It’s no understatement to say COVID-19, a global pandemic, is one of the defining events of 2020, and that it will have implications that will last at least a decade. This pandemic has impacted businesses across the globe, especially for retail stores, restaurants & banks. Since life hasn't stopped nor the needs of the people, most of the population is preferring to shop and bank online.
According to a new consumer survey
from distributed commerce network CommerceHub, 59% of respondents said they are more likely to do online shopping following the COVID-19 outbreak. This figure increased to 75% among respondents who subscribed to multiple delivery services. In addition, 68% of respondents are likely to subscribe to a grocery delivery service after COVID-19. Breaking interest in delivery down by age, the survey found that 49% of respondents over 50 who did not shop online said they are likely to subscribe to a delivery service post-pandemic.
Another survey carried out by Statista in May 2020 highlights the segments of populations by age group who did online purchasing for the first time as compared to others. The below image shows that there is a huge chunk of the population who are not used to online shopping, even in the prevailing situation.
And yet another survey
from Jungle Scout reveals that a majority may not return to physical shopping for quite some time even after this pandemic subsides. Sixty-nine percent say they will maintain or increase their online spending even after/as physical stores reopen, and 39% say they’d be fine if they never had to shop in a physical store again.
In this context it becomes even more important to ensure that website customer experience
(CX) is impactful enough to convert a significant proportion of visitors. Ninety percent of your website visitors will never convert on their first visit to your website. Studies show that on average, it takes 3-4 visits for them to actually think of doing business with you. What is required to make the visitor come again is a million-dollar question. Online businesses can analyze customer paths and journey to conversion by gauging different metrics, thus leading them to build better CX to encourage users to revisit the website and make purchases.
Based on our work with various customers, the most common and vivid metrics to gauge to CX are:
- Page Views: Overall traffic of the website
- Unique Visitors: Unique visitors interacting with the website
- Engagement: Time spent on different web pages
- Bounce Rate: Visitors who immediately leave a webpage; higher bounce rates could mean that your homepage or landing pages take too long to load or fail to attract attention
- Top Pages: Pages that are visited most frequently
- Exit Page: Page visited most often right before leaving your site
- Referrals: Tracking users who are landing on websites by typing URL, clicking ads etc.
- Keywords: Analyzing and tracking keywords that are generating more traffic are important to attract untapped segments
- Browsers: The devices that are creating more traffic like desktops, laptops, cell phones
- Conversion: Conversion from visitor to customer; the transition from visiting a site to buying a product or service
- Cost per Conversion: The amount of spend against the number of conversions
During the pandemic, these numbers have turned from important to essential. So, to improve CX the following tips may be considered:
- The customer should be able to recognize your business website without any hardcore branding
- Create impactful content about products so that visitors share across their social circle
- Style of communication and response time should be the same across all channels
- Make site navigation simple
- Incorporate other customer reviews / testimonials to convince new customers and visitors about the shopping experience and products to purchase
- Let the customer know the service model of your business so they feel connected
- Remove unnecessary ads that consume time to read or listen to or to get rid off
- Live chat/ customer support should be 24 X 7 to make customer feel important
- Make sure to defer those product links which are out of stock
- Make sure to let customer know exact delivery time and provide tracking facility
- Reach out to customers for feedback about their shopping experience
- Optimize website performance
A more established study
from Voxware found that 69% of respondents are much less likely to shop with a retailer in the future if an item they purchased is not delivered within two days of the date promised. This shows that availability of stock and timely delivery is an important aspect of online retail which also contributes to CX. Based on the rate of conversion, retail websites can take an initiative to include sales forecasting analysis to keep their stocks replenished as per the demand.
For improved CX, websites can also use the profile information they collect for customer segmentation leading to targeted marketing and personalized content and product recommendations. This plays a crucial role in enhancing volume and building a robust supply chain to meet current and expected demand.
Online CX is an important interface to the external world, especially in the current climate where people are expanding their online presence and utilizing it more and more to fulfill their daily needs. So whatever services provide the best customer experience have the ability to capture the most market share.
Faraz is a Data Science Consultant with over 11 years of experience in successfully delivering analytics and information systems solutions / projects to leading telecommunications, retail, FMCG and banks across Pakistani, MEA and North American markets. Faraz has led the successful inception, design and execution of advanced analytics projects covering different industry use cases including market basket analysis, people analytics, performance prediction modelling, customer journey and path analytics. Faraz has also held technical lead roles on several data science projects in a multi-platform ecosystem environment. He is currently focusing on building Teradata Assets over Vantage.
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