Personalization and thoughtful User Experience a success in e-commerce

Service Business

E-commerce is growing in strength - a trend that has been clearly visible from the last decade. We have become even more used to replenishing stocks online during the COVID-19 pandemic, and above all the related restrictions on trade and concerns for our own and loved ones health. However, not every online store has a chance for rapid development and popularity among users. Do you know what personalization and thoughtful User Experience are, i.e. the keys to success in e-commerce?

Changes in e-consumer behavior as an opportunity for e-commerce

Recently, the results of two interesting studies on the e-commerce market in Poland in 2020 have appeared on the market.

The first one concerns the falsification of opinions on the Internet, and at the same time presents the shopping habits of Poles. The survey in October 2020 was conducted by PBS Sp. z o.o. at the request of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection. 1003 people over the age of 15 answered the questions. What conclusions result from the analysis of the collected answers?

In just a dozen or so years, online shopping has become more and more popular. While in 2009, 68% of respondents to a similar survey claimed that they had never made an online purchase, in 2020 this percentage dropped to only 7%. Interestingly, there is not much difference between the youngest respondents and all respondents. In 2020, 97% of people aged 15 to 29 shopped online, and from among all respondents, as many as 93% decided to do virtual shopping at least once in the year preceding the survey.

The conclusions of the second study are slightly different. The eighth edition of the e-commerce report in Poland presents the online shopping industry in 2020. 1,544 people aged 15 and over participated in the study commissioned by Gemius and the Chamber of Electronic Economy.

The report includes, among others information that 72% of respondents shop online, with 73% of this group buying in Polish e-commerce, and 30% also using foreign e-stores (compared to 2019, this is an increase by: 11, 12 and 4 percentage points).

Online shopping personalization - what we know thanks to data analysis

Research by Gemius and the Chamber of Electronic Commerce shows that 27% of respondents do not shop online at all. The reason is usually simple - they prefer to touch and / or try on the goods before they throw it into the basket. Modern technologies allow such customers to meet the expectations.

The latest product presentation methods, such as videos of shoes or clothes in motion, reflect the real appearance of the goods as much as possible. Such a procedure is used in the case of some products, for example, by Adidas.

The e-obuwie.com.pl store has gone a step further - it allows you to choose shoes based on a foot scan. The leg can be scanned at home using a mobile application (a 2D scan will be created) or in one of several dozen stationary stores in Poland (3D scan).

In addition, more and more optician's e-salons allow you to choose frames that match the contours of your face.If you upload your photos, you can virtually try on more frames.

How else can I personalize my purchases? Use cross-selling and upselling based on intelligent recommendations based on the previous purchases of a specific user. The customer will be pleased that the store has proposed jewelry perfectly matched to the dress or an autumn set of jeans plus a warm sweater with an expressive weave. And another product will be purchased from yours.

Make sure that the system reminds you about an abandoned cart or no payment. Our tip: an additional discount will encourage you to continue shopping. You can also use the customer's e-mail when a specific product is missing from the warehouse. On the product card, in the place where the consumer would choose, for example, the size or color of the goods, give the option of leaving an e-mail address and notify him about the return of the goods for sale.

 

Always allow you to choose from multiple payment and shipping methods. Choose how long it will take for your payment to be processed and delivered. See how the Znak publishing house's online bookstore does it:

Give thanks to larger purchases, e.g. with free delivery or goods for a fraction of the price. The second solution is used, among others, by e-bookstores of Znak, OnePress and Helion publishing houses.

After shopping, send an e-mail with a short questionnaire about satisfaction with the purchasing process. Use one of the simple forms of satisfaction survey, such as the Net Promoter Score. This is how the sales process ends, for example, by Empik.

Take care of the user experience! How to improve the e-commerce user experience

Positive experiences of e-consumers have never been so important in e-commerce as they are today. As shown in the survey "Experience 2030: Has covid-19 created a new kind of customer?" carried out by SAS Institute (a leader in business analytics) in 2020, 37% of Polish e-consumers are discouraged from visiting a specific online store after the first bad experience. More than half (55% of respondents) are willing to give e-commerce 2 to 5 chances of experiencing a positive UX. However, it is better not to strain the patience of e-consumers, because the competition is lurking and probably is already working on making the UX of its e-commerce flawless.

What should UX departments pay attention to? The key is to know your own consumers well. Researchers, in cooperation with designers, should verify the needs of users, and then offer them e-commerce, in which they will be able to fulfill their expectations regarding the online purchasing process.

It is also worth using the general principles of good UX for e-commerce. You can draw conclusions from publicly available test reports. In the aforementioned annual survey by Gemius and the Chamber of Electronic Economy, it was checked which devices the respondents use when shopping online. As many as 69% of respondents use a smartphone, 80% use a laptop when shopping, and only half sit in front of a desktop computer. Interestingly, as many as 92% of people aged 15-24 order books, clothes and other products from a smartphone. Therefore, when designing an online store, you need to adapt it to different devices.

It's also worth taking a look at your competitors' online stores to create an e-commerce site that will also appeal to customers of companies that compete with yours. It is a good practice to follow a list of basic usability principles, such as Jakob Nielsen's 10 Heuristics.

Communication with customers on the Internet - not only social media and content marketing

SAS Institute respondents clearly indicated that communication with the brand is twice as important for them as in the times before the pandemic. When designing e-commerce for the new times, however, you cannot focus only on forms of promotion, such as social marketing and content marketing.

The content in social media and the content that is the basis of brand content marketing should be consistent with the text layer of the online store. The information architecture, which the user sees in the form of a menu, makes it easier to navigate the e-store. The ease of finding the user on the website is confirmed by a well-thought-out User Experience. Breadcrumps, which literally translate as breadcrumbs, is a navigation that allows the user to easily find out where he is in the e-shop. A good example of the use of crumbs is the H&M e-shop.

UX writing is also a key factor for a positive online shopping experience. Understandable inscriptions on buttons, descriptions of fields to be completed in forms, hints and many other so-called in-app copy and microcopy allow the e-consumer to intuitively go through the entire design process.

For a modern e-commerce customer, it is also important to quickly contact the store in case of any doubts or problems. The standard is a collection of the most important questions (FAQ) about the purchasing process and easily accessible terms and conditions. Both are most often placed in the footer of an e-commerce homepage.

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The hotline enables instant contact with the store, but many consumers prefer to write rather than talk. It is worth focusing on e-mail contact or via the contact form, although a chat is a much better and faster form of communication. Most e-commerce have opted for an automated chatbot, which in case of complicated questions offers chat assistance provided by a human - a customer service representative. This standard includes at IKEA and LPP online stores (a company whose portfolio includes the following brands: Reserved, Sinsay, Cropp, Mohito and House).

The magic of opinions on the Internet that every e-commerce must know

Finally, remember that nothing is lost online. The attention of customers is not only avoided by negative opinions, but also customer satisfaction and e-commerce openness to their needs. Make sure that customers leave as many positive reviews as possible. After shopping, encourage people to write a review, e.g. send a direct link to the restaurant's website after eating a pizza. Take a look at the activities of Pyszne.pl:

Conduct a dialogue on social media in which you can show customer interest, e.g. what they liked during their recent purchases from you. Make shopping an adventure - use gamification (e.g. a loyalty program), inspire and make contact with bloggers.

Be sure to draw influencers' attention to the way the product is presented. Let them not focus solely on superlatives, because the review does not sound credible then. Contrary to appearances, this honest description without icing will more encourage e-consumers to fill a virtual basket in your store.

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