This article was contributed by one of our partners: Ecommerce Agency, Nublue.
Customer Experience is a vital cog in the modern ecommerce business’ machine. Without it, you face losing sales by becoming unable to retain the attention and trust of visitors. But with the implementation of a well thought out CX strategy, you’re likely to boost sales and conversion, making it a hugely useful and effective business tool.
By improving your website’s CX, you’d expect to see an increase in incremental purchases by existing customers and an increase to new sales driven by word of mouth (whether face to face or via reviews and social media).
So how do we do this?
Customer centric design using data
Try to design something that creates a relevant and memorable experience for the user. Too often, retailers focus on any potential negatives in their CX and avoid them by creating something safe but forgettable.
It’s vital to put yourself in your customer’s shoes, think about what customer experience your target audience wants, what grabs their attention, makes them trust a page, keeps them browsing? Be a bit more daring and focus on creating the perfect Customer Experience for your target market - go beyond the first ‘safe’ idea and try to wow them, whilst relating to their ideals.
Always remember when building and improving your site that CX is more than just your website interface. It’s also about delivery, returns and refunds, customer service and support of the product they have purchased too. Which is why it’s important to keep the entire customer journey in mind in order to deliver a first class 360-degree experience. Your customers need a great experience from the first touchpoint to the last so it’s important to give them exactly that.
Finally, use a data driven approach in the design of your experience, work out what size hat and shoes your customers are wearing. Give every expert in your company their say, avoiding HIPPO (Highest Paid Persons Opinion) Syndrome and design the system around your core market of users.
Bear in mind that you may have an opinion that might not necessarily be the opinion of your customers, so make sure every decision made on the project has your target audience in mind.
Discover the five questions you must ask yourself to see if your website is performing well.
Hypothesize and then prove it
Making changes to any website can have either a positive or negative impact to conversion rates on the site. To minimize this risk, you should look at A/B Testing a.k.a Multi Variant Testing (MVT) – where two variants of the same site are live simultaneously, allowing you to compare statistics and analytics to determine which is having more success.
Take it step by step and complete the development in manageable, measurable chunks by scaling initial changes down. By doing this, you make it possible to measure what’s making a difference to the CX and the project becomes easier and more agile in how the CX improves by reacting to ongoing feedback.
It’s always best practice to work to the ethos of having a minimum viable product and introduce them to your customers in small bite size segments, testing them in a ‘champion challenger scenario’. In which, the ‘champion’ is a current variant and the challenger is the new variation of it (e.g. changing a button from blue (champion) to green (challenger) and testing the results).
As ecommerce professionals, we all have a Hypothesis, be it a ‘hunch or gut feel’ (yes, you’re allowed those) or based on data. It’s then our mission to prove the hypothesis by doing as little harm to conversion and CX as possible.
Don’t fight feedback – embrace it!
One of the most valuable aspects of proving a Hypothesis is feedback. Feedback can arrive in many forms, from session recordings of user journeys to questionnaires, feedback forms, and emails into your contact center too.
Direct customer feedback is gold dust for emerging and growing companies. It’s an opportunity for you to shape and change your business early on, in direct response to real customer needs.
To further widen the net of potentially valuable feedback, it’s worth looking at platforms out of your technology sphere such as review sites, TripAdvisor, Google reviews and social media. These will often offer a stream of feedback that can shape future hypothesis and help you change your customer experience for the better.