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Updated by Jelena Cekic on Dec 18, 2018
Headline for 6 Things Online Shoppers Expect from Ecommerce Shops
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Jelena Cekic Jelena Cekic
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6 Things Online Shoppers Expect from Ecommerce Shops

Ecommerce businesses have been around for a while now and customers are used to a certain standard of service.

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Introduction

E-commerce has been blooming for quite some time now and it will continue to grow in the next few years. Modern consumers aren't only spending more time making their online purchases, they're spending more money on online shopping than ever before, according to the recent statistics.

It's no secret that most business organizations figured out that e-commerce delivers superior results due to its customer-centric nature. Put simply, e-commerce is more about customers than it is about brands. Since almost every internet user of today owns a smartphone, it's very likely that they will use it to do online shopping.

The Challenges of E-commerce

According to a recent study, more than a third of global e-commerce sales will be done through mobile devices. With all that in mind, it's safe to say that more and more customers prefer buying online. Therefore, it all comes down to customer experience and the things online shoppers expect from today's e-commerce shops.

Poor inventory forecasting, subpar after-sales support, cart abandonment, these are just some of the top challenges online shops face on a daily basis. These challenges can greatly shape customer experience which is the main determining factor of growth and revenue for e-commerce shops. With that in mind, here are some of the things online shoppers expect from e-commerce shops today.

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1. Omnichannel

1. Omnichannel

Consumers expect from e-commerce shops to be focused on delivering superior customer experiences and convenience. Since modern consumers are so experience-sensitive when it comes to e-commerce platforms, creating and maintaining a positive e-commerce environment across multiple touchpoints such as social, mobile and web, could greatly improve the customer experience.

The omnichannel approach should encompass both the customer experience and the relationship that a brand has with the customer across channels, platforms, and devices. The omnichannel approach means providing each customer with the best possible customer experience across channels they prefer. Each interaction affects a customer’s propensity to make a purchase and return to the platform via devices of their choosing.

By using technology, content, and data, modern brands get the ability to deliver a seamless customer experience to remain competitive. So, that means that experience on the web should match the customer experience on mobile and vice versa.

The omnichannel approach is all about syncing all channels to create a seamless customer experience that provides each consumer with a level of personalization and convenience that positively affects their purchasing decisions.

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2. Multiple delivery options

2. Multiple delivery options

Now, delivery options are extremely important for shaping the customer experience in e-commerce simply because the customers of today expect a range of options. Just like e-commerce has grown over the time, so did the expectations of customers, especially when it comes to service. In fact, customers have unreal expectations around shipping time and delivery options.

Even if you give shipping for free, they'll still expect a relatively fast delivery. They will even pay more to get more convenience and speed. Offering multiple delivery options seems to be in order if you want to appeal to as many customers as possible. Delivery to local pick up points, home delivery, collect in store, free delivery - these are just some of the options.

The ideal list of delivery options should cover most customer preferences to provide a great delivery experience and match their expectations around performance. Good support from the retailer, proactive communication and accurate tracking online are good ways to improve the delivery experience.

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3. High-quality product photography and video

3. High-quality product photography and video

They say that a good photo is worth more than a thousand words. No brand should ever underestimate the power of high-quality product photography and video as these can fully shape user and customer experience. While some of the most generic and commonly recognized products don't need those levels of visual appeal, online shoppers find high-quality product photos to be reassuring.

These feelings are immensely helpful when your customers are looking to identify the thing they need and want. Look at it this way: we live in a modern and technology-driven world where, more or less, everything is visual. So, it's easy to assume that an e-commerce website with lots of great images will more likely get customers to check out with a smile on their faces.

These photos and videos are supposed to give consumers the same feelings like they're in a physical store. By making the online shopping experience as real as possible, you will increase revenue and get them to buy.

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4. Personalized suggestions based on machine learning

4. Personalized suggestions based on machine learning

Personalization is at the heart of the omnichannel approach and these are two main factors for creating a cohesive and unified customer experience. Online brands harness and capture customer data to deliver a highly-personalized customer and user experience. One of the biggest challenges when it comes to personalization is scalability.

It's hard to provide thousands of customers with a personalized sales and service experience. Well, modern technology has the answer: machine learning technology. Since each interaction with customers is an opportunity for brands to capture and harness customer data, it's hard to scale up and analyze all that data.

Machine learning helps brands to automatically make changes, analyze and process all captured data. Most importantly, brands can use this data to analyze customer behavior and preferences so that they can make personalized suggestions by using the power of automation. The more data you collect, the more sophisticated personalized experience you deliver.

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5. Automation and 24/7 service

5. Automation and 24/7 service

Providing the possibility to chat with customers in real-time 24/7 would probably be the best way to improve the online customer experience and exceed their expectations. The best way to provide 24/7 customer and product support across multiple channels is by integrating the best AI chatbot. Through machine learning and artificial intelligence, chatbots are getting smarter and they play a key role in customer experience today.

Aside from the 24/7 service, the best AI chatbot also brings the benefits of automation since your chatbot can provide all the necessary services to customers instead of the whole customer support team. They can provide quick histories of customers and achieve a faster customer service resolution, among many other things.

Still, the best thing about AI chatbots is that they are getting so sophisticated that they can encounter negative segments from customers and recognize human emotions such as joy, fear, confusion or anger.

When you add the fact that the most popular chatbot platforms such as SnatchBot.me offer numerous ways to customize your chatbot any way you see fit to better suit your business needs, it's more than clear that the best AI chatbot is the best way to provide excellence in customer service. On top of everything mentioned, AI assistants allow quick access to customer data which additionally personalizes customer service.

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6. Quick, reliable and easy checkouts

Checking out should be simple, quick, reliable, and easy but most importantly, it should allow online shoppers to save their carts. In fact, one of the most important things today when you're an online retailer and which greatly affects the customer experience is not making the checkout process easy and streamlined. Easy checkout for someone who is willing to give you their money is the least you can do as an online brand.

Therefore, your checkout process should end the customer journey in the most positive way and an easy to follow and straightforward checkout process should be aimed at providing small visuals so that your customers know where they stand in their checkout process. It would be ideal if you could provide the possibility to check out in no more than three clicks tops.

Spice things up a bit by offering free shipping as this is a good way to stay competitive in the e-commerce industry. Make everything as transparent as it can possibly be as modern consumers love seeing things clearly.