June 19, 2019
Cross-channel customer experiences
Online shopping is big business. In fact, global retail e-commerce sales are set to reach a staggering $4.88 trillion by 2021. And with more and more customers expecting stitched-up online and offline experiences, e-commerce businesses have no choice but to smash down traditional silos and embrace seamless, cross-channel business models. A recent benchmarking study by Google, which surveyed 145 European businesses, supports this; the study found that consumers were demanding more from online retailers — and more importantly, retailers were missing significant opportunities to engage and convert leads.
In this article, we highlight 5 key findings from the study and explore the new demands facing e-commerce businesses today. We also provide some practical steps you can take to improve your cross-channel experience and meet — and exceed — your customers’ expectations.
Make sure your customers can find you
According to eMarketer, 75% of Internet users have either used or are thinking of using navigation systems such as Google Maps to find businesses. For this reason, it’s important to ensure that your site is easy to find — the less work the customer must do to find you, the better. Making sure your Google My Business page is up to date is the more important thing you can do to increase visibility. Once that you’re up to scratch, you can then check to see if your business appears correctly on Google Maps and your Knowledge Panel is working.
Nudge your customers towards a purchase decision
Once your customers are on your website, all the information that is required for them to make a decision should be easy to access. This means that all the search and filtering tools must be intuitive and easy to use and prices clearly displayed for a positive online shopping experience (Google Market Insights).
From there, you can then start thinking about what other add-ons you can implement to make the purchase journey for your customer easier and maximize your revenue. Examples of add-ons include click-and-collect options, upselling or cross-selling similar or complementary products, and offering fast or free delivery.
Personalize the entire customer experience
Another eMarketer study found that more than 80% of online customers felt that offers based on specific needs and preferences were crucial factors for positive customer experiences. This confirms what we already know: personalization counts for everything.
Customizing your marketing efforts will involve encouraging your user to provide as much information about themselves as possible — and you can then use those valuable insights to shape your message accordingly. The template below shows you how you can use a data enrichment email to ask your contacts a question, then create a personalized pathway based on their responses. As you can see, every touchpoint presents a remarkable opportunity for you to find out more about your leads AND create a more personalized — and seamless — customer experience.
Install online chat on your website
42% of British Internet users also expect to have the option to chat with a live agent when browsing an e-commerce website (eMarketer). So if someone visiting your website has a question but can’t find a channel to reach you, they will be frustrated — and may go elsewhere to do their shopping. If you don’t have a chat option on your e-commerce website, we recommend setting one up using a messaging app such as Drift and Intercom on your website so you can engage in conversations with your website visitors. Better still, integrating Drift or Intercom with Autopilot will allow you to continue the conversation across multiple channels such as email or SMS, or route qualified leads straight to your favorite CRM platform such as Pipedrive (see journey below).
Optimize for mobile
Fact: mobile experience counts — a lot. In fact, customers are 62% less likely to buy from you if they encounter problems or roadblocks with your mobile website. Speed is a crucial factor in determining the success of your mobile experience; the best mobile websites are optimized for speed so if your pages are taking more than 3 seconds to load, the customer experience will be disrupted and may result in users dropping off like flies.
Tying it all together
By following those steps, brands will soon be able to see how easy it is to create positive cross-channel customer experiences.