The article was written in collaboration with Francisca Ruiz-Tagle and Imagemaker
2020 was a special year from all points of view. Many of its events paved the way for electronic commerce to have an unprecedented rebound that is reflected in a 677% growth in digital sales in the last 12 months according to the Santiago Chamber of Commerce.
Likewise, the complaints multiplied in Sernac (National Customer Service in Chile), which reflects a great dissatisfaction on the part of buyers through different digital platforms.
One of the edges that take more relevance when analyzing why the customer experience is not being satisfactory, is that of Customer Experience since over time it has been shown that the worst commercial failures and monetary losses occur when companies do not take their users into account.
To analyze the reason for this problem, we spoke with Francisca Ruiz-Tagle, who in addition to being Imagemaker's UX UI Designer, is a lover of e-commerce.
"As a user, I suffer from the failures of the system and as UX I see many good things that some channels have and how certain things could be improved."
She points out the most common errors in internet stores and tips to solve them when designing user experiences:
1. Detail the characteristics of your products
Due to the health measures adopted in the global pandemic, many stores have had to restrict their face-to-face sales. One of the consequences that this brings is that the buyer loses the possibility of seeing, feeling, tasting, or looking at the product they are looking for, thus affecting their journey and shopping experience.
With this as a precedent, one aspect to take into account when designing a successful sales site is to incorporate all the characteristics of your products as possible, to provide the client with all the necessary details to make an informed decision, and download the uncertainty that can lead to the abandonment of the purchase intention.
A successful example is the case of SHEIN, an online clothing store that incorporates detailed measurements of its garments on its platforms, that is, it is not guided by traditional “standard” measurements.
In addition, it uses Machine Learning technology to accompany its customers on the shopping journey, in which they can enter their size, measurements, preferences in terms of categories, styles, and even gifts for someone else. The system recommends products according to the diversity of their needs, and based on what they are looking for, buying and adding to their favorites, it shows them more things of interest.
2. Propose more "real" experiences
One of the most complex challenges for companies is to take the physical to the virtual, however, it is those that achieve it that have the best sales success in their online channels.
As we discussed earlier, having the possibility of seeing the product as real as possible reduces the buyer's uncertainty and increases the possibility of making the sale.
One of the options that experience design offers is to use augmented reality to showcase your products. An interesting case of its use in Chile is the make-up store Urban Decay, where the customer can upload their photo or use their camera on the site, and try on cosmetics like someone who uses an Instagram filter, which makes it somewhat fun and close. Something interesting to continue working on now that trying on testers no longer seems very “appealing” to us, plus social distancing is here to stay for a while.
3. Encourage your customers' reviews
One of the characteristics of the internet phenomenon is that people have been empowered to give their opinions through different platforms. Many times companies are cautious about the possibility that their customers comment on their products to want to protect the reputation of their brands.
However, the feedback from your audience is the best indicator of how your business is doing without the need to invest large amounts of money in collecting this information by other means, which are not a true reflection of people's opinions. In addition, customers are more willing to make a purchase if the company, store, product
or service is well rated and recommended by their peers.
Amazon is an example of how to implement this. They have encouraged their community to share product ratings, which in addition to buying customer loyalty, allows others to learn more about the product.
Here we can also return to the case of SHEIN since part of its popularity is based on the feedback of its clients. They also have "ambassadors" on Instagram who are no longer just celebrities, but ordinary people.
4. After-sales service and customer service
To achieve a successful sales site, it is very important to take into account the Customer Experience (CX), that is, the sum of experiences that a customer has with an organization/company throughout their relationship, from their first interaction until they buy a product or receive service and subsequent support.
In this last point, the best advice is to have sincerity and empathy as pillars. We know that there are situations that are beyond the responsibility of the seller but it is key to always have an answer that reassures the buyer.
5. Always attend
The study carried out by the consulting firm Jelly on Trademarks and Claims, indicated that 25% of the people surveyed did not receive a response to their claims, which profoundly affected the relationship with the brand.
Sometimes online businesses are required to have the immediate internet, without considering that behind them there are people who often lack the skills or resources to meet the expectations of an increasingly demanding customer.
But as for everything, there is a solution to this issue and they are the famous Bot. This technology still has a lot to improve, however, if programmed properly, the care experience may become as human as possible. For this, it is necessary that the programmer and the UX designer work side by side in the project.
There are tools like the Walkme Chatbox that make this process much more user-friendly, without having to completely redesign the site.
6. Continuous update
People's needs change rapidly. Companies must be where their customers are and adapt to the current pace of digital immediacy.
To achieve this, it is important to pay attention to the feedback of your customers, to identify their pain, have clear metrics, and thus be able to really propose solutions that deliver value.
Finally, the client wants security, speed, good service, information, and certainty. These characteristics have been neglected due to the haste to solve the problem that caused the suspension of face-to-face channels.
More and more digital sales are becoming part of the new purchasing paradigm, so it is necessary to rise to the challenges it imposes, always putting the customer at the center, because without a customer there is no business.