In a ZDNet article, Professor Scott Galloway shared a jaw-dropping statistic: Since 2000, ecommerce’s share of retail has grown approximately 1% every year. Eight weeks after the COVID-19 pandemic reached the US (March to mid-April), that number leaped to 28%—a decade of e-commerce growth in eight weeks.
In other words, ecommerce is the new way people buy just about everything. And it’s not going away. No matter what happens in the years to come, retailers need to view every day as if it’s Cyber Monday.
Where do online retailers go from here? The key is to create ecommerce experiences customers love.
Keep reading for five ecommerce strategy tips for retailers looking to thrive in today’s ever-changing, increasingly fast-paced world of online retail.
Tip #1: Keep a pulse on customer intelligence
Building shopping experiences should align with what shoppers need and want at any given moment. The goal is to stay agile. This means staying as close to customers as possible, as well as observing how they interact with your ecommerce experience.
Support tickets, chats, phone calls, net promoter score (NPS) surveys—these are direct methods for understanding the digital customer experience. But these methods also put all of the onus on your shopper to take the time to share what they’re experiencing.
That’s why it’s essential to have a Digital Experience Intelligence (DXI) platform in place to help you keep a pulse on digital shopping behavior.
DXI platforms such as FullStory allow product teams to understand a customer’s digital journey through the eyes of shoppers. With billions of digital experience data points—how each visitor navigates and interacts with every element of your site—product teams can see behaviors that correlate to negative, frustrating online experiences. These events are searchable to developers, designers, customer support, and other teams.
See Digital Experience Intelligence in action.
Tip #2: Prioritize usability
While the shift to ecommerce may have been abrupt, retailers need to close the usability gap as quickly as possible. 52% of online shoppers claim that quick page loading influences their loyalty to a site.
Poor design: Clunky, dysfunctional, dated, or bad elements.
Performance: A slow-loading site or app.
Annoyances: Aggressive pop-ups, ads, or automatic opt-ins.
Functionality: User errors, bugs, or non-working elements.
Complexity: Overly complex steps or tedious tasks.
Confusion: Hidden or hard to find elements.
Tip #3: Monitor shopper conversion funnels and flows
When it comes to keeping tabs on conversion funnels and flows, product teams can keep an eye on submitted customer insight and by analyzing digital experience data of current shopper behavior gathered via your team’s DXI platform.
Audit relevant sources of customer insight—trending search terms, support tickets, traditional analytics—and compare current shopper behavior with the flows that are most important to your bottom line.
Behind the scenes, stay attuned to shoppers’ click paths and pay particular attention to the areas that may be receiving spikes in visits, such as shipping terms and conditions, return policies, and delivery service updates.
“Within days of implementing FullStory, we identified multiple friction points in our checkout process that were impacting over 1.5 million conversions on the web and over 50% of checkouts via our mobile app. Being able to see and understand how shoppers are engaging with our digital experiences has helped us prioritize ‘small’ fixes to the checkout process that will have a big impact, boosting conversions and improving the overall experience for our shoppers.” — Stephen Stewart, Sr Manager Merchandising Analytics, Lowe’s
Tip #4: Redefine bug triage workflow
It’s critical to respond quickly to any breakages that occur in your ecommerce experience. Refine your workflow from identification to remediation. Here’s how the process looks with a DXI solution.
With the "Report a bug" feature in FullStory, share sessions and important details for debugging with your team, which massively cuts down on the amount of time normally spent reproducing a problem someone reported.
When errors happen, FullStory’s Digital Experience Intelligence solution captures them, and engineering teams can use Dev Tools to inspect the network activity and request-level details.
How fast can you go from catching a bug to releasing a fix? Test it out and get a sense of how quickly issues are turned around when they're reported.
Understand what's happening behind the scenes when shoppers make buying decisions, as well as what influences those decisions with this ecommerce optimization guide.
Tip #5: Connect your tech stack
The ability to move quickly to respond to changes in shopper behavior depends, in part, on the ability to limit unnecessary back and forth between teams. This is where an integrated tech stack is very helpful.
Consider all of the technologies you use to power your ecommerce experience, including software to connect with your shoppers, customers, and users via digital channels such as:
Customer support (chatbots, ticketing systems)
Engineering (project management, debugging)
Product management (analytics, a/b testing)
UX design (user research, voice of customer)
Digital marketing (a/b testing, analytics, automation)
Internal collaboration and communication (messaging, project management)
The more connected your tech stack, the easier it is to facilitate cross-team alignment and reduce time wasted syncing.
If your tools don’t integrate, reach out to vendors to express interest in a specific integration. Chances are it’s already on their product roadmap or it can be requested to add. Leading DXI tools such as FullStory offer an array of integrations to bring your whole stack closer together.