Provide a consistent customer experience across retail channels

Josie Gaeckle | Dec 3, 2019 Josie Gaeckle 12/03/19

While scrambling to drive in-store traffic in an online-focused retail environment, brands have let their customers’ digital experiences suffer. SMG data from a recent study involving a subset of our retail clients found the average Overall Satisfaction (OSAT) for online purchasers is 24 percentage points lower than that of in-store purchasers. In a competitive market where every touchpoint matters, brands can work toward decreasing that gap in satisfaction by considering the following ideas and concepts:


Make it easy for customers to find what they’re looking for

The biggest influences on OSAT for online shoppers boils down to convenience—which should come as no surprise in today’s retail landscape. Ease of Checkout and Ease of Locating Products dominate the key drivers, proving once again that customers expect a convenient, hassle-free online shopping experience.

Consumers decide quickly if your website is more trouble than it’s worth—so keep them engaged by optimizing the online experience. Ease of Locating Products can be improved with an easy-to-find search bar, intuitive category listings, and an optimized homepage that highlights new products and promotions.


Decrease cart abandonment rates by simplifying the checkout process

Convincing customers to add products to their cart is only half the battle. With 23% of U.S. online shoppers abandoning an order due to a lengthy and/or complicated checkout process, creating an easier, more streamlined experience for customers is vital to winning their business. To create a more frictionless checkout experience, try these tactics:
  • Implement a progress indicator: If your checkout process can’t be consolidated to one page, include a progress indicator to reassure customers that their completed purchase isn’t far off
  • Offer a guest checkout option: Without needing to create an account, your customer is one step closer to purchasing
  • Integrate mobile payments: Apple Pay, Google Pay, and PayPal are popular for a reason—don’t make customers dig through their wallets for another payment option

Look and Feel of Website is important to customers, but overlooked by retailers

We noticed something interesting when reviewing the data. Of the retailers included in our study, only 37% included Look and Feel of Website in their surveys—and when it was included, it placed third in level of importance to customers.

What does this mean for brands? You can’t fix problems if you don’t know they exist—and there’s untapped potential in learning what customers like and don’t like about your website. Consider adding questions surrounding look and feel to your digital CX surveys to better understand your website’s pros and cons, potentially increasing OSAT scores.


Understand that what works for some brands won’t work for others

Our data shows that accurate, detailed product descriptions are more important to customers than product images—and for the industries included in our study (cosmetics, mattress/bed, party supplies, and more)—that makes perfect sense. Two completely different makeup products may look the same side-by-side, and consumers won’t know the difference without a useful description and ingredient list. But in other industries, like apparel or jewelry, the pictures will do the talking on your website.

Customers require a different experience for different types of products. Just as brands carefully plan retail footprints based on the products they sell, the same level of care should be taken when designing a website by focusing on the needs of your target customer and the latest industry trends.


Use your CX program to close the gap

At 24 percentage points, it may seem like an impossible gap to close—but with the right insights from your CX program and a strategic approach, customers can be just as satisfied with their online shopping experience as they are in store. Need to get a better understanding of your digital customer? SMG eTrack enables brands to measure the digital user experience, so you can make sure everyday performance keeps pace with increasing expectations.

Check out our Product + Tech Info to learn more.


Josie Gaeckle | VP, Client Insights
Customer Experience Update