7 Ways to Create an Amazing Customer Experience for Your Clients’ Ecommerce Stores

Originally posted on Shopify.

A brand is about more than just the products a company sells. It’s about every interaction a customer has with a company, and in 2022, delivering an outstanding customer experience is one of the main ways a business can differentiate itself.

As customer acquisition has become harder and advertising costs continue to climb, businesses need to create an enjoyable and memorable experience around their brand—whether online, in person, or a combination of both—to ensure customers want to come back again and again. Customer expectations over the last couple of years have risen significantly, and customers now expect to be able to order online but return in store, or look at a product in a showroom and buy online, for example.

To put it in perspective, 73 percent of consumers say that customer experience has a major impact on their purchasing decisions. That means almost three-quarters of shoppers would likely decide not to buy from a store (whether ecommerce or in person) that provides a poor experience.

For this article, we dove into Shopify’s Future of Commerce report and tapped a range of savvy Shopify Partners and insiders to explore how you can help merchants create a fantastic customer experience that stands out from the crowd.

Check out Commerce Trends 2023

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Transactional commerce is a thing of the past

Ecommerce used to be a lot more transactional: Merchants created a product, put it on the internet, and somebody would find and buy it—most likely just once.

Now ecommerce is all about long-term relationships. We have the ability to gather a lot of insights about our customers and their buying behavior, and tracking that information is a critical part of creating an experience tailored to our customers.

“We’re in the early stages of moving from transactional to more contextual commerce,” Andrew Bialecki, founder ofKlaviyo, explains. “Transactional commerce tends to be pretty homogeneous. When you walk into a store, even if it’s a huge big-box chain that has almost an infinite budget, they have no idea who you are and whether it’s your first or hundredth visit.”

Companies tried to create the best experience for everybody possible, but now customers have become accustomed to personalized ecommerce experiences. Today, they are increasingly looking for differentiated experiences and brands they can connect to that share their values.

Bialecki believes that building and owning direct customer relationships is really important. He advises to take advantage of the opportunity to ask consumers questions, collect information, and build more personalized, more contextualized experiences.

“Land the customer on a custom landing page, so that they immediately see the products they’re looking for,” suggests Sharon Goldstein, CEO ofLimeSpot. “Personalize product recommendations to rapidly put the right products in front of customers and put them in context to what else they’ve been browsing or buying.”

Key techniques to create a great customer experience

Creating a memorable and seamless customer experience, whether online or in person, regardless of the channel, is essential to make shoppers happy. A smooth mobile performance is now a given, for example, as is a fast and painless checkout. Let’s take a look at some other ways you can achieve a fantastic customer experience.

Start with the basics

Interactivity and cutting-edge technology like AR, VR, and 3D media can take your customer experience to the next level, but it’s important not to get carried away. “Too many times brands get distracted by the bells and whistles, and they forget the basics,” says Chelsea Jones, founder ofChelsea & Rachel Co.

Before you explore new technology, ask yourself if the brand is servicing customers well, if they are getting their customers’ eyes on their products, and if customer service is already a priority.

The smaller the brand, the easier it is to excel at customer service. Consider investing in a customer service platform, such asGorgias, for example, and check essentials like the mobile experience

How you tell your story and what you stand for, while creating a consistent end-to-end customer experience, has become a critical differentiator. Wherever your audience happens to be, ensure the experience is consistent at every touchpoint in their journey. This might include replicating your website experience on social commerce channels to provide familiarity, for example.