To be successful in e-commerce, you must look up from your computer and view the universe through your customers' eyes. For many customers, shopping now involves more than just completing transactions. It's more about keeping every shopper engaged and entertained. Even if your fashion e-commerce business sells one of the hottest products on the market, you could still lose out on significant sales if customers have a bad time using it.
Moreover, non-stop scrolling of the product catalog is time-killing for end customers and results in not finding the right item, causing shoppers not to buy anything and just leave your website altogether. Visitors are likely to feel ‘choice overload’ because the many wide varieties of items in your catalog are quite difficult to compare.
Graeme Haynes, a psychologist at the University of Western Ontario, discovered evidence for choice overload only when he constrained the decision makers' time to arrive at taking a decision.
Considering how it relates to the real world, time pressure can result either from seasonal changes (e.g. Christmas) or from time constraints you place on shoppers.
In these cases, you have an even greater need to simplify the customer's purchase decision.
So what can you do to ensure that your online store offers a great customer experience that encourages business growth and maximizes conversion rates?
In this article, we’re going to discuss the importance of a smooth and engaging customer experience and how to improve the e-commerce customer experience on your fashion e-commerce website.
Importance of Enhancing the Customer Experience
The customer experience (CX) should always be a top priority while marketing any kind of business or industry. And customer experience management (CXM) plays an important role in ensuring that for your staff.
Customer experience management in e-commerce focuses on the online journey that everyone visiting and navigating through your website or product page takes, from the very beginning of the checkout process through the post-purchase confirmation email in their inbox.
CXM examines each stage of the customer journey to guarantee a smooth and satisfying experience at every turn. Your customer journey may be negatively impacted if the checkout process has a problem or if a page is particularly challenging to browse. CXM assists in identifying these problems and solving them so that you only have happy clients. Some of the biggest players in the fashion industry that seem to be competing heavily in the customer experience field and attracting as many shoppers in droves include shopping stores like Levis, Gap, and Old Navy.
Also, studies say that 36% of sites have severe catalog design and search feature flaws that are downright harmful to their users’ ability to find and select products. Thus they spent more time looking for an item.
Bottom line: You're losing sales if you're not concentrating on providing a positive customer experience from start to end.
So how should you improve your customers’ e-commerce experience?
Use AI to Create Automated Customer Services
Data-driven personalization is another area where AI is enhancing the consumer experience. To put it simply, AI can sort through and evaluate much larger quantities of data than any human could. Marketers that have access to a wealth of data can leverage it to deliver more precise ad targeting and product recommendations at different touchpoints.
GardeRobo A.I., for example, offers personalized AI-powered product recommendations when shopping online through white-label widgets on your website. Our service puts visitors in charge of all their fashion needs and wants. They also become stylists themselves, after adding the finishing touch to the look that is generated personally for them with just a few clicks.
GardeRobo A.I. simply generates offers from your catalog, taking into account the customer’s body type and individual preferences of the user and their style, model, and color. In turn, the long, tedious search turns into an exciting shopping experience for everyone. Customers’ comfort and feeling of pleasantly spent time is our top priority! The value of our service, among other things, is that we give the buyer a tool to manage their precious time and money!
Adopt AR to Elevate the Customer Experience
The augmented reality (AR)/mixed reality market had a value of $28 billion in the US alone by the end of 2021, and according to The Insight Partners, it will grow to a value of $250 billion by 2028.
With increased mainstream market penetration, augmented reality (AR) has a lot of potential for enhancing customer experience.
At least now brands can benefit from AR by utilizing it in a variety of ways, such as through virtual product try-on (for example, Christian Dior using Snapchat and Instagram AR filters).
Improve Packaging and Return Experience
Customers are concerned about packaging and the returns process, so the post-purchase experience is just as significant as everything that came before it.
Customers are particularly concerned about sustainability when it comes to packaging; according to Insider Intelligence respondents, 19% believe that using the least amount of packaging possible for shipping is crucial, and another 19% believe that brands should make efforts to reduce their carbon footprint.
The opportunity to further strengthen the brand representation and convenience—which 65% of consumers think is the top reason they're likely to purchase beauty goods online—can also be demonstrated through packaging.
Create a Virtual Store/ Brand Experience
Virtual reality (VR) is making progress in providing customers with novel experiences comparable to advancements in the adoption of AR experiences. However, the primary distinction between AR and VR is that shoppers using VR require additional VR-ready hardware to enhance its effectiveness, which slows down adoption compared to AR.
Despite this barrier, 32% of respondents to PwC's 2022 survey indicated they had used virtual reality (VR) in the six months prior, and they had purchased items as a result of their VR platform discovery.
Establish a More Omnichannel Presence
Omnichannel presence is a further factor in enhancing the client experience. The idea of omnichannel is not new—interest in it has been growing since the early 2010s.
However, since the COVID-19 crisis, the value of omnichannel has been even more obvious. Customers today demand more from their shopping experiences than simply the traditional in-store and online offerings.
Many customers now prefer to purchase using new options that were first presented while stores were closed, such as curbside pickup, ordering via social media, and various return options.
Provide a Better Checkout and Payment Options
Customers should be able to make payments in 2023 using whatever means they desire. Due to cart abandonment, e-commerce sites that do not optimize the checkout process with a variety of payment alternatives will miss out on prospective purchases.
While the inclusion of credit/debit card alternatives in online payment methods is a given, other important players include buy now, pay later (BNPL) providers and digital wallet payments, which have outperformed credit/debit cards as the most popular payment method in various markets (e.g., Klarna, PayPal, Shop Pay).
In the next three years, all generations will use BNPL options more frequently, with Gen Z experiencing the highest penetration, according to research from Insider Intelligence.
If you follow the above trends, whether you're an established retailer with a global consumer base or you're looking to grow your business, you'll surely give your online customers the memorable shopping experience they deserve. And don’t forget that having too many options to choose from, rather than making people happy and ensuring they get what they want fast, can cause them stress and problematize decision-making, known as the paradox of choice.
Keep in mind that the overall success of your online business is dependent on your clients. Be everywhere they are, with easy-to-use shopping experiences—including streamlined checkout and follow-up. More sales and a handful of happier customers will soon pay off for you someday.