Ecommerce Customer Experience Curation
Three best practices for ecommerce companies regarding curating/creating a best-in-class customer experience are producing thorough product pages that are loaded with details, creating a website that is mobile-optimized (and not just mobile-friendly), and providing the most-possible customer support options (live chat and a portal for self-service are must-haves).
best practice 1 — thorough product pages loaded with details
- One best practice for ecommerce companies regarding curating/creating a best-in-class customer experience is to create thorough product pages packed with detail.
- Thorough product pages need much more than a picture, price, and product name. For each product, there should be multiple photos that are high quality and the product description should be detailed. The level of detail provided should be such that a customer can have full confidence that the product is exactly what they're looking for.
- Producing thorough product pages is a best practice because it is described as such by industry sources ShipStation and CMSWire (which states that "fantastic customer experiences start with great product content").
- Research shows that providing thorough product pages pays off because (1) "87% of consumers" surveyed said that product content is either very important or extremely important when mulling online purchasing decisions, (2) "millennials are 40% more likely than adults to say product content is extremely important to their [online] purchasing decisions," (3) 98% of consumers have decided against purchasing an item online due to either incorrect or incomplete product content, and (4) 76% of consumers said that product specifications is the content category they most value.
- Leading U.S. companies that are employing this best practice include Adidas, REI, and Home Depot.
best practice 2 — mobile-optimized (not just mobile-friendly) websites
- A second best practice for ecommerce companies regarding curating/creating a best-in-class customer experience is offering a mobile-optimized website.
- Mobile-optimized websites are different than the desktop sites, as they are specifically created to accommodate consumers accessing the sites on their phones. As such, mobile-optimized websites are different than mobile-friendly, which just means the site can be accessed on mobile and not that it's designed with mobile users in mind.
- Offering a mobile-optimized website is a best practice because it is described as such by industry sources ShipStation and Software Advice.
- Research shows that mobile-optimized websites are extremely important with regard to success metrics, as (1) "the bounce rate" (percentage of consumers who leave a website) increases 90% when the time to load a web page increases "from one second to five seconds" and (2) there is a 53% bounce rate when the load time for a web page exceeds three seconds. Mobile-optimized websites are known for having faster load times for web pages, thus reducing the bounce rates and increasing the chances of converting sales by keeping consumers on the sites.
- Leading U.S. companies that are employing this best practice include Zappos and Etsy.
best practice 3 — offer multiple customer support methods (live chat & a portal for self-service are must-haves)
- A third best practice for ecommerce companies regarding curating/creating a best-in-class customer experience is to offer customers the most customer support methods as is possible (and definitely more than one support option in total).
- As the data below will show, live chat and a self-service support options are really valuable for ecommerce companies to have.
- Contact methods enable customers to ask questions, provide feedback, or get help throughout their ecommerce shopping experience. The five common contact methods that ecommerce retailers offer are a portal for self-service, email, phone, live chat, and social media.
- Offering as many contact methods as possible is a best practice because it is described as such by industry sources Quick Sprout and ShipStation.
- Research shows that of all the customer support methods, live chat yields "the highest customer satisfaction level" (73% were fully satisfied).
- Research also shows that offering a self-service customer support portal is critically important, as (1) 70% of consumers surveyed expect "a company’s website to include a self-service application" and half of consumers surveyed said it's important for them to resolve ecommerce service/product issues on their own.
- Leading U.S. companies that are employing this best practice specifically with regard to social media customer support include T-Mobile, Nike, Spotify, and Xbox.
YOUR RESEARCH TEAM APPLIED THE FOLLOWING STRATEGY:
To identify best practices for U.S. ecommerce companies regarding curating/creating a best-in-class customer experience, we first looked for articles about such. Of the articles we looked through, the two most directly applicable and detailed articles were published by industry sources ShipStation and Zmags, both of which list such best practices. We ensured that each of the best practices we included are indeed best practices by finding each listed or described as such by at least one other reputable industry source. Some of the sources we used to confirm that the best practices we included are indeed best practices were CMSWire, Quick Sprout, and SmallBizClub. These sources, among others, provided details about each best practice, which we have summarized above. Together, this research process provided us with the information we sought about best practices for ecommerce companies regarding curating/creating a best-in-class customer experience.