Topic(s): Customer Experience CX & Business Strategy

In a time when e-commerce is booming, what should you invest in first?


COVID has accelerated the shift to a more digital world. Of course, we were already moving towards an increasingly digitized way of living. But 2020 has pushed many organizations to increase their e-commerce efforts. The pandemic has affected how, what and where we buy. These changes in consumer behavior are likely to stay. So, in a time where customers expect to be serviced as well online as offline, what aspects of your online business should you invest in first?

Were you ready?

For all the companies that already had a form of e-commerce in place, there were as many that weren’t prepared for the increase in online demand. Some industries are faced with a doubling or tripling of online transactions. And with the holiday season coming up, Deloitte predicts that e-commerce will explode even further.

So, the pressure is on. While an increase in sales is obviously good, the explosion of online transactions also creates extra pressure on different parts of your business: supply chain management, logistics, the e-commerce team, marketing... It can be tempting to invest in all these departments to scale your online activities fast. But one crucial aspect is often overlooked: the customer. What do they expect from you in these unusual times?

 

Scale e-commerce in a targeted way

36% of consumers now shop online weekly, that’s an increase from 28% before the pandemic. Keeping that in mind, doesn’t it make sense to ask your customer to learn what they expect? You can send them an email after the purchase to evaluate the online buying journey. Or you can embed a pop-up survey on your platform to reach prospects. Whatever way you ask for feedback, one thing is for sure. It will help you understand which investments drive growth.

Customer feedback helps you out in different areas:

 

1. Identifying what is already going well

Positive feedback is crucial because you’ll know where not to invest in. Why would you expand your product variety, when delivery is the real issue of why people aren’t buying? Feedback can help you to stop wasting money on processes with little impact on sales conversion.

2. Spot quick wins to improve the online experience

Time is money. When you’re on a tight schedule to fix issues, find out what hurts the online experience the most. By mapping customer feedback to customer data in your CRM, you’ll learn what the biggest issues are, and to which customer segment. If your most frequent customers are unhappy because their favorite items are always out of stock, fix that problem first. Secondly, let them know that you have solved the issue.

3. Identify gaps in the e-commerce experience

You might think that everything is going well, but your customer can disagree. Feedback highlights what is good, what is bad, and what is still missing. A good example is payment options at the check-out. For a long time, you could only pay through bank transfer or credit card. Not all of your customers might have a credit card, and the transfer puts a delay on their delivery. The result? Abandoned shopping carts. (Thank god for Payconiq and Klarna). Ask your customers for feedback, and put yourselves in their shoes. Are they happy with their online experience? If not, you know what to do.

 

To wrap it up

When you are in charge of e-commerce for your company today, you face a lot of challenges. You want to serve the customer as well online as you do offline. But it's not always easy to know what you should scale or what you should invest in first. Customer feedback is a great way to make targeted improvements from your customer’s point of view, to take your online business up a notch.