Though marketing strategies and campaigns are increasingly influenced by evolving technology, both in their planning and delivery, marketing experts believe that the technological ingredient in 2020 will be superseded by the mandatory requirement for a more focused customer experience – CX in its abbreviated form. This trending acronym and buzzword, which is circulating in marketing circles, reflects the ever constant necessity for greater and more personalised customer experiences across all marketing channels. In the ever changing and evolving world of Ecommerce technologies the single constant is the need to engage, convert and retain customers. Their online experiences should encapsulate all the necessary ingredients to guide them smoothly through the purchase process – from product selection to checkout, to easy payment, efficient shipping and personable knowledgeable customer/supplier service and human interaction. In this transaction the personalised element of the purchase process is elemental, not only to a successful product sale but also to customer loyalty and the likelihood of repeat business.
The whole process is not just about providing the customer with the relevant information to make a purchase choice or work with your company or business but to offer quality customer experiences so they confidently come back for more. The customer has to be 100% happy with every aspect of the purchase pathway to retain their loyalty. That is why the technology must work in an effective and flawless manner and is expected to do so by all customers. Your ecommerce platform should act as an efficient sales springboard which provides a smooth customer purchase journey from start to finish with no obstacles on the way. You have to remember that your potential customer is probably fairly tech savvy and expects a fully functional and easily navigable online platform. What makes the difference to them in pursuit of a product purchase is how easily it can be realised through the provision of an all embracing and efficient customer service. That means a friendly helpful voice or empathetic email in response to any purchase queries they may have. Customers are less responsive to retailers telling them how great their products are and are more inclined to do their own product research in arriving at a purchase decision. This compounds the need to offer them a lot more than just information – which is freely available on Google’s rank result pages, dispensing with the time consuming need to browse other websites for further information.
Customer Experience Surveys
Marketers can draw on customer experience surveys to design and implement more meaningful and radical strategies for customer engagement and retention. In recent surveys it is disclosed that 73% of people base their purchase decision on customer experience. The sting in the tail is that only 49% of those people surveyed believe that companies of today provide a worthwhile experience. That is an indictment of many company’s failure to fully embrace develop and deliver a customer experience that not only engages and converts but offers a helpful and empathetic ear to any queries the customer may have throughout the purchase process. The overarching question for marketers and online business owners is – what constitutes a good customer experience? This needs to be addressed and resolved to meet the need for optimal customer experiences in 2020. A thoughtfully planned customer experience strategy will generate a lasting customer rapport and client loyalty. There are certain elements that marketers, customers and web developers cite as standard aspects of good customer experiences :
- The latest technology
- Efficient mobile experience
- Brand image and design
They collectively, but not exclusively, contribute to an effective customer experience. Other elements that deeply affect this issue and purchase decisions include:
- Informative and friendly service
- Easy payment options
- Smooth shipping
- Thoughtful after sales service
- Friendly returns policy
These factors are all connected to an ecommerce website’s effectiveness as a marketing tool and its ability to constantly engage and promote positive customer experience that has the customer coming back for more.
Research into what people value most in their customer experience reveals and highlights the necessity for marketers to consciously include CX in its totality in their marketing strategies and to promote its importance in the online product transaction process. It is universally accepted by marketers and retailers alike that customer experiences dictate the outcome. It is also recognised that the customer purchase journey has to be efficient, fast and smoothly navigable with easy payments, efficient shipping and good customer service with the human interaction element firmly established as part of the offering. It is paramount to eliminate negative elements along the purchase pathway that may stall or stop a transaction – for example : bad employee attitudes which drive people away; unfriendly service; untrusted company or business; poor employee knowledge; purchase process inefficiencies; product unavailability; inconsistent shopping and non existent or poor purchase guide technology. Lack of automation can also prove a hindrance to positive customer experience. These negatives need to be transformed into positively engaging online factors to gain and retain loyal customers and to sustain a productive and profitable online business.
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