Sooner than later, the older, strong businesses in your industry might become an endangered species. The main culprit of this phenomenon will be the digital consumer, whom many companies still fail to understand completely. What is it that drives them? What are they looking for? The answer is simple. Convenience. This is a world where brand matters less and less, but the experience reigns supreme. And it is up to you to make this experience as free of annoyances as possible.
The consumer is a goldfish
You might have suspected it already, but nowadays, consumers often have the attention span of a goldfish. When an ecommerce platform is hard to navigate, products are hard to find, or information is vague, people will simply not buy anything. “Too much of a hassle”, they say. “I don’t have time for this”, someone else pipes in. If it’s too hard to navigate or find the right information, they’ll readily move to another website. One that is easier to navigate.
Catching this goldfish will require more than just a net. This is going to sound like an old fisherman’s first lesson, but in order to catch the goldfish, you must become the goldfish. Because let’s be honest. When you are a consumer, you don’t take the time to figure out how a web shop works either, so why would your customers take the time? They won’t. Not even in a B2B environment. Think like your customer would, trace his digital steps and create an ideal environment. So, what does their ideal environment looks like?
This is going to sound like an old fisherman’s first lesson, but in order to catch the goldfish, you must become the goldfish.
Be clear and be transparent
Clarity and transparency, on all levels, are the single most important factors for ecommerce success according to research by the ecommerce foundation. 72% of the digital consumers in think of clear pricing as one of their main reasons to shop on a certain ecommerce platform.
Source: Ecommerce Foundation's free ecommerce report
Transparency on all levels is much more than just price data. It’s also your product data and 66% of the digital consumers agree. They also consider clear product information and good imagery to be a key factor in their choice of web shop. If they want to buy a cupboard, they want to be able to find the right dimensions, materials and other specifications as quickly as possible. The easier you make them to find, the lower the chance that your consumers get annoyed and thus the higher the chance that they’ll come back for more.
Speak their language
Aside from clarity, language is of the utmost importance. This can be interpreted in two ways. Literally, which language your website is, but also which tone of voice you use. The language of the website and its ease of use are the third most important factor when a consumer decides which web shop he will buy from. If you’ve noticed that most your customers or target audience speak Chinese, then it might be a good idea to invest in a Chinese version of your platform. Makes sense, doesn't it?
Tone of voice is a different story, as this one is far more difficult to get right. How exactly do ideal consumers expect you to interact with them? Are they formal or informal? Do they appreciate personalization, or would they rather stay anonymous? An easy way to get inside the consumer’s head is through the use of buyer personas. These can be a bit tricky at first, but they will make it much easier to identify what you consumer wants and needs.
The first principle of marketing
If you ask experts where customer experience is going, it’s AI and voice technology. Steven van Belleghem can give you a brief overview of AI in customer experience in his article. But that doesn’t mean that that’s all you have to do. You‘ll also need to make sure that your interface stays up-to-date. Some good UX design goes a long way for your customers.
In essence, this current digital revolution is the second coming of one of the first marketing lessons you have ever learned: “Marketing is about breaking barriers between the customer and your brand”. Except that nowadays, the list of barriers has gotten longer and more and more are digital.
If you want more insights into the digital consumers mind, you might want to consider downloading the Ecommerce Foundation's free reports. Simply pick your desired country and enjoy your reading.