In today’s competitive digital marketplace, simply having a good product or service is no longer enough to ensure success. The customer experience is and will continue to be a key brand differentiator for businesses.
With so many options available to customers, it’s crucial to make the online shopping experience as seamless as possible so that customers will return to your business having had a positive experience with your brand.
Providing a positive customer experience leads to:
- Increased customer loyalty
- Repeat business
- Positive word-of-mouth referrals
- And ultimately, increased revenue
Let’s explore some tips for creating a frictionless online retail customer experience.
Personalise the shopping experience
By using data from previous purchases and browsing behaviour, you can tailor your product recommendations and promotions to each individual customer’s preferences.
This personalisation makes the shopping experience more enjoyable and efficient for customers, as they can quickly find products that are similar to those they have purchased in the past, without having to sift through irrelevant items.
A tailored approach also increases the likelihood of customers making a purchase and returning to you in the future, as they feel valued and understood as individuals rather than just the average consumer.
Check out our article on delivering exceptional personalised campaigns by using the customer data you already hold
Web personalisation is another great way to individualise the shopping experience.
By collecting data on a user’s browsing history, demographics, search queries and other factors, you can tailor web content, messaging, and user experience to the preferences and behaviour of the individual creating a personalised experience that is more relevant and engaging.
Provide social proof
Providing social proof can help reduce customer uncertainty and hesitation by building trust in your brand and products.
Social proof refers to the idea that people tend to follow the actions and decisions of others, especially if those others are perceived as trustworthy or authoritative.
When customers see positive reviews and ratings from other customers on your product pages, it can provide a sense of security that your products are of high quality and that your brand can be trusted.
Include customer reviews, ratings and user generated content (UGC) on your product pages to provide social proof and build a positive relationship with your customers.
Optimise your website
Website optimisation is a key factor in creating streamlined customer experiences.
One of the most critical elements is site speed. If your website takes too long to load, customers are more likely to abandon their search and go elsewhere.
By choosing a performance-optimised hosting solution, disabling any plugins you don’t currently use and compressing and optimising your images, you can significantly improve loading times and ensure that customers can quickly find what they’re looking for.
You should also ensure that your website is well-organised with products placed in clear categories.
Opt for a clear layout where products are easy-to-find and provide detailed product descriptions. Your product images should be clear and high-quality, with multiple images of each product from different angles.
With more and more consumers using their smartphones to shop online, it’s also essential to ensure that your website is mobile-friendly and easy to navigate on a small screen.
Implement an easy checkout process
Like in-store retail experiences, a streamlined checkout process is crucial for creating a frictionless experience. A survey found that 39% of consumers abandoned a purchase because the checkout process was too long or complicated.
An easy checkout process can significantly reduce the time required for customers to complete a purchase, which can help to keep them engaged and reduce the likelihood of them abandoning their basket.
Don’t force your new customer to fill out a huge form to register their details before getting to the payment screen.
Instead, flip the checkout process so that they purchase the product first and then can create an account with you based on the information they have completed on the delivery page afterwards.
This will increase conversion rates and new registrations. Once you have their details, make it easy for them to save their payment and delivery information for future purchases.
You should also provide a range of payment options such as credit card, debit card, PayPal, Apple Pay, Klarna and other popular payment systems, to accommodate different customer preferences.
When customers have a choice of payment methods, they can choose the one that is most convenient for them, making the final steps of their shopping experience hassle-free.
Did you know that almost one in five (18.75%) shoppers abandoned their basket when their preferred payment method was not available?
Be sure to show off the payment options you offer in your emails communications to remind your subscribers and encourage them to purchase.
Offer free shipping
Shipping costs and the hassle of returning items can be a major source of friction for customers. By offering free shipping, your customers will feel that they are getting a better deal and will be likely to complete their purchase without any hesitation.
Free shipping also eliminates the need for customers to calculate additional costs, making the checkout process faster and more straightforward. 9 out of 10 consumers said free shipping is the topmost incentive to shop online.
If you can’t offer free shipping on every order, consider offering it on orders over a certain amount or to your most loyal customers.
Offering free shipping to VIP customers can be a powerful way to not only incentivise a purchase but show your most loyal customers that you value their repeat business.
This can help to build stronger relationships with this segment and encourage them to advocate your business to their friends and family.
Provide excellent customer service
58% of customers will pay more for better customer service. Provide a first-class service to create a positive experience with your brand – which will consequently increase customer loyalty and repeat business.
This can include things like offering easy returns and exchanges, providing clear product information, and responding to customer enquiries in a timely manner.
You should also offer multiple channels for your customers to reach out, such as email, phone, and chat. Consider implementing a self-service support centre with FAQs and troubleshooting guides to help customers find answers to their questions.
Ensure that you respond promptly to their enquiries and resolve any issues quickly!
Use Chatbots and AI
The use of chatbots and AI technology is becoming increasingly popular in retail. These technologies can provide quick and personalised assistance, streamlining the buying process and reducing the need for human intervention.
Chatbots can answer frequently asked questions, guide customers through the shopping process, and provide product recommendations based on the customer’s preferences and purchase history.
AI-powered tools can analyse customer data to personalise the shopping experience by recommending products and promotions that are relevant to each individual customer.
By leveraging chatbots and AI, you can provide a faster and more convenient shopping experience for your customers, which can lead to increased customer satisfaction, loyalty, and ultimately, increased sales.
Check out our article on the benefits of AI to marketers to learn more about the ways AI can optimise your marketing strategy.
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