The internet has taught us two very important lessons about the human condition (factually proven by my own inability to peel my eyes off Netflix): people are lazy, and people don’t like to be interrupted.
More succinctly, what we’re learning can be boiled down to this:
We’re getting used to the digital age.
At first, ordering pizza from our phone was a luxury. Now it’s expected. When was the last time you called to order something? We’re in a digital revolution, and fortunately for us, that includes instant pizza.
So how can you get in on a slice of the action?
Create a seamless buying experience across your social media accounts and your e-commerce site.
Tech heavyweights like Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter are beginning to integrate ‘Buy’ buttons in their platform, edging into the online shopping game. So now you can shop while you creep your old high school classmates. Seamless. As an online brand, “you have to present your content how people consume it. Adapt to the changing landscape of how content is consumed” said Jonah Peretti, Buzfeed CEO and content marketing pro.
Now that things are becoming increasingly integrated and your clients flow between social media apps, your online business needs to make buying your product so easy, even the laziest consumers (me) would do it.
Here are 5 ways to leverage available tools, and create a positive customer experience online.
1. Take advantage of data
Now more than ever before, you can understand your customers. No more guessing your target audience or keeping tally of your sales with a chisel and stone slab.
Your success is measurable, your people accessible.
There are a number of tools (Google Analytics, Kissmetrics, Crazy Egg, Hootesuite) to track how your customers interact with your eCommerce site and your online content. You can learn about your visitor’s journey: which days you get the most hits, how long people stay on your site, what button they click first, which products they check out and which they actually buy.
As you post articles on your blog this month, hone in on which days you get the most pageviews. There are days of the week that are more effective to post than others.
Make use of resources that’re already there for you. With the help of data, refine your social media strategy to keep yourself at the top of your industry.
2. Engage your audience
You have a team of marketers working for you already – your shoppers.
Finding ways to build social media into every step of your customers’ shopping experience will benefit both of you. As people share that they’ve bought something, you get free and unsolicited advertisement, and they get people ‘liking’ their post. There isn’t anything more important than instant acknowledgement.
There are many things you can do to start integrating this sort of customer engagement into your sales process:
Allow your customers to login to your website through a social media channel. This allows them to skip the whole ‘Name, Password, Email Address” forms we’re all used to filling out. (Less annoying = increased conversion). Another great way to get people talking about your brand to have ‘Share’ buttons peppered throughout their buying journey.
[tweet_this] A friend recommending a product will always prove to be much more powerful than having the company’s blog tell you how awesome they are.[/tweet_this]
Make it easy for them to spread the word.
3. Customer Service via Social Networks
Thanks to the internet, you can now say whatever you want to the entire world. It’s both the coolest and most terrifying part of being an eCommerce business in the age of social sharing.
Your clients are talking about you somewhere on the web. But rather than being scared of uncensored reviews, you can build your customer service strategy into social media to help those having trouble with your product.
Make yourself visible and easily accessible on the web.
Use your pages as an open place where users can voice their concerns, and then address them. Even if people have complaints about your business, your clientele will see that you take them seriously, and their concerns are being heard.
4. Think mobile
[tweet_this]Because the way we interact with the web is constantly changing, so to the strategy behind how we design a user’s experience.[/tweet_this]
Designers’ used to create a website for desktop and then adapt the design for mobile. But as we see the scales tip in favor of mobile buying (with a historical 50.3% of Shopify customers buying on their phones this summer), the strategy has shifted to designing the mobile version first.
There’s limited amount of space and time to grab your customer’s attention. Put thought into what information is most important, and give it a prime spot on your mobile site.
Once you’ve decided what should go where, make sure it runs smoothly. A reported 40% of consumers will jump ship to a competitor’s website after a poor mobile experience (according to Google’s Mobile Playbook). For example, make sure your customer’s thumbs can easily reach all the buttons you want them to click (like a buy button). It’s a simple fix, and it’ll allow them to eat their lunch with one hand, and buy your latest product with the other.
5. Accommodate interruption
Like many others, I use the time between daily activities to keep tabs on my social media. As I walk to the subway, I scroll through Instagram to see which of my favourite stores posted beautiful content. Maybe I’ve clicked on a link and am filling my shopping cart by the time I get to the subway and lose reception underground.
There’s a good chance that by the time I get off at my stop and can access the website again, I’ve forgotten about it and am onto planning where I’m going to eat for dinner.
Because we use the downtime throughout the day to surf the web, there are so many factors that can interrupt our progress.
The best thing you can do is to try to make it easy for your user to pick back up where they left off when they visit you next.
So when I get home and hop back online, if my progress hasn’t been interrupted on your website, I’m more likely to complete the purchase.
Have all of your product information in one spot, ready to be accessed!