Last year saw a major retail shift to e-commerce and brands got good at giving customers what they wanted. Shopping online became a seamless, convenient process. So much so that, even after COVID restrictions eased, many shoppers stuck with digital platforms. Demand for online shopping options also grew to include m-commerce (mobile commerce) and s-commerce (social commerce). Now, customer expectations are at an all time high and experiences on digital shopping platforms need to be five star. Find out how to make the most of customer experience (CX) here...
Customer experience in e-commerce, m-commerce, s-commerce
It's all about a seamless experience and same-day delivery or pickup. With apps like Checkers Sixty60 and Takealot offering same-day or express delivery, this is what consumers expect. As a retailer, you should also consider pickup options for users who want to collect items from a nearby pickup station.
Streamlining the ordering and pickup process can help retailers deliver a better experience. This requires analysing how customers move through the process using site and app data as well as customer feedback to identify problem areas. For example, some grocers are still working to optimize pickup time availability and reducing wait times at home or at a pickup station. This requires real-time data visibility and ongoing analysis on your website or app. Making it easier for customers to receive their purchases is the key to meeting the expectation consumers have for convenience now.
This retail trend grew last year when people started conducting more of their transactions from mobile phones - especially the younger generation of millennials and GenZers. Globally, Statista projects that m-commerce will make up 73% of total global online commerce by the end of this year. So what do m-commerce shoppers expect from their experience?
Expectations from this digital commerce platform are reasonable. Users want a shopping experience that's optimised for mobile. This means your site or app needs to be responsive to devices from desktops and tablets to smartphones. It should be standard procedure for most web and app development companies. Especially if they're building e-commerce products.
While m-commerce is growing in popularity, some customers don't complete the full transaction from their phones. They might add an item to their cart on a smartphone, but then checkout on a laptop. Any friction in this process - like having to re-add personal details or products - could lead to a loss of sale. Unified data and monitoring of customer behaviour can help merchants deliver a seamless experience no matter which device customers are using.
With consumers spending more time on their phones - scrolling through social media - brands want to reach them there. With targeted shoppable posts and ads, social users can easily pick up items while they browse - as long as the process is easy. When customers move from a social post or ad to a merchant’s app or site, they should be recognized. It’s jarring to be invited to make a purchase on your social feed only to be asked to reidentify yourself when you try to buy. That’s the kind of friction that turns shoppers away.
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Shoppers also appreciate being able to reach a merchant or retail representative on social media. If they have questions about products, they're likely to ask through a social media app. Retailers should consider offering social customer service on platforms where consumers shop the most.
The secret to digital commerce success lies in a seamless customer experience. Expectations are high, so you'll need to unify data from your site and app to reduce customer friction across web, mobile and social platforms. The big takeaway for this year is that customers want an omnichannel experience across all devices and channels. Being able to meet these expectations with a convenient, integrated service will set merchants apart.