Any business that is reliant on online sales needs to pay close attention to the experience that visitors receive when they make an online purchase. A bad commerce experience such as a slowly loading page or a confusing user journey can have a massive impact on whether a lead converts to a transaction or a visitor returns for repeat purchases. An excellent commerce experience positively impacts the bottom line and every tweak to improve that experience can also result in added turnover and profits.
What is commerce experience?
Gartner defines commerce experience as “the programmed interactions between a marketer and the customer, beginning with awareness and continuing through purchase and post-purchase feedback”.
Commerce experience is a type of customer experience that ultimately results in a transaction, or repeat transactions, although this may involve more than one visit to a website or online store. While commerce experience tends to be associated with B2C it is if course just as important in the B2B world.
What do customers want from commerce experience?
To be able to design the best commerce experience possible it is essential to know what customers want and expect. Of course, expectations have increased as customers experience the convenience of shopping with Amazon or using an app like Uber.
User experience expert consultancy Nielsen Norman Group has done extensive research into commerce experience and concluded that customer’s expectations fall into six different areas:
- Convenience – different aspects which are convenient for customers such as easily reordering regular purchases and avoiding wasting time
- Speed – customers want what Nielsen Norman calls a “desire for instant gratification and immediacy”
- Assurance – customers want assurance on privacy and security
- Precision and accuracy – accurate product and price data broken down as well as everything about their order and its status
- Options – choices and flexibility to give customers choice in how they buy goods or how to receive help
- Experience – little extras that make all the difference and differentiates a retailer from competitors.
How can you improve commerce experience?
Of course, there are numerous ways to improve commerce experience and ensure customer expectations are met. These include:
- Investing in a strong e-commerce engine that is fast and convenient
- Designing an attractive and immersive user experience
- Ensuring you provide convenient and logical user journeys to purchase
- Improving personalisation
- Adding different features
- Having strong content
- Providing granular product and order information
- Gathering visitor data and metrics to drive improvements
- Ensuring digital compliance and improvement by making sure you have the “basics” covered.
How can a tool like Sitemorse can help?
In this area of digital compliance and improvement we’ve seen how tools like Sitemorse that provides automated website and digital assessment can make all the difference. We’ve helped large e-commerce retailers make sure they deliver great commerce experience.
Sitemorse’s automated assessment features support the entire customer journey from finding and awareness through to helping to ensure the next purchase is easy. Sitemorse assesses pages across multiple categories, including SEO so can help users right at the start of their commerce journey. It also helps in each of the major areas highlighted by Nielsen Norman.
Making sure that there are no broken links to upset critical user journeys – it is amazing how common this is for in complex product catalogues that frequently change. Sitemorse also tests for accessibility compliance so that customers using assistive technologies can get the information they need about your products.
Ensuring there are no coding issues that need to be fixed that might be causing issues with page speed. One small piece of rogue code may be causing performance problems across multiple pages or even your whole site.
Making sure that there are no spelling errors across your entire site what can undermine user confidence, even if it has nothing to do with data and privacy. If you have run multiple e-commerce sites Sitemorse can also help you ensure that specified global changes that need to be made across your data and privacy information have been actioned.
Precision and accuracy
Having accurate product and service information is absolutely critical; Nielson Norman noted that users have become “less forgiving about inaccurate information”. Because Sitemorse can test for specific tests that you define (such as the use of particular images, phrases and words) within the customisable Brand section, it means you can keep on top of complex product and service changes so users don’t see out of date information.
Because Sitemorse can also record an archive of all your changes it also means that you can access previous versions of content and verify that changes have been made.
Commerce experience isn’t necessarily just about an online shop or website; it also includes experiences across social media, within apps and other digital channels. For example, one option might be for users to receive commerce support via social media if they can’t find what they need or have an issue. Sitemorse assessment can work across multiple channels to ensure consistency between webpages, social media, PDFs and more.
Providing those “extras” means keeping ahead of your competitors. While this needs imagination and dedication, Sitemorse allows you to keep an eye on your competition as you can run Sitemorse across your competitor’s websites too. You can even benchmark some of your scores against your rivals through the INDEX service.
Don’t compromise on commerce experience
If you’re an online retailer, or even if it’s just a smaller part of your business operation, you can’t compromise on commerce experience. If site visitors have a poor buying experience they will simply go and buy from elsewhere. With a hugely competitive market and higher customer expectations it is really important not only to differentiate and innovate, but also make sure you have the basics covered. If you’d like to find out more how Sitemorse can support commerce experience then get in touch.