Customer experience is a vital consideration for eCommerce businesses. It can lead to happy and loyal customers, or disgruntled visitors abandoning your eCommerce website. The customer experience comprises of the overall customer perceptions and responses throughout their interaction with your eCommerce website. The customer experience or CX should ideally be tailored around your target customers.
A recent webinar series presented by Adobe, Starshipit, and 18th Digitech, ‘The Key to Mastering eCommerce in 2022 & Beyond’ devoted an episode on The Future of CX. Speakers Nicholas Kontopoulos, the APAC Head of Growth Marketing DX Commercial Adobe and Tanuj Rastogi, Founder of 18th DigiTech, shared insights into the future of CX.
“We need to capture the hearts and minds of our customers and also their spirits and engaging them in ways that demonstrate that we really understand them and the journeys they are on. And really look at how we can map our pathways or pathways for them to find us as a brand but also then to engage them in ways that really sees us remove unnecessary friction,“ said Nicholas.
Role of Empathy in CX
Empathy has a powerful role in delivering a memorable and effective CX in eCommerce. With empathy, you can deliver a WOW experience to your customers and prospects. This will help create a much more longer lasting customer engagement experience, one that will help an eCommerce business thrive.
In the webinar, Nicholas Kontopoulos defined empathy as:
Effective Empathy = (customer insight x product knowledge) x critical stages of customer journey
To implement effective empathy throughout your eCommerce site, examine the critical stages of the customer journey, the average customer insight and product knowledge. By breaking down the customer journey into stages, you can define CX-friendly protocols at each step of the CX.
Although data is a primary way of understanding customers in eCommerce, brands should think of customers as people and not just datasets. Using data, it is possible to differentiate customer experience across sales channels, and stand out in front of the mind of people. Empathy can drive a customer-first approach that involves the whole organisation, providing customers with one experience throughout their experience with the brand.
Embedding an empathy-driven strategy involves three components: the mind, heart, and spirit.
Mind – Taking A Strategic Stand
Modern eCommerce customers are smart and have the ability to choose from multiple eCommerce sites for their shopping. Considering the average intelligence of your target customers can help you in devising suitable CX that reduces friction points and engages customers.
Implementing a strategic methodology of proactive changes can help eCommerce brands drive action on the part of customers. While many eCommerce leaders and mainstream organisations are still in reactive mode, a proactive approach is necessary to maintain an edge. Empathy driven insights that can drive effective action are crucial for CX and growth.
The study of eCommerce CX found that 46% of leaders compared to 20% mainstream businesses were able to identify friction points in their CX. Around 45% of leaders are likely to be adept at building experiments to test insights versus 14% of mainstream brands.
Statistics have shown that eCommerce brands that implement a ‘test, learn and adapt’ process are the ones that are doing well.
Heart – Appealing to Customer Empathy
In eCommerce, it is important to form long-term relationships with customers and to gain their trust. By appealing to your customers’ empathy, you can form that connection. The empathy of your organisation should extend to your employees and partners. Enable the people who support the business processes behind the brand to come together in a uniform way to deliver the awesome experiences. Aim for a model where ‘everybody wins’ – including the business and customers as your end goal.
Research has shown that CX leaders are 2.5 times more likely to have more insight into customers’ mindset throughout the journey.
Approach your CX strategy by asking questions on how you can empathise with customers. How do they want to engage with you? What drives their decision making process? How do they discover you? What type of channels do they use to source information? What type of content do they want provided to them?
Spirit – Examine Your Brand’s Purpose
As competition in eCommerce grows, you need to provide customers with a reason to choose your brand instead of others. Brand purpose is the reason your brand exists beyond making money. A critical component of any business’s go to market strategy is the brand purpose. Identify your brand’s USP and how you want to stand out from the crowd.
Clear brand purposes have been found to drive results. Companies with a brand purpose outperform competitors and have happier employees. The entire organisation and supporters (suppliers, partners) can anchor against brand purpose. Highlight your brand purpose throughout your eCommerce website in a way that is simple and understandable.
Brand purpose needs to embrace all of your employees. Employees are more motivated when there is a brand purpose that is authentic, customer-focused, and speaks to a larger purpose. Figure out where your brand purpose fits in with your overall strategy. Define a clear and concise brand purpose that others can resonate with.
Consistently delivering a positive customer experience can be a challenge. Beyond configuring a desirable CX once, the customer experience should evolve and change based on the customer response and preferences. When deciding on a plan of action or strategy for CX, consider how you can target the mind, heart, and spirit of customers, and evoke their empathy. A strategy that resonates with your employees, partners, and brand image has greater impact on customers.
Once you have a suitable CX strategy, it should be translatable into effective eCommerce features and user experience. At 18th Digitech, our experienced developers can customise and develop suitable UI and UX that provide you with desired CX. As and when customer preferences change, the 18th Digitech team can update and upgrade your eCommerce platform to meet changing CX needs. Reach out to us today to discuss evolving your eCommerce website CX.