How improved CX can grow online consumer electronics sales in the UK
In the UK, consumer electronics and media make up the third largest segment in e-commerce, worth an estimated $16,356 million in 2020. While in the past customers may have started their journey with online research and then completed the purchase in-store, a Google report issued in August 2020, indicates that the percentage of consumer electronics being purchased online rose to 73% in 2020, up from 55% in 2019. While the shift to digital purchases may have been accelerated by the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, predictions are that this upward trend is here to stay. In response, many companies are seeking to shift how they optimise the customer experience. The prevalent focus is on finding ways to improve the whole customer journey through digital channels.
Overcome the competitive challenges of selling consumer electronics online with AI-driven optimisation
E-commerce retailers may be able to offer customers a broad range of brands and products to choose from, but this can be a double edged sword. Trends indicate that customers shopping for electronics may be loyal to a brand, but once they’ve found what they want, they’ll shop around for the best possible deal, based on price and service plan or warranty options. With little room to differentiate on product features or even pricing, the one thing that can make an impact is the digital customer experience.
The overall strategy may be to attract potential customers with an offer, but sealing that deal online requires navigating through many options and serving up an engaging, efficient and trustworthy customer experience. It raises a number of questions: What’s the most effective navigation? Which product features or add-ons should be highlighted, and at what point in the customer journey? Do customers need to qualify for financing, and when to ask credit questions in a way that doesn’t alienate or frustrate shoppers?
Because there is so much riding on getting it right, digital leaders want to be able to experiment with many ideas to discover which ones will achieve the growth targets they seek. But there often isn’t enough time to test all the options, not if traditional testing tools are being used. Fortunately, new solutions that leverage artificial intelligence are ideally suited for the complexity of optimising the digital customer experience. Using ideation at AI scale, online retailers can experiment with as many ideas and variations as they can think of which will be turned into thousands of combinations. Experiments can also discover different winning ideas across multiple digital channels and optimised for different behaviors found on channels including mobile and desktop. This ensures that maximum lift is generated quickly regardless of the channel.
How to optimise for once-off purchases
New consumer electronics such as mobile phones, gaming consoles, and personal computers are typically purchased when the latest models are released. This happens once every year or two depending on the vendor and device. On average, larger household appliance purchases are only made once every five to ten years. This means if people are shopping online, you need to be able to make the most of that opportunity, because at the very least it’ll be 365 days before you get to sell to them again. The simple truth is that once visitors get to your site, you don’t want them to leave. And the only way to do that in a competitive e-commerce sector is to create a really engaging, efficient and trustworthy customer experience - one that ticks all the boxes in terms of providing relevant information, valuable deals and services, and a frictionless journey.
To do this, you need to be able to respond to visitors quickly and serve up ideas that are relevant to what they are looking for now. It requires considering the whole digital customer journey, resolving points of friction, and optimising it for the best possible customer experience. To achieve this, you need access to technology that can keep pace with change and handle the complexity of navigating many dynamic variables.
AI-driven optimisation leverages the voice of the customer (VoC) and generates thousands of ideas to experiment with. This is known as ideation at AI scale - which takes a handful of ideas and generates thousands of combinations. Ideas may experiment with product pages, navigation, layout, CTAs and many more, and you’re not limited to testing just one or two ideas, you can test multiple ideas across multiple pages and multiple devices. The ideas are served up as unique customer experiences and within three to four weeks, responses from live website visitors will surface top performers. You can continue to add ideas based on the learnings gained and generate even greater lift, continually optimising for growth.
A huge benefit is that meaningful insights are achieved quickly which enables the company to be agile and keep ahead of the competition while improving customer experiences and driving more sales. In the highly competitive consumer electronics sector it has the potential to not only drive growth but also make customers as loyal to you as they are to their favourite brands.