How do online user experiences stack up against person to person shopping encounters?
The life of an e-commerce manager can get a bit hectic with running reports, balancing resources, long hours at the office and marketing campaigns designed to hit the target with the right message.
Between balancing all of these responsibilities, it’s easy to forget about the most important step; the customer’s experience.
The online shopping experience provides users with a quick and convenient alternative to going into a physical store, however if a customer has questions about a product, online isn’t always the best option.
Let’s take a step back from all the craziness for just a moment and think about what the customer actually wants, not what you think they want. We will stop with the use of the word “we”, and get more personal and say “I”.
Hello, I am David Miller and not only do I work for a SaaS company, but I am also an online customer.
There are preferences that I have developed throughout my life, in various areas. I’m picky, especially when it comes to me being a customer. I can be a real pain in the ass.
I am an American and I expect things to be done a certain way, and promptly. Show me the love, particularly when money is being spent, my hard-earned money.
I wasn’t told to write this article but today I was inspired by an experience that I had yesterday while having a business dinner.
Rather than bore you with long and drawn out details, let’s just say the service was great. I was greeted with a smile and it’s nice when servers know who I am, are prompt with my food (even though I never had to tell them what I wanted), and cater to my every need and do so with a smile. They thanked me by name as I walked out and told me to say hello to my family.
Sounds nice, right? It not only gave me a positive feeling, but it also caused me to reflect on what I, David, actually deem important as a customer – a very friendly and personalized experience!
Online service can provide the same level of service, if not better.
Recently, my favorite website sent me a text message saying that they haven’t seen me in a while and to stop by for some of my favorite styles. Could you imagine if I got a message from the above mentioned restaurant, saying that they miss me and they have some great specials that they know I would love?
Now, let’s imagine that we are logging into our favorite online shop on a Saturday evening to buy shoes.
Now here is an area in which I am SUPER picky, so this little experiment will be fun. Stay with me!
I love slip-ons, as I am from the coastal region of San Diego, California and getting in and out of your shoes should never be “a thing”. Flip flops and slip-ons are the way to go and anything else could delay one’s beach-going lifestyle.
Now, pursuing a website for shoes can be a painstaking process and hours can pass by, but fortunately for me there is a reason for me visiting this exact site, hence “favourite site”. They know me here and I receive a warm greeting.
“Hello David, Welcome Back! Here are some shoes that should interest you” – site
“You’re right! Thank you” – me
This company just nailed it! I feel that there is a need to understand what just happen, again from the customer’s perspective.
In greeting me by name, realizing that I have been away for a bit, welcoming me back AND making useful recommendations, is the way in which they keep me coming back.
From the customer’s perspective, this makes all the difference in the world.
Online retail companies that don’t implement personalization tools that allow for a complex understanding of each customer are at a disadvantage.
Sorry, but it’s true. Unless your product is totally unique or dramatically cheaper than your competition, you need to invest in your customers.
You are a customer, too!
It is important to understand that the operative word in experience cloud is “experience”, as in what the customer expects.
Every e-commerce company needs to have a quality automated marketing platform in place that creates a more effective way of doing business but beyond that adds to an amazing feeling by the customers themselves.
With the use of recommendations, personalization, predictive analytics, segmentation, and ad management, companies have been able to satisfy their customers on a whole new level. And, guess what, numbers don’t lie. Online retail shoppers want to have a highly personalized experience and they deserve it.
Don’t forget, you are a customer too. Even if we work so closely on details in this industry, sometimes it’s necessary to just step back from the desk and go shopping and remember what it is to be a customer. You also deserve it!
Which experience cloud is right for you?
There are many options, obviously, but it is vital to make sure that you choose correctly.
A quality company to explore is Exponea, a customer experience platform that provides product recommendations, predictive intelligence, and highly personalized content.
Being that the company was built from the ground up, it helped to become the first GDPR compliant SaaS company in the world and is definitely a strong contender for your consideration. Check out how Exponea Experience Cloud can give your customers what they deserve.
About the Author
David Miller is Exponea’s resident wordsmith and an experienced serial entrepreneur. He writes easily digestible articles about customer experience personalization for CEOs and CMOs.