According to Gartner, customer experience (CX) is the new marketing battlefront–it has surpassed product and pricing as the key differentiator among competing businesses.
This means eCommerce merchants can no longer ignore CX as a critical component to their growth strategy, especially for mobile, which is expected to account for 54% of total eCommerce sales by 2021.
The challenge is consumers are spending more of their time on mobile than on any other device, yet that additional time is not resulting in increased revenue for merchants.
The mobile revenue gap is one of the biggest missed opportunities in eCommerce, but there’s still hope for shoppers to get the CX they’re looking for. The time is now for merchants to invest in customer knowledge and adaptive experiences. Don’t be fooled–everything else (increasing traffic, spending more on ads, etc.) is increasingly becoming a temporary fix.
Here are 3 powerful concepts you can implement on your eCommerce site to significantly improve the mobile customer experience and help your visitors succeed.
Understand where customer experiences are heading
Did you know that 60% of site visitors bounce, 69% of carts are abandoned, and 98% of visitors never buy? When you realize just how much potential revenue merchants are losing each year due to lackluster CX, the figures simply become too big to ignore.
Let’s say you have a store that generates $10 million in revenue annually–recovering just 1% means an extra $100,000 a year. Now, imagine 25% and beyond. That’s the power of CX optimization.
“To capture and increase revenue, online retailers need to know exactly how consumers are engaging with their digital platforms.” –Ben Virdee-Chapman, VP Marketing and Product, HiConversion
The future of eCommerce isn’t about paying to win. It’s about empathy. We have to put ourselves in our customers shoes if we are to understand what drives them to buy (or not buy).
In order to learn what shoppers really want out of your site, you have to experiment.
Automate customer experience testing with machine learning
There is a perception that customer experience optimization problems are easily solved through conventional solutions such as A/B testing. This couldn’t be farther from the truth.
“Conventional technology cannot accomplish near real-time CX because it is based on the assumption that consumer behavior is relatively predictable and static. The first step to solving for real-time CX is through customer experience optimization technology. Through advancements in optimization technology, self-learning algorithms are fueled by the very customer actions they set out to measure. Merchants can rely on the algorithm to dynamically stage different buying experiences to different audiences at different times.” –Zee Aganovic, CEO, HiConversion
Methodologies used in many of these solutions are rooted in statistics used for a static world. Today, the certainty of future results does not exist—eCommerce sites are in a constant state of flux due to evolving technologies and the ever-changing behaviors of shoppers.
eCommerce is evolving too quickly for merchants to keep up on their own with traditional testing methods. Real-time adaptation simply requires exponentially more data than what isolated testing can yield. Let’s look further into what you can do to learn more about your customers, faster.
Look beyond your own eCommerce team
Creating sustainable growth is not just about having quality data, it’s about how you use the data to gain invaluable insights for your business, and sometimes, even see into the future.
“Mobile continues to change how we shop online, and merchants who don’t adapt will quickly find themselves left behind. The only way to keep up with evolving consumer behaviors, is to become part of it.” –Ben Virdee-Chapman, VP Marketing and Product, HiConversion
The concept of best practices is changing—what works for one set of merchants may not work for all. That’s why collaboration is important. It’s:
- Social – Merchants come together around a common problem or goal and learn from others by sharing knowledge.
- Real – CX data doesn’t lie, and in the age of fake news and misinformation, owning the facts is a competitive advantage.
- Scalable – The one thing that matters more about making the right decisions for improving your CX is when and how often you make those decisions. Putting ‘the crowd to work’ on common problems solves them faster for all involved.
By working together, merchants can compare their own results with industry averages and gain useful insights into what CX practices will likely work for them based on the results of similar participants.
Future-proof your customer experience
Whether you’re looking to convert more visitors or improve your CX across devices, it’s crucial to get out of your eCommerce comfort zone.
- Much like smart investing, think long-term with your customer experience.
- Stop guessing what your shoppers want and instead find out by testing.
- Venture “off the island” and see what you can learn from your peers and their data.
Don’t settle for the status quo–the shocking truth is most of the “smart” strategies employed by merchants today aren’t truly sustainable. Use these guidelines to cook up a CX that works for your visitors and secures the growth of your business over time.