How to Improve the Customer Experience for Your Ecommerce Business: 13 Proven Tips

Michael E.
Michael E.
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Online shoppers today aren’t just looking for the best price – they want the best overall buying experience. Providing an excellent customer experience is vital to the success of your ecommerce business. In this article, we’ll show you how.

Sure, you’re selling a great product at a great price. But in the world of ecommerce, that’s simply not enough to succeed as a business. Consumers today make their purchasing decisions based on which brand impresses them the most with a great customer experience.

According to a recent study, 88% of customers believe that the experience a company provides is as important as its products or services. The same study showed that 62% of customers buy from brands that they feel an emotional connection with.

So how do you create a fantastic customer experience for your ecommerce business? In a minute, we’re going to share 13 of the most powerful tips for how to attract, delight, and retain your customers.

But let’s first start with the basics.

What Is Customer Experience in Ecommerce?

The term customer experience (or CX) refers to how customers perceive their experience at every touchpoint of their buying journey, from the first time they see your Instagram ad to the checkout process, and beyond. Every moment that your customer interacts with your brand creates their customer experience.

Running a successful ecommerce business requires you to put yourself in your customer’s shoes and see your brand through their eyes. Studies have shown that emotion drives the customer experience, so consider how your customers feel when they interact with your brand.

"We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better."
Jeff Bezos
Why The Customer Experience Matters For Your Business

Data Source: Oracle, Customer Experience Impact Report

Providing a great customer experience isn’t just a good idea for ecommerce brands – it’s absolutely essential. Why is CX so important for your online business?

It Wins Trust

Online shoppers today are very wary of buying from brands they don’t already know about. Providing an excellent customer experience is the ultimate way to break through that barrier and win the trust of new customers.

By consistently providing value throughout the buying journey, you’ll make customers feel as though you’re there to help them. After a customer has had multiple positive interactions with you, your brand will feel familiar to them and therefore trustworthy.

"If people like you, they will listen to you, but if they trust you, they’ll do business with you."
Zig Ziglar

It Builds Loyalty

Loyalty is a bit of a buzzword in ecommerce, but there’s a reason why everyone is talking about it. A recent study found that a 5% increase in customer retention can increase a company’s profitability by up to 95%. Another study showed that about 50% of a company’s revenue comes from approximately 8% of its most loyal customers.

When you truly make a customer happy, they’ll remember your brand and will likely return for future purchases. This is good news for your ecommerce business, since repeat customers have been found to spend an average of 67% more than new customers.

"It’s easier to love a brand when the brand loves you back."
Seth Godin

It Differentiates Your Brand

If your online business is having trouble standing out from your competitors, an awesome customer experience can be what differentiates you from the crowd. When your potential customers are shopping around for options, they’ll choose the brand that makes them feel the best. In fact, 86% of buyers will pay more to get a better customer experience.

"Exceptional customer experiences are the only sustainable platform for competitive differentiation."
Kerry Bodine

Word of Mouth Is King

Word spreads fast about the customer experience. If you consistently provide a superb experience for your ecommerce customers, it won’t be long until others hear about it. According to HubSpot, consumers discuss specific brands casually 90 times per week.

Word of mouth plays a vital role in marketing your online business. That’s because 75% of people don’t trust ads, while 90% of people believe brand recommendations from friends.

13 Ways to Improve the Customer Experience in Ecommerce

Now that you’ve seen the importance of providing a great customer experience for your online business, you’re probably anxious to get started. Here are 13 proven ways to improve ecommerce CX.

1. Appeal to Your Customer’s Emotions

Making an emotional connection with your target audience is essential to drawing in new clients. In order to do this, it’s important to ask yourself:

  • Who is your ideal customer?
  • What problems (or pain points) do they have?
  • What solution are you able to offer them?
  • How will your solution change their lives?

When creating marketing content for your ecommerce business, address your audience’s pain points to make them feel understood and heard. Then frame your product or service as the ultimate solution to their problem, and help them vividly imagine how it will feel to have their problem solved.

"Get closer than ever to your customers. So close that you tell them what they need well before they realize it themselves."
Steve Jobs

2. Show Your Human Side

Consumers don’t want to buy from companies – they want to buy from people. In all of your customer interactions, strive to come across as human. Your customers will be able to relate to your brand more easily, and you’ll gain their trust.

When you’re posting on social media, for example, write in a friendly, conversational tone and share fun behind-the-scenes photos of your staff.

Pay particular attention to your brand’s “About Us” page. This page of your ecommerce website is seriously underestimated for its power to win the trust of customers. Tell the story of who you are, what you believe in, and what you’re dead set on doing. And always include a photo of a real person (no stock photos).

3. Share Valuable Content

At every stage of your customer’s buying process, and even after they’ve finished checking out, share content with them that’s helpful and valuable. Do this, and your customers will start to see your brand as a helpful resource to turn to for information.

Writing engaging, SEO-friendly blog posts that educate people about the problem they’re having will attract new customers to visit your website.

Offering a downloadable ebook or guide on your website will keep you in front of customers’ minds when they’re ready to make a final purchase.

After the customer’s purchase is complete, keep offering them value by sending them tips on how to get the most out of the product they bought.

"If you show people the problems and you show people the solutions, they will be moved to act."
Bill Gates

4. Make Your Website User-Friendly

There’s nothing that will deter an online shopper from making a purchase more than a badly-designed ecommerce website. It’s very important to design a website that looks good, functions well, and guides the customer toward making a purchasing decision.

Optimize your website for speed: a slow-loading landing page will result in potential customers leaving your site before even looking around.

Make sure that your customers can easily and quickly find what they’re searching for by streamlining navigation.

Most Important Factor Web Design Chart

Data Source: HubSpot

Set up a chatbot to answer common questions and concerns about your product, and make sure you’ve got a simple contact form on your website for customers to reach out to you if they still need help.

5. Personalize EVERYTHING

Today, consumers expect ecommerce brands to anticipate their individual needs and tailor offerings to align with who they are. Personalization is something you can’t have too much of when it comes to the customer experience.

This goes way beyond just using your customer’s name in the subject line of your marketing emails. By carefully segmenting your customers by their preferences and browsing history, you can show them personalized offers or recommendations that appeal to them specifically.

6. Step up Your Social Media Efforts

Social media is the number one way that consumers like to connect with a brand. Yet there’s a good chance you’re not getting everything you can out of your brand’s social media accounts.

On most of the major social media platforms today, ecommerce businesses can sell their products to customers from within the platform, making impulse buying easier than ever before.

Facebook Messenger Chatbots can even be used to drive sales for your online business by replying instantly to direct messages from customers with answers to their frequently asked questions. These tools can even be used to directly message people who have commented on your posts with a follow-up message of your choice.

And don’t forget about the power of social media when it comes to doing your research. You can easily monitor what your competitors are doing well (and not-so-well) on social media so that you can adapt your social strategy.

7. Create Compelling Product Pages

Do your product pages make your customers want to jump on buying the product, or do they make them yawn?

Put your focus on designing incredible product pages that compel the customer to take action.

  • Write a product description that clearly explains why your customer can’t live without it
  • Include frequently asked questions
  • Use multiple high-quality photos that capture the product perfectly
  • Include photos or videos of the product in action
  • Make sure your CTA is clear, compelling, and easy to find on the page
Product Detail Page Features That Influence Digital Purchasing Decision Charts

Percentage of participants who agree that these items influence their purchase decision. Data Source: FiledAgent & eMarketer

8. Simplify the Checkout Process

Abandoned carts are responsible for $18 billion in ecommerce sales revenue every year. An overly complicated checkout process is often to blame, causing shoppers to get frustrated and give up on their purchases.

You can avoid this by simplifying the checkout process for your customers. Minimize the number of steps involved in checking out, and make forms quick and easy to fill in by only asking for the information you really need.

Offering a variety of payment options is another way you can improve the customer experience during checkout. This allows the customer to pick the payment method that’s most convenient for them.

9. Optimize for Mobile

People are shopping on their smartphones more than ever before, and mobile commerce is only expected to grow in popularity. Statista estimates that mobile retail ecommerce sales in the US will reach over $710 billion in revenue by 2025.

This makes it essential for ecommerce business owners to optimize their websites to be mobile-friendly. When a potential customer visits your website on a mobile device, you want it to look beautiful and function well.

Mobile commerce is extremely convenient for consumers because they can shop from anywhere. Because of this, having a mobile-optimized ecommerce website goes a long way toward providing an excellent customer experience.

10. Grow a Community

Building an online community around your ecommerce brand is a powerful marketing strategy that fosters a meaningful connection between you and your customers. Members of a brand’s online community tend to be highly engaged and fiercely loyal.

In today’s digital landscape, social media is where people go to find others who share the same interests and beliefs. Brands that have a business page on Facebook have the ability to create Facebook groups, making it the perfect opportunity to start and grow an online community. To create a community outside of social media, you can consider software like Skool.

What interests does your ideal customer have? What does your brand stand for? Find the common ground that most of your customers share and create a space where they can connect with one another.

11. Provide Outstanding Support

Sometimes things will go wrong with the products or services you offer, and customers won’t be happy about it. How your ecommerce business responds to these situations can make or break the customer experience.

Offering proactive support in the form of FAQ pages, how-to videos, and knowledge bases, enables your customers to resolve the issue themselves without having to ask for help. When these resources don’t fix the problem, it’s important to have a great support team that’s easy to contact.

How quickly and effectively your support team resolves issues has a gigantic impact on CX. In a study on customer service by Microsoft, a staggering 96% of consumers said they choose whether to stay loyal to brands based on the customer service they provide.

"Customer service shouldn't just be a department, it should be the entire company."
Tony Hsieh

12. Be Transparent

Online shoppers want to know that the ecommerce business they’re buying from is honest and transparent, and they will avoid doing business with companies that seem to be playing games or hiding facts.

An excellent customer experience is based on trust, so make sure that your website gives clear and accurate information to customers about what they can expect when they buy from you.

Display product availability to avoid customers checking out and then being told their product is on backorder. Let your customers know what the shipping and handling fees are early on in their buying process – if you wait to tell them the shipping costs until checkout, you’ll see a lot of abandoned carts.

13. Follow Up

As we mentioned earlier, the customer experience doesn’t end when your customer checks out. It’s important for your brand to retain, and even grow, its relationship with the customer after they’ve made a purchase.

Following up with your customers is a powerful way to improve their customer experience. Check in with them and ask how they’re enjoying their product, whether they need any help with it, and if they’d like to leave a review.

The follow-up email is a great opportunity to let your customer know about new products or services you’re offering or any special promotions that are happening. Including a discount code for future purchases will encourage them to become repeat customers.

Make Your Customers Smile with Every Interaction

If you want to drive sales for your online business, you should make customer satisfaction your primary focus. We feel confident that when you apply these powerful tips, your customer experience will radically improve, leaving you with a loyal, evangelizing customer base.

An important part of this is using the right ecommerce platform so you can do things in the best way possible. But how do you choose the best ecommerce platform for delivering a great customer experience?

If you haven't launched your online store yet, don't worry; that's exactly what we specialize in. Explore our Best Picks to discover the best solutions on the market, and feel free to check out our other tools to make an even more informed decision.

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I used to sell everything online. Today I teach others to do the same. As an ecommerce consultant, I explore opportunities and test new strategies to leverage what others have yet to see.