What separates leading businesses from the rest of their industry? The division between a sustainable business and a failed business is increasingly drawn at customer experience—or the impact your company leaves on your customers at every step in their purchase pathway.
In the past, your sales and marketing teams may have found the most success in having your product as the key differentiator of your business. But in competitive landscapes where the difference in offerings between you and competitors is marginal at best, speedy response rates, convenient service, and helpful employees have become the most deciding factors for 70% of consumers.
As one specific avenue for customer experience strategy, digital CX allows businesses to tap into an ever-growing body of online audiences, which proves to be vital for brands seeking to develop their e-commerce presence.
To give you a better understanding of the online customer experience, let’s explore why digital CX is worth the investment and how you can build upon your existing digital frameworks.
Consumers Opting for Digital Engagements
A considerable portion of great customer experience centers around your ability to give customers the opportunity to engage with your brand through their preferred methods—whether that’s by chatting over the phone or searching through products in your website’s directory. Statista highlights some of the customer behaviors that are contributing to e-commerce projections of doubling sales from 2018 to 2023, noting that both the average spend as well as the total number of web-influenced sales are forecasted to contribute to this exponential growth.
The convenience, ease of use, and ability to hunt down the best deal all attribute to the popularity of online retail. However, each of these factors marks a larger shift in consumer attitudes as the general populace becomes more receptive toward technology. Half of the global population is already online at some level, and 55% of customers outrightly state that they prefer digital channels over more traditional sales methods.
This also means that potential buyers are spending more time online during the initial stages of the sales funnel, reading product reviews from current users and researching the reputation of the brand itself.
Successful online customer engagement is, therefore, as valuable as it is challenging—not only do you have to capture leads from awareness to check-out, but you also need to have a presence across the broad scope of digital channels at the customer’s disposal. Phone apps, organic search results, website referrals, mobile internet browsers, social media profiles, and more are all fair game in the highly competitive digital landscape.
The Digital CX Toolbox
The path to comprehensive digital customer experience may not be a short one, but there are a few strategies that you can employ that can expedite the process. Primarily, this is done through better technology implementation to help you manage and monitor your digital presence. Some of the most popular solutions to include in your toolbox include:
- E-commerce technology for POS mapping. Enlisting the technology and advice of e-commerce professionals at NitroSell can help ensure that your site is custom-tailored to the specific needs of your online marketplace and eliminate irregularities between your POS system and your e-commerce presence.
- Social media tools for customer engagement. From building automated chatbots to sift through incoming messages to managing your online reviews, Sprout Social and similar tools help businesses leverage their social media profiles and turn them into data-driven lead generators.
- Website testing for customer feedback and UX. Because it can be challenging to pinpoint roadblocks in your site design that are spoiling your CX, services such as User Testing allow businesses to create tests for tracking how your customers are interacting with your website, as well as potential areas for improvement.
- Contact Centers with intelligent routing. Though call centers are typically associated with managing phone-based inquiries, alternatives like 8×8’s offering can also help you manage digital channels of customer communications, such as social media messages, chat platforms, and calls made over the internet.
Mobile Customers, Mobile Demand
Although digital CX is more encompassing than mobile experiences, business support for mobile devices becomes only more pressing with each passing year.
Even if your customers aren’t actively shopping on their phones and tablets—although there is a strong likelihood that they are—63% of customers use their mobile devices to conduct research on a product before their purchase, even while in-store. Your ability to cater to mobile users consequently impacts customers shopping through your e-commerce platform as well as those opting for a brick-and-mortar experience.
Start meeting the demand for mobile by conducting an audit of your existing online presence. There are a number of factors to inspect that contribute to a mobile-friendly experience, especially for your website. Simple adjustments, such as ensuring your font size and navigation buttons are large enough to read on small screens, help avoid customer frustrations if they are accidentally pressing buttons that are too close to one another.
Once you’ve accomplished more manageable tasks, focus on optimizing your most successful landing pages. This includes compressing any images, graphics, fonts or scripts that impact page load speeds and prioritizing the most critical information at the forefront of any content populating these pages. Read more about the importance of mobile-optimized website design.
The Transition from Brick-and-Mortar CX
Whether you plan to fully migrate to an e-commerce model or are looking to fuse your in-store and online experiences, it’s essential that your brand makes this switch as seamless as possible. Are your products and services as easy to find in your online inventory as they are on a store shelf? Do you have a single source of truth to ensure online prices are consistent with in-person price tags? Does your online storefront integrate with your existing Point of Sales tools?
If you answered no to any of these questions, creating a seamless experience from retail to online is a valuable first step. Nearly a third of all consumers state that their primary grievance with poor CX is hard-to-find information. This means that companies who are not vigilant in updating their online information and developing intuitive user interfaces are likely lowering their conversion rates as shoppers become frustrated with their experience.
To facilitate a digital CX that captures interest across a number of different devices and keeps your information reliable and consistent, you need a fully integrated e-commerce platform. These tools are designed to provide a single, unified space as customers shop online—whether they decide to switch halfway through from their tablet to a desktop or are sifting through your daily discounts and sales. If you’re currently running your webstore through NitroSell, reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org or open a ticket to discuss how to optimize your Customer Experience.
How large of a role do digital touchpoints play in your overall customer experience strategy? Where do you find the most success when optimizing your brand for online audiences? Leave your thoughts, questions, and suggestions in the comments section.