Is Your Online Store Meeting Customers’ Expectations?

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Today, winning new customers and keeping them loyal is all down to customer experience (CX). It’s the major area of competition in the online retail market and one that businesses have heavily invested in. The result is that CX has improved rapidly over the last few years and this has raised the bar in customer expectations. To stay competitive, websites need to deliver what their customers want, not simply in terms of the products they sell but in the quality of the experience that customers have when they shop with you. With over 80% of consumers saying they’ll abandon a brand if their online experience is poor, it’s something you can no longer ignore. With that in mind, here are some of the most important things today’s experience-led consumers want from a retail website.

1. Instant loading and response

10 Creative Loading Indicators – UX Planet | Motion design, Website inspiration, Animation

Patience isn’t a virtue shared by many of today’s internet users, so if your website is slow, they’re not going to hang around waiting for it. What they expect – and what successful eCommerce sites are achieving – is super-fast loading and response times.  Fail in this and you’ll see a decline of 7% in your conversion rates for every second your site takes to load or react to a click, search or input. And that doesn’t matter whether a visitor is sat at home with mega speed broadband or out in the wild with an old phone and 3G connection.

While you can optimise your website to the Nth degree to speed things up, at the end of the day, what puts a jet engine in your loading times is the performance of your hosting. For growing eCommerce sites serious about getting up to speed and making sure you have enough oomph to stay fast when times are busy, you should consider upgrading from shared hosting to VPS. This way, you’ll have enough storage, CPU, RAM and bandwidth to deliver those expected speeds.

2. A slick design

Design a slick logo and brand identity by Pantheradesigns | Fiverr

Your website doesn’t have to win design awards or be outlandishly quirky in how it looks; however, it needs to be slick in how it works for your customer. Yes, it has to be designed around the brand and easy on the eye, but most importantly, it needs to be well organised and simple to navigate so that customers can quickly and easily find their way around, add products to the shopping cart and check out. Essentially, you aren’t just designing a website, you are designing a shopping experience, so take advantage of all those plugins and tools that help make that experience great.

3. Reduce the clicks

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The more clicks your visitors need to take to find the right products, the fewer of them that will make it to the check-out. It’s a speed thing again – and the more products you have, the longer it can take to find them.

What customers expect is what they see on websites like Amazon and eBay: well-organised product categories, search bars, detailed menus and product filters that make it easy to find the product they want by brand, colour, size, weight, price and so forth.

4. Product pages that are actually useful

10 examples of effective ecommerce product pages | Econsultancy

Buying online isn’t easy because you can’t examine the product. This leaves potential customers with plenty of questions that a useful product page would answer. A great shopping experience makes it easy for a customer to make a purchasing decision and websites need to put the time and effort into supplying all the information a customer might want to know. If you sell the product, even at a good price, but don’t answer visitors’ questions, they’ll go elsewhere.

What should you include on a product page? Looking at the world’s most popular retail site, Amazon, is a good starting point. Here, you’ll find zoomable images, detailed descriptions and specifications, buying options, customer questions and answers, delivery information and a plethora of related products and upsells.

5. Product reviews

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If you want to sell something, you obviously make it sound and look as good as possible – that’s what marketing is all about. The online shopper, however, isn’t going to take your word for it. Scepticism is a built-in shopping behaviour and the modern consumer expects you to provide independent, genuine feedback about the products you sell. This makes product reviews a necessity on the modern website.

6. Personalisation

Product UX: the dangers of personalisation | by Jack Strachan | UX Planet

Personalisation is the biggest driver of customer loyalty and provides the customer experience most valued by today’s consumers. Online shoppers love it when a website provides personalised offers and product recommendations and they spend more as a result. This, of course, has made personalisation a key area of competition for online stores.

Doing it right, however, can be challenging. You’ll need to collect personal data, analyse browsing and shopping histories, deploy a product recommendation engine and set up customer accounts in order to create personalised homepages and send personalised marketing messages. The amount of data and computing resources needed might also require you to upgrade your hosting solution.


As customer experience evolves, consumers will expect the stores they shop with to continually improve their website and offer new, enhanced experiences. As a result, customer expectations never stay the same. To ensure your website stays successful in today’s highly competitive market, it is vital to meet those ever-changing expectations. Hopefully, the points discussed here will help you move forward.

How to Get Business Reviews and Why They’re Valuable

Why customer reviews are important & how to get them | Lumina Intelligence

Online reviews play an important, dual role for businesses, attracting new customers and helping their websites to rank higher in search engine results. Here we’ll take a closer look at why you need Business reviews; explain the different ways you can get them and show you how to make the most use of them.

Why ratings and reviews are important

5 Reasons Why Customer Reviews Are Important for Your Business - Relevance

The reading of ratings and reviews has become an integral element of today’s shopping experience, especially for online purchases. According to Qualtrix, 92% of B2B buyers and 93% of consumers are influenced by reviews, a figure that rises to 97% for local businesses. Positive reviews help develop trust in businesses or the products they are selling and this leads to increased revenue. Of course, negative Business reviews have the opposite effect. 87% of customers won’t shop with businesses that have an overall rating below 3 stars and 94% have avoided companies because of negative reviews. Those without any reviews don’t fare much better. If customers are left with a choice of a well-reviewed company and one which has no reviews, the well-reviewed firm wins hands-down.

It’s not just customers who take notice of reviews. Google does too. It looks at reviews left on its own site and those from sites it trusts, like Yell, Facebook or Trustpilot, considering both the overall rating and, importantly, the positive or negative sentiment used in written reviews. These are used to help Google rank those businesses in search results, particularly in local searches.

Reviews that count

For reviews to have any benefit, they have to be ones that both customers and search engines can trust. First and foremost, they need to be genuine and believable. They are more trustable when on independent, third-party websites and when the reviewer is a verified purchaser. They are more believable when not every review is 5-star (4.9 is the sweet spot) and when the reviews are continual over a longer period rather than all coming at the same time (which happens if dubious companies buy reviews in bulk). Where there are a lot of 5-star reviews and a lot of 1-star reviews with very little in between, it can look like a company has paid for positive reviews to drown out the negative ones.

5 ways to get more online reviews

1. Ask for them in person

50 Common Interview Questions and Answers | The Muse

If you are a business that deals face to face with customers and they tell you they are happy with your products and services, there’s nothing wrong with asking them to leave you a review. If you have a particular place where you want them to leave it, like Trustpilot or your Google My Business page, then tell them.

2. Request reviews on your website

7 Ways to Display Business Reviews on Your Website -

Thousands of business do this, often using popups, and for various reasons. For example, some eCommerce stores do this right after the checkout page, looking not for a review of the product but of the customer experience so that future shoppers will know how easy and convenient it is to shop at the site.

3. Send invites by email

User invitation email best practices | Postmark

Many companies now send out automated, personalised emails inviting customers who have purchased products to leave a review. They’ll even provide a link to the site where they would like you to leave it. It’s simple to set up if you have a mailing list and can help generate a lot of reviews. Some businesses wait for customers to make a repeat purchase before sending out a request, knowing that, as a returning customer, the person is more likely to leave a positive review.

4. Get social media reviews

10 Types of Social Media and How Each Can Benefit Your Business

Social media has long been recognised as a way to extend your brand’s reach, however, by having reviews on your business page, you can also offer independent social proof to convince potential customers just how good you are. What’s more, Google takes notice of these reviews too. You can publicly ask for reviews by publishing a post, or you can be more direct and send personal messages to existing customers or followers.

5. Enable reviews on your website

Where and How to Display Google Reviews on Your Website

You can enable website reviews for your business or for individual products that you sell. You can set this up quite easily with a review plugin. All you need then is to ask customers to leave a review, which you can do on your homepage, products pages, checkout page or by email.

How to make the most of your reviews

How to Make the Most of Your Customers' Feedback

Reviews left on your own website can be displayed on your homepage or for products on products pages. You can also mention your overall ratings and reviews on third-party sites and link to them. Indeed, some third-party sites even enable you to display a live feed of your current ratings stats on your website which, too, will link directly to your review page on their site. You can also add customer and partner testimonials.

Of course, you don’t just need to show off your good reviews on your website, you can include them in emails and other forms of marketing too.

From an SEO perspective, experts recommend using structured data to mark up ratings and reviews left on your own website as this can help Google identify them clearly as reviews. Doing so can improve the chances of Google considering them when ranking your site and might even lead to ratings being displayed in search result snippets.


With nearly all online consumers now reading reviews and ratings to help them decide which businesses to use and products to buy, getting regular, positive reviews has become increasingly important. Hopefully, this post will help you get more of them and show you how to make the most of them.

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The New Customer Satisfaction Era

Using technology to measure and improve customer satisfaction

Let us start with an oft repeated question,” What do you know about your customer’s preferences”?

The answer could be any of the standard responses which talk about their tastes in your merchandise based on past transactional records. It could be also one of the slightly more personalised answers which talk about the customer’s likes and dislikes basis whatever they have filled in their surveys and feedback forms. Does this tell you all you need to know about your customers? Does this help you make the customer experience of that customer something which he/she will remember? Something that gets ingrained into the sub-conscious decision-making component of their minds. That is the holy grail which most CX organisations are after.

Where does data come into the picture?

NPS, CSAT and CES - Customer Satisfaction Metrics to Track in 2021

With 91 properties around the world, in a wide variety of locations, the Ritz-Carlton has a particularly strong need to ensure their best practices are spread companywide. If, for example, an employee from their Stockholm hotel comes up with a more effective way to manage front desk staffing for busiest check-in times, it only makes sense to consider that approach when the same challenge comes up at a hotel in Tokyo. This is where the hotel group’s innovation database comes in. The Ritz-Carlton’s employees must use this system to share tried and tested ideas that improve customer experience. Properties can submit ideas and implement suggestions from other locations facing similar challenges. The database currently includes over 1,000 innovative practices, each of them tested on a property before contributing to the system. Ritz-Carlton is widely considered to be a global leader in CX practises and companies like Apple have designed their CX philosophy after studying how Ritz Carlton operate.

What does this tell you- Use your Data wisely!

The next question that may pop up is, “but there is so much data. It is like noise”. This is where programmatic approaches to analysing data pop up. Analytics and data sciences firms across the globe have refined the art of deriving insights out of seemingly unconnected data to a nicety. What you can get out of this is in addition to analysing customer footprint in your business place, you get to analyse the customer footprint across various other channels and social media platforms.

Data Science vs. Data Analytics vs. Machine Learning

This aims to profile the customers who are most susceptible to local deals/rewards/coupons basis their buying patterns.

How is this done? The answer is rather simple. Customer segmentation algorithms (both supervised and unsupervised) enable you to piece together random pieces of information about the customer and analyse the effect they have on a target event. You will be surprised at the insights that get thrown out of this exercise. Obviously caution needs to be exercised to ensure that the marketeer doesn’t get carried away by random events which are purely driven by chance.

Okay- so I have made some sense out of my data. But this is a rather cumbersome process which does not make any difference to the way I deal with my customer on a day-to-day basis.

“How do I get this information on a real-time basis so that I can actually make some decisions to improve my customer’s experience as and when it is applicable?”

This takes into the newest and most relevant trend into making data sciences a mainstream part of decision making. How do we integrate this insight deriving platform into the client’s CRM system so that the client can make efficient decisions on a real time basis?

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In Anteelo, for one of our leading technology clients, we have built an AI-based orchestration platform which derives the actionable insights from past customer data and integrates this into the customer’s CRM system so this becomes readily available to all marketeers as and when they attempt to send out a communication to their customers.

What does this entail? This entails using the right technology stack to build a system which can delver insights from the data science modules at scale. I prefer calling it out as a synergy of both data sciences and software development. Every decision that a marketeer is trying to make must be processed through a system which will invoke the DS algorithms in-built on a real time through the relevant cloud computing platforms. Insights will be delivered immediately, and suitable recommendations will also be made on a real-time basis.

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This is the final step in ensuring that personalised recommendations being made to every customer are truly personalised. We in Anteelo call it “The Last Mile adoption”. This development is still in its nascent phase. However, companies would be wise to integrate this methodology as a part of their data science integrated decision making since it is very unlikely that they will hit the holy grail of customer satisfaction without delivering real-time personalised recommendations.

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