The Covid-19 lockdown impacted the world of eCommerce in many ways and one of the most notable outcomes was a wealth of businesses opting to keep their brick and mortar stores closed and move their offerings online, many for the first time. Much of those are small to medium businesses looking to find a way to survive and survive throughout the crisis. With more customers online comes more competition, and with competition comes increased consumer demands. This means that eCommerce businesses are having to optimise everything from their prices to their packaging, their content to their customer journey.
In the case of the latter there is one surefire way to make it most customer friendly and appealing to a public moving from face to face service with brick and mortar stores to online purchases leaning on eCommerce, and that is to humanise your customer journey at key touch points throughout the purchase funnel.
Tuomas Peltoniemi, EVP Managing Director for APAC at digital agency R/GA, said:
“companies that focus on superior digital experiences can expect up to four times better commercial returns than those who do not see this as a core focus. In this context, creating better, human-centred e-commerce experiences is key.”
So what can you do to form a deeper connection with people as they engage online? What ways can you leverage a humanising tone throughout your eCommerce store? Which key touch points can be optimised using empathetic strategy?
1. Social Proofing
Forging a connection online can be done using social proofing technology which allows eCommerce sites to bring together shoppers and create an atmosphere far more akin to shopping instore.
Cloud.IQ’s Social Proofing helps create a community-driven approach to marketing on eCommerce websites by highlighting the numbers of views of a product in the last 1 or 24 hours, merchants which helps inspire confidence amongst your shoppers, increasing the likelihood of them going on to make a purchase and address the age-old problem of confidence buying online.
This strategy addresses a number of initiatives - innovation, real-time engagement and improved use of technology - outlined in Salesforce’s sixth edition of the “State of Marketing” report which suggests brands need to rethink engagement from a much more innovative and human-centered frame of reference.
2. Make every interaction on your site count
After just one poor experience with a company's website or app, 60% of consumers are less loyal to those brands. It doesn’t matter how well you performed in the past. You’re only as good as your last interaction, so you need to make each one count.
To ensure that your eCommerce site does this there are solutions that allow you to reach out to consumers from the top of the funnel all the way through the post-purchase communications. Whether this is done using overlays that offer discounts in exchange for newsletter subscription or gentle reminders that they have accidentally left an item in their cart without completing their purchase, consumers are likely to take note of this optimised communications strategies.
3. Leverage storytelling
Regardless of whether you introduce a new piece of software or a new t-shirt that has been made with recycled plastic, consumers are interested to know the inspiration behind the product and how your website came to stock it. Offering a background story allows you to neatly tick this box and also cultivate a brand image that resonates with consumers and creates a more human feel to selling online.
The apparel company Finisterre does this extremely well by making use of blog content, a well-written “about” landing page, and products that tie all this together to create a website that is likely to strike a chord with a certain audience.
4. Personalised messaging
Attending to the needs of the consumer and creating a human-centric approach can be as simple as making sure your messaging is personalised. This can applied to any form of communications from newsletter content to on-site overlays, post-purchase confirmation to welcome sign-up messaging. All of this is likely to make a customer feel valued and tick off the idea of making every interaction count.
5. Use appropriate language that resonates
In a similar vein to learning the keywords needed to drive your SEO, learning the type of language your target audience is likely to use and leveraging it is likely to make your eCommerce site feel far more human driven and nurturing than one which swerves this strategy.
Identification of this may mean doing proper market research and raising the information about your target audience where the peculiarities will appear. It is your mission to grasp these characteristics and make direct and clear communication with them. Find the language your customer identifies and make use.
To learn more about how Cloud.IQ can help optimise your customer journey on your eCommerce website to make it more human-centric and engaging, click here to request a free trial of all our solutions.