Customer experience: don’t lose it in the last mile
When it comes to e-commerce sales, companies may face a lack of control over the downstream part of the customer journey, i.e., the conversion into a sale, no matter how much they invested into the upstream, marketing-related preparation. According to Erica Vialardi from www.the-future-of-commerce.com, there are three examples of make-or-break points in the experience of a customer; three moments of truth between a successfully closed sale and a lost customer.
Are your salespeople ready for the digital race?
One of the biggest threats when it comes to customer conversion and customer retention is the total disconnect between online and offline sales. There are some products, for example, cosmetics and perfumery, where live-testing is often an unavoidable step in the purchasing decision. Unfortunately, not all experiences in perfumery stores shows the latest “scent” of an omnichannel strategy.
The most serious shortcoming is the lack of training of in-store salespeople about currently available online promotions. To make it worse, their very sales objectives seems to have nothing to do with the current setup of the online store, as they often try to push completely different products, even if the customer – Erica herself in this case – shows them what she wants on the screen of a smartphone. As the Editor witnesses the conclusion is easy: the customer want to run away as quickly as possible.
Make it easy to subscribe
Another source of frustration that prevented Erica, and many as her, from completing purchases are the subscription packages for immaterial products such as newspaper apps. The drive to push the “purchase now” button is almost irresistible, when the user is in the middle of reading an elaborate article on an international magazine. But what happens next? He usually ends up on a text-filled page, featuring an array of subscription combinations and payment options, unreadable on the screen of a smartphone, making it impossible to compare the offers between another. The conclusion? Better is to go back and read free news on Google.
Don’t put the victory in the hands of your adversaries
Concerning the bigger purchases, those that require an extensive pre-purchase research such as the perfect TV, it often occurs that the customer starts his research on Amazon, but the lack of sufficient and satisfying information lead him to screen every manufacturer website to find all the information he needs to compare. In the end he ends up on Amazon again for “that one last quick look” . And that last look does cost a sale to the initial retail site he selected, simply because the shipping costs are lower by two-thirds on Amazon, despite the CX is way better on the retailer’s site. Maybe retailers and manufacturers should find better agreements as far as purchasing convenience is concerned.
From examples like the above, Erica underlines two takeaway. On the one hand, there is no doubt that companies are putting a huge effort into their e-commerce capabilities, as far as customer acquisition is concerned. On the other hand, though, they are still falling into basic traps that nullify their initial efforts by harming sales conversions.
When shaping their e-commerce investments, companies should keep their focus on the complete customer experience, from the starting blocks down to the finish line – which is called, a sale.