Convert Digital accounts director Adam Littlechild discusses the importance of hearing customer needs in eCommerce. 

We have now passed the midpoint of what has been an incredibly challenging year - we refuse to use the term 'unprecedented' anymore.

This year has seen eCommerce completely change trajectory and achieve growth that we were not set to see for a number of years.

We have watched our industry behave in a way that we’ve never experienced before and we’ve worked to support what that shift has meant for merchants and businesses operating online.

We have made ourselves available more than ever, moved at lightning speed, and been able to flow with flexibility in order to make good decisions in a landscape that has been in great flux over the last four months.

In short, it’s been an incredible ride, so here are a few things that we have learned.

Hear your customers and respond to their needs

COVID-19 has genuinely taught us the value of being aware of our environment.

Some of the most successful pivots during this time have worked because of a meaningful adjustment of fundamental business offerings or core business operations (and in some cases, even both) to adapt to the restrictions imposed on face to face trade, or the demand created for new but relevant products - like hand sanitiser.

The parallels of this experience compared to regular trade run deep if you’re a business that has always placed emphasis on user experience.

The user-centric business was looking at customer needs long before COVID turned our physical world upside down and this approach has prepared this type of business to fully adapt to periods of great disruption.

Where to start?

Rely on data that is already available to you.

Google Analytics is a treasure trove of information that can give you valuable insights into how users are responding to your online store.

A more direct route involves requesting user feedback directly from your customers.

Post purchase emails and surveys are a great way to have meaningful conversations.

Onsite feedback widgets strategically placed at known pain points (like the checkout flow) can also offer great insight into how your customers are perceiving their experience.

Implementing adjustments based on user generated feedback lends itself to a business culture that thrives on change and can survive disruption.

Manage user data effectively

Gearing up to be a business that actively seeks and responds to customer needs involves ensuring that your operation is set up to receive customer feedback in the first place.

We understand that drowning in data is very real and we know that not all businesses have access to the same resources.

Where to start?

Talk to your agency or the resources you have in order to identify and assess the options that are available for your store.

Then consider what the best approach would be to implement these tools and the subsequent feedback collected.

A digital development roadmap is a fantastic way to prioritise how you approach onsite development.

This will help you manage your budget effectively and align investment with revenue growth.

Take care of the new normal

As we prepare for a post COVID world, communication has never been more important.

Consider what this period has meant for your business and whether you were a business that gained new customers or held steadfast to your loyal customer base.

Treating your existing customers the same as your new customers is not always the best way to approach building customer loyalty.

Existing customers know your brand and already have an expectation for communication and rewards.

New customers are a clean slate - they are still learning who you are and how you work.

Consider what you need to say to induct new users into your brand and implement marketing automation tools to help you say it.

Our face-to-face interactions may still be limited so make sure you’re keeping your customers aware of what your business is doing in response to the ever-changing world around us and remember to thank them for their support. 

Founded in 2014, Convert Digital is an eCommerce development agency with offices in Melbourne and Sydney. We believe in function and simplicity; utilising market leading tools, technologies and applications to simplify complex problems.
For more information visit Convert Digital.

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