Turn your website visitors into happy buyers by tailoring features to meet customer demand.
With the internet, the rise of mobile, social media networks, and e-commerce, consumers have access to more information than ever. With access to so much information comes greater expectations and control of the buying process.
In this environment, where the entire shopping journey takes place online, delivering exceptional customer service means providing a personal, efficient, and highly accessible digital experience across your website and all digital properties.
Consider the numbers: 84 per cent of customers say the experience a company provides is as important as its products and services. Furthermore, 66 per cent say they are willing to pay more for a great experience. Just over 30 per cent of online shoppers will leave a site if they run into accessibility problems.
Social platforms and review sites provide ready outlets for consumers to share positive – and negative – experiences. It’s up to brands to make sure their online customer experience is a priority and competitive advantage.
How do you meet customer demand? First, you have to understand their needs and expectations.
Fast fact: 73 per cent of customers expect companies to understand their needs and expectations.
Tips to help meet target customer demand and need
- Turn your website into a great customer experience
- Reward your customers
- Enhance the online buying experience
- Build a community of brand champions
- Invest in your social media presence
- Solve your customers’ problems
- Unify your customers’ experience across all your channels
- Know your customer and tailor their experience
What digital shoppers want
- Multiple channels to communicate: Forty percent of modern shoppers won’t do business with a company if they can’t use their preferred channels.
- Consistent interaction across departments: Eighty-six per cent of online shoppers expect customer service conversations to move seamlessly across channels.
- A personal experience: Seventy-nine per cent of consumers say personalized service is more important than personalized marketing.
- The ability to offer feedback and be heard: This is particularly important in the age of social media.
Eight tips to help you meet customer demand
Online shoppers are sending a clear message to brands: if you want to drive sales, improve the customer experience. Here are eight best practices to help you get started:
Turn your website into a great customer experience
Start by being clear about who you are and the value you bring. Customers want to buy from companies they trust that align with their values. For example, 56 per cent of shoppers actively seek to buy from companies that give back. Furthermore, 65 per cent are directing their dollars to environmentally sustainable brands. Use your website to tell your unique story and then optimize it by:
- Providing the information customers want.
- Using high-quality product images and video, relevant articles, and engaging product copy that tells your brand story and shows how the product will help them.
- Keeping it up to date.
- Ensuring the web design is easy to navigate and optimized for mobile.
- Investing in speed and performance. 53 per cent of people will leave a web page if it takes more than three seconds to load.
- Simplifying the checkout process. On average, nearly 70 per cent of U.S. shoppers abandon their shopping cart at checkout because the process is too long and complicated. Provide a variety of online payment options to help people complete a purchase.
Reward your customers
Research shows that increasing customer retention rates by five per cent increases profits by at least 25 per cent. To ensure customers return:
- Provide a seamless customer experience.
- Stay in contact by sending a thank-you email after a purchase.
- Reward customers who refer you. Give them the heads up on upcoming promotions and implement a rewards/loyalty program.
Enhance the online buying experience
Provide incentives, such as free shipping.
Fast fact: 57 per cent of customers won’t buy from a company that can’t ship quickly and cheaply.
Build a community of brand champions
Use your social media channels and email to encourage happy customers to review and rate your products.
Invest in your social media presence
This is about ensuring you show up where your customers are and engaging with them. If they have questions, answer them. Here are a few tips to help you leverage the best of social:
- Post beautiful photos and relevant videos people will want to share. This is particularly important on Instagram and Pinterest.
- Ask your customers/social media followers to share photos of your products.
- Use your social platforms to promote online and in-store sales and promotions.
- Evite existing customers and people who have shown interest in your products on your website and social media channels to register for a regular newsletter and product updates.
- Incorporate video into your social channels. For example, create shoppable videos that allow users to click on products and be directed to your e-commerce site. Product reviews and demonstration videos help people experience products and encourage them to buy.
Fast fact: 92 per cent of consumers read at least one review before making a purchase.
Solve your customers’ problems
This is what effective content marketing does. Create articles, videos and infographics related to your products and services. Cover the topics your customers are interested in and provide the advice they’re looking for. Create a content schedule to ensure you are consistently sharing new, relevant content.
Unify your customers’ experience across all your channels
Create an omnichannel strategy that seamlessly links the platforms you’re using. This will ensure you deliver an excellent customer experience whenever and wherever you interact with them. A recent study reveals that 79 per cent of consumers will stop doing business with a brand after one bad customer experience.
Know your customer and tailor their experience
Personalizing the shopping experience is the best way to turn your customers into your biggest cheerleaders. More than three quarters of digital shoppers will recommend a brand to their network if a brand takes the time to create a tailored experience.
Tip: Use recommendation engines to personalize product suggestions.
In today’s hyper-competitive environment, modern shoppers are in control of the buying journey. The most effective way to attract and keep customers is to give them what they want: a great shopping experience.
Download our buyer persona template to craft a detailed profile of your ideal customers and ensure your marketing targets the right audience.