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Key Takeaways

Dream Big, Tweak Small: 71% of ecommerce execs would overhaul their CX for better customer satisfaction if not for resource constraints, signaling a wide gap between current CX and customer expectations.

Nod If You Agree: Many brands recognize their customer experience doesn’t meet modern expectations, mainly blaming budget and time limits for their inability to enhance CX.

Small Steps, Big Impact: Revamping your CX strategy doesn’t need to be an all-or-nothing approach. Targeted adjustments and effective tools can significantly improve the customer experience.

Back to Basics: Understanding the fundamental aspects of ecommerce customer experience is crucial for setting up repeatable, scalable processes that highlight its significance and effects on customers.

Not a fun fact: 71% of ecommerce executives would completely overhaul their company’s customer experience (CX) if resources weren’t a concern.

Clearly, many brands believe their current CX falls short of modern customer expectations. They cite budget and time constraints as reasons they can’t create differentiated experiences for customers.

You’re probably nodding your head in agreement right now.

Don’t sweat it. Changing your CX strategy from top-to-bottom isn’t necessary. With targeted tweaks and the right tools, the tips in this blog post can help your brand deliver a better customer experience.

Before we dive into them, let's take a moment to review the basics of CX so that you can create repeatable, scalable processes that reflect its importance and impact.

What is Ecommerce Customer Experience?

Ecommerce customer experience (CX) describes how customers feel and perceive their interactions with online brands. 

It begins the second a shopper notices your brand–whether directly (e.g., your website) or indirectly (e.g., seeing your product in an influencer's post). It extends beyond the sale, covering every touchpoint of the customer journey.

Let's examine a typical path modern shoppers take to see how a positive ecommerce customer experience comes into play:

Alice is scrolling through Instagram on her phone when an ad for a sustainable fashion brand appears. She clicks it, which takes her to the company’s website.

Its user-friendly design and welcome offer keep her hooked, but she’s not ready to buy just yet.

Two days later, Alice remembers seeing a beautiful dress on the website, perfect for the brunch she will attend next week.

She fires up her desktop, goes to the site, and makes the purchase. Within seconds, her inbox pings with an email confirmation.

After a couple of days, the delivery arrives.

But, the dress doesn't fit her well. No worries—she grabs her phone again, opens the retailer's app she downloaded after buying, and initiates a return.

Soon she’s packing it up and returning it.

When the package reaches the retailer, she receives a text confirming the return and notification that the payment will be credited back to her account in 3 to 5 business days.

Throughout this journey, Alice navigated across multiple platforms—social media, mobile browsing, desktop shopping, email, mobile app, and finally, SMS. It has been a smooth ride because each touchpoint works seamlessly.

If you were Alice, would you buy from the ecommerce brand again despite the sizing issue?

I know I would. But if there were a bump along the way (ex: no clear return instructions), my answer would be very different. 

Why should you focus on the ecommerce customer experience?

Alice’s experience showed what it's like from the customer's perspective. But what’s in it for your brand?

80% of consumers say customer experience matters as much as the products or services. Improving it means achieving: 

  • Better conversion rates: Different customers have different needs, but many (74%) of them have one thing in common: they’re somewhat likely to purchase based on the experience the brand provides. 
  • Improved customer retention: Delivering great customer experience consistently helps hold on to 32% of customers who would stop purchasing from a brand they love after one bad experience.
  • Competitive advantage: 80% of chief marketing officers agree that delivering superior customer experiences gives brands an edge. It keeps you top-of-mind.
  • Increased revenue: Customers with positive experiences are likely to spend 140% more than those with negative experiences. 

Customer experience (CX) vs user experience (UX): They're not the same

CX covers every interaction between your business and its customers. With UX, it's all about how an actual user views and uses your digital products (website or app).

It’s easy to mix these two up. UX is part and parcel of CX, so they do overlap. To understand their key differences, refer to the table below: 

CX (Customer Experience)UX (User Experience)
DefinitionEncompasses every interaction a customer has with a company, across all channels and touchpoints.Focuses on the usability and functionality of a product or service, typically digital.
Target AudienceCustomers, including potential and returning customersUsers—anyone who interacts with the product, regardless of purchase intent
FocusThe entire customer journey, including pre-purchase, purchase, and post-purchase interactionsSpecific interactions with a website or app, emphasizing ease of use and engagement
Typical MetricsCustomer satisfaction, churn rate, Net Promoter Score (NPS), Customer Effort Score (CES)Time-on-task, cart abandonment rate, bounce rate, error rate
Example GoalsCreate a seamless, hassle-free, and enjoyable experience that fulfills or surpasses customer expectationsDevelop an engaging, intuitive, and accessible interface that meets users' needs
ChannelsSpans multiple channels—online, in-store, phone support, social media, etc.Primarily digital interfaces—websites, mobile apps, software applications
StrategiesPersonalized marketing, proactive customer support, consistent branding across all channelsUser research, wireframing and prototyping, usability testing

Ecommerce brands need to satisfy users' needs to create a successful customer experience, so expect to find a few UX-related tips below.

15 Ways to Enhance Your Ecommerce Customer Experience

These tips can help you create a customer experience that meets customers' expectations throughout their journey.

1. Deliver personalized experiences

Personalization shows that you recognize shoppers as individuals with unique preferences and needs. Many brands turn to tailored product recommendations and marketing emails to convey this.

These strategies do yield excellent results. 

Personal product recommendations (ex: cross-selling and upselling offers based on browsing and shopping history) can generate up to 31% of ecommerce revenue, while hyper-personalized marketing emails (ex: birthday emails with special offers) appeal to over 83% of subscribers. 

Plus, they’re easy to set up. All you need is the right data, marketing automation strategy, and email marketing service.

But if you want to elevate customer experience, personalization strategies can go much further than these two.

The best among them? Replicating offline experiences like how DTC brand Typology does with its diagnostic tool:

typology skin quiz ecommerce customer experience
In place of in-store skincare specialists, customers can use the tool to find out which products are best for their skin type. Source

Typology isn’t the only brand doing this.

Pet food subscription company The Farmer’s Dog determines what diet and products your dog needs based on a set of questions.  

Beyoncé’s new haircare line Cécred also has a hair type quiz to help visitors find their perfect haircare match. 

Other ways to enhance customer experience through personalization include:

  • Use geo-personalization to show local delivery and return options and shipping prices.
  • Communicate with customers in their native language
  • Optimize landing pages based on traffic sources. Those who click on Google ads typically have a more specific search intent than those who click on Facebook ads.

2. Make site navigation a breeze

Nothing deters online customers more than a clunky ecommerce store. Even the most determined ones will bow out if they don’t know where to go. 

And you best believe, they’ll air their grievances on socials too:

ecommerce customer experience poor navigation ecommerce website screenshot twitter

 Your ecommerce platform can help you build an intuitive navigation menu that makes online shopping convenient for web visitors. It should also help you design clearly defined product categories.

Here’s an idea from Pura Vida Bracelets on how to do it: 

ecommerce customer experience pura vida shop features screenshot
Pura Vida’s Shop features parent categories and subcategories. Source

Also, add a search box because 43% of shoppers use it to find products they want to purchase. Provide keyword suggestions to simplify the search. 

ecommerce customer experience pura vida search suggestions features screenshot
Pura Vida’s search suggestions feature popular categories and specific products. Source

That said, don’t limit searches to product content. 34% of customers also use the search bar to find non-product information like “return policy” and “cancel my order”.

For easy access, place the navigation menu and search bar in the header, along with other relevant info, such as Contact and FAQs pages. 

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3. Create speedy, seamless shopping experiences

Loading wheels turning endlessly? Cue the sound of your customers frantically clicking the back button. 

Modern customers have little patience, which is why ecommerce conversion rates on sites that load in one second are 2.5 times higher than on sites that load in five seconds

Here are ways to get a blazing-fast website to give shoppers a frictionless shopping experience:

  • Use Google PageSpeed Insights to check your current page speed.
  • Optimize images and videos before uploading
  • Check your ecommerce website theme’s responsiveness. If it’s not responsive, you’ll have to modify it or change it altogether.
  • Check your ecommerce hosting provider or plan. Your ecommerce hosting platform’s bandwidth affects the speed of data transfer between your website and its visitors. 

4. Design user-friendly ecommerce web pages

Every page of your website should be easy to operate and include all relevant information.

Let’s take product pages, for instance. Footwear and apparel brand AllBirds always includes extensive product details—which may appeal to 85% of shoppers who value them when deciding on a brand:

ecommerce customer experience allbird product pages
Allbird’s product pages include product reviews, various product photos, and more. Source

Observe how the layout follows a smooth transition between sections. 

When choosing an ecommerce platform, check if the themes and customization features allow you to design such attractive and clean pages.

Even if Allbirds’ product pages are more text-heavy than most, they don’t look that way owing to the web design elements used: simple fonts, plenty of white space, and clickable dropdowns. 

The only thing I would add is an 'add to cart' button at the bottom of the page.

This way, shoppers won’t have to scroll back up after consuming the content to complete the purchase. 

5. Simplify checkout for easy buying

When customers click the purchase button, making them jump through hoops (ex: creating an account) will cause them to abandon their carts.

Matt Lite, Founder of ecommerce brand Festoon House, recognized this issue and took actions to remedy it, such as:

  • Using a single-step checkout feature. It reduced checkout time from 2 minutes to 1.2 minutes.
  • Removing unnecessary form fields. It increased conversions by 12%.
  • Integrating popular payment gateways, such as Google Pay and PayPal. He chose platforms that account for 40% of Festival House's transactions.

“These changes resulted in a significant decrease in cart abandonment rates, from 25% to 18%, generating an additional $120,000 in revenue per quarter,” Lite shared.

More advanced tools exist to speed up the checkout process. 

Biometric authentication is one example. Bold Commerce, in partnership with Wink, launched facial recognition payment authorization in early 2024. Any camera that can read a QR code can serve as a checkout device.

This relatively new trend holds a lot of promise because biometric transactions are projected to reach $1.2 trillion by 2028.

6. Ensure top-notch customer service

Gorgias estimates that 27% of shoppers contact brands after a purchase, which translates into an average of 887 tickets per month.

That’s a lot to keep up with, so the supplement brand Human Tonik combines technology and human touch to keep things in order. 

Founder Adam Wright explained: 

Our customer support is enhanced with AI-driven chatbots for immediate assistance— complemented by a dedicated human team for more complex queries.

Unfortunately, 69% of agents struggle with balancing speed and quality when resolving customer issues, which can frustrate customers. 

Equip your support team with the right customer support software and train them in tool competency, empathy, and product knowledge. 

Integrating a customer-centric approach into your value proposition, you become a trustworthy brand in the eyes of your customers, and in turn, will have a direct impact on revenue, NPS, CSAT, and almost all other KPIs.

The key to this great success is highly-trained customer service agents who are empathetic, listen to the customer’s problem, and go above and beyond finding a solution.

Josh Royal, CEO of Aventus (Ecommerce Customer Service Agency)

Additionally, you can prepare a FAQ page to provide instant answers to your customers. 

ecommerce customer experience led light supplier image
This example from the LED light supplier Custom Neon is pretty comprehensive. Source

7. Show off customer reviews and social proof

99.99% of customers read reviews when shopping online–I’ve never seen a more resounding statistic.

Help them slide into action by putting yours on display.

Set up a whole page dedicated to reviews, like pet food brand The Farmer’s Dog does here:

ecommerce customer experience features reviews from veterinarians screenshot
The reviews page also features reviews from veterinarians. Source

Putting testimonials on product pages is also an excellent idea. 

These product-specific reviews can provide shoppers with valuable information needed to lock in their decision.

Certain ecommerce platforms come with integrations that let you add your social media feed to your website. 

So let your pages back these reviews up. Leverage UGC on your socials, which 40% of shoppers find “extremely” or “very” important when making purchasing decisions. 

farmers dog instagram post ecommerce customer experience
The Farmer’s Dog regularly posts happy tales and tails from its community members and pet influencers on TikTok and Instagram. Source

8. Connect online and offline channels to deliver omnichannel experiences

71% of customers prefer different channels based on context. You need to meet them where they are.

For brands with retail locations or that regularly participate in pop-up events, unifying customer experience can make a difference. 

Remember Alice’s shopping journey? 

Her online experience was highly intertwined. But let’s imagine the fashion brand has physical stores, and Alice discovers there’s one close to her workplace. 

She can still arrange the return via the mobile app, but this time, delivers the package herself to the shop, where an attendant can process her refund immediately. 

She no longer needs to wait for a few days to get her money back. 

That’s what a superior omnichannel customer experience looks like. For smaller ecommerce businesses, it can take on a different form. 

Kenko Matcha, a brand that aims to educate consumers about matcha consumption, incorporates its educational component into both its online and offline operations. 

Its website and social media pages have tons of informative content like brewing guides. 

product details videos kenko matcha
The brand even has recipe videos on its Amazon storefront. Source

Its offline experience translates into pop-up storefronts at farmer’s markets and wellness events where customers can sample matcha products and learn about their origins and benefits.

“Many customers explicitly credit the omnichannel approach—the combination of our informative, educational online content together with friendly in-person experiences at the pop-ups—as a factor in their purchasing.”

— Sam Speller, Kenko Tea Founder

Since pop-ups began, Kenko Tea has increased website traffic by 30%, grown its social media following fivefold, and increased matcha sales online by 25%.

9. Create compelling content for customer education

Educating customers is a thoughtful marketing approach. You build trust while sharing your expertise.

Blog posts work great here. 

For instance, gut-healthy soda brand Olipop talks about recipes, digestive health and overall health tips on its digest.

olipop content marketing
Olipop’s blog also includes product announcements and community spotlights. Source

Of course, not all brands have these many topics to explore. Case in point: Formen Makeup. No blog, but cleverly puts educational content on its product pages:

formen product page scroll ecommerce customer experience
The concealer for men product page features a YouTube tutorial and a FAQs section. Source

Hot tip: Repurpose these pieces of content to reach potential customers wherever they are—whether through social media, email, or your website.

10. Offer loyalty and referral programs

Loyalty programs are the number one reason customers return to online retailers. 

56.3% of surveyed individuals value them more than good customer service (36.5%) and on-site search results (35.1%).

A good example of a customer loyalty program is Farfetch’s Access. Former CFO Elliot Jordan shared that one of the goals of this program was “to boost the lifetime value of our customers.” 

farfetch rewards program
Customers can sign up or buy an item to become a member, which automatically earns them Bronze status and a few rewards. Source

Referral programs, on the other hand, allow your shoppers to share shopping rewards with friends and families. 

ASOS makes it straightforward:

refer a friend page ecommerce customer experience
Shoppers can register to share a personal link. Source

11. Provide fast and reliable shipping

Nearly two-thirds of shoppers worldwide expect their online orders to be at their doorsteps within 24 hours (blame Amazon for setting this benchmark), but on average, they’re willing to wait 2.15 days for them to arrive.

Partnering with the right 3PL or logistics provider can make this possible.

For instance, Kitchenware brand Our Place was able to reduce its shipping time in half after teaming up with ShipBob and leveraging its fulfillment centers. 

Southwestern Rugs Depot CEO Connor Butterworth has also seen how improved delivery times impact customer satisfaction and more: 

“Many customers express their appreciation for the timely delivery and transparency throughout the shipping process. It has also boosted repeat business.”

12. Follow up with post-purchase engagement

There’s a reason post-purchase emails get 17% more opens than average automated emails. These transactional emails help ease anxiety and buyer’s remorse.  

Outdoor gear brand Patagonia’s confirmation email makes it clear that the package is underway. 

patagonia confirmation page
It also includes a way to set up text updates and links to relevant information, such as shipment and payment, and care and repair. Source

Engaging customers during this phase–be it via email or SMS–can influence whether they return to shop or recommend you to others.

13. Keep real-time inventory visibility

70% of shoppers who encountered out-of-stock items went on to buy from other retailers. 

To meet customer expectations, it’s crucial to keep adequate stock on hand. 

Improve your inventory visibility by providing a real-time picture of stock availability across all selling channels. 

Using robust inventory management software, such as Linnworks, can help achieve this, ensuring that your website and database display the correct inventory records. 

Adding labels, such as sold out, will prevent your customers from getting to check out with unavailable items in their cart.

14. Maintain transparent communication 

60% of customers value trustworthiness and transparency the most. This is great because transparent communication can also help you manage customer expectations.

For instance, international shipping requires you to inform your customers about potential delays and customs processes.  

You’ll save them from the frustration of wondering where their packages are or being caught off guard by surprise fees.

Also ensure that your website includes clear and transparent information about your policies, products, inventory, and more.

15. Protect customer information 

What better way to round out this list than a piece of advice that ties in with the first?

As a result of personalization, you get access to a wealth of customer data (including moral and political opinions and browsing history) that consumers are willing to give up for a better experience.

Enhancing customer experience means strengthening customer data security

Consider adopting a privacy-led first-party data strategy. This involves collecting data directly from customers through your website, app, or emails. 

It’s safer because 29% of breaches are attributable to a third-party attack vector.

Chief Privacy Officer Fiona Campbell-Webster states this also influences customer experience:

“It builds a little bit more of that trust and transparency because when third parties are collecting on your side, it’s more difficult for customers to understand who they are.”

Aside from this data strategy, always seek customer consent and only ask for relevant data. 

On the backend, maintain security measures, such as SSL certificates, multilayer authentication, and firewalls, at all times.

The Best Tools For Improving Ecommerce Customer Experience

Technology plays a significant role in almost every tip above. Here are the types of tools you’ll need in your arsenal to keep up with changing customer expectations:

Top ecommerce platforms

Ecommerce platforms provide the infrastructure needed to manage products, process transactions, and interact with customers. 

A good choice for your brand should have features that match your needs and meet your budget. Here are our picks:

Top website builders

Ecommerce website builders simplify the process of setting up an online store. Your pick should have an intuitive user interface that makes customization easy. We recommend the following:

Top ecommerce CRMs

Ecommerce CRM systems collect and analyze data necessary to personalize customer experiences. The following are our top suggestions:

Top customer support software

Ecommerce customer support software gives you more control over customer communication. Use any of the following tools to respond to complaints and inquiries more effectively:

Top ecommerce analytics tools

Ecommerce analytics tools can help you refine your product offerings, marketing strategies, and customer experiences. Here are some recommendations:

Top subscription management solutions

Ecommerce brands that offer subscriptions need a special tool to manage them. Choose customizable, scalable solutions that come with seamless integrations, such as:

Create Better Customer Experiences With Sound Strategies

Contrary to what most ecommerce execs may think, overhauling your CX strategy isn’t the only way to improve it. When you implement the tips above, they won't take much time, and they won't break your budget either.

By refining your approach and implementing the best tools, you can meet modern customer expectations and grow your ecommerce business.

Want to stay on top of commerce trends, tips, and tools? Sign up for The Ecomm Manager newsletter to get the latest insights delivered right to your inbox. 

Until then, stay productive and informed with these related resources:

Jul Domingo
By Jul Domingo

Jul Domingo is a B2B writer with five years of experience in the marketing and retail/ecommerce sector. Born into a family of fashion entrepreneurs, she's passionate about helping ecommerce managers and SMB owners maximize their marketing initiatives, business strategies, and tech stack. Outside of work, she enjoys hiking national parks and exploring charming small towns and villages in northern Spain with her trilingual dog.