In the first half of 2021, approximately 43% of consumers shopped online for products they had previously purchased offline. This shift in shoppers' behavior due to pandemics has transformed everything, from shoppers' preferences to expectations.
Though online shopping has gained momentum for quite some time, it has grown at an unprecedented rate in the last few months. The rapid growth in online shopping means retailers need to pay a lot of attention to customer experience.
The Boom in Online Shopping is Here to Stay!
We all know lockdown created a boom for online retailers and caused a significant uptick in e-commerce sales. However, besides upending numerous consumer behavior patterns permanently, increased traction for e-commerce shopping has expedited the shift from offline to online by at least five years.
Today, 62% of US customers with internet access shop online at least once every month. Moreover, if you look at shopping trends- a massive shift is happening. Overall, 75% of US consumers have tried a new shopping behavior, and nearly 36% try new product brands.
This means, with ease of availability, customers are more likely to switch brands as per convenience. McKinsey’s insights reveal that 73% of consumers who tried a different brand would continue to scout the market for new brands online in the future.
Despite registering a jaw-dropping expansion of over 33.6% and profit of $800 billion, all is not gold yet for e-commerce! Brands realize how customers in 2021 are purchasing with irreversible changes in their shopping behavior. Today customers’ way of buying products has changed, and online retailers must work hard to meet the evolving customer expectations to win and remain relevant.
With more people buying goods and services online than ever before, it's becoming crucial for online retailers to provide a seamless shopping experience for their eCommerce website visitors. And to keep these potential customers on their website longer, most e-retailers are trying to optimize their websites.
After all, the website is the first point of contact between an online seller and a potential customer, and to deliver a good shopping experience, it needs to be optimized. Similarly, customers expect quick and reliable online customer service. While this is expected from every retailer, it's more crucial for online businesses as customers have more options to switch than ever. To cater to these online shopper needs, retailers must deliver a smooth shopping experience with an optimized interface.
Challenges in Delivering Superlative Online Shopping Experience
These days, customers are well-informed and demanding; convenience is essential for them, especially when shopping online. Do you know, 43% of US customers shop with brands prioritizing comfort? And, 80% of customers leave a website that is not optimized.
Improve Online Customer Experience
Brands these days can no longer rely on their name and product quality alone to attract, engage, and retain customers online. They also need to provide a flawless customer experience if they want to win over loyal customers.
Improve Customer Retention
Customer retention is key to increasing online sales and profitability. To retain customers, you need to provide them with a good experience. By providing a good customer experience, you can increase customer satisfaction and engagement, increasing your customer retention.
Reduce Customer Acquisition Cost
If a brand’s marketing efforts are on-point and marketing spend effective, it’ll bring in the required traction, lowering the costs to acquire new customers time and again.
Online Retail Advertising & Segmentation to Maximize Marketing ROI
Brands must deliver highly relevant and impactful customer experiences. To do so, brands must ensure that their marketing messages are hyper-targeted. This is possible through effective segmentation of customers and prospects.
Providing a Range of Brands & Product Categories
In today’s increasingly consumer-led competitive world, identifying customers’ pain points, learning what evokes the right emotions, and accordingly targeting them with the right products can help retailers win and retain more loyal customers.
Did you know that 86% of shoppers will pay more for a better, more optimized CX? That's why every online retailer should focus on improving the customer experience for online shoppers.
Online retailers must invest in delivering excellent customer experiences, and technology can help them do that. That's why many online retailers use these advanced technologies to provide a unique online shopping experience and offer immersive CX for online customers. And emotion AI is one such technology that can help online retailers deliver a seamless CX.
For instance -
- IKEA enables customers to visualize how the movables will look in their houses in real-time
- American Apparel, Walmart, Lacoste, and Uniqlo allow shoppers to try apparel in customized virtual fitting rooms.
- Beauty e-commerce brand Ulta Beauty allows its shoppers to try on products virtually.
How Can Emotion AI Transform Customer Experience for Better?
To enhance the online shopping experience, online retailers need to create an interwoven customer journey that offers a seamless path to purchase. Also, they need to understand their customers. And the best way to understand your customers; why they add a particular product to the cart or why they want to make a specific purchase is by delving deep into their emotions, and that's where emotion AI can help.
Why Emotions Matter vis-a-vis Online Shopping?
Most customers believe that their buying decisions result from a well-thought-out rational analysis of available alternatives in the market. In reality, however, 95% of purchasing choices are subconscious. Emotions influence to the highest degree and, in various cases, even conclude our buying decisions. Let’s understand how.
It is no secret that emotions control decisions. But do you know that they take the lead even when shoppers evaluate brands? Positive feelings toward a brand can generate greater consumer loyalty. Also, emotions play a crucial role in governing the customer experience. According to one study, marketers can drive an increase of 20% sales only by tailoring customer experiences.
How Can Emotion AI Help?
E-retailers can use Emotion AI-assisted CX testing solutions to measure customer satisfaction and personalize digital shopping experiences by:
Testing multiple product designs
The first component of a product experience is often its design. Brands and market researchers know that emotions trigger consumer behavior. Gathering emotional feedback on product prototypes or designs goes a long way in developing customer-centric products. Emotion AI-driven solutions assist brands in getting inside the minds of customers and determining the product designs that clicks and don’t click with them.
Mapping user journeys & measuring path to purchase
Consumer experience measurement plays a critical role in making insights actionable. Suppose the customer journey is about completing goals and making decisions. In that case, Emotion is the gateway to understanding these. Emotion AI can understand emotion intensity and can be used to determine points of friction and magic at each stage of the journey. It understands various stages of interactions to identify purchase triggers and screen records online buyers' journeys for a path to purchase insights.
Understanding users’ emotional triggers & subconscious preferences
About 95% of buyer/viewer decisions are made by the subconscious mind, driven by emotions. With traditional data analytics mostly limited to measuring behavioral touch points, automation is vital. By employing Emotion AI, brands can gain insight into consumers’ subconscious by leveraging facial expression and eye gaze movement to deep dive into where users are attentive, what draws emotions, and where they choose to focus. This, in turn, helps organizations to understand users’ emotional triggers and subconscious preferences.
Testing websites, apps, & prototypes for goal completions
A data-driven approach to delivering positive customer interactions eliminates the guesswork in creating a consumer-centric experience. Emotion AI helps companies connect with users at the deepest level possible by quickly, accurately, and cost-effectively testing apps and websites. It helps organizations manage digital journeys that result in the optimization of customer experience.
For usability and in-depth customer insights, companies can tap into Emotion AI technologies. For instance, Entropik’s Affect UX, a custom-built cloud-based SaaS platform for UX designers and researchers, uses high-precision eye tracking and facial coding to offer you a peek into the minds of your customers.
Affect UX helps brands record user sessions with in-built screen recording using computer vision in real-time for user journey mapping, tracking eye movements, and participant observation. Brands can then visualize user attention, engagement, and emotion metrics through gaze plots, eye tracking heatmaps, and AOI charts.
With Emotion AI Tech, brands derive actionable Emotion Insights; they identify what users are looking for and how long they are looking at it. These online shopper insights uncover subconscious preferences and triggers hinging to the emotions of their users, helping brands deliver resonating experiences.
Hence, Emotion AI Technologies such as Eye Tracking and Facial Coding help brands capture their customers’ real-time emotions. And behavioral responses towards buying touchpoints and journeys to derive deep customer insights and can be used to deliver a razor-sharp customer experience.
Emotion AI: A Way Forward to Augment Digital Shopping Experience
Today, it isn't enough to deliver a good customer experience; the CX bar has risen, and retailers need to provide a seamless online shopping experience. And the key to providing a seamless CX is by understanding your customer's emotions.
Online retailers must understand their shoppers' purchase patterns, map their behaviors, crucial drivers, and motivators and leverage this information to personalize customer experiences. And that's where Emotion AI solutions can help - retailers can use this technology to deliver more user-friendly, emotionally resonant, and optimized CX.