This is a preview of the ebook “3 Customer Experience Essentials for Today’s Shoppers – And How to Thrive in the Experience Economy”.
For retailers wondering how to achieve CX optimization for the Q4 holidays and beyond, a few words come to mind: transparent, convenient, and custom. We’re in an era of shopping where technology and access to information has shifted power to consumers in an unprecedented way. To keep up with current trends, companies are giving in to people’s desire for instant gratification in order to enhance the customer experience and stand out from competitors who fail to embrace this modern approach.
Whatever it is that a person wants, there’s a high likelihood they’d like it now. And these days, consumers are capable of getting just about anything, anywhere, almost immediately. But it’s not just quick delivery that they want. Retailers that understand the full scope of how to deliver consistent “NOW experiences” will be the most prepared to meet the demands of 21st-century customers — and they’ll reap the rewards.
Here are 5 tips for boosting CX optimization in the instant gratification age.
Be upfront about inventory
Not many things will damage a company’s CX faster than having a potential customer get a message at checkout that the product they’re trying to purchase is no longer in stock.
To avoid this surefire annoyance, show transparency by letting shoppers on your site know stock levels and when out-of-stock items will be available again.
When a low stock count is displayed, it can have the added effect of building a sense of urgency with shoppers to drive sales.
Offer expedited fulfillment (if possible)
How fast can your company deliver its goods? Shipping speed holds great weight in the instant gratification age, as does offering free fulfillment. Free two-day shipping and even same-day delivery are becoming the baseline.
According to the Pitney Bowes 2018 Global Ecommerce Study, 91% of consumers will leave a site if they can’t get free or fast enough shipping, and only about half of the 13,000-plus consumers surveyed consider free two-day shipping “fast”.
The trend of customers’ expectations for quick, convenient delivery appears to be growing ever more demanding, and companies are beginning to adapt their supply chain strategies to maintain their presence and offset costs.
Consider adding subscription options
In a recent Oracle study of 1,100-plus adults across the United States age 18 and over, evenly split between Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X, and Baby Boomers, 95% of Gen Zers surveyed said they subscribe to some form of service or product. What’s more, nearly 60% of this demographic expect their investment in subscriptions will increase or remain the same over the next few years.
Knowing that this generation will only see its buying power increase with age and that they’re drawn to convenience and a wealth of choice, brands can use subscriptions to create a win-win situation for themselves and consumers, boosting sales while building loyalty by providing shoppers with consistent, positive, and timely interactions with the brand.
Empower consumers with guided search and faceted navigation
Online shoppers often know exactly what they want, but other times, they may only know that they want something of a certain type or with a specific characteristic. Companies with a variety of products make it easier for potential customers to find what they’re seeking for by providing a guided search environment. This allows customers to narrow and customize their search by a variety of criteria, from size and style to color and brand.
Doing this not only helps customers find the exact things they’re looking for and discover remarkable products they were unaware of, it also allows brands to uncover detailed consumer preferences that can later be turned into new product landing pages based on these navigation facets, such as a product page focused solely on green men’s sneakers (for someone like the author).
Let customers create wish lists
Wish lists have the magical effect of making adults feel like kids again. At the same time, through the magic of technology, wish lists can provide retailers with deep insights about the products consumers are hoping to purchase.
Wish list functionality can be simple to implement and a clear win-win for both parties involved. Shoppers benefit from the ability to organize the things they want in one place that’s shareable with loved ones who may be looking to buy the items as gifts. Retailers, in turn, can create targeted, personalized promotions around site visitors’ custom wish list items that have yet to be purchased.
For more information on how to optimize CX in the instant gratification age, read the ebook, “3 Customer Experience Essentials for Today’s Shoppers – And How to Thrive in the Experience Economy.”