Providing a fulfilling and satisfying customer experience can be the difference between success and failure for an eCommerce store. Such stores rely heavily on the user-friendliness of their website to ensure conversions. No matter how superior the products, a terrible shopping experience online is bound to turn customers away, just as indifferent or poor customer service would in a physical environment. For an online store, it is that much harder to please people without meeting them physically. Therefore, an eCommerce company must make sure it adheres to the “3-I” practice to keep up with customer needs and deliver a great shopping experience:
There are two major items that an eCommerce store needs to identify on its website – where the greatest number of dropped visitors is, and where visitors end up spending excess time in handling a task. To do this, the eCommerce store needs to invest in a data collection and analysis tool that can track their customers’ every action. By acquiring this information, the eCommerce business can identify the parts of its website that need to be spruced to lower drop rates and that need to be simplified to decrease time spent there.
Ex: The checkout time on the eCommerce site may be long, which is causing customers to abandon their carts.
Once the eCommerce business identifies the different parts of the website that can be improved on, it needs to come up with alternatives to the current inefficient or ineffective process. This is where the store can shine using new and simple methods of making their customers’ experience uniquely wonderful.
Ex: See Amazon’s 1-click ordering and perhaps make a 1-click cart ordering option, which retains the ‘Add to cart’ feature, but removes the need to enter personal, shipping and payment information; i.e. it removes the check out process.
When it comes to implementing the innovations there are two stages involved – test run and final implementation. Once the eCommerce business has come up with interesting and unique ideas that will improve the customer’s experience, they need to be tested on real customers. A/B testing, which involves testing two approaches simultaneously by having each option appear to alternative customers and identifying which is more user-friendly, has proved to be an invaluable tool on this front. This allows the decision makers to understand which idea amongst its peers, is most effective in increasing visitor retention and improving conversion rates. The business can then implement the innovation that was most successful in achieving the objective.
Ex: Test 1-click ordering against 1-click cart ordering to see which is better received by customers, and then implement that one.
While implementing the “3-I” practice do remember that it is not a one-shot process, but a cyclical one that must be carried out recurrently to ensure visitors remain loyal to your business.