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E-commerce CX Strategy-How to create better connections with customers

3-minute read

With customer experience (CX) at the top of most business agendas, marketers are having to rethink how they engage with customers. It’s no longer about trying to attract customers with offers or selling them the benefits of a product or service to get them to buy. Customers are no longer easily convinced by marketing messages, instead they’re seeking experiences that provide value and deliver on their intent and goals. And that’s not even referencing actual products or services, the experience they seek has to do with how they find and buy what they’re looking for . This process starts with creating better connections with both new visitors and also existing customers. 

With the in-store experience, it’s relatively easy for a sales person to establish a rapport with a customer. There are many physical and emotional cues to reference which can help ensure the customer is responding positively. 

With an online experience, there are no such reference points or cues. Companies instead have to try to learn from each visitor by understanding how they navigate a website, what they click on, where they go, and where they end up. If the average customer journey followed a simple linear path, connecting with visitors and customers would be much easier. The challenge is that most visitors and customers pinball all over the place, hopping between pages, social media, and review sites to gain confidence in their buying decision. This includes checking to make sure they are getting the best price, seeing if there is a better version with another vendor, and many other intangibles such as shipping costs, in-store pickup options, and same day delivery. If there isn’t a consistent and relevant experience that really connects with visitors or customers, the chances of them buying elsewhere are much greater. 

5 elements that create better customer connections

Emotion:

For customers, shopping can be an emotional experience. Excitement at finding what they’re looking for, or anxiety if they’re unsure of their buying decision. Being able to tap into that emotional side of e-commerce can help companies create better connections with their customers. Think of it as helping a friend shop by putting their interest first and contributing to their excitement about the process. 

Value:

When companies demonstrate to customers that they’re valued by taking the time to understand what their needs and preferences are, it builds trust and creates more meaningful connections. Customer experience strategies that are most successful are focused on creating value for customers. That value can also foster a meaningful connection between what the customer believes and what the company stands for. Today, increasingly value goes way beyond simply price, discounts, and perks. Customers prefer to buy with brands where they feel valued. 

Authenticity:

Customers seek transparency and aren’t easily fooled. If attempts to connect with customers aren’t genuine or don’t place value on customer relationships, efforts are doomed to fail. Younger generations especially expect brands to live up to the values they cite in their mission statement or put out on social media. 

For example: If a brand promotes that they’re invested in diversity, equality, and inclusion, but their composition of employees doesn’t reflect this, customers see it as simply paying lip service to a corporate trend. It results in the whole brand experience being less believable. Customers won’t connect with brands they don’t trust. Authenticity has become a key issue that truly matters to a growing segment of customers. 

Consistency:

Customers connect with brands on multiple platforms and in multiple ways. If the brand experience is inconsistent it can cause frustration and confusion and result in churn. . This is an important consideration when optimizing the customer journey to improve CX. Rather than just trying to make the user experience (UX) intuitive, companies should aim to understand a first time visitor perspective and optimize with that in mind. This is only possible if companies understand how visitors are navigating differently on desktop, tablet, or mobile, and how they’re responding to digital experiences being served. The aim is to make each touchpoint consistently effortless, providing relevant information. This makes it easier for visitors to progress further in the customer journey.

There are also important considerations to factor when designing a UX for mobile and tablets. These devices offer rich user interfaces (UIs) with capabilities not available on desktops. The ability to swipe, for instance, can play an important role in how a visitor navigates a site and moves to the next step. It is important to be consistent and on-brand but at the same time optimize each device and channel to make it as rich an experience as possible.

Personalization:

According to recent surveys, 42% of customers are frustrated by irrelevant content and 72% are more likely to buy from brands that personalize experiences. This highlights the importance of understanding what customers are looking for and having the ability to respond quickly. This also means developing the ability to understand a visitor’s intent and the optimized journey that will deliver on their objective. 

Consider a visitor who lands on a page because they clicked on an advert for an island vacation tailored to families. They’re more likely to feel connected if they’re immediately served options for family resorts located on tropical islands. Being able to personalize the post-click experience is a unique feature available as part of Evolv AI’s experience optimization platform. It creates the link between what customers respond to and the experience they’re served next. 

 

If you are not convinced, consider that according to Gartner, by 2025 80% of sales interactions will take place on digital channels. This means that companies need to actively seek out ways to create better digital connections with each visitor and customer. With e-commerce becoming increasingly competitive, improving CX is set to be the driving force for driving growth and creating a competitive advantage. When creating a strategy to improve CX, the first step in the process is ensuring an optimized connection with customers and the ability to personalize journeys to meet different intent and goals. 

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