In today’s highly competitive e-commerce environment, online shoppers have an endless amount of suitors when it comes to choosing where to make a purchase. That is why a superior product alone is not enough. eCommerce brands need to create an outstanding customer experience (CX) if they want to prove they are the perfect match. Here are five ways to make customers fall in love with your brand.
Provide quick and helpful customer service
Invariably, shoppers will need help. If it is an inquiry about products or order status, brands need to respond in a timely manner. According to research from Temkin Group, 86% of shoppers who received excellent customer service were likely to become repeat customers because they are happy. Satisfied shoppers are also more likely to speak glowingly about a brand to friends and family or in an online review.
If shoppers are left waiting or don’t get the answers they need, they may move on to competitors. They may also feel jilted and voice their negative experience on social media. eCommerce companies will not be attractive to new customers with these comments posted for all to see.
Providing timely responses to questions and complaints may require utilizing quality customer relationship management (CRM) software. Another option is to have dedicated customer service team members who can ensure that all shoppers know that they are valued.
Personalize promotions and messaging
Sending promotional messages to past customers is a common tactic in retail. However, it’s one that can tarnish relationships if done poorly. Ideally, brands should only notify shoppers of relevant sales and promotions through intentional segmentation. An omnichannel approach to tracking customer shopping habits can change all of this. By monitoring activity across every available channel, brands can paint a more personalized picture based on customers’ preferences. It also suggests that your brand values and truly understands the customer because it is providing deals on items they love.
Brands can further personalize the shopping experience with loyalty programs. The more purchases a person makes with a brand, the better deals they will receive. Something as simple as a 30% off coupon sent to a longtime customer on his or her birthday can go a long way in showing that your brand is there to make them happy, not just make a sale. You can also celebrate customer anniversaries to reward their loyalty.
Create a pleasurable unboxing experience
Many online shoppers expect items individually wrapped in poly bags, thrown into a box. While they may get excited in anticipation of their products being delivered, the enjoyment of the packout isn’t usually the most beloved part of the encounter. Brands can change that expectation by adopting practices that will elicit the same emotions felt when a person falls in love.
As explained in our 2015 fulfillment and unboxing study, opening a gift causes elevated levels of dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin in the brain. The pleasure and emotions brought by these chemicals will compel customers to seek out the experience again to repeat the excitement and share the encounter with friends and strangers. Appealing to multiple senses with bright-colored tissue paper, soft and smooth materials and even added aromas can maximize the feelings of happiness, pleasure and excitement evoked by opening a gift.
Brands can keep things fresh throughout the year with themed unboxing experiences for different holidays. This will add to the excitement and capture the feelings associated with these festive dates. If you need help in this area, check out our tip sheet that explains how to create a premier unboxing process.
Provide fast and secure shipping
Shopping expectations are constantly rising. With new industry developments improving the order fulfillment process and Amazon being dominant for eCommerce standards, consumers are expecting their customers sooner than later. If an eCommerce brand can go above and beyond to get customers their orders within a few days, it can go a long way in securing more customers.
Brands shouldn’t sacrifice security for speed, however. Dotcom’s 2017 eCommerce Study discovered that 59% of online shoppers would not be comfortable with damaged packaging and no signature requirement upon delivery, even if it meant receiving items faster. Broken or lost items can turn a brand advocate into a lost repeat customer. One efficient and effective way to manage this part of your order processing is to outsource fulfillment responsibilities to an experienced third-party logistics (3PL) provider.
Make returns easier for customers
A return shouldn’t mean the end of a relationship. A recent Narvar survey found that 82% of people who sent an item back were repeated customers of the retailer. In many cases, it’s just a simple issue that can easily be rectified to strengthen the bond between brand and customer. Occasionally, shoppers feel a product looks different in-person, or they order multiple sizes of an item with the intent of only keeping the one that fits best. In situations like these, the return process needs to be as simple as possible. If a brand can’t easily accommodate this encounter, it can lose a customer.
If your brand has a physical location, you should offer in-store returns, as more consumers prefer this method over re-boxing and mailing. Narvar found that this is especially true for younger shoppers. While it may be an investment, offering free returns by including prepaid shipping labels can build customer loyalty. They may even purchase additional items knowing that they can return those they don’t want without an additional charge. This emphasizes a brand’s desire to please customers at every stage of the relationship is stronger than its need to make a sale.
By taking a strong customer-focused approach, your brand can show shoppers that you truly care about them and want to create a pleasurable experience and long-term relationship.