Why Improving the Customer Experience is Key to Sustaining Customer Loyalty as Customers Move Online | e-commerce strategy

The rise of digital channels is further changing the way consumers spend their time and money. E-commerce is here to stay and, according to eMarketer, after rising 25.7% in 2020 to $4.213 trillion, global retail e-commerce sales are expected to grow another 16.8% in 2020. 2021 to reach $4.921 trillion. eMarketer also reported that global retail e-commerce sales as a percentage of total retail sales in 2021 will be 19.6%, up from 17.8% in 2020 and expected to reach 24.5% in 2025. Bain & Company has stated in several reports that “retailers who win in e-commerce are focused on creating fast, easy and seamless shopping experiences, while relying on personalized services that make consumers feel like valuable partners. »

Scaling CX requires doing more than just creating and maintaining an attractive website. The entire customer experience, including first contact with the digital channel, interactions across multiple channels, and the final “touch point” with the product or service, are all equally important. This is how today’s consumers increasingly want and expect to interact with the companies they do business with online and in person.

The concept behind an omnichannel approach is to provide a seamless experience across all customer touchpoints and across any channel. However, traditional e-commerce websites and mobile apps aren’t designed to deliver the kind of consistent customer experience demanded by today’s consumers. It’s increasingly important that improving the customer experience be placed at the heart of every action businesses take, from reducing cart abandonment to retaining existing customers.

The most important factor that affects customer loyalty is how they feel

Customer loyalty has become a major buzzword in the e-commerce industry, with everyone from startups to giants like Amazon and Walmart vying to positively influence customers with personalized services. The trend is to try to make customers happy by giving them a more personalized experience, and today that’s mostly focused on providing personalized messages and recommendations based on past purchases and browsing history.

Truly loyal customers are those who feel their needs are being met, and one way to do that is to understand what motivates them. Does website color matter? Is it important for the customer to be able to buy on multiple devices and channels? These may seem like small details, but the truth is that they can make a big difference in how people perceive a company’s products and brand. It is not enough to create an online presence and try to attract as many visitors as possible. What really matters is how a business can make its customers happy and keep them coming back for more.

The quality of omnichannel CX has a direct impact on loyalty and the bottom line

CX is fundamental to loyalty, especially in the age of digital channels. As companies in various industries move more of their business online, they need to pay attention to the quality of their CX if they want to improve their bottom line. When brick-and-mortar stores were the primary method of shopping, customers could walk into a brick-and-mortar store and interact with sellers to help them find what they needed and get their questions answered. In the digital age, online channels have become essential for building relationships with customers. In fact, there is no longer a “channel”.

Consumers today are increasingly digitally connected through multiple devices. What customers really want are great experiences on every device and every channel. Outdated sites that feel slow and cumbersome, coupled with automated service experiences that seem impersonal, can turn customers away in a heartbeat. Research[2] found that existing customers are 50% more likely to try new products and spend 31% more, on average, than new customers. Retailers need to deliver a rich and consistent experience across all channels to earn trust and retain customers.

Build customer loyalty by investing in great CX

Digital channels and technology open up a world of possibilities for retailers to engage directly with customers to see what works and what doesn’t. With a range of technologies allowing companies to quickly listen, adapt and evolve their approaches based on customer feedback, this upward trend is set to continue for some time.

There is no one right way to build customer loyalty, but there are many ways to use digital channels to improve CX. Digital channels make it possible to build relationships with customers on a global scale rather than being limited to local interactions. They provide access to customers anytime and anywhere. Most importantly, they provide plenty of opportunities for ongoing dialogue and feedback that can help inform messaging, improve products and offerings, and develop loyal customers who keep coming back. A personalized, intuitive, and enjoyable customer experience is what sets the biggest e-commerce brands apart. This requires advanced technology that can make sense of a growing set of data and variables with the ability to dynamically experiment and customize CX. Companies that invest in such capabilities can create compelling, relevant CX that converts customers and keeps them coming back.

Michael Scharff is CEO and co-founder of Evolv AI

Joseph P. Harris