Jul 20, 2023 JIN
4 common mistakes in enhancing eCommerce customer experience
In 2020, the revenue of Amazon, eBay, and Alibaba gained, respectively, $386 billion, $10.3 billion, and $509 billion. These remarkable statistics have questioned us all: What makes Amazon, eBay, or AliExpress have achieved their success? Would it be user interfaces or reliable systems?
Every consumer interaction with the software does matter. It impacts tremendously on their overall experience, ultimately affecting the company’s profitability, brand reputation, and loyalty. Any hassle preventing them from enjoying the e-Shopping experience shall lead to one in three consumers abandoning the products entirely. In today’s blog, we’ll dig into the scenario where businesses make mistakes and learn to avoid going down the same path.
CX in eCommerce: why does it matter?
Nearly half, approximately 44.5%, of global businesses agree that customer experience is the most critical factor for gaining a competitive edge, setting themselves apart from their competitors, statistics collected by Statista. Meanwhile, a study conducted by Coveo has revealed 73% of customers are likely to abandon a brand and its products after encountering two or three unfavorable incidents, or we might call them negative experiences.
Emplifi research indicates that customers are willing to pay a premium of 5% in exchange for an exceptional experience. This growing inclination towards prioritizing customer experience has made it a top retailer focus. Then how can this be achievable? Possibly by trying to avoid these four following mistakes:
Wrongdoing #1: Usability is the last to care about
Imagine you go to an e-commercial website, but the website does not support your browser, which causes the layout to break. You struggle to locate the shopping cart page or cannot find the product catalog, which is buried at the bottom of the page.
In such a scenario, likely, you will not return to the site. It’s mainly because a staggering 94% of users form their initial impression of a brand based on the design and usability of its application.
That’s when usability testing becomes the hero in delivering a seamless experience, as it enables the study of customer behavior to fall through. Everything, including their goals and underlying motivations when using the product, would be considered carefully. Businesses can identify the mission-critical features within their app that need strengthening, ultimately enhancing the overall customer experience based on the customers’ insights they have previously gathered.
Then, what to do?
- User Interface (UI) verification: users must be able to seamlessly approach the targeted goal across various app pages, certain that visual components, displays, menus, buttons, and other elements facilitate easy navigation and interaction.
- User-Friendliness testing: this guarantees that customers can use the product without encountering any difficulties; all operations are straightforward, intuitively in sync, and familiar to users.
- User Experience (UX) verification: monitoring how consumers perceive the IT product and their overall experience while navigating it is vital. By assessing the UX, businesses can gain valuable insights into how real customers interact with the product, identify pain points and confusion and make necessary improvements to enhance the user experience.
Wrongdoing #2: “Do I need to focus on IT product performance?”
In 2021, a significant 59% of customers opted for online shopping during Black Friday instead of offline deals, mainly due to the hectic long queues. As more people embrace online shopping, it becomes the primary priority to maintain consistent and uninterrupted website functionalities at all times. During high-traffic periods with sales events like Cyber Mondays or Black Friday, the apps often face the high risk of crashing, resulting in frustrated customers leaving empty-handed. And that would be a nightmare for any business. Performance testing should be taken seriously to validate the stable operation of IT solutions and affirm that the customers surfing the app generate only positive experiences during peak periods.
Performance testing encompasses various approaches, each with its own specific goals:
- Load testing allows software testing and quality assurance engineers to determine whether the eCommerce app can handle the anticipated load.
- Stress testing examines the system’s behavior under heavy loads to establish its limits.
- Configuration testing lets experts evaluate how changes in software and hardware configurations impact overall performance.
- Stability testing verifies performance over an extended period with an average load level.
- Volume testing estimates the performance of an IT product as the amount of stored data increases.
- Checking the stability of payment systems – the most critical test of all that many businesses often neglect, particularly in scenarios where a large number of customers make online payments simultaneously.
By conducting decent performance testing, businesses can proactively address performance-related issues and optimize their apps in a timely manner.
Wrongdoing #3: “Ignore end-user security”
E-commerce applications happen to gather sensitive and private information, such as customers’ data, credit card numbers, addresses, and more. Whether the business likes it or not, they hold the responsibility to keep these pieces of information confidential, encoded in a way that no one can take advantage of. Unfortunately, the reality regarding cyber security is depressingly painful. Back in 2014, we witnessed the infiltration of eBay by hackers who gained access to 145 million end-user accounts and even managed to reach employee credentials, providing them entry into corporate records.
The Mobile Security Index Report 2021 highlights the significant consequences occurring from mobile-related compromises; worth mentioning are the loss of sensitive data (56%), damage to reputation (37%), loss of business (19%), and other detrimental effects.
By establishing a secure environment within your software, you not only reassure the customers’ experiences but also strengthen your brand advocates, who contribute a significant share to expanding your customer base. Apart from the software’s safe environment, having a robust cybersecurity strategy lies at the heart of this endeavor, enabling businesses to safeguard the privacy of end-user data, prevent cyberattacks, and instill customer confidence in the overall security measures.
One practical approach to revealing significant vulnerabilities is through the adoption of penetration testing, which is one of the best cybersecurity practices. By simulating the activities of cybercriminals, quality assurance engineers replicate their methods of hacking into systems to uncover any potential pitfalls within the application.
Wrongdoing #4: “I have plenty of time; test automation seems excessive.”
Believe it or not, you don’t have time!
The pandemic has completely transformed our lives. Everything has gone digital! In particular, the growth of many companies, especially in the retail sector, now heavily relies on online products. Consumer habits and behaviors have also undergone significant changes. Shoppers are buying for instant gratification emotions, or you might know it as impulsive buying otherwise.
How can businesses keep pace with the rapid delivery and changing behaviors of customers, especially in the realm of eCommerce software? As a result, companies are going out of their way to release software faster without compromising on quality, often leaning toward utilizing software testing automation as a valuable solution.
According to the State of Testing Report 2022, only 11% of companies have yet to have any test automation in place. This holds true for the eCommerce software industry as well. Although test automation offers numerous benefits such as reduced software quality testing time, accelerated product launches, increased test coverage, and optimized software quality assurance processes, as well as its expenses in the long run, the investment upfront is hefty, triggering businesses to carefully plan and relocate their resources once they decide to lure on such tools.
By intelligently incorporating automated testing, companies can swiftly respond to market changes, improve the software quality testing process and ensure flawless software operation, fulfilling the critical requirements for staying ahead of the competition.
eShopping applications are quite complex, with numerous product categories, shopping carts, payment systems, registration forms, etc. These apps must be constantly updated, needing ongoing testing to avoid missing any critical bugs in the production environment. Manual testing can be tedious, time-consuming, and prone to human error. To keep pace with the fast-moving retail market, businesses prioritize automating software quality assurance processes to reduce testing costs and channel their efforts into developing new features to impress customers relentlessly.
Fostering a fantastic customer experience is the original ambition of eCommerce companies. A happy shopper shall convert sooner or later and come back as time passes. To keep up with such expectations, the software development team has learned to embrace usability, performance optimization, cybersecurity measures, and automated testing to provide unique customer journeys and set themselves apart from competitors.
During our years of providing IT outsourcing services to clients worldwide, we – SHIFT ASIA have seen these mistakes and wrongdoings repeat themselves in one way or another. We hope you can spot these wrongdoings if you ever come across one. Kevin Stirtz, author of “More Loyal Customers,” once said: “Every contact we have with a customer influences whether or not they’ll come back. We have to be great every time, or we’ll lose them.”
4 common mistakes in enhancing eCommerce customer experience
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