How consumers shop online has changed dramatically in recent years. There are many tried-and-tested tactics to encourage interactions at every stage of the sales funnel, including on-page optimisation, conversion rate optimisation, influencer marketing and promotional activities, but new data reveals just how important a customer experience-led e-commerce strategy really is.
While this seems like an obvious, well, observation, it’s amazing how easy it is to get swept away in marketing plans that test out a range of different executions and touchpoints for the sake of experimentation, some of which may not actually be relevant or most effective for your target market. Where the priority was once to be everywhere at once, data accessibility has given us greater access to consumer habits and purchase drivers, which means we are better equipped to strategies that respond directly to those habits and needs. Looking to ramp up your e-commerce strategy in 2021? Here are our top tips.
Quick response times
Customer service in 2021 is best measured by two metrics: authenticity and immediacy. Thanks to business presence on social channels, the expected response time varies between 48 seconds for live chat to within the hour for Instagram and LinkedIn.
Customer communication can make or break an business, but finding the resourcing needs to meet these response expectations is a challenge. However, it is well worth investing time and resources into fostering front-line communication channels, for the invaluable onflow effects including brand trust, loyalty and positive sentiment. Depending on your budget, it is probably more effective to be focused on a couple of key direct communication channels, be they social messenger apps, live chat or phone lines. Trying to stretch yourself thinner to be in more places at once seems like a more logical option, but response times may be slower and less in-depth, which ultimately may present a less-than-desired experience for a buyer.
We’ve already earmarked social commerce as a marketing trend you should be on board with in 2021, but it’s worth revisiting here with a buyer’s lens. A 2018 report reveals that almost a fifth of Australian businesses now sell on social media – a 38 percent increase YOY. The adoption of social commerce is especially high for Gen Z (38%) and Gen Y (36%) consumers. Considering our online habits, this should come as no surprise – and you should expect those figures to grow rapidly. Ninety percent of Australia’s population own a smartphone, and most of them browse social media during a commute, on breaks, or in the evenings as they wind down for the night. It’s only natural that online shopping follows this trend: mobile-first optimisation, with buyers able to make purchases directly from the social platforms they’re browsing in these ‘idle’ times of day.
Social commerce is on the rise due to an increased demand for convenience. The less steps it takes a customer to divert from what they were doing to make a purchase, the better. Incorporating e-comm functionality in your social media channels is just one piece of the puzzle. It’s also important to focus on what else you can do to optimise the journey within that social commerce experience. For example, when a user proceeds to make a purchase from a social platform, do you make suggestions of relevant things to also add to cart before a purchase is finalised? Customers appreciate that level of personalisation as they see it not only as a matter of convenience, but a matter of feeling valued enough that their shopping experience is tailored just for them.
Whether you incorporate one or all of the suggestions above, as long as you’re keeping customer experience at the forefront of every strategic move, you’re on the road to success!