The amount of growth in the eCommerce industry over the past decade alone is staggering. Year after year customers are seeking out the solutions to their varying needs online with more confidence and comfort. They’re building relationships with brands at record pace, and brands that cultivate a sense of customer loyalty are reaping the rewards.
Over the next several decades, the popularity and ease of eCommerce will only increase. That means your business must fully embrace the current focus on Customer Experience to find success now and prepare for the future.
The Impact of Customer Experience
According to Gartner, 89% of businesses operate almost entirely under the umbrella of Customer Experience Management. In the coming years, you can only expect this number to increase.
Customers today crave personalized, curated experiences when fulfilling all manner of needs through the eCommerce market. As businesses and websites have adapted to customer expectations, they have also developed new, more effective ways to connect with customers.
Businesses have perfected their brands, developed touchpoints that speak to specific demographics, streamlined the customer journey, responded to customer interactions with relatability, and rewarded customer engagement to establish brand advocates.
In the future, the groundwork of the Customer Experience thus far will be the framework for any and all innovations to the market. The businesses with the better Customer Experience will be the ones to survive and thrive.
Self-Service in eCommerce
Modern customers have already become accustomed to the aspects of self-service that drive the eCommerce marketplace. The customer’s perception of how easy they can solve problems themselves will affect their overall customer experience on your site. Calling customer service or waiting for an email response regarding an issue will be unthinkable. As the famous saying goes: ain’t nobody got time for that.
Providing fully-automated, customer-centric experiences on your site or app will be crucial to success going forward. Focus on integrating AI, chatbots, personalization, and targeted email marketing into your regular business practices. The more you can determine exactly what your customers want and deliver it to them before they even ask, the better.
Retail Locations vs eCommerce: Connecting Customer Experience
Though all signs point to the growth of the eCommerce industry as a whole, physical retail locations won’t become obsolete. Instead, retail locations will morph into more personalized, boutique experiences that fulfill niche customer needs.
With brand loyalty as the goal, providing retail locations to customers simply makes sense. Being able to translate the responsiveness and immediacy of online shopping, however, will be the key. We’re likely to see innovations like 3D printers become staples of retail locations that provide the exact, personalized product that customers require immediately.
For example, a retail store that specializes in custom goods will have the opportunity to deliver an even more positive experience by allowing customers to interact with their 3D printed products immediately in-store.
Human Needs vs. Business Needs
Indeed, the Customer Experience will eventually come to completely determine the business needs of eCommerce stores. In other words, your business needs will be focused solely on the needs of your customers, becoming a truly holistic partnership.
Understanding your customer needs will be achieved much as it is now: through collecting detailed metrics and forming meaningful relationships. When customer satisfaction drives your business, you succeed on the basis of good Customer Experience and delivering your products into the hands of your customer. To do this, develop accurate, reliable metrics systems and explore predictive analytics. Collecting this data will be even more important as AI communication replaces many human interactions on your various platforms.
The future of Customer Experience in eCommerce will be driven by the marriage of empathy and automation. Harmonious relationships between brands and the individuals they serve will hinge on self-service customer support and carefully curated product delivery. Those businesses that embrace these changes and begin innovating now will have the most success going forward.