As ecommerce business owners, we are always looking for ways to reach new customers and new markets to grow our businesses. We strategize, advertise, and network to increase our customer base and sales. Let’s focus for a moment though, on what we can do to enhance our current customer experience as a way to improve the bottom line.
Just like their brick and mortar brothers and sisters, ecommerce businesses are continually looking for ways to improve, grow, and expand sales. Understandably, the manner that is used most often to accomplish that is obtaining new customers, and that’s great – it’s the number one way to grow a business. However, continuing to wow current and returning customers shouldn’t fall by the wayside. It’s estimated that 25% to 40% of revenue for ecommerce sales comes from return customers. That’s a pretty big slice of the sales pie to overlook.
Taking some time to make sure that current customers are satisfied and that they will return to buy more products, is time well spent. Here are 7 things you can do right now to keep your customer experience a positive one:
- View your website as a customer. This is one easy way you can put yourself in your customers’ shoes and see what they see. Scroll and click your way through your website pages. Walk through your own sales process. Is there something you could (or should) change to make the site more user friendly for your customers? Are there typos or grammar mistakes? Are the pages appealing to the eye? Are your products represented in an attractive, professional way? If you are too close to the website layout and design to be objective, have someone else look at it and give you feedback.
- Be more accessible to buyers. This is the technology age (you are selling online, right?) and your customer experience is improved by getting questions answered quickly. One way to accomplish that is to add a chat feature to your site. It’s easy to do and you can have the chat sent right to your own phone like text messaging, so your customers can get immediate responses. Some companies even offer livechat services for free. You should also be selling wherever it is customers buy. Amazon and eBay aren’t enough by themselves anymore. Explore other marketplaces like Rakuten, Sears, or Jet.com. Inventory management software likes ours at ecomdash makes expanding to new channels easy.
- Make your loyal customers social media stars. Use social media to expand the customer experience to other channels. When you get positive feedback about your business or products from customers, post about it! Testimonials are great for your business, and your customers will appreciate the tag. Social media also allows you to give your customers credit when they have made suggestions that you decide to employ. That not only gives credit where credit is due, but it shows other potential buyers that you listen to your customers.
- Offer customers specials. You can do this in lots of ways: bundling items for a lower combined price, putting products on sale, offering free shipping, or listing a deal of the day or week. Rewards program managers make this quick and easy to do, and your customers will appreciate it. Be sure to post your specials on your home page, so they are viewed right away.
- Give recommendations. Everything online from Facebook to Netflix to your favorite blog, makes recommendations to you about what else you might like to buy, or watch, or read. Jump on the recommendation bandwagon and give your customers additional options based on their previous purchases. It will save your customers time, and encourage additional sales for you.
- Thank your customers. Everyone likes to know that they are appreciated. Why not extend thanks to your loyal customers? This can be accomplished in various ways from a short and sweet mention on social media, to a more personal handwritten note through snail mail. Whichever way you decide to go, thanking your customers will make them feel special and appreciated.
- Make things new for repeat shoppers. Update, update, update! Your return customers don’t want to see the same things on your home page every time they click on their bookmark. Keep things fresh and new on your site, so that there is always something different for customers to see. Changing and updating things will also encourage more traffic to your site because your customers will want to see what you’ve added. Not only your new customers should be the focus on your customer experience improvement efforts.Go the extra mile for your loyal returning customers. They will be more likely to promote your business to others if they receive great service, quality products, and appreciation for their business. Start with these seven easy tips and see what works for you and your customers. Remember, a good portion of your sales likely comes from return customers, so treat them accordingly. You’ll see fewer one-time buyers, more positive feedback, and increased sales.
Your customer experience should be a big focus on how you do business. It applies to both conversions and retention, two important business metrics. Ignoring customer experience could lead to a dip in sales, so make sure it’s always on the forefront of your mind.
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