, and have a pleasant experience from start to finish. By understanding which factors of CX directly affect their behavior, online retailers can be sure that their visitors always have a pleasant experience with each interaction.
Manish Dudharejia is the president and co-founder of E2M Solutions, a San Diego-based digital agency.
Manish Dudharejia is the President and Co-Founder of E2M Solutions Inc, a San Diego Based Digital Agency that specializes in Website Design & Development and eCommerce SEO. With over 10 years of experience in the Technology and Digital Marketing industry, Manish is passionate about helping online businesses to take their branding to the next level.