The global e-commerce industry is growing by leaps and bounds. From 2014 to 2021, worldwide e-commerce revenue is forecasted to grow from $1.34 trillion to $4.88 trillion. At the root of this nearly threefold increase is the continual improvement of unprecedented customer experiences.
But offering the type of shopping experience that today’s consumers require involves more than doing a few things right. To make sense of the current online-shopping landscape, let’s examine some stats that sum up the e-commerce customer experience.
Personalization, Personalization, Personalization
As creeped out as many of us feel when we see a Facebook ad that comes across as way too personal, on the whole, today’s shoppers want personalized messaging in every touchpoint. In fact, 88 percent of consumers say they’re more likely to shop with retailers that deliver personalized and connected cross-channel experiences. One area e-retailers can take advantage is right on the homepage, as evidenced by the 85 percent of shoppers persuaded to buy from personalized homepage promotions, and 92 percent influenced by personalized shopping cart recommendations.
However, it’s imperative to segment your data appropriately and follow through on the actual “personalization.” Many e-commerce stores are failing to put their vast swaths of customer info to practical use. Seventy-four percent of online consumers are frustrated with the ads, offers, and promotions being offered that have nothing to do with their interests. This leads to many e-retailers playing it safe, as just 39 percent of retailers even send personalized product recommendations via email.
If you’re among e-commerce stores that are behind the buck with tailored messaging, your work is cut out for you. Consider that by 2026, nearly all consumers will expect both high levels of convenience and personalization in all retailer and brand interactions.
It’s a Mobile World
It’s no secret that global internet activity is increasingly shifting more mobile each day. By year-end, over 36 percent of the world population will use a smartphone, with the number of users expected to increase to 2.5 billion in 2019. By comparison, in 2011, a mere 10 percent of the world had access to a smartphone. Everything an e-commerce store does should be centered on offering stellar mobile experiences. Per Superoffice, 84 percent of companies who claim to be customer-centric focus on their mobile customer experience.
But focusing and succeeding are two vastly different things. To actually deliver seamless mobile experiences to shoppers, your layout and navigation need to be responsive, simplified and intuitive. Additionally, your buttons need to be well spaced so users can easily tap between products.
This should especially be the case if your store sells electronics or another niche with long product names and many accessories. Finally, your store appeal hinges on the aesthetic first impression that shoppers get after arriving at your store. Many people will leave a website if they find the layout unattractive.
But even if you do all these things correctly, it won’t mean much if your page takes too long to load. Per a ThinkwithGoogle study in which a neural net was created modeled after a human brain with a 90 percent prediction accuracy, it was found that the probability of a mobile visitor bouncing increased 123 percent as the page load time went from one second to 10 seconds. When a mobile page’s elements (text, titles, images, etc.,) increase from 400 to 6,000, the conversion rate dropped 95 percent!
Shopping Cart Abandonment
Between 60 and 80 percent of e-commerce carts are abandoned, with the industry average settling just under 68 percent. There are too many reasons shoppers abandon their carts. Above all, e-commerce’s convenience is a double-edged sword; consumers can order most anything with a few taps or clicks as easily as they can change their mind and close the page. For this reason, it’s impossible to thwart cart abandonment.
However, you can reduce a substantial chunk of yours by being transparent about all costs involved. Over half of all shoppers said that being presented with unexpected costs is the reason they leave without completing their purchase.
The main culprit of unforeseen expenses is almost always shipping, which is enough to leave most people nauseated in the era of two-day free shipping. But you can also help your efforts by allowing for a checkout process that builds trust, reduces fear and highlights the benefits of ordering from your store. Per e-commerce platform provider Shopify. 61 percent of people did not buy because a trust logo was not present, and over 75 percent said they didn’t buy because they didn’t recognize the logo used.
The right checkout process does these things without forcing shoppers through unnecessary steps. For example, nearly one-quarter (25 percent) of users will abandon their shopping cart if they have to create a new user account.
When it comes to a returns policy, it’s important to be upfront about it right from the start. Your returns policy should be viewable from the homepage and appear on every page of your checkout process. Do yourself a favor and write a generous returns policy to encourage first-time shoppers to give you a try. You can, of course, be stingy, but you’ll pay the price considering that an inconvenient returns policy deters 80 percent of shoppers.
The intrigue of e-commerce is figuring out how to offer the best customer experience to grow your business, but it’s also the primary challenge. While these stats that sum up the e-commerce customer experience won’t do the job for you, their insights can guide you to developing a better online store.