Customer experience friction - from the Kickdynamic team
My latest blog series has been focused on ecommerce and customer experiences online. Retailers know that to keep customers happy and coming back for more, they need to be providing exceptional, flawless and frictionless experiences every time a customer (or potential customer) interacts with the brand, be it in an email or on site.
According to a recent report by Klarna, 37% of UK consumers surveyed in a recent study said the ease and functionality of using a retailer’s website has the biggest influence over their purchase decisions. With that in mind I decided to reach out to my team to find out the experiences they’ve had online that have really caused friction. When I posed the question, honestly, I didn’t expect quite so many responses. What’s clear is that CX hiccups are pretty prevalent, and quite a few of the examples came up time and time again – it’s not just a problem for one brand, many have the same challenges or points of friction. Lots of the examples below, can be rectified quickly and easily…
Email is our bag so admittedly we’re a fussy bunch, but if we’re noticing these things, we’re sure subscribers are too. Here’s the top bugbears:
- New in or sale emails that when you click on a product you go through to the product category page and can never find the product you clicked on
- Emails containing products that when you click through are out of stock (often unavailable in every size) – simple and quick to fix if you make your email content live.
- Not using the data you’ve got to improve my experience - If I’ve purchased 10 times (10 pairs of shoes in a size 6) getting an email with products unavailable in my size is jarring.
- Little to no personalization, particularly from brands I’ve shopped with for years is a let-down. Use my name, use the data, send me birthday / anniversary emails to make me feel special and enhance our relationship.
- On the data side, don’t show me products I’m not interested in, I’ve never expressed an interest, never purchased from a specific category so stop emailing me about it.
- Showing me products, or recommending products, that I’ve already purchased.
- Transactional emails that don’t arrive. If I’ve made a purchase, I’d like confirmation. To my inbox. Right away. Please and thanks.
- When I’m on a site and a pop up, pops up, offering ‘10% off for new subscriber’. Great! Here’s my details. I then go straight to my inbox and nothing. No email. Welcome emails should be instantaneous whilst the brand is top of mind.
- Finally, if I click through on an email, I don’t want a pop up after 15 seconds on your site asking me to sign up for emails! That’s how I got here.
Admittedly the first grumbles on web were hidden shipping fees, but when we got down to it, there’s some experiences that we’ve all come across that needn’t be causing friction:
- Let’s start with shipping fees. We want these upfront and we want them reflected in the basket total. It’s the worst when you get to the last check out page and suddenly there’s an extra £9.99 to find for shipping. No thanks.
- Long checkouts. You want our money. We want to spend it. What we don’t want is to have to go through 10 pages to get to the end goal. We don’t want to create an account to buy a pair of slippers. Guest checkout and simpler checkout options are certainly crowd pleasers. Amazon style one-click purchasing might not be for everyone but making it easy to buy has got to be a priority.
- Don’t be one of those brands that asks you to login to your account and then ‘poooffff’ the stuff in the basket has disappeared.
- Not having recently viewed products on site. The option to easily navigate back to products viewed makes shopping so much easier. If they’re not there and the customer decides they liked it, often it’s hard to find that product again!
- Making product recommendations that include products that I’ve purchased – I’m logged in. Be smarter than that. Provide personalized product recommendations and also include frequently bought together or similar products on product pages to provide me with useful inspo.
- Poor filtering. Automatically applying ‘high to low’ pricing can leave a negative feeling. Also ‘our favourites’ or ‘recommended’ aren’t necessarily well received (or believed).
- Lack of filtering on category pages, for example you’re on a generic sale page give us the option to filter by product type / category. It’s surprising how often this is missing. If it’s not possible to filter, we’re likely to shop.
We don’t usually veer into the world of social (other than pulling posts live into email) but this complaint came in thick and fast:
- Social media advertising of recommended products which we fall in love with so click through and guess what? The product is entirely sold out. In every size. This is a definite frustration and isn’t cost effective for brands advertising on social, let alone the customer experience implications and bounce rates on site.
It might seem like we’re a picky bunch, but these are points of friction we all face on a daily basis. If I can shop at a brand who makes everything easy, I will. My key takeaway is to make it easy for customers. In the inbox make sure triggers are quick – we’ve done something on site so get that email to us quickly. Make sure email content is up-to-date and use the data you’ve got to personalize the experience. On site, checkout should be straightforward, shipping costs should be clear upfront. Recently viewed products, frequently bought together and product recommendations are appreciated but need to be accurate – don’t show stuff we’ve already bought. Finally, make it easy for us to find what we’re looking for.
The things listed about are quite common but can easily be rectified. Any changes made to improve customer experience will leave customers and subscribers more satisfied, leading to better relationships and ultimately more transactions.