It’s all about the feeling! This is what it comes down to when determining the quality of a brand. While customer experience continues to be at the heart of the design and development, as per a study carried out by PWC, only about 49% of US consumers feel that their experience is satisfying. So the big question that follows up is: Are your customers having an unforgettable experience with your products and services?
In order to ensure that your online store gives absolutely the best customer experience, you will need to have a look at the customer expierence trends to see what will work for you. To make this easier, we have picked out the top ten enhancements that you can consider for your online store.
1. Meaningful Content
“That’s fine, but where can I find the details I am looking for this product?” This is the sort of question that your customers or potential customers should not be asking if their experience matters to you. Depending on what your products are, it is important that you provide all the necessary information that will help customers in the researching, evaluating and hopefully the purchasing phase. Having said this, remember that content is not just text. You can (and should) provide relevant media such as images and videos to complement the textual information.
Here’s a great example of an online store that nails it when it comes to offering relevant content. Abof (All about fashion) is a store where men and women can find the most trending clothes for different sorts of events. However, that’s not all. Abof has a creative section called Style Sauce where you can find all the answers to possible questions that come when you hear the word “fashion” and hopefully inspiration to purchase some!
2. A picture worth a thousand words, not a thousand pictures
There is no doubt that visuals are a powerful way to connect to your customers. However, it is important to use visuals and other UI elements appropriately. Now, this concept of designing minimal to help achieve goals such as lead generation and conversion is certainly not new. However, 2020 will continue to be a year where the lesser you have, the more it will keep the customers focused.
Take a look at Bliss, a skin care wellness online store. Their website is a perfect example of minimal yet powerful design. You will see that throughout the site, only a few colors have been used and images have been used only where visualization is necessary.
3. Speed all the way
Once again, one of the most crucial factors to the great customer experience is the overall speed of the product or service. If your customers have to wait for 5 seconds for a page to load, everything wonderful about that page (whether it’s the design or the feature) will probably go unnoticed. Organizations like Google continue to emphasize on designing and developing in a way where the pages are optimized for great user experience.
Here’s what John Mueller, Google’s Webmaster Trends Analyst has to say about speed: “Speed is definitely a ranking factor? YES.”
One online store that truly understands the importance of overall speed is Gap. An online fashion store, the average time for home page to load is 3. 32 seconds. Believe it or not, the speed of the webpage is just as important as the quality of the fashion.
Storytelling is an art that goes back thousands of years. However, when done well, storytelling can leave an imprint for lifelong. This is why designers are now working on creating designs that tell the story of the brand. One must understand that the customers are only going to spend limited time browsing your products or searching for a service. Therefore it becomes necessary that in the time they are interacting with it, they see the side of the company which they will remember.
The impact of good storytelling can be seen on one of the online stores for exclusive and exquisite accessories for dogs. Through its “our story” section, Beast and Babe quickly connects with its audience by explaining its vision in a simple and fun manner.
5. Automated customer service
Nothing is ever enough. No matter how much relevant content and visuals you provide, there may be cases where your customers are simply stuck. This is perfectly fine (happens to all of us at some point, whether in business or in life). However, what’s not okay when it comes to great user experience is customers having to wait for a long time before their query is answered. To provide quick, reliable and as much of self customer service, businesses are now leveraging automated services such as chatbots, help centers, and other tools that are built with help of AI.
During a study, Salesforce found that there will be a 136% rise in the number of companies using chatbots on their websites from 2019 to 2020!
One of the most popular makeup brands, Sephora understands how important chatbots are for their online business. Their chatbot has been developed in a way to help customers find the exact product they have in mind. Its almost as if an actual person is helping the customers!
6. Feeling of safety
With the kind of risk that exists on the Internet with personal data, customers are certainly going to be conscious of privacy and security during processes that involve customers’ sensitive information such as checkout. This is why companies need to keep customer security on the top of the priority list if it’s not already there. From encrypting passwords to storing only the data that customers give consent to, the feeling of safety is a must especially for eCommerce stores.
While eCommerce has proven to be a bliss for countless businesses, the opportunities for future growth multiply with mobile phones. As per a study carried out by Pixel Union,
By 2021, mobile will be bringing in almost 54% ($659 billion) of the revenue for eCommerce.
In order to leverage the mobile opportunities for your business, it will become necessary for your store to be mobile-friendly. Whether you go for developing a mobile app or creating a progressive web app, the mobile experience must be fast, easy and effective.
When we talk about mobile-friendly sites, one that comes first to mind is none other than Amazon. This incredible store is indeed incredible as it is mobile friendly for its customers. It understands the user behaviour on mobile and takes the necessary steps to ensure the experience is as smooth as it would be on the desktop.
8. Speaking human
One of the most popular mistakes companies make is to speak to their customers using high-level jargon because it sounds sophisticated. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being sophisticated. However, if you want your customers to understand what you are trying to say, you must speak in as simple a language as possible. Whether it is instructions you are giving or an introduction to who you are as a brand, you should speak as if it is a conversation. You will realize that this way, your customers will truly understand and remember what you had said.
9. Animations all the way
While generally, animations hold a special place in the children’s’ hearts, animations can do wonders for the user experience for your store as well. Sometimes in order to explain something such as how to use the product, animations can be more effective than providing text which may seem too overwhelming to the customers. While you may consider using animation in your product, remember not to go overboard with it.
Apple, one of the leading businesses when it comes to tech products is a great example of animations done right. On their website, customers can find useful animations related to the products in order to understand how they can use them.
The feeling of being heard is probably one of the best feelings anyone can have. A quality user experience is incomplete without taking feedback from the customers so that you can figure out what further enhancements you can do for your product or service. From having exit surveys on important pages such as the cart page to the survey after the order is delivered, try to get as much information on what your customers are loving and what more they are expecting out of you.
As you must have seen, a lot of effective ways to create an excellent user experience in 2020 are practices that have been recycled. However, the bottom line is to pick out the strategies which will best work for your business and especially for your customers. As you shortlist ways to enhance your store experience, we encourage you to be experimental because an unexplored idea can be an opportunity in disguise!
Are you looking for a team that can help your business offer an unforgettable user experience? Get in touch with us now!