As we face the fact that COVID-19 isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, we must accept that its impact on consumer tendencies will hold as well.
McKinsey & Company reports that, in 2020, “10 years of ecommerce adoption was compressed into three months.” With more customers and businesses embracing ecommerce than ever—and more competition for their clicks—online retailers have no choice but to up their game.
But in a sea of ecommerce storefronts and products, how can vendors differentiate themselves? The key lies in the customer experience (CX).
It’s not enough to have an impressive product list. Now, retailers must devote just as much attention to defining the customer journey and creating unique, memorable experiences.
As noted in a 2021 article by a member of the Forbes Business Development Council, “Consumers see value either in time well spent or in time well saved.” And the onset of the pandemic made it even easier for them to bounce between stores, websites, and brands in search of it.
According to McKinsey & Company, 40% of consumers say they switched during the pandemic—citing price, value, and offer relevance as leading reasons. To attract and more importantly retain customers, it’s evident that ecommerce sites must be able to differentiate themselves via the experiences they create.
Here are three keys to providing a successful buying experience that keeps your customers coming back:
Companies have long been using omnichannel marketing techniques and purchasing options to meet consumers where they are—whether they engage in-store, online, or on their mobile phones.
Today, an omnichannel experience is a baseline expectation. More than that, customers expect a seamless experience as they navigate across their preferred channels.
A global survey of 3,000 businesses, consumers, and marketers revealed that 60 percent of consumers say that a more personalized shopping experience will get them to shop with the merchant again.
If a company relies on disjointed, siloed systems, they’ll miss out on valuable insight on their customers—and countless opportunities to delight site visitors with personalized offers and recommendations.
As a result, these businesses will ultimately lose the battle for customer retention.
Opting for a unified solution like Oracle Commerce can provide a consistent, personalized experience across channels, so customers can continue their journey without a hitch.
From inception to adoption to purchase, a consumer should never find themselves adrift. In addition to personalized offers, there needs to be a consistent guiding hand to take each customer through your site and buying process.
Guided selling experiences turn a “shot in the dark” marketing strategy into a more targeted approach that gets smarter and evolves with each customer interaction. It provides a one-to-one interaction while also identifying the best method for interacting with each individual customer.
Whether it’s a conversation with a seller or an AI chatbot that predicts customer preferences and selects relevant products, the customer benefits from a catered experience that helps them find what they’re looking for quickly and efficiently.
A 2021 report by Ernst & Young revealed that 39 percent of consumers say they will shop online for products they used to buy in stores, which places greater pressure on ecommerce websites to deliver superior service.
When all of your competitors are trying to do the same thing, it’s all the more vital to have a complete view of your customers so you can cater to their needs and habits more effectively and distinguish your ecommerce site from the rest.
Given how quickly consumer behavior can change, improving the commerce experience on your website is an ongoing process that will quickly separate ailing brands from their more successful counterparts. Be sure you can keep up with current consumer expectations and adapt to future shifts with a unified and flexible ecommerce platform.
Fueled by the demands and constraints of the global pandemic, ecommerce has increasingly become the default for consumers. Convenience is the new normal, and customers and businesses will continue to seek out brands that can consistently deliver seamless, personalized, and engaging commerce experiences.
Find out how Oracle B2C Commerce can help you build personalized buyer experiences, innovate faster, and boost sales with this brief demo.
Ben is a product marketing analyst for Oracle Commerce.