Why CX is key for e-commerce companies

A great makes sure customers are delighted. Here are three best practices to help you create a good CX.
3 September 2018

Online shoppers need a great CX. Source: Shutterstock

When was the last time you bought something online? Well, if you’re a millennial, you would’ve made an online purchase less than seven days ago, and if you manage a household, you spend at least 10 percent of your income online every month.

The fact is, today’ customers shop online — and they don’t just head over to leading marketplaces like Amazon to make their purchase.

E-commerce has become so commonplace that people are comfortable making small to medium value purchases from lesser-known stories, provided they’re offered a good customer experience (CX).

What makes a good CX for e-commerce companies?

Designing a good CX isn’t easy. It takes time, effort, and a lot of research into the customer and their needs when they come to your particular site. However, there are some key best practices that can serve as a good starting point.

# 1 | Offer an intuitive experience

When you’re working on creating a good customer experience, what’s most important is building an intuitive experience.

Imagine going to a mall, picking up everything you want, and not being able to find the checkout counter — or going to a website and not being able to find the shopping cart or being able to make changes to it after adding everything you want to it. It’s frustrating, right?

Customers crave for intuitive experiences, and the most effective way for you to make sure that you’re offering an intuitive experience is to test your website’s user interface with different groups of people who represent different groups of your customers.

# 2 | Remove barriers to placing an order

From the time someone visits your e-commerce site to the time they pay for the items in their cart and check out, there are several opportunities for them to abandon their cart and never return.

Of course, you can use re-marketing strategies and have their cart follow them through digital ads on the internet, but maybe there’s an aspect of your CX that needs work in order to prevent customers from abandoning the cart in the first place?

The idea that CX designers have been toying with is that removing the barriers to placing an order improves success rates for e-commerce companies — and it’s often been proven in several niche sections of e-commerce such as fashion and arts & crafts.

Companies that do this successfully realize that what works for most customers is that the site put all the essential ingredients in the right place.

So, for example, customers are used to having the shopping cart on the top-right corner of the website — if you put yours on the bottom left, it might look good, but your customers might still struggle to find it since they’re used to seeing it up-top on most sites.

# 3 | Constantly fine-tune your recommendation engine

Recommendations are the sales multipliers for most e-commerce sites. Customers come online looking for one thing and you sell it to them, and then recommend something else to go with it — and the customer makes a purchase.

The process is repeated till customers get everything they will need in order to enjoy the initial purchase they wanted to make. That’s the idea behind having a recommendation engine.

However, often, companies find that their recommendation engine lags the market’s needs. For example, when customers buy a new tie, it might be a good idea to suggest buying a matching shirt to go with it — but during Christmas, the tie is more likely to be a gift and customers might be looking for other ‘gifts’ rather than ‘complementing goods’.

Businesses need to remember this and ‘fine tune’ their recommendation engine to keep the market, trends, and the customer’s needs in mind.

Using machine learning (ML), however, is a good way to make sure your recommendation engine is always at its best because the technology is designed to ‘constantly’ learn from patterns and form new insights.