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7 Ways to Optimise Customer Experience on Your Ecommerce Store Amid COVID-19

As we continue our exploration of how ecommerce merchants can successfully navigate the COVID-19 retail climate, today we turn our attention to optimising the customer experience. Check out these seven actionable strategies that will improve shopper satisfaction (and your revenue!) in this time of uncertainty.

Written By
Anna Giles

Continuing our Tips in Ten YouTube series, our UK Head of Growth, Matt Abbott, recently caught up with Doron Taub, Customer Success Team Lead at Dynamic Yield, to explore the techniques that ecommerce merchants can use to optimise customers’ online shopping experience during this uncertain time

In a nutshell, Dynamic Yield is a personalisation solution that helps marketers from across numerous industries personalise their online content — across all platforms. 

We’ve selected seven key lessons from Matt and Doron’s Q&A session below. If you’d like to check out the full Tips in Ten video, keep scrolling to the end of this post!

#1 Use segmentation to personalise content and messaging on landing pages

As consumers increasingly move from buying on the high street to shopping online, ecommerce merchants can make use of clever visual merchandising tactics to reflect the traditional bricks-and-mortar store experience.

Like a shop window in a physical store, your website’s homepage (and landing pages) should encapsulate your brand — who you are, and what you sell. By identifying users when they land on your website, you can use this behavioural and contextual user data to deliver a more tailored point-of-entry for visitors, providing an enhanced customer experience from the get-go

For first-time visitors, your landing pages should be customised using targeted overlays, banners, messages and other creative add-ons to highlight your brand and your USPs — why they should shop with you, and what your high-demand products are. 

With a returning visitor on the other hand, you can utilise data from previous purchase behaviour to cross-sell, and promote relevant categories.

Check out more online visual merchandising tactics in this article by Swanky’s Content Manager, Hannah.

#2 Replicate the role of in-store assistants on your site

By tracking users — understanding where they’re coming from and what they’re looking for — you can provide personalised online assistance, just like an in-store assistant. For instance, tailored overlays and notifications can inspire customers to explore and navigate your pages and products to find what they’re looking for. 

Where there is exit-intent, displaying relevant, personalised content can convince users to explore alternative products, and therefore reduce cart abandonments and recapture sales.

#3 Build trust with social messaging

As increasing numbers of consumers switch to online shopping and start exploring new brands, it’s never been more important to build confidence amongst your audience. There are a number of tactics that retailers can employ to connect with new customers and help gain their trust.

One of the most popular strategies is to implement social messaging, like real-time notifications, to inform users of high-demand products and trends.  This is really important within ecommerce, as shoppers aren’t able to physically interact with a product before purchase, and may need that little bit of extra assurance from the community to help make a final decision. It encourages trust and confidence in your brand and products, thereby increasing conversions.

#4 Test elements of your checkout to make it as quick and easy as possible

For ecommerce retailers, losing shoppers before they complete their checkout journey is an all-too-familiar tale. As traffic and demand increase, checkout page optimisation is crucial to reduce the cart abandonment rate on your site

The checkout process for users should be as speedy, easy, and convenient as possible — it’s a critical part of providing a positive customer experience. Let’s consider some quick tactics for how to achieve this.

One way to optimise the checkout process is to offer a guest checkout option; a considerable percentage of shoppers abandon carts at checkout if they have no option but to create an account to make a purchase.

To make the checkout process quick and simple, consider implementing address lookup technology, so that address information can be filled out fast, and also autofill software, to quickly retrieve and input stored account information like a saved payment card or password.

For a truly optimised checkout, you should be monitoring, measuring and making improvements over time. Don’t forget to test any changes you make to your checkout process — sweeping changes based on guesswork are a no-go. Instead, use a tool like Dynamic Yield to run A/B/n and multivariate tests and determine which version of your checkout performs best for your given conversion goal.

Get more tips for optimising your store’s checkout here.

#5 Test content to optimise communication with your customers

During these precarious times, it’s important to communicate certainty to your customers, no matter what industry you’re in. Transparency is key in order to manage customer expectations.

Upload content to your site that explains delays and payment options, highlights realistic delivery times, and clearly outlines your returns policy. 

Don’t stop there though. Implement a test-and-learn cycle to refine this communication, continually reviewing and tweaking your messaging to communicate as much certainty as possible.

#6 Adapt content to fit current trends

The COVID-19 crisis has led to inevitable lifestyle changes, with the world quickly trying to adapt to a new normal. Retailers who display fluidity and adapt content to their audience’s new lifestyle can foster connections with consumers, and drive sales along the way.

Consider, for instance, the large number of professionals now working from home. If relevant, your website content should be strategically altered to accommodate this. Promoting products relevant to these changes, like home office furniture, activewear, or loungewear, is an apt way of increasing sales. 

You also can go one step further and promote personalised content based on a customer’s recent purchase history. For instance, if someone has recently bought a desk, you can promote a matching chair that will help the customer build a swanky home office space!

#7 Regularly review stock levels to determine merchandising rules

Throughout the Coronavirus pandemic, we’ve seen huge spikes in demand for products like toilet roll and bikes, whereas demand for items such as luggage and workwear has fallen fast. By assessing stock levels on a regular basis, you can decide which products to promote accordingly.

Dynamic Yield allows retailers to identify high demand products and promote these with custom merchandising rules. Retailers can promote these popular products by pinning them to prime spots within product recommendations, for instance. This enhances the customer experience by helping shoppers find what they’re looking for faster.

Of course, if you’re running low on stock of a high-demand item, you can apply merchandising criteria to hide this product from your promotions.

To increase sales of products that are high in inventory but which are receiving inadequate traffic, set rules that highlight these items in promotions and product recommendation banners on your site.

Check out the full Q&A session with Matt and Doron below!

Keep up to date with our informative Tips in Ten series by subscribing to the Swanky YouTube channel here!

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