It’s no longer enough to just throw up a Web site and expect to be successful in creating an effective online customer experience.
The Web is an ever more competitive place and consumers are incorporation more sources of technology in their purchasing process. It used to be enough to get someone you know to build a Web site or just plug in an out-of-the-box shopping cart software and expect to sell. Good luck with that today.
The only source of competitive advantage is the one that can survive technology-fueled disruption: an obsession with customer experience.
-Harley Manning, Fast Company
Would you like 22% growth or -46% loss?
Watermark Consulting reported that over the last five years, customer experience focused organizations produced a total return of about 22%. At the same time, the organizations that lagged in the customer experience and who are known for poor customer interactions returned -46%.
Still think that customer experience doesn’t matter?
- 53% purchased in-store after conducting online research
- 44% bought online after looking in-store
- 40% compared prices before making a purchase
- 35% looked for discounts, deals, coupons, or discount codes from websites like Raise
- 33% emailed or texted someone to tell them about a store experience
- 30% used their smart phone while shopping to try to find a better deal
- 27% bought an additional item when picking up an online order at a store
- 22% bought an additional item when returning an online purchase to a store
Technology is a component of your customer experience.
Your customer experience strategy has to integrate the online customer experience. Just adding more technology into the customer experience won’t work. More and more customers are turning to digital sources to help them through some portion of the purchase process, even if they eventually buy at a brick and mortar store, but technology has to be focused.
This optimization of the digital experience continuously refines the understanding of the consumer that was applied to develop the site, and incrementally improves the digital interface to most effectively facilitate consumers’ actions and serve their objectives.
-Scott Wheeler, Experience Matters
Vast amounts of resources and budget are spent on online marketing, search engine marketing, and search engine optimization, but comparatively speaking, little is spent on optimizing of what takes place on your Web site once you’ve landed the customer. Search engine campaigns don’t convert. Having the right system in place on your site to contribute to the customer purchasing process, ushering them along the path they take in their buying decision does.
We are too careless with our customer experience. Technology will continue to play a bigger role in customers’ buying process, optimize your systems, Web sites, and customer experience to take advantage more customers who will look for those online resources in the sale process.