3 Priorities for Building a Modern Commerce Experience

Optimizing the online customer experience is an ongoing challenge for both B2B and B2C companies. As digital adoption has accelerated, the result in people's expectations continues to grow. By embracing a customer-first approach, merchants will not only be able to work towards creating the modern commerce experience their customers desire but gain a truly competitive edge. 

What does it take to disrupt the norm in digital commerce and create truly effective experiences that convert visitors into customers? These three key priorities ensure a solid foundation for building a successful online storefront now and forward-looking.

1. Single Source of Truth

Having a single source of data improves your customer experience and conversion rate- that simple. Or is it?

Most eCommerce companies are struggling with this and it is majorly impacting their ability to improve conversions. By attempting to get a better view of their customers by pulling data from their eCommerce platform, 3rd party vendors, PIMs, and CMS, you are having to sort through numerous inputs controlled by many outsiders.  

It should be a top priority to work towards full integration of all these marketing tools and technologies. In doing so, your teams will be able to better leverage key analytics and tools to methodically and incrementally improve channel conversions through continual innovation and enhancing the experiences already built. 

2. On-Site Search

Creating a Google or Amazon-like search experience that many have come to expect can be difficult. But data continually shows that working towards this goal is key to meaningfully driving conversion. So what can you do?

First, the best companies have both good search and good product data. So make product content a priority in your organization and continually improve upon it. There is no start and stop date for this type of project.

Next, minimize the number of “search distractions”. Visitors expect a one-click experience, using search, with the desired results. This can be complex for companies with numerous attributes, variants, and images. Having a continual on-site search optimization program is a critical part of your success. Looking at terms, matching against your sellers, and reviewing top-selling products. This type of optimization will ensure your search results are relevant to what customers want. This type of optimization takes deep analytics. It doesn’t need to be hard or expensive and is well worth it in the short and long game.

Bonus! Not only does an efficient and effective search improve conversion, but it gives you access to customer data. The search box provides more than just a better customer experience, but it gives access to visitor data. You can better understand how people search and what terms they are searching for. This allows you to learn what converts and what doesn’t. Take this information and funnel all that data learning back into the search experience and overall customer experience. 

Contact our User Experience Team to discuss your on-site search.

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3. Site Speed 

Speed is more important than ever to conversion rates. In fact, Google says this is so critical that you should allocate a ‘speed budget’ and have an entire strategy dedicated around how to always be improving it on both desktop and mobile. According to a study done by Kissmetrics, every second past the ideal loading time of three seconds costs you a 7% reduction in sales! 

Start with an audit of your site a few times a year. Echidna audits client sites to check the server response time of each page, cookie usage, DOM element size, 404 pages, HTTP requests, and more. The information from the audit allows you to create actionable recommendations to work towards improving load times.

Bonus! Improving site speed is directly correlated to SEO. Google weighs heavily on page speeds as a factor in ranking. Visitors also tend to leave slow pages, which increases bounce rates and further affects SEO.  

Acquiring New Customers

If your on-site experience isn’t where it needs to be, new visitors can make the problem worse. Acquiring a new customer is around 5x+ more costly than retaining an existing one and a first-time visitor that is turned off from your site is less likely to ever return. When it comes to working towards acquiring new customers, make sure you put your efforts into first retaining the ones you have. 

By first focusing on the 3 suggestions mentioned above - rather than focusing on buying more site traffic - you will build a stronger foundation that converts visitors. With effort and working on the right areas, your team can modernize its digital commerce experience and improve conversion rates.

Contact the experts at Echidna if you need expertise in creating a modern commerce foundation. Echidna offers companies a variety of services to help optimize digital strategy, identify new growth opportunities, and improve conversion rates. With deep industry knowledge and digital expertise, our team is dedicated to knowing our client's business in order to build a modern commerce engine that will power its next phase of growth and innovation.

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