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Your Go-To Guide for Creating a Stellar eCommerce Customer Experience

Creating an online customer experience has many moving parts—website design, checkout process, messaging, customer service, and so on. 

Even the smallest errors means you risk losing potential buyers and massively dent your revenue. 

We’ve put together this guide to help you deliver an outstanding customer experience. 

We’ll break down the elements of a good customer experience and discuss eight best practices to create something impressive.

But first, let’s understand what eCommerce customer experience is.

What is eCommerce customer experience?

eCommerce customer experience defines how shoppers feel about your brand when buying through online channels, like your website, social media, or app. It includes all customer interactions on your online store—from their first visit to your website to placing an order to the post-purchase experience.

A memorable eCommerce customer experience excels in three components:

  • Brand experience: how you make shoppers feel at every touchpoint of the buyer’s journey

  • Product experience: the ease of discovering and analyzing products to make an informed decision

  • Service experience: the quality of care and engagement delivered after the purchase

What is a good customer experience?

Here’s a snapshot of what a great eCommerce customer experience looks like:

  • Buyer-friendly website: The eCommerce website is visually appealing, easy to navigate, quick loading, and responsive for mobile devices.

  • Compelling product listings: All product pages offer detailed insights about the products, including descriptive copy, high-quality product images, useful instructions, customer reviews, and FAQs.

  • Personalized recommendations: Potential buyers get relevant product recommendations based on browsing behavior and purchase history.

  • Seamless checkout process: Customers can easily place an order with multiple payment options and the ability to save their payment information for future orders.

  • Fast delivery and returns: Orders are delivered quickly with a hassle-free option to return any item buyers don’t like.

  • Post-purchase experience: Shoppers can request quick customer service and resolve issues after their purchase in 24 hours or less.

A report by FedEx on the top eCommerce experience trends in 2023 visualizes a good customer experience this way—keeping online shoppers engaged before and after purchase.

eCommerce customer experience chart

Why you should care about improving your customer experience

Your customer experience dictates everything to boost your bottom line. Here are five of the biggest reasons why you should focus on creating an amazing customer experience:

  1. 1. Enhance customer retention and loyalty by making them feel valued with personalized experiences

  2. 2. Build a word-of-mouth marketing engine to drive sales through referrals from happy customers

  3. 3. Create brand differentiation and one-up your competition by delivering round-the-clock support

  4. 4. Boost customer lifetime value and build customer loyalty by encouraging repeat purchases

  5. 5. Reduce customer churn and cart abandonment with proactive reminders and assistance

Establishing a strong customer experience management plan is key to improving your CX. Before jumping to our CX best practices, let's briefly examine what CXM means. 

What is customer experience management?

Customer experience management (CXM) is the process of analyzing customer interactions for your online business and designing strategies to optimize this experience. With the goal of maximizing customer satisfaction, CXM looks at the entire customer journey to eliminate friction and enhance every touchpoint for a great eCommerce customer experience. 

An effective CXM strategy covers anything that can negatively impact a customer’s perceptions about your brand, such as:

  • Poor quality product images and not enough information about the product

  • Unresponsive and slow-loading eCommerce website for mobile and other screens 

  • No active customer service setup for shoppers to contact for help or complaints

  • Asking shoppers to register on the website before placing an order

  • Delayed delivery timelines and no option to return products

The bottom line: customer experience management aims to turn potential buyers into paying customers with a frictionless and positive experience. 

Create a stellar CX for your brand with these eight trends 

The quality of your customer experience directly impacts your customer satisfaction score, lifetime value, and, ultimately, your business growth. If you're not actively thinking about your CX, you're leaving money on the table. 

We curated these seven best practices for eCommerce businesses to deliver an excellent digital experience and build brand loyalty from the first purchase. 

  1. 1. Engage customers with shoppable videos and one-click checkout 

  2. 2. Leverage AI for round-the-clock customer service

  3. 3. Create personalized shopping flows tailored to buyer preferences

  4. 4. Optimize mobile interfaces for on-the-go shopping experiences

  5. 5. Offer frictionless checkout with secure payment methods

  6. 6. Empower shoppers with self-service tools for issue resolution

  7. 7. Streamline logistics for faster and more reliable order fulfillment 

  8. 8. Design a high-quality, personalized, and sustainable packaging

Let’s deep-dive into each of these trends.

  1. 1. Engage customers with shoppable videos and one-click checkout

Shoppable videos give viewers a 360-degree glimpse of a product with clickable links to see more details and place an order. These videos can show your products in a real-life setting to tell viewers how each item looks and feels.

Given that shoppers are constantly browsing and discovering new brands on social media platforms, shoppable videos give you a great opportunity to drive sales. Use this interactive content to make a strong impression on potential customers and facilitate a quick checkout with a one-click purchase.

Shoppable videos give buyers:

  • An immersive, 360-degree view of your products 

  • The convenience of placing an order quickly

Put simply, shoppable videos bring your physical store to shoppers' fingertips without even leaving the app or tab they were browsing in. 

On top of reducing the friction in the buyer journey, shoppable videos also help users make informed purchasing decisions. They bring your products to life and cover every attribute in detail—the shape, size, look, and feel. 

When shoppers are convinced about buying an item, they don’t have to go through any hassle to place an order. Given that seven out of 10 buyers love the ease of instantly buying products, your customers will enjoy the convenience of watching a video and placing an order. 

Take inspiration from Artsabers, a global brand selling Star Wars merch.

They saw an uplift of 28% in their customer engagement rate and increased revenue by €1.1 million by making their TikTok videos into shoppable content across multiple channels. 

HubSpot Video

If you want to see similar results for your business, Videowise is your go-to platform. 

Designed as a powerful eCommerce video platform, Videowise gives you an end-to-end infrastructure hosting, distributing, and managing shoppable videos across multiple platforms. Plus, you get a dedicated dashboard with advanced analytics to stay on top of your videos’ performance and track the ROI. 

Videowise analytics dashboard

Here’s a list of what Videowise has in store for eCommerce business owners and marketing managers:

  • Store all videos in a library: Upload and import content you’ve created on a single platform to create a repository of all your videos. Organize this content using tags and sort/filter them to find the relevant ones.

Videowise's video library

  • Add interactive elements: Capture your customers' attention and collect their details with interactive videos. You can add polls or surveys to gather user feedback and include a lead capture form to build your email list. 

  • Make videos omnichannel: Give your customers a truly omnichannel experience by distributing your shoppable videos across every touchpoint, including social media, SMS, email, website, QR codes, and more.  

  • Customize designs per your style: Make your videos completely on-brand with advanced customization options. You can change everything about the design—from the widget player’s appearance and product details to the widget layout and CTA button.

Busy Baby Mat Videowise

  • Distribute videos at scale with automation: Have too many product pages and channels to add shoppable videos? No problem. Use Videowise’s bulk actions feature to quickly embed your video widget across different pages and channels.

Book a demo with Videowise to learn more about how we can support your online business and skyrocket sales. 

Book a demo Videowise

  1. 2. Leverage AI for round-the-clock customer service

Fast and effective customer service is a must-have component of a good eCommerce experience. Brands like H&M have set the gold standard for customer service with AI-powered chatbots resolving customer queries 24x7.  

H&M’s chatbot can help you find products relevant to your needs, track your orders, check refund status, and answer all the basic questions. 

H&M’s AI chabot

With AI becoming an increasingly crucial part of our digital lives, it’s time for eCommerce businesses to put AI to work for on-demand customer service.

Here are a few ways to use AI to boost your customer support efforts:

  • Create chatbots for instant responses: Ditch the delayed emails and give existing buyers a quick fix for any problem with chatbots. You can add specific prompts or train these bots to understand natural language queries and make the buying process more interactive.

  • Automate email communication: Use AI to create trigger-based email responses for users' actions on your website. This includes cart abandonment, browsing specific products, payment failure, etc.

  • Deliver predictive support: Stay ahead of your buyers and monitor customer behavior using AI. Leverage these insights to identify friction points in their buying journey and proactively offer support for a positive customer experience.

  • Analyze customer sentiments: Use AI to analyze all customer tickets and reviews to assess their sentiments toward your brand. Find recurring issues causing negative sentiments and improve your support experience.

Don’t make your customers struggle when they seek help. Make your support effortless with AI to maximize customer satisfaction. 

  1. 3. Create personalized shopping flows tailored to buyer preferences

The average customer journey isn’t linear. With omnichannel experiences becoming the norm, these journeys have become more bifurcated than ever. But your buyers expect a personalized experience to make their purchase decision, especially younger Gen Z and millennial shoppers.

shoppers’ buying habits data

To deliver a truly personalized shopping experience, you have to:

  • Find out the exact customer motivations and pain points for buying specific products

  • Map out a path from discovery to purchase for shoppers with different motivations

You can use this data and insights to boost your personalization efforts on many fronts, such as:

  • Product recommendations: Suggest relevant products based on the customer type and motivations. For example, first-time shoppers visiting your website from a social media ad should get different recommendations than existing customers returning for another order.

  • Retargeting ads: Create different brackets to personalize your retargeting campaigns for shoppers—like one-time website visitors, repeat visitors, abandoned cart visitors, email subscribers, etc. Make different ads to cater specifically to each shopper.

  • Discount offers: Use customer motivation insights to create targeted discount deals for potential and existing buyers. These can cover various scenarios like shoppers adding products to a cart but not placing an order, visitors only browsing your website, visitors checking out specific products, etc.

Remember to run A/B tests for all personalized elements to choose the best-performing options. Constantly collect customer feedback to see what's working and not producing results. 

  1. 4. Optimize mobile interfaces for on-the-go shopping experiences

Creating a responsive design for different screens is table stakes for eCommerce brands—especially when 50% of younger consumers use Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok for purchases. But most eCommerce brands drop the ball here because they don’t know what a responsive design should look like. 

We curated this handy checklist of essential elements for mobile shopping experiences:

  • Fast loading times with optimized images and a limited number of redirects

  • Touch-friendly CTA buttons and interactive elements that aren’t too large or small

  • Mobile-specific personalization using geolocation and virtual reality product experience

  • Easily visible and functional product search bar and options to share on social media

  • Ability to change the layout of the product in a grid, list, or other formats 

Besides optimizing eCommerce sites for mobile shoppers, you can also consider developing mobile apps to give buyers a more seamless browsing and shopping experience. 

An industry-leading brand like Nike offers a mobile app to give users the convenience of shopping on the go without any struggles with a clunky interface.

Nike’s mobile app

  1. 5. Offer frictionless checkout with secure payment methods

You'd be surprised to know that 25% of shoppers abandon their purchase when their preferred payment method is unavailable. 

Imagine losing so much revenue from high-intent shoppers only because you couldn’t offer the right payment options!

To create a hassle-free and low-effort checkout process, research your buyers' preferences. Find out what they want to use and look at the market trends to add preferred methods. Conduct user surveys and check out industry reports to collect this customer data.

For example, digital wallets are the most preferred payment option for Gen Z and millennial buyers. So, if your brand targets these age groups, add various digital wallet options to your checkout.

Besides identifying your shoppers' preferences, look at what your competitors offer. You can use this opportunity to differentiate your brand and earn brownie points! 

On top of choosing the right payment methods, here’s what you can do to make a smooth checkout process

  • Guest checkout option: Don’t make it mandatory to create an account before making a purchase. Reduce friction and speed up the buying process with guest checkout.

  • Save payment information: Give them the option to save their payment details for future purchases and make it more convenient.

  • Progress indicator: Add a progress bar or percentage to tell users how many steps are left in the checkout process.

  • Transparent pricing: Don't keep hidden costs for the final checkout step. Be upfront with all additional costs like taxes, shipping, and more.

Making your checkout and payment process foolproof is important to avoid revenue leakage and lost buyers in the final stage.

  1. 6. Empower shoppers with self-service tools for issue resolution

Today's consumers don't have the time to wait in line to talk to your support agents. They need answers, and they need them fast. That’s why 79% of shoppers expect eCommerce stores to offer self-serve support options to resolve issues independently.

Self-service tools can answer customer queries quickly and lead them to an informed purchasing decision. Besides saving time, these tools also build buyer confidence and overall satisfaction of shopping from you. 

Whether it’s product-related questions or post-purchase queries, you can offer self-service support through:

  • A knowledge base of the most commonly asked questions about shipping, returns, discounts, etc.

  • Interactive tools like virtual try-on for makeup and specs and size guides for clothing products

  • Community forums for existing customers to ask and answer questions and solve common issues

  • Video tutorials to guide customers on using, maintaining, and storing different items 

For example, Osprey has created a dedicated tips and tricks playlist to guide customers about the best practices for using their backpacks. These short videos also include some customers sharing their tips for using Osprey products effectively, building social proof for the brand. Talk about a win-win! 

Osprey YouTube playlist

  1. 7. Streamline logistics for faster and more reliable order fulfillment 

eCommerce brands lose the lion's share of their sales with a 56% cart abandonment rate when shipping concerns occur during checkout. Another 41% of buyers globally consider fast and reliable delivery as one of the biggest deciding factors for shopping online.

These numbers make one thing very clear: delivery timelines matter to your buyers.

Here’s more data indicating why shoppers abandon their carts:

Data about the importance of delivery

Think of it this way: you can add value to your customer experience through efficient delivery times. While a one-day delivery isn't an expectation for every brand, having a good setup for quick fulfillment is good. 

Create systems to effectively manage your inventory and stay on top of your stock levels to prevent frequent stockouts. Optimize your warehousing process and automate the order processing operations to streamline product delivery.

If you're a small team with a decent budget, you can also outsource fulfillment to third-party vendors and eliminate hiccups. 

  1. 8. Design a high-quality, personalized, and sustainable packaging

Sustainable packaging is a surefire way to appeal to eco-conscious buyers and win their trust. In fact, 82% of shoppers want brands to embrace sustainable practices, with Gen Z leading the charge.

Importance of sustainability for buyers

While many brands are delivering sustainable packaging in different ways, you can try any of these options to design standout packaging:

  • Make your shipping methods carbon neutral and highlight this in your product pages

  • Use eco-friendly and sustainable materials to package your goods and go plastic-free 

  • Encourage customers to return product containers once they’re done using it

Here’s a shoutout to Meow Meow Tweet for launching a refill program:

Example of refill program

  • Make your packaging boxes smaller in size and use every inch of the boxes

  • Partner with organizations to create your own recycling program 

Becoming environmentally responsible can help your brand image and leave a positive impression on potential customers. Add a touch of personalization in your packaging to emphasize how you’re making a difference with your sustainability efforts.

How to monitor and measure your eCommerce customer experience?

Wondering how you can measure the effectiveness of your CX? Try these tactics to stay on top of your customer feedback:

  • Customer surveys and feedback: Directly gather feedback from customers by adding feedback forms at different stages of their journey. You can also send surveys via email to collect their input.

  • Heatmaps and session recordings: Use tools like Hotjar to visualize buyers’ behavior on your eCommerce site. Track their clicks, scrolls, and mouse positions to see where they got stuck or how much time they took to perform a task.

  • Online reviews and ratings: Keep an eye on your reviews and ratings on third-party platforms to understand customers' perceptions of your brand. Take negative reviews as the scope for improvement and positive ones as social proof. 

  • Social media monitoring: Be a part of the conversations where people mention your brand and track all the critical things buyers say about you. Use this opportunity to thank them for their feedback and incorporate changes in your CX. 

  • Customer lifetime value (CLV): Track customer lifetime value to gauge satisfaction and loyalty among your customer base. If these shoppers are happy, your CX is working well. If they’re unhappy, dig deeper to find what’s bothering them.

Create an impeccable shopping experience for your customers

The world of eCommerce is more saturated than ever before. With so many businesses competing for every second of shoppers’ attention, it can be difficult to stand out in a crowded market.

But your eCommerce customer experience is a massive differentiator for your brand.

If you’re going above and beyond to fulfill customer expectations and make them feel valued with a seamless shopping experience, you gain their trust and loyalty for the long term.

That’s why we created this detailed guide on building a stellar customer experience to attract, engage, and convert customers. It’s your time to shine!