With the rapid growth in ecommerce as well as the rise in mobile and social commerce, online customers now expect brands to provide a seamless shopping experience regardless of channel.
98% of users in the U.S. switch between one or two devices each day, interacting with brands over a variety of mediums and devices well before their first trip to their store.
This means your brand messaging and shopping experience need to be deployed consistently across each one of your online channels, so that no matter how or where users interact with your brand, when they finally arrive at your Shopify store, it feels like a seamless next step in their buying journey.
Below is an outline of helpful tips to streamline the shopping experience.
Define Your Brand and Deploy It Consistently
Developing a brand story has become the most effective way to connect with your ideal audience and reduce your long term customer acquisition cost.
Start by identifying your ideal customers and determining what their interests, worldview, and goals are. Then, build your brand’s story and goals to align with, relate to, and serve those goals.
With omnichannel commerce, customers are likely to interact with your brand on more than one channel before arriving at your store, so once you have your messaging down, the key is to deploy it consistently across each one of your marketing channels.
Providing customers with a seamless buying experience across these channels will help manage customer expectations of your products and make them feel they are experiencing your brand through a single, unified platform, instead of a complicated, disjointed journey across multiple platforms or websites.
Deliver Exceptional Customer Service
Your online presence should attempt to replicate, to the degree possible, the experience a shopper would have if they came to a brick-and-mortar store. That includes having a customer service representative ready to answer questions and help shoppers decide on a purchase.
64% of shoppers expect real-time assistance regardless of what channel they are on, with many wanting to speak to the same representative across multiple channels.
This means staying on top of your inboxes across your social media, email, and SMS while maintaining the same messaging and experience.
For your website, Shopify offers a vast roster of customer service apps that give you the option to set up chatbots, with many having the ability to connect users with a representative if needed.
Maintain your messaging by developing FAQs, messaging, and guidelines for your customer service team. This way your team won’t be caught off guard by common questions and they can provide solutions without contradicting each other or confusing customers.
Finally, quick replies are the key to maintaining customer engagement. The longer a customer waits for a reply, the more likely they are to lose interest in your brand or abandon a purchase entirely.
Simplify Your Pricing
Unexpected and extra costs (shipping, service fees, taxes, etc.) during checkout are consistently ranked as the number one reason customers abandon their purchase during check out.
Building brand loyalty is all about trust. Customers add items to their cart based on the price they saw on your product page. Tacking on last-minute fees can leave your customer feeling like they’ve been duped.
Set customer expectations upfront and earn their trust by following through with them. One way to do this is to let your customer know what their final price is by including taxes and shipping before they start the checkout process.
This can be tricky because customers usually have to enter their zip code during checkout in order to calculate shipping rates. But you can get around this by either allowing customers to enter their zip code into a shipping calculator on your product pages or by using geotagging to discover their location.
Customers may be wary of sharing their location on their browser, so let them know with a notification that it's to help calculate their shipping costs.
If you are afraid that displaying a customer's total price upfront might turn them away, you can set up a promotion that offers free shipping after their cart reaches a certain value.
This way, you are boosting your average order value (AOV) to help cover shipping costs, but also driving more sales by enticing customers with free shipping.
Localize and Personalize the Customer's Experience
If you’re selling globally, you need to make sure you’re presenting an experience that is familiar to users regardless of where they are shopping from.
Shoppers regularly report abandoning their purchase or leaving a brand because listed prices were not in their local currency. You can solve for this by offering users a currency converter, or explore Shopify’s store for an app that automatically converts currency based on the shoppers’ location.
Beyond this, customers are 60% more likely to become repeat shoppers when their experience has been personalized. Having a powerful customer relationship management (CRM) platform will allow you to collect user data and target shoppers based on their interest and shopping behavior. Doing this will yield higher conversion rates and increase your ability to attract repeat business.
Create a Safe and Streamlined Checkout Experience
All ecommerce merchants know the sting of seeing a customer move all the way down the sales funnel just to abandon their cart on the checkout page.
If you’re experiencing this on what you believe is an unusual scale, you may want to rethink your checkout process. Confusing checkouts are one of the top-ranked reasons why shoppers abandon purchases.
If you have too many steps, require customers to create an account, or your UX is not intuitive, it’s likely you’re pushing potential customers away. Worse still, the confusion may lead users to feel unsafe during checkout, breaking what trust you might have built up until that point.
Your discount strategy may also be responsible for disrupting your checkout process. More than 17 million customers now shop with coupon extensions installed on their browsers, meaning that third-party coupon aggregators are regularly scraping, sharing, and injecting coupon codes into your checkout cart.
Not only does the presence of coupon extensions interrupt your checkout process (potentially pushing customers away from your brand in a way that is out of your control), they can also negatively impact your attribution reporting and marketing ROI by claiming credit for sales they did not drive and reducing average order value for customers who had intended to buy at full price.
Along with this, 19% of shoppers reported losing trust in a brand after hearing it was allowing customers to redeem exclusive offers they didn’t qualify for.
Bottom line, third-party coupon groups like Honey and CapitalOne Shopping disrupt and harm your already volatile check-out process while simultaneously influencing your brand reputation in ways that are outside of your control.
Taking back control of your checkout page requires the right tools, and discovering the correct checkout security or discount management app can help you better understand the impact automatic coupon injection has on your conversions.
Clean.io’s cleanCART software blocks automatic injection from Honey and CapitalOne shopping, and offers regular reports on what codes are being abused. This way you can prevent outside groups from influencing your check-out process, while also getting the information you need to reign in the improper distribution of your discount codes.
Once you believe you have successfully set up a seamless journey across your channels, focus on having a robust set of analytics to determine whether your strategy is successful.
Identifying customer choke points will help you better understand which strategies are working and which aren’t, ultimately leading to a fuller understanding of your customers.