eCommerce has created some fantastic opportunities for would-be business owners. Where start-up costs once priced out many before they had even gotten started, starting a venture from scratch has never been easier.
On the one hand, there has never been a better time to be a small business. But this greater access to markets has a hidden cost: the competition has never been greater.
In the age of branded retail, we can no longer rely on a product range to make us distinct. Consumers aren’t going to remember you if the products you sell also have a home with a dozen other businesses. But they will remember if their interactions with your brand were positive and memorable.
In short, it’s no longer about what you sell, but how you sell it.
The Adobe and Econsultancy Digital Trends Report rated the customer experience (CX) as the most exciting opportunity for businesses in 2020. Why? Because this is what consumers are craving most. In fact, a whopping 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for an excellent customer experience.
In eCommerce, a lack of direct interaction with consumers might appear to make customer experience management impossible – but there are far more opportunities than you might think.
Every click and swipe informs a customer’s experience with your brand – right up until the moment they receive their order. This gives you ample opportunity to smooth their purchasing journey and give them reasons to stay loyal to your business.
With this in mind, let’s take a look at three strategies that will help you better connect with your customers:
Making sure your site is accessible for mobile
When it comes to shopping on mobile, everything is on the up. In 2019, 79% of smartphone users have made a purchase online using their mobile devices in the last 6 months. Yet despite this, 90% of customers report having a poor experience when seeking customer support on mobile devices.
Why? Because many businesses, especially those who predate the mass usage of smartphones, fail to consider this rapidly growing market. Neglecting the customer experience in this way can have some serious knock-on consequences – 55% of customers agree that a bad mobile experience hurts their perception of a brand.
A switch to a responsive web design format means that your site will respond to screen size and orientation, which removes common accessibility issues.
Including a live chat feature
Today, consumers expect much more direct interactions with the brands they support. It isn’t enough to stick a phone number and email in the footer of your site; this can leave your business feeling cold and remote, as opposed to friendly and approachable.
When someone has a query, they don’t want to wait three working days for a response; by the time this has passed, they will likely have done business with a competitor.
A live chat creates much more immediacy with your brand, and shows that you really care about helping current and prospective customers. Forrester notes a 10% increase in the average order value from customers who used live chat before purchasing, compared with those that didn’t.
Despite this, only 9% of companies actually use live chat. Implementing this will give your brand a huge competitive edge.
Bringing premium packaging into your orders
Packaging is something that many businesses only think about in practical terms; its job is to transport goods from A to B and prevent damage. This is not only a missed branding opportunity, but a lost chance for post-purchase marketing.
The moment of delivery is your last chance as a business to make a positive impression on your customer. Which do you think will make you more memorable: Generic packaging, or one that has been specially designed with your logo and color palette?
Consumers want retail experiences that feel special and exclusive, and a memorable unboxing experience is a special currency.
According to Dotcom Distribution, almost 40% of online shoppers say they are more likely to recommend a product to friends if it comes in premium packaging. Even adding in a small custom element, such as stickers or tape, makes a huge difference to how your order will be received.
About the author
Beth Owens is the Content Strategist and resident unboxing expert at noissue, a proud Xero customer. Her main areas of expertise are eCommerce trends, sustainability for small businesses, and the art of excellent branding. Her articles have been featured by the likes of Big Cartel, Vend, BigCommerce, and RetailMinded.