Login

It’s no surprise that an eCommerce website crash can cause irreparable damage to your top-line revenue, brand reputation, and customer loyalty.

Studies confirm that the average cost of IT downtime for eCommerce is around $9,000 per minute, with enterprises facing hundreds of thousands per hour.

Such issues with eCommerce websites aren’t relegated to the past few years. The issues persist. An Outage Impact Survey by Logic Monitor reveals that in the past 3 years, 94% of enterprises experienced an IT outage.

So, why does a website crash?

  • Human error
  • Unexpected surge in web traffic/ sudden high website traffic
  • Coding errors
  • Hosting provider service limitations
  • Outdated systems
  • Malicious attacks
  • Network failure

How to Avoid an eCommerce Website Crash?

We worked on building an essential checklist to mitigating eCommerce website crashes and avoid any potential revenue leaks due to it. So, let’s dive right into it!

Functional Testing

Functional testing involves assessing how your site’s critical functionalities operate. For instance, it includes monitoring mainline functions, basic usability, basic accessibility, and error conditions. Thorough functional testing not only helps avoid eCommerce website crashes but also ensures improved:

  • Product browsing
  • Search capabilities
  • Cart additions
  • Payment processing
  • Checkout process

What happens if you skip functionality testing?

  • Customers encountering bugs in basic functions
  • Cart abandonment
  • Broken search features
  • Stalled checkout processes
  • Inflated bounce rates
  • Website crash

Here’s what functional testing encompasses.

Run Dynamic User Scenarios

Move beyond static testing to include real-world scenarios when running functionality tests. This includes testing various product combinations, payment methods, and user behaviors

Analyze website data to look for patterns like frequently visited pages, common sequences of actions leading to a purchase, and points with high drop-off or error encounters. Accordingly, design and prioritize test cases to reflect the most common and critical user journeys.

Use Automated Regression Testing

Leverage automated testing suites that run with every codebase update or modification. This approach ensures that new changes do not inadvertently disrupt existing functionalities, maintaining a seamless user experience.   

Cross-Browser and Cross-Device Testing

Ensure your eCommerce site is universally accessible, providing a consistent and seamless experience regardless of the device used. With this, you can optimize site functionality, layout, and performance across browsers and devices.

What happens if you avoid this testing?

  • Incompatible web elements
  • Distorted layouts
  • Subpar user experiences on certain platforms/browsers
  • Negative impact on your site’s accessibility and user satisfaction.

Ultimately, your users can divert to competition while limiting the future market reach (because functionality is a technical SEO parameter), plummeting conversion rates.

Here’s how you can run this test:

Use Automated Tools

Tools like BrowserStack or Sauce Labs to simulate testing across various browser and device combinations for comprehensive coverage.

Adopt a Responsive Design Strategy

Employ responsive design principles from the outset, focusing on fluid grids, flexible images, and media queries to enhance user experience Consider using this strategy for functional elements like touch targets and navigation.

Prioritize Correction Based on Analytics

Again, your website analysis data can help prioritize testing efforts by implementing design changes on the most commonly used devices and browsers.

Performance Testing

Very often, the inability to monitor your application performance is why websites crash due to high traffic. That’s because your online store isn’t prepared to handle a high influx of shoppers.

Performance testing monitors site speed, responsiveness, and stability depending on how much traffic you receive (for instance, high user volume, multiple payment checkouts, etc.).

This graphic depicts all types of performance testing you need for addressing website issues and avoiding website crashes. Load testing and endurance testing help an eCommerce business owner predict issues that may hurt site performance during high traffic or traffic spikes.

types of performance testing to avoid ecommerce website crash

Performance testing usually focuses on optimizing load times, script executions, and resource handling.

What happens if we ignore it?

  • Slow page loads
  • Unresponsive pages
  • Frequent downtime
  • Negative impact on SEO and user retention

Here are some considerations for performance testing.

Implement Automated Performance Testing Tools

Get Google Lighthouse or WebPageTest early in the development cycle to monitor and optimize site performance regularly.

Consider Load Testing

One of the reasons why a website crash is a failure to perform load testing. This test requires simulating conditions of traffic spikes to understand how your website infrastructure holds up during high traffic conditions. This will result in discovering bottlenecks before they become critical issues leading to website crashes.

Optimize Website Resources

Images, scripts, and third-party integrations impact your site performance. So, consider compression, minification, and lazy loading for faster loading times and quality compromise.

Security Testing

Online stores need to prioritize a security-first culture to ensure proactive threat monitoring and mitigate outages. A comprehensive website security audit helps avoid eCommerce website crashes by scrutinizing your platform’s layers (UI, Database, Integration, Security, etc.).

Routine security testing can avoid eCommerce website crashes through rigorous assessments like –

  • Website security audits
  • Implementing HTTPS for secure connections, especially during the checkout process
  • Robust testing against threats like SQL injection and cross-site scripting (XSS)

Failing to run a security test for your eCommerce website will result in –

  • Data breaches
  • Unauthorized transactions
  • Financial losses
  • Damage to the brand reputation leads to losing customer loyalty and trust

Secure your eCommerce website with these tactics.

Implement HTTPS

Ensure that your website uses HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS) to enforce data security in transmission (especially during checkouts).

Employ Threat Modelling
 
Use a proactive approach with threat modelling to identify potential security threats and vulnerabilities early in development. This will help design the system architecture with security as a core component.

Payment Gateway Testing

62% of customers who experience a failed transaction never return to the store.

Payment gateway testing can avoid eCommerce website crashes, thereby strengthening customer trust and improving UX. Plus, they ensure that the store matches the security standards and payment regulations.

Customers want to shop without having to fear vulnerabilities.

Faulty payment gateway integration can lead to:

  • Transaction failures
  • Incorrect billing
  • Exposure to sensitive financial data
  • Disruption of the sales process

Consider these techniques for payment gateway testing:

Perform Integration Testing

A thorough integration testing with payment gateways ensures seamless transaction flow and data exchange. It requires testing under various scenarios, including high traffic/ traffic peaks and different payment methods.

Run Compliance Checks

Verify compliance with PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) and other relevant regulations to ensure payment data is handled securely. 

Error Handling

Shopping carts often get abandoned over a bug or a defect. Such undetected errors result in huge revenue losses and hurt trust, especially with the most loyal shoppers. Hence, routine eCommerce error monitoring is critical.

Run scenarios that may spot errors like:

  • Failed transactions
  • Incorrect form submissions
  • Server errors


Failing to manage eCommerce website errors ends up frustrating users, causing them to drop off and abandon their carts.

Here’s how you can ensure efficient error handling.

Customize Error Pages

Design user-friendly, informative error pages to guide users to the site’s functioning areas.

For example, you can include links to top-selling products, new arrivals, etc, on a 404 or maintenance page.

Consider Activity Logging and Monitoring

Implement comprehensive logging and monitoring to capture errors (in real-time) for quick diagnosis and response. This will minimize the downtime and user impact when navigating your online store

Use Feedback Loops

Incorporate user feedback mechanisms on error pages or after error occurrences. Use it to collect insights directly from users that fuel continuous improvement in the error-handling process. 

customized error pages

Monitoring and Analytics

Leverage advanced monitoring and analytics to identify issues impacting users negatively. Such monitoring allows an eCommerce store owner to dissect every facet of user interaction, from product views to checkout behavior bottlenecks.

The goal is to adopt a data-driven approach that analyzes low and high traffic patterns, page performance, and conversion bottlenecks creeping into your website with UX issues. This can help to manage traffic inflow.

What happens if you ignore rigorous monitoring?

  • Page timeouts during high-traffic periods
  • Slow loading speeds
  • Unexpectedly high bounce rates on crucial landing pages.
  • Website performance issues remain unaddressed until they escalate into a full-blown website crash.

Here’s how to proactively analyze and monitor your website to avoid an eCommerce website crash.

Set Up Custom Alerts

 Set up your analytics tools to alert you for unusual spikes or drops in traffic, conversion rates, or other key performance indicators (KPIs). Such a proactive approach ensures keeping you aware of anomalies indicating a site issue or opportunity.

Integrate Cross-Platform Tracking
 
Ensure your monitoring tools are integrated across all platforms (website, mobile app, social media) for a holistic view of user interactions. This comprehensive perspective helps understand the full customer journey and optimize it for conversions and hassle-free customer experience.

User Experience (UX) Testing

testing identifies pitfalls that can turn a promising browsing session into a frustrating endeavor. It identifies and corrects potential user frustration in a structured way.

For example, a typical eCommerce website includes –

  • Usability Testing: Ensures the site is easy to navigate
  • Performance Testing: Guarantees fast loading times
  • Security Testing: Protects user data.

Overlook UX testing leads to

  • Users facing difficulty in navigating the website
  • Cumbersome checkout processes
  • Negative customer feedback and reviews

Here’s how you can ensure effective UX testing-

Prioritize Mobile Optimization

Conduct rigorous UX testing for mobile users to offer quick loading times, intuitive navigation, and seamless checkout.

Blend Multiple Testing Methods

Employ qualitative and quantitative UX testing methods like:

  • A/B testing for iterative improvements
  • Heat mapping to visualize user engagement
  • User session recordings to capture and analyze real interactions, etc.

Managing Rage Clicks and User Frustration

Though rage clicks do not directly cater to the question of why my website keeps crashing, they are a critical signal indicating your UX is breaking down. Identifying rage clicks, dead clicks, and the dreaded endless scrolling can be challenging.

Here are some best practices to identify user disconnect through rage clicks.

Implement Behavior Analysis Tools

Use tools like Crazy Egg, Mouseflow, etc., to track rage clicks, dead clicks, and mouse movements. This helps identify website elements that frustrate users and needs your immediate attention.

Configure Rage Clicks Alerts

Consider configuring user behavior tools to notify you of abnormal activities (e.g., a high number of clicks in a short period on a non-interactive element). Trigger automated emails or messages on integrated platforms like Slack for quick analysis and response.

Provide precision-driven content that aligns with SEO best practices for your eCommerce store. While this may not help avoid eCommerce website crashes, it can save your site from getting SEO penalties which may de-index your website from the Google search engine.

Meet SEO standards in terms of:

  • Product information
  • Image quality
  • Product description accuracy

When ignored, your store may witness:

  • Lower search engine rankings
  • Drop in traffic
  • Increased bounce rates

Here are a few action items to overcome content and SEO issues.

Implement automated SEO auditing tools

Use tools like SEMrush, SEOsurfer, Ahrefs, etc., to regularly scan for broken links, missing alt tags, and non-optimized meta descriptions.

Optimize Content

Refine and align your content to hit SEO targets regarding keyword richness and relevance across product descriptions.

Audit Images

Conduct regular image audits to replace or compress high-load images, using next-gen formats like WebP for faster loading times without sacrificing quality. 

Update and Patch Management

Effective patch management safeguards your website from the latest security threats and vulnerabilities. Thus, your software is up-to-date with the latest patches/fixes for:

  • Website’s core software
  • CMS
  • Plugins
  • Integrated third-party tools for payment processing, customer support, marketing analytics, etc.

Here are a few quick patch management practices –

Schedule for Updates and Patches

Designate specific times for updates (e.g., weekly, bi-weekly). Consider low-traffic hours to minimize the impact on customers.

Implement a Staging Environment for Updates

Create a replica of your live website. Test patches/updates thoroughly on this staging site before pushing changes live.

Stay Updated With Latest Security Vulnerabilities

This is to ensure that all aspects of your website are patched promptly. For this, subscribe to security alerts from your e-commerce platform, plugins, and relevant tech vendors.

Noibu’s Cheat Sheet to Maintaining a Healthy Digital Presence

Noibu, an eCommerce error detection and resolution software can help avoid potential glitches in the UX due to technical errors and deliver seamless experiences, so you never have to worry about errors compounding over time to cause any major disruption in experiences.

Here’s how Noibu keeps your eCommerce store error-free:

Real-Time Monitoring

Noibu allows you to monitor and fix production errors in real time. All errors are flagged as they occur and your team is alerted whenever there is a new one so you can efficiently resolve it and avoid any disruption in customer experiences.

Customized Alerts

Each eCommerce business prioritizes different metrics and needs relevant alerts to accommodate these nuances. The Alerts module allows you to create alerts with nuanced conditions, descriptive names, and a curated list of recipients. Noibu offers tailored alerts allowing you to prioritize and focus on the most critical issues for your business. The platform triggers alerts based on changes in issue data. You can customize each alert to fire based on a set of conditions. 

User Impact Analysis and Effective Debugging

Understanding the extent of an error’s impact on customers is crucial for determining its priority. Has it disrupted the shopping journey or a few users or thousands of them? What is the revenue impact it will have if left unaddressed for a sprint or two? Noibu’s user impact analysis guides decisions by tracking the issue’s impact over time: occurrences and predicted annual revenue loss.

Technical Details for Efficient Resolution

Spending hours trying to investigate and debug issues? Noibu provides all the necessary details developers need to quickly resolve errors without having to replicate or investigate, thus reducing error resolution time by 70%.

error information with Noibu

Conclusion

When managing an eCommerce store, it is important to keep a check on every small error that could end up hurting your user experience or revenue. Hence, to avoid an eCommerce website crash opt for a proactive approach over a reactive one. Noibu can be your strategic partner when detecting, analyzing, and resolving eCommerce website errors and bugs before they hurt revenue. Noibu is built for evolving and complex eCommerce environments where anything can go wrong and damage your top line within hours. Book a Noibu demo today to experience the platform in action!

During the pandemic, the percentage of shopping that was done online naturally ramped up hugely, and in the wake of that period, it has stayed incredibly high. With eCommerce being such a growing industry, with lots more competition and lots more data, keeping competitive requires an understanding of the entire business model and the nuances therein.

On the latest episode of The eCommerce Toolbox: Expert Perspectives podcast, host Kailin Noivo is joined by Luis Gerardo Torres, Head of eCommerce Operations at Specialized Bicycles in Europe, to explore the differences and challenges within the European and Latin American markets, and to understand how, in times of growth, you can keep track of your relationship with your customers.

Latin America vs European eCommerce Markets

The retail markets in Latin America and Europe have very different characters. There are a number of very tangible reasons for this – the geography itself is relevant, with the differing terrain in each country providing its own logistical challenge. In South America, the hills of Colombia versus the relative flatness of Mexico is a good example of this disparity and an eCommerce manager working across Latin America ought to be aware of the challenges presented as a result.

In Europe, the situation, geographically and around borders is more fluid, Luis describes it more as feeling like one big country. What with free movement, it is much easier to deliver far and wide in the continent. Luis is an advocate for eCommerce leaders having a fuller grasp of the business as it grows.

Being across all of these logistical details helps to make sense of the data and tangible feedback you receive. Another example would be the GDPR laws across Europe: these mean that users are giving businesses far less consent to use their data. In South America, this is less of a problem and it’s far easier to gather lots more information about your customers.

Build a Data Team You Can Trust

It’s vital to be putting as much work into understanding both the human side of your customers and the data aspect, because together they inform each other and help you make the right decisions. If neglected, you could be making decisions blind. To do this you need dedicated teams in place. The sheer quantity of data that can be gathered in this era of eCommerce means having a team that can reliably and accurately process and analyze this data is an invaluable asset to your company.

Without this, it could be easy to drown in a sea of numbers without being able to see where the actionable insights are. Again, having a broad perspective on your offering as a company is key here – that means understanding the granular details around your supply chain, logistics, warehouses, and all of that. Luis suggests that an eCommerce manager really should have a solid grounding in digital marketing these days in order to give themselves the best chance of leveraging the data they’re receiving to find that competitive advantage.

Luis Gerardo Torres on supply chain and logistics

Driving Long-term Customer Satisfaction

Customer satisfaction can be measured in many ways. It’s also true that it’s a metric that can be slightly left by the wayside during the periods of fast growth that many platforms are experiencing at the moment. Increasing revenue is of course vital, but there are a few ways you could and should keep a thorough and regular eye on your customers.

Having the right CRM in place to monitor various KPIs on a daily basis is an absolute necessity if you have designs to raise the satisfaction of your customers in line with the growth of the company as a whole. Repurchase rates and lifetime value figures are not necessarily always valued as highly as other key metrics when determining the success of your company.

But long-term value is often at least as much about customer retention as it is about reaching new customers, and these are fantastic ways to figure out if the users of your eCommerce platform are coming away from each purchase feeling content with the whole process.

Luis Gerardo Torres on customer satisfaction

Listen to the Full Episode Below!

Tune in to this episode of The eCommerce Toolbox: Expert Perspectives with Luis Gerardo Torres to find out more about maximizing your data and understanding the detail and the context of your eCommerce platform’s success.

👉 Apple: https://apple.co/49Ri9Hz

👉 Spotify: https://spoti.fi/4bUJfzj

Luis is a professional with more than 13 years of experience in Mexico and Europe working as an eCommerce manager. He had a background in finance and the stock exchange before an internship in Poland taught him marketing. Lots of courses, hard work and nous led him to where he is now. He has worked for Specialized Bicycle Components for the past three years or so and now leads their operations across Europe, shaping and executing a roadmap for continued growth and improvement.

In a Deloitte study, 70% of online consumers openly admit that sluggish websites impact their purchase decisions. Not just this, in the US, latency is the #1 reason why a shopper would abandon a website.

 
Poor UX costs eCommerce companies a loss of 5 purchases a year per customer, with 8% of customers abandoning over 10 purchases.
 
Sub-par shopping experiences have a colossal impact on revenue. Today’s shopper has limited patience and expects a more tailored, in-context experience.
impact of customer experience on shopper satisfaction

Thus, delivering visually appealing, content-rich shopping experiences and ensuring a fast-loading eCommerce website is key to attracting customers, fostering long-term loyalty, and increasing revenue.

JavaScript allows developers to create immersive experiences, offering shoppers a user-friendly buying experience. However, uncaught JavaScript errors can be a massive threat to eCommerce website performance and overall top-line revenue as persistent bugs cause shoppers to drop off and abandon their carts.

For instance, JavaScript fetch errors due to network or server issues can interfere with the loading of crucial data, such as product listings or user cart information on an eCommerce website. This can lead to broken functionality, such as incomplete product pages or the inability to add items to the cart.

When users encounter such errors, their screen may display error messages prompting them to refresh the page or try again, thus negatively impacting their overall experience and causing frustration.

Similarly, a common JavaScript error in eCommerce websites using Magento, namely “Cannot read properties of undefined (reading ‘remove’),” a type of JS runtime error can arise due to changes in storage initialization between Magento versions 2.3.6 and 2.4.

It can adversely affect vital UI components and eCommerce website functionalities, such as adding items to the cart or logging in. When such an error occurs, the user might encounter an error message asking to try again later. The runtime error can thus lead to customer dissatisfaction, thus slowing down conversion rates.

In short, JavaScript errors on eCommerce websites disrupt the normal functioning of web pages, leading to slow load times and poor user experiences. Poor JavaScript error handling may result in a loss of trust in the business and decreased revenue.

Despite taking proactive measures like implementing try block and throw statements, performing code reviews, testing, and debugging, eradicating a JavaScript error remains a key challenge. The complexity of web applications introduces uncertainties, where even a minor oversight while handling an event object or executing a code snippet can lead to such errors.

Thus, the presence of errors is inevitable in an eCommerce JavaScript project developer’s life. A surefire way to take control is to have complete visibility of such common JavaScript errors with eCommerce monitoring tools.

The Need for Complete Visibility into JavaScript Errors for eCommerce

If there’s a server issue, the whole eCommerce JavaScript project development team turns upside down, and everyone’s rushing to fix the issue. However, errors in JavaScript tend to linger around for months before they get fixed. This is largely due to a lack of visibility into such errors in the codebase.

Server errors, syntax errors, and 404 pages can be easily spotted. However, they present only a fraction of the bugs impacting eCommerce site performance. These errors in JavaScript, unfortunately, do not invoke a server alert and therefore aren’t brought to anyone’s attention until it’s too late. What’s more, only about 10% of shoppers call in to report an error they encounter on a website, leading to a majority of them just lurking around to cause friction in the customer experience.

The absence of such visibility makes it challenging for the developers to address underlying issues. This results in persistent performance issues that eat into user session lengths, conversion rates, and revenue.

Getting to the bottom of JavaScript errors on eCommerce websites is critical for developers as they get deeper diagnostic details about the issue. This allows them to plan quick and proactive resolution tactics, thereby reducing its impact on revenue.

Improved JavaScript error visibility offers developers insights on exactly which page the error occurred, if there is a specific location, or if a specific operating system is impacted. Thus, the narrowed-down error environment helps them prioritize which issue to fix first.

Now that we’ve understood why getting complete error visibility is important, let’s see how not having this visibility will impact performance.

The Impact of Poor JavaScript Error Visibility

Critical JavaScript code errors on eCommerce websites left undetected or unaddressed due to poor visibility, can snowball into severe issues. Poor visibility can hamper your development team’s ability to pinpoint, prioritize, and address issues effectively.

Without clear insights, your team may encounter challenges in identifying critical JavaScript errors that require immediate attention, leading to delays in the resolution process. This can negatively impact your website performance, ultimately affecting customer experience and revenue in the long term.

Here’s how:

Compounding Negative Impact on the JavaScript Codebase

A typo in the variable name or failure to define its value before executing the JavaScript code can give rise to reference errors. For instance, if eCommerce developers mistakenly type toUperCase() instead of toUpperCase(), it will lead to a JavaScript reference error.

Similarly, JavaScript error [object Object] (frequently encountered on Magento) arises when developers mistakenly treat an object as a string, often occurring during operations like concatenation with a string, usage in string-expecting contexts, or within the anonymous function.

Oversight in handling object data properly within the codebase leads to this error, resulting in unexpected behavior in JavaScript execution.

The crux of the above examples is poor visibility into these errors in JavaScript can compromise the codebase quality and reliability over time. This has a negative compounding effect on overall site performance.

Poor Error Resolution Efficiency

Limited visibility into errors can negatively impact your development team’s efficiency in resolving them. Without clear insights, they may address errors as they arise.

For instance, if the eCommerce site manager encounters and notifies a runtime error, the development team would review the relevant JavaScript code and identify the incorrect argument to handle errors. Similarly, if the team discovers a syntax error during random testing because of an invalid variable declaration, developers would analyze the JavaScript code to locate and resolve the syntax error.

Often, if customers encounter and pinpoint an error message on the eCommerce site highlighting a reference error when attempting to access an undefined variable, the developers would focus on identifying the variable causing the issue and ensure to define it appropriately.

In short, this will result in a reactive rather than proactive error resolution approach. Furthermore, this lack of visibility into JavaScript code errors on eCommerce websites means the developers must spend considerable time searching through thousands of user sessions or logs to reproduce and resolve errors.

The process is time-consuming as developers need to investigate to find out:

  • Where the error occurs
  • What circumstances caused the error to occur
  • What happens when the error occurs (user and developer perspective)
  • How to handle errors and apply the fixes

It isn’t surprising that developers spend 25% or more of their sprint time on error handling and resolution.

Sub-Optimal eCommerce Site Performance

Limited error visibility may lead to a drop in the overall performance of your eCommerce platform. The underlying errors can accumulate and create friction for customers interacting with your platform.

For instance, the runtime error, JavaScript AJAX call error, which mainly occurs when an AJAX request is initiated but canceled due to a browser event, such as a page reload or redirection, happening simultaneously or from cross-domain issues, can hinder users from searching for products or performing checkout on eCommerce websites.

This runtime error, thus, impacts vital UI components responsible for search functionality and checkout processes.

Similarly, if the eCommerce website gets impacted by the “Illegal Invocation” JavaScript error during transaction data handling or interacting with payment gateway APIs, it can disrupt payment processing. This JavaScript error occurs due to inappropriate context or event object passed during a function call, violating the expected behavior of the function. Users’ screens might display an error message or notification indicating issues with payment processing.

Such errors in JavaScript can leave a lasting negative impression on users, which may lead to cart abandonment and revenue loss. So, developers must take proactive measures to handle errors in JavaScript like these and maintain optimal eCommerce website performance.

Low Developer Productivity

Unresolved issues tend to frustrate teams, especially when they lack insights that can help in fixing them. Poor visibility into JavaScript errors on eCommerce websites can overwhelm the development team.

Rollbar conducted a study on 950 developers and found that:

  • 32% of developers spend up to 10 hours/week to fix bugs
  • 16% spend up to 15 hours/week for it
  • 6% spend up to 20 hours/week

This reflects that because of limited visibility into eCommerce JavaScript errors, development teams are unable to gain valuable insights into the root causes of issues.

This leads them to end up in a loop of debugging and spending crucial development hours on mundane error reproduction tasks that could otherwise be invested in strategic projects, such as building new website features, optimizing performance, or working on innovative solutions to enhance the eCommerce experience that contributes to revenue.

What’s worse? All this negatively impacts their morale, increasing the risk of attrition. It takes months and thousands of dollars to recruit and onboard eCommerce developers. Thus, a lack of proper visibility into your site errors or a well-functioning error-resolution workflow can end up wasting your IT team’s team and resource hours

Gain Complete Visibility into JS Errors and Reduce Error Resolution Time by 70%

Edgar, Dunn & Company reports that 94% of eCommerce websites have five or more live uncaught errors impacting customers’ experience.

There’s a fair chance your eCommerce website falls into this category. Now, imagine the impact it’s having on business revenue if you don’t proactively handle errors. Thus, identifying JS errors that influence conversion rates is central to eCommerce developers.

What you need is a platform that ensures your front end is healthy from a site stability and error-tracking standpoint and correlates errors with revenue impact.

That’s where our robust eCommerce monitoring platform – Noibu, can help!

Noibu proactively monitors your eCommerce website for JS and other errors, helping you save hours that would otherwise be spent on investigation and resolution. Here’s how:

Understanding the nature of JS errors is critical; yet, investigating the type of JS error may take a developer hours, let alone fixing them.

Noibu can help your development team with:  

#1: Real-Time Error Detection: Noibu automatically monitors your eCommerce website and promptly flags all errors in real-time, ensuring nothing slips through the cracks. In addition to common errors like syntax errors and runtime errors, it identifies GraphQL, HTTP, and Image errors that can disrupt your customers’ journey. 

#2: Prioritization Based on Revenue-Impact: Noibu alerts you when the error occurs and prioritizes all issues based on the impact they have on your revenue. This way, you can confidently pick and choose which errors to address first to minimize the negative impact on your sales and conversions.

#3: Technical Details to Provide Quick Resolution: Noibu simplifies error handling in JavaScript by providing all the technical details required by your eCommerce developers to quickly resolve errors without having to spend endless hours replicating them or finding corresponding user sessions.

This includes information from the JavaScript error object, such as error messages, stack traces, browser information, network requests, and other relevant data necessary to resolve site errors in record time. Precisely, it enables development teams to cut resolution time by 70%. This greatly improves your development team’s efficiency by streamlining your error-resolution workflows.

The Way Forward

JavaScript errors can negatively impact eCommerce website functionality and performance over time. Limited error visibility can lead to a compounding effect, hampering the development team’s ability to identify and address them in real time.

This results in a reactive approach, consuming valuable resources and time.
So, understanding when the error occurred is vital. Real-time error detection and prioritization based on impact can help address these challenges.

High visibility into JavaScript errors leads to swift error resolution, improving the user experience and conversion rates.

Neglecting to implement the right tool for JavaScript error handling and monitoring can prove a grave mistake on JavaScript eCommerce sites.

Count on Noibu to get enhanced visibility and in-depth insights into errors in JavaScript.

Sign up for a free checkout audit of your website, or book a demo of the Noibu platform.

Adopting a data-driven approach to error handling and monitoring has helped some of the biggest online retailers like Joe Browns and Ruroc redefine their error monitoring and resolution workflows.

Here’s what Fiona Brown, the Head of eCommerce at Joe Browns, has to say:  

Fiona Brown on how NOibu has helped their development team

Read more on how Joe Browns achieved an ROI of 48.35x with Noibu

Daniel Goodwin, the Frontend Web Developer at Ruroc, shares that Noibu helped them improve the overall error handling and monitoring process for his team. They achieved a 42.89x ROI by resolving errors with Noibu. 

Daniel Goodwin on how Noibu has helped their development team

The eCommerce industry is rife with competition with multiple players vying for market share. Hence, fast-growing eCommerce businesses must continuously innovate to improve customer experience. They absolutely need to offer a seamless and painless shopping experience.

It’s no secret that poor shopping experiences directly impact conversions and revenue. Therefore, eCommerce website mistakes that might be leading to sub-par customer experiences are detrimental to the business’ top line.

A market research report involving testing of top eCommerce sites found more than 3000 bugs impacting UX and site performance. What’s more, the cost of 1 bug was almost $1 million in just 14 days.

In fact, 10 top US retailers lost more than $60 million in the holiday season because of 65 high-severity bugs. Yet, a majority of the eCommerce stores continue to operate with websites riddled with bugs, glitches, or simply other UI/UX mistakes that are easily avoidable.

This post will share common eCommerce website mistakes to avoid so you can deliver flawless customer experiences and boost your top-line revenue.

eCommerce Mistake #1: Disregarding Registration/ Sign-In Issues

The need for registration is a huge obstacle in the online purchasing process. In fact, a Databox survey reveals that ‘having to create a new user account’ is the #2 reason for shoppers abandoning their carts.

reasons for cart abandonment

Shoppers dislike registration because they do not see value in it. They find the process time-consuming, unimportant, or inconvenient. The result – they end up leaving the website, never to return.

Issues with registration prevent the user from proceeding to purchase. That’s why it is among the top eCommerce mistakes online stores should avoid. Another common eCommerce website mistake online stores commit is creating a long and complex registration process. Doing so leads to friction and a poor user experience. Here are a few ways to improve the registration process:

Implement Social Sign-Ins

Social media sign-in options provide guest checkout options, allowing users to access your site with existing social media accounts, skipping the tedious registration process.

Here are a few key tips to consider when implementing social sign-ins.

  • Choose well-known platforms like Facebook, Google, Twitter, and LinkedIn to appeal to a broad user base
  • Communicate how you will use the social data to address privacy concerns that make users feel social sign-in more secure
  • Social sign-in buttons should prominently yet unobtrusively appear to complement your website design and user flow
eCommerce social sign in

Implement Guest Checkout

This enables first-time users to make purchases without creating an account and thus gives them the choice to share as much personal information/data with the brand as they want to.

Here are some key considerations:

  • Keep the guest checkout option visible and accessible throughout the user journey until the checkout page
  • Ensure capturing key user data while encouraging account creation post-purchase with incentives
  • Streamline the guest checkout process by limiting the required information to only what’s necessary for the transaction.

Progressive Profiling to Balance Data Collection with User Convenience

Progressive profiling allows you to gradually collect users’ data from multiple interactions instead of requesting all information upfront.

progressive profliing

This leads to improved user experience and increased likelihood of data submission. Here’s how you can implement progressive profiling.

  • Start easy: Begin by asking for information (e.g., name, email) and progressively ask for more detailed data in subsequent interactions
  • Leverage analytics: Use analytics to understand the best timing and context for requesting additional information. Use Google Analytics to monitor user behavior, engagement metrics, conversion pathways, and other eCommerce KPIs. Gather insights into how users interact within your site, highlighting areas of interest or confusion. A/B test different timings and contexts for requesting information to see what yields the highest user compliance and customer satisfaction.
  • Personalize the experience: Use the collected data to personalize the customer experience on your site.  

eCommerce Mistake #2: Not Paying Attention to Broken Site Layout

Layout bugs cause issues at different levels of severity causing shoppers to drop off simply out of frustration. That’s why it is one of the worst eCommerce website mistakes impacting conversion rates and revenue.

Imagine having overlapping fields on your homepage or product description page. Or probably a drop-down list that doesn’t work. Such layout issues will not let your shopper complete their purchase. Hence, product and development teams must focus on website layout as any issues can hinder a seamless eCommerce checkout experience.

Here’s how you can avoid these issues:

Rigorous Cross-Browser and Cross-Device Testing

Testing is necessary to avoid committing common mistakes in eCommerce websites. This ensures your site performs seamlessly across all browsers and devices, preventing the audience from alienating due to technical glitches or layout issues.

  • Leverage automation testing to provide comprehensive coverage and efficient issue identification.
  • Develop a detailed testing checklist that covers major browsers and devices. To guarantee a uniform user experience, consider including different operating systems and screen resolutions.
  • Invest in an eCommerce error tracking platform like Noibu that goes beyond automated traditional testing to proactively monitor your eCommerce site in real-time, alert you of any errors impacting user experience and conversions, and provide all the necessary technical details required to resolve bugs.

Apply Responsive Website Design Principles to Accommodate All Users

A responsive design boosts the accessibility of your eCommerce site and usability, regardless of the device or screen size. Applying responsive design principles can help avoid the common eCommerce website mistake of broken layout. It offers an optimal viewing experience that adapts fluidly to the user’s environment. Here’s what to do:

  • Use fluid grid layouts that adjust smoothly across screen sizes. This approach uses percentages rather than fixed units, making it flexible and responsive.
  • CSS techniques, like implementing flexible images and media, make your content responsive. This enables them to scale appropriately and maintain your website’s layout integrity on different devices.

Use CI/CD Tools for Smoother Updates and Maintenance

Adopting Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Deployment (CD) practices can help you maintain the agility and reliability of your eCommerce platform. Implementing these practices can help prevent the most common eCommerce mistakes, enabling seamless integration of new code and update deployments. This will minimize disruptions and maintain a high level of site performance. Here are a few points to consider:

  • Integrate CI/CD pipeline: Establish a CI/CD pipeline using platforms like Jenkins or GitHub Actions to automate the testing and deployment of code changes, ensuring smooth and continuous updates
  • Automate testing within CI/CD: Embed automated testing to detect and resolve issues early in your CI/CD process. This helps maintain code quality and functionality with every update.
  • After deployment, use monitoring tools to track the impact of updates on site performance. This will allow you to quickly identify and resolve issues introduced by new changes.

eCommerce Mistake #3: Neglecting Issues with Product Filtering and Sorting

The top online stores offer detailed filtering and sorting options by various parameters because they realize the importance of such features.

Check out how eCommerce businesses like Walmart and Amazon leverage filtering and sorting to enhance the shopping experience. This enables users to effortlessly navigate through your product catalog.

eCommerce product filtering

Unclear and poor product sorting and filtering frustrates shoppers as it comes in the way of product findability. Yet, one of the most overlooked eCommerce business mistakes is the lack of order and sorting in the product catalog. As an eCommerce business owner, you would ensure these features remain intuitive and robust to plummet bounce rates and boost the conversion rate. Here are a few best eCommerce practices we recommend.

Optimize User Interface

A user-friendly interface for filtering and sorting options makes them easily accessible and understandable on your online store. It includes:

  • Intuitive website design and placement: Use dropdown menus, checkboxes, or sliders to prominently and consistently display filtering and sorting options across product descriptions and listings.
  • Clear labeling and groupings: Adopt clear, descriptive labels for all filtering and sorting options. Also, group related filters together (e.g., size, color, brand for clothing) that help users quickly understand their options. Note: Include a ‘reset’ or ‘clear all’ feature.

Leverage User Data for Personalization

Utilize analytics and user behavior data to tailor filtering options based on popular criteria or past user interactions.

Personalization elevates the shopping experience, making product discovery more relevant and efficient.

Here’s how to get started:

  • Analyze user behavior using tools like Google Analytics to create custom events and apply and understand popular filters and sorting preferences. Other tools like MixPanel and Adobe Analytics can also identify patterns in customer behavior that help decide which options to prioritize or highlight on your site.
  • Customize based on user history: Customize filter and sort options for registered users or those with a cookie history. For example, if a user consistently filters for vegan products, prioritize this filter for them in the future.

Improve Backend Performance

Optimize the technical implementation of filtering and sorting features for speed and accuracy. This requires indexing product attributes in your database and using efficient algorithms to handle queries, ensuring quick and precise results for users.

Here are a few tips to consider –

  • Optimize database indexing based on the attributes used for filtering and sorting. This reduces the query load time to offer quicker results.
  • Use optimized query algorithms using custom solutions or leverage database management system features to retrieve the data.
  • Implement caching strategies to keep often-used data in memory. This reduces the need for constant database lookups for common filter and sort actions.

eCommerce Mistake #4: Ignoring a Glitchy Cart Building Experience

A seamless shopping cart experience is fundamental to conversions. At a stage that’s so close to the shopper making the payment, they should be able to effortlessly –

  • Add/ remove items to/ from the cart
  • Change the number of each item in the cart
  • Have access to the exact pricing they need to pay during checkout

Yet, not prioritizing the shopping cart experience makes it to the list of common mistakes in eCommerce websites. This is a big cause of frustration for shoppers, causing them to leave and increasing your bounce rates. Issues like slow loading time, complex navigation paths, security issues, lack of payment options, and others can irk shoppers in the final stages of their purchasing journey. You wouldn’t want to lose revenue after getting the shopper so close to making a purchase decision. Here are a few tactics we recommend:

Streamlined Checkout Process

Simplify the checkout process by implementing features like auto-filling known customer information. For this, you can –

  • Use browser cookies to remember user information
  • Encourage users to create accounts for faster future checkouts
  • Implement single sign-on (SSO) technology for ease of use.

Providing clear progress indicators so a customer or potential customer anticipates the pending process, which may otherwise lead to cart abandonment out of frustration. This requires –

  • Implement a step-by-step progress bar or indicators at the top of the checkout page
  • Use visual cues (like icons or numbers) to denote each step (e.g., ” Shipping, ” ” Payment, ” and ” Confirmation).
  • Make sure users can navigate to previous steps without losing the information they’ve added

Offering multiple payment options to accommodate user preferences. This includes –

  • Traditional credit/debit cards
  • Mobile payment systems like Apple Pay or Google Pay
  • Popular online payment platforms like PayPal
  • Buy Now Pay Later Options such as Affirm or Klarna

Robust Error Handling

eCommerce sites often have multiple shopping categories and hundreds of product pages. Hence, it can be difficult to track errors. More often than not, bad eCommerce websites fail to handle errors effectively. Proper error handling involves figuring out how to resolve issues that lead to cart abandonment. Here’s how to approach it:

  • Highlight the error field and provide immediate feedback on errors (e.g., an invalid card number). Also, explain how to fix it.
  • Avoid using technical jargon in error messages. Here’s an example of both.
    ❌Transaction Failure: Invalid payment gateway response. Check card data or utilize an alternate transaction facilitator.
    ✅Your payment couldn’t be processed. Please check your card details or try a different payment method.
  • Implement backend logging to capture and analyze checkout errors to identify and address recurring issues.

eCommerce Mistake #5: Not Resolving Persistent Checkout Issues

Don’t make your eCommerce website a test of users’ patience. And surely not in the final sprint of the shopper journey – the checkout process.

Any friction during this process and you lose the sale, thus negatively impacting the conversion rate. And don’t think they’re saving it for later – Chances are they’ll never come back. Cart abandonment presently costs eCommerce brands a staggering $18 Billion in yearly sales revenue.

Yet, sadly, bad eCommerce sites fail to create a seamless checkout experience. Let’s explore some of the quick fixes for checkout issues.

One-Click Checkout

This option suits a returning or a potential customer, who can bypass the traditional checkout process using stored payment and shipping information.

Implementing one-click checkout requires a secure, easily retrievable, and up-to-date method of storing customer data. To safeguard this information, comply with data protection regulations.

Real-Time Validation

Use real-time validation for form inputs, which offers immediate feedback in case of incorrect or incomplete data. This prevents users from submitting the form only to encounter errors.

Use JavaScript or similar technologies on the front end to validate inputs dynamically. Also, check whether it negatively impacts the page’s load time or customer experience.

Load Time Optimization

Optimize all checkout pages for faster loading times. This may require:

  • Compressing images
  • Leveraging browser caching
  • Minimizing heavy scripts that could slow down the page
  • Using content delivery networks (CDNs), etc.

Regular Testing and Monitoring

To ensure a flawless and uninterrupted checkout experience, it’s important to regularly scrutinize your website with eCommerce monitoring solutions. These solutions are designed to consistently scrutinize the site, spot issues, and alert developers on issues that may interfere with the checkout process. Noibu is an eCommerce monitoring platform that helps in proactively monitoring your eCommerce site for any errors that could cause friction in customer experience and lead to revenue loss.

It detects all site errors in real-time, alerts you of the same, and prioritizes them based on the impact they have on your top line. The platform also provides all the technical details required by developers to efficiently resolve site errors in record time. To experience how the Noibu platform can help boost your error monitoring efforts, sign up for a free checkout audit of your site.

eCommerce Mistake #6: Not Resolving Payment Gateway Issues

Security concerns have a dramatic effect on the purchase decision. Issues like design flaws, outdated layouts, missing images, and the absence of SSL certificates can dissuade shoppers from completing the purchase. Not having flexible payment options is also another reason why your target customers leave the site or the shopping cart. Further, several bugs pop up at this stage, ruining the payment process and damaging customer trust:

  • Poor integration with payment options
  • A long payment processing
  • Charging customers an incorrect amount Issues with payment confirmation methods
  • Unmapped or incorrect errors
  • The absence of success/ confirmation message

Research shows that eCommerce merchants lose 62% of customers who’ve experienced a failed payment transaction. Hence, not resolving payment gateway issues is one of the worst eCommerce website mistakes an eCommerce can commit.

Implement Encryption and Tokenization

Encryption ensures that sensitive data, such as credit card numbers, is converted into a secure format only authorized parties can access.

Communicating tokenization in your checkout helps build trust by replacing sensitive data with unique identification symbols without compromising security.

Use 3D Secure Authentication

Add 3D security to add a layer of authentication during payment transactions. Customers must complete an extra verification step with the card issuer. Using this will reduce the likelihood of fraudulent transactions and chargebacks.

Employ Comprehensive Fraud Detection Tools

Advanced fraud detection and prevention tools use machine learning algorithms to analyze transaction patterns and flag potentially fraudulent activities. Tools like Kaunt, Signifyd, Sift, etc. help in real-time decision-making to approve or decline transactions based on risk assessment.

eCommerce Mistake #7: Failing to Pay Heed to Poor Integrations between Functionalities

Imagine the havoc a problematic synchronization between your store and warehouse records can create.

Most of your items will show ‘out of stock,’ being unavailable for shoppers. This not only builds up frustration among customers but also amounts to lost revenue. Integration bugs disrupt user experience and backend operations.

Here are the issues they can cause –

  • Incorrect inventory counts
  • Failed transactions
  • Data inconsistency
  • Tracking and analytics issues

Here’s how you can take hold of the situation. 

Better API Management

API management offers communication between your eCommerce platform and its integrated services to keep it efficient and secure. Therefore, tracking API versions and implementing rate limiting help prevent system overloads and maintain service stability. Effective API management will:

  • Ensure version control by tracking API versions and dependencies before implementing updates.
  • Implement rate limiting to control the number of requests made to an API within a given timeframe. Otherwise, big sales days may turn your system down due to overloading.
  • Follow strict API security protocols like authentication, authorization, and encryption. This requires regularly reviewing and updating security measures to protect against new vulnerabilities.

eCommerce Mistake #8: Letting Security Issues Slide

Security is the cornerstone of eCommerce success. Vulnerabilities that lead to data leaks, DDoS attacks, and other security issues aren’t healthy for your brand’s reputation.

Customers expect eCommerce sites to maintain high-security standards that protect them from such security threats. Here are a few best e-Commerce practices we recommend.

Regular Security Audits

This is to identify and mitigate vulnerabilities within your eCommerce platform. For this, you can:

  • Hire external experts
  • Conduct internal audits
  • Create a remediation plan to address identified vulnerabilities

SSL Certification

SSL certificates encrypt data transmitted between the user’s browser and your server to protect the interception of users’ sensitive information.

When implementing SSL –

  • Take time choosing the right and reputable Certificate Authority (CA) to ensure reliability and trustworthiness
  • Follow regular renewal by setting reminders for certificate renewals
  • Use HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS) to force browsers to connect to your site using HTTPS, enhancing security.

Besides, here are a few quick tips for ensuring a reliable and secure transaction for your customers:

  • Choose a secure web host Perform SQL checks Update your online store regularly
  • Hire experts for data processing
  • Implement an eCommerce website application firewall Run penetration testing as a part of your security audits

eCommerce Mistake #9: Letting Out-of-Place Pop-Ups Interfere with the UX

Another common mistake in eCommerce websites is unexpected pop-ups appearing out of context. Pop-ups are aimed at attracting attention and sharing relevant offers with the shopper. However, difficult-to-shut pop-ups or the ones that overlap with the critical layout site elements can be annoying.

Here’s what we recommend for using pop-ups effectively while upholding your site’s UX.

Personalization and Tailoring

  • Segment your target audience: Use data analytics to segment your audience based on their behavior, preferences, and previous interactions with your site. So, tailor pop-up messages to match the interests and needs of each segment.
  • Trigger based on behavior: Implement pop-ups triggered by user-specific behaviors, like spending a specific amount of time on a page (like, 30 seconds), intending to exit the site (exit-intent pop-ups), or scrolling to a certain point on a page.
  • A/B testing: Regularly A/B tests the pop-up messages to monitor timing and placement. It helps determine what works best to engage your target audience and refine your pop-up marketing strategy without causing them annoyance.

Design and User Experience

Key considerations on designing aspects of pop-ups include:

  • Creating visually appealing yet simple pop-ups with clear messaging and a compelling call to action (CTA)
  • Optimizing pop-ups for mobile devices because what works on desktops may be frustrating or difficult to dismiss on mobile
  • Considering load time ensures they do not negatively impact the page load time

eCommerce Mistake #10: Not Fixing Navigation Issues That Hurt User Experience

Navigation is a critical component of the eCommerce shopping experience. Yet, bugs can cause issues like –

  • Breadcrumbs not featured in all hierarchy elements
  • Non-clickable breadcrumbs The absence of a “Back” button or an easy way to return to a previous page
  • Glitchy hover-based dropdown menus
  • Bulky menus that do not work on mobile web view

Also, shoppers struggle with complex layouts, unclear category distinctions, or inconsistent menu structures. Needless to mention, this eCommerce website mistake frustrates users, causing them to abandon their search and switch to other stores offering user-friendly experiences. Here’s how to fix such issues:

Prioritize an Intuitive Design

Design your online store by understanding how your users think and what they expect when visiting your site. 

For this, you can:

  • Do user testing: To observe how real users navigate your site, wherein insights help adjust navigation elements to match user expectations.
  • Offer consistent layout: The navigation menu, search bar, and other key elements should be consistently placed across all pages, making it easy for users to find what they want.
  • Simplify categories: Organize your products or content into clear, logical categories that are easy to understand.

Leverage Breadcrumb Navigation

 Implementing this will let users understand their current location on your site and navigate back to previous sections effortlessly. For this, you need to ensure:

  • Placing breadcrumbs at the top of each page, just below the navigation bar. It keeps them visible and consistent throughout your site.
  • Each breadcrumb trail segment should be clickable to allow users to easily return to previous pages or categories.
eCommerce site breadcrumbs

What Next?

The eCommerce website mistakes shared in this article can cost your site millions of dollars. While you need a comprehensive strategy to continuously optimize your site to ensure the best user experience, tackling the site errors we discussed here is a great place to start. This will not just improve your site’s UX but also directly boost your site conversions.

So, where can you begin? With Noibu!

Noibu dashboard

Noibu is a comprehensive eCommerce monitoring solution tailored specifically for the unique needs of eCommerce, product, DevOps, and technical teams. The eCommerce error detection and resolution software detects website errors in real time and prioritizes them based on revenue impact. It provides corresponding user session details along with all technical information, allowing you to correlate customer complaints to actual sessions and errors, so you don’t waste time and resources trying to replicate errors.

As Noibu prioritizes errors based on revenue impact, you can see the exact impact of resolving technical errors on your eCommerce business’ top line. Interested in exploring how Noibu can save your eCommerce business millions of dollars in annual revenue? Sign up for a demo of the platform today.

Loyalty programs — are they worth the investment?

Of course, they are. However, customer acquisition is equally critical to grow your eCommerce business.

On the latest episode of The eCommerce Toolbox: Expert Perspectives podcast, host Kailin Noivo is joined by Nate Kennedy, VP of Customer Experience at Horizon Hobby. Together, they explore how insightful eCommerce analytics are, how to balance customer acquisition and loyalty, and whether it’s worth spending your way into a market.

Leveraging eCommerce Insights

eCommerce businesses are unique. By operating online, they have insights into their customers that are simply unavailable to brick-and-mortar retailers.

eCommerce brands can easily see where their customers are engaging, where they’re leaving the funnel, and, with the right tools, where they’re frustrated by your site’s functionality.

For brick-and-mortar retailers, this is limited to what you see when your customer is in-store, or the feedback they give you, not their experiences throughout the entire funnel. These unique insights are invaluable for understanding exactly where your customers are and where they would like you to improve.

You need to leverage this data, as it can help you to build fully customized journeys for your customers, and aid in predicting exactly what they will need and when, as Nate explains:

Nate Kennedy on eCommerce Customer Insights

Balancing Customer Loyalty and Acquisition

Nate says, “If you don’t have a good loyalty program today, you are just bleeding customers to Amazon, or to whoever gives them the best deal.”

It’s no surprise then that Hobby Horizon is committed to their ‘pay-to-play’ style loyalty program that was ranked second in the hobby sector by Newsweek last year. Members of the program are given a ‘white glove’ treatment, and often become unofficial salespeople for the brand.

However, even with the importance of this focus of loyalty, Nate emphasizes that you cannot neglect acquisition efforts. Horizon Hobby have had to find an intricate balance of funding the program while also bringing in new customers, something which they are so far succeeding at:

Nate Kennedy on balancing customer loyalty and acquisition

The next step is to transform the program into a robust referral scheme, thereby further strengthening the fine balance.

Gaining Traction in an Experience-Based Market

Nate believes that it is feasible to spend your way into any market, but it is by no means cheap or efficient in the hobby sector.

The hobby market is experience-based, so you need to capitalize on that to gain traction. Instead of trying to do everything all at once, he recommends starting with either manufacturing or retail, building that out, and then expanding.

If you are entering a commodity-based market, it will be easier to spend your way in than the hobby sector, but you will most likely just compete away your profits, so you should probably think twice before going with that approach.

Listen to the Full Episode Below!

Tune in to this episode of The eCommerce Toolbox: Expert Perspectives with Nate Kennedy to learn more about balancing customer loyalty and acquisition.

👉 Apple: https://apple.co/3OQJC4m

👉 Spotify: https://spoti.fi/3OQWWFJ

Nate Kennedy is the VP of Global eCommerce at Horizon Hobby, an international developer, distributor, and marketer of radio control vehicles, model railroads, and other hobby products. Prior to this, Nate spent sixteen years as Executive Vice President of SelectBlinds, where he collaborated in launching the business as a minority shareholder and then grew it to a multi-million dollar sales and profit producer.

From the birth of the Internet in the 1980s to where we stand today, eCommerce has gone through some dramatic changes, and some people are still struggling to catch up. So what does it really take to transform from traditional sales to an eCommerce approach?
On the latest episode of The eCommerce Toolbox: Expert Perspectives podcast, host Kailin Noivo is joined by Taylor Becker, Head of DTC & eCommerce in North America at Polar Electro Oy and Founder of Tailored Approach.
Together, they discuss how to transition a company from a traditional sales mindset to an eCommerce mindset, why customer experience is so important, and how challenging the misconceptions around eCommerce are for leaders in the space.

Transitioning to The eCommerce Mindset

eCommerce has transformed the sales landscape. Although initially considered to be a small sales channel to dabble in, it has quickly started to take over. The key to transitioning from across to eCommerce? Mindset. In traditional sales, there are silos, but eCommerce is an ecosystem across the organization:

Taylor Becker on the ecommerce mindset

There are no walls or cubicles in the digital world, so your entire team needs to be working together, collaborating across departments to ensure no angle is missed.

But as we know, eCommerce is constantly changing, you can no longer just stick to what you know and hope that it works. You need to instead be constantly aware of the industry’s landscape, using a creative approach to tackle any new challenges that crop up.

Don’t Neglect the Customer Experience

One of the biggest changes in the eCommerce sphere is competition.

When the industry first started, you could get away with just throwing everything online. After all, the Internet was shiny and new, so consumers were just curious about what everything was.

Now, customers are more particular. They want an experience to remember. So, eCommerce leaders need to be consumer-centric, making sure they listen to and learn from their customers to curate the best possible experience. It’s also important to make sure that you are aligned with retail partners, creating a feedback loop to ensure that absolutely everything is cohesive and customized towards your customers:

Taylor Becker on customer experience

How to Benchmark an eCommerce Transformation

With any large business transformation, benchmarking is crucial.

While sales rate may seem like the obvious metric to pay attention to, Taylor explains that this is more of a symptom of your efforts, and so different KPIs should be tracked.

She recommends observing return rates and reviews, looking at both the qualitative and quantitative data behind them. This way, you’ll see exactly what your customers are thinking and doing when it comes to your eCommerce offering.

You also want to look at your operation metrics, such as your inventory data and conversion gaps. All of these are what drive revenue. So, if these metrics are healthy, you will see growth.

eCommerce is Here to Stay

With a rapid change from ‘just another sales channel’ to the industry it is now, you might wonder if eCommerce could disappear as suddenly as it grew. That is far from the case.

While the industry is constantly changing, eCommerce is here to stay. But, not everyone has yet understood it, and eCommerce leaders are still having to fight the good fight, demonstrating that it is a worthy investment for every organization.

Listen to the Full Episode Below!

Tune in to this episode of The eCommerce Toolbox: Expert Perspectives with Taylor Becker to learn more about transforming the sales mindset into an eCommerce one.

👉 Apple: https://apple.co/3HOkgjB

👉 Spotify: https://spoti.fi/42tuqj6

Taylor Becker is a thought leader and transformative operator in the world of eCommerce. She is currently Head of DTC & eCommerce in North America for Polar Electro Oy, a Finnish sports technology company. She further is the Founder of Tailored Approach, helping small and medium-sized businesses build formal digital, eCommerce, and brand strategies.

With never-ending discussions on the topic, since ChatGPT was launched in 2022, many people are concerned that AI will take over human jobs. But is that really the case?

On the latest episode of The eCommerce Toolbox: Expert Perspectives podcast, host Kailin Noivo is joined by Dhruv Mehrotra, former Vice President of Product Management at Wish. Together, they discuss how Generative AI is disrupting operational processes and how to integrate it into your workflow.

Is AI Really New?

Dhruv explains that AI is actually far from new in eCommerce.

For many years, AI has been leveraged by large corporations, such as Walmart and Amazon, to enhance recommendations and searches.

The only new aspect is really Generative AI, with the rise of ChatGPT and the like. Generative AI is disrupting operational processes that historically took a lot longer, creating a buzz through its ability to streamline processes, enhance productivity, and reduce time-consuming tasks. To Dhruv, it’s like the rebirth of the internet, with new opportunities constantly coming to light.

Dhruv Mehrotra on AI in eCommerce

Four Loops of eCommerce Growth

To grow a business, Dhruv sees four necessary loops.

First is growth. You have to do things that bring customers in and integrate them into the funnel, such as marketing efforts. Second is discovery. You have to create ways for customers to discover your products and services.

Third is the post-purchase loop. In this, you need to support and fulfill customer interactions, such as by asking for reviews and feedback. Fourth, and finally, is the logistics loop. This is all about interfacing with the supply and demand prediction.

According to Dhruv, any activity in eCommerce and retail can be distilled into these loops, allowing you to see where efficiencies could be improved. This will allow you to integrate AI capabilities into your operational processes, streamlining your workflow and enhancing productivity.

Will Tech Replace Humans?

It’s become so frequent in the last eighteen months to hear concerns that technology and AI will replace humans. Dhruv, however, is firmly in the camp that tech can change things, but not replace humans.

Dhruv Mehrotra on AI taking over human jobs

To Dhruv, AI is an efficiency enhancer that can be used across multiple industries and professions. For example, it will never replace the judgment role taken on by Product Managers, but it will change their role by enhancing their other responsibilities. In eCommerce, it is a value-adding tool that will create efficiencies around administrative duties and streamlining processes.

Listen to the Full Episode Below!

Tune in to this episode of The eCommerce Toolbox: Expert Perspectives with Dhruv Mehrotra to learn more about integrating Generative AI into your workflow.

👉 Apple: https://apple.co/42J7lsH

👉 Spotify: https://spoti.fi/4bQf6S3

Dhruv Mehrotra is an energetic product leader and general manager with over twenty years of operating experience, ranging across Product Management, Marketing and Business Development, and Software Development. Dhruv has worked across all business models and spent the last decade in intrapreneurial roles in Silicon Valley, building new businesses for Google, launching Mercari’s International Business, and leading consumer and growth teams at Wish.

Running a business is hard. Running an eCommerce business in 2024? You’ve probably already let out a big ‘oof’. Suffice to say that it’s much harder than it has ever been. With a recession looming over our heads, it’s not too hard to observe the stagnation in overall economic activity, especially in the less-than-expected consumer spending when it comes to online shopping. 

But none of this is to say eCommerce is bleeding a slow death. In fact, if popular eCommerce growth projections are anything to go by, the global eCommerce market size is expected to grow exponentially from about $6.3 trillion in 2024 to about $8.1 trillion by 2026. The math here is simple, there still lies a big opportunity ahead of eCommerce businesses of all shapes and sizes. The question is: how to grab a piece of that pie? 

Having seen savvy eCommerce businesses across verticals weather the storm, we’ve been able to gain firsthand insight into how they think and act. In this eBook, we bring together how fast-growing companies are solving a crucial piece of the eCommerce growth puzzlerecovering lost revenue or rather, preventing revenue loss! 

At the core of this approach lies the fact that seasoned practitioners in the industry realize eCommerce isn’t an outbound-only ballgame, i.e. you can’t just hope to grow by acquiring more new customers. Instead, you mostly have to look inwards at your funnel from a high level and solve issues that are holding you back from realizing your maximum revenue potential. 

Put it this way, a leaky bucket will require more water to fill up, so it’s futile trying to keep up with it by just putting more water in. At some point, you have to duct tape the holes. It’s as simple as that. 

With that in mind, let’s dive into the how, what, and why of this nascent art and science: eCommerce revenue recovery

In a digital era where eCommerce sales are projected to reach $8.1 trillion by 2026, understanding and effectively monitoring eCommerce KPIs can significantly influence your market positioning and overall eCommerce business health. This dynamic landscape demands not only constant monitoring of eCommerce performance metrics but also a strategic selection and utilization of the right eCommerce KPIs.

This article delves deep into the realm of KPIs for eCommerce businesses, underscoring their notable role in shaping successful online business strategies and business growth. With a focus on data-driven decision-making, we’ll explore how to judiciously select KPIs that align with your business’s strategic objectives and market trends.

eCommerce sales

The Strategic Importance of eCommerce KPIs

A KPI for eCommerce serves as a navigational compass, guiding and informing the decision-making process at every turn. When effectively harnessed, it offers a clear snapshot of an online store’s performance and provides predictive insights crucial for planning a business’s online presence.

Precision in Business Decision-making

eCommerce KPIs empower businesses to transcend reliance on mere guesswork and intuition by providing a foundation of robust, data-driven insights. These critical eCommerce KPI metrics offer an in-depth view of the business across various dimensions, including customer behavior, preferences, operational efficiency, and market standing.

Performance metrics such as customer acquisition cost, conversion rate, and average order value paint a holistic picture of the effectiveness of marketing campaigns, sales patterns, and customer spending behaviors.

eCommerce KPI-based Forecasting and Trend Analysis

KPIs serve as a vital tool for gauging market shifts, evolving consumer habits, and upcoming industry trends. Their continual monitoring equips businesses with the foresight needed to foresee market evolutions and strategically adjust their approaches in a timely manner. This ability to predict and react to market dynamics is crucial for maintaining a competitive edge.

Adapting Strategies in Real-time with eCommerce Key Performance Indicators

In the ever-changing realm of digital commerce, where consumer preferences and market conditions are in constant flux, the capacity for swift strategic adaptation is invaluable. KPIs deliver consistent and immediate feedback across various facets of the business, including the impact of marketing initiatives, user engagement levels, website performance, and the overall health of business operations. 

Selecting the Right eCommerce KPIs

The process of selecting important KPIs for eCommerce requires a nuanced understanding of your specific business goals, the nature of your market, and the behavior of your customers. The key is to choose KPIs that not only reflect the performance of your business but also offer actionable insights for improvement and business growth.

Aligning KPIs with Business Objectives

Whether your primary focus is on increasing sales, enhancing customer satisfaction, or improving operational efficiency, your KPIs should directly reflect these goals. 

For instance, if your objective is to boost sales, relevant conversion metrics, and KPIs might include conversion rates, average order value, or sales growth rate. On the other hand, if your goal is to have more repeat customers, eCommerce metrics and KPIs like customer lifetime value, repeat purchase rate, and churn rate would be more appropriate.

Understanding Market Dynamics

Understanding the dynamics of your specific market segment when choosing KPIs should encompass not only the current trends and consumer behavior but also the competitive landscape and technological advancements. 

For example, in a highly competitive market, key performance indicators related to customer acquisition cost and market share might be more relevant, whereas in a more niche market, customer engagement and product-specific metrics might be more insightful.

Focusing on Actionable Insights

The most effective eCommerce KPI is the one that provides actionable insights. This means choosing the key metrics that not only measure performance but also offer clear indications of areas needing improvement or opportunities for growth. 

For instance, a high cart abandonment rate can indicate website crashes or broken links, and a need to streamline the checkout process, while a low customer satisfaction score might prompt a review of customer service practices or product quality.

Common Mistakes in Selecting eCommerce KPIs

Understanding the following mistakes is crucial to ensure that the key performance indicators you choose truly drive value and align with your business objectives.

  • Focusing on vanity metrics: A vanity metric is the key performance indicator that may look impressive on the surface – like page views, number of followers, or even gross revenue – but often lacks the depth needed to drive meaningful action.
  • Misalignment with business goals: Another mistake is choosing KPIs that don’t align with the business’s specific goals and strategies. For example, if a business’s goal is to improve customer retention rate, focusing primarily on new customers and acquisition metrics would not be as relevant.
  • Overcomplicating the eCommerce KPI dashboard: When businesses monitor an excessive number of eCommerce metrics, it can lead to analysis paralysis, where the sheer volume of data becomes overwhelming and difficult to act upon. It’s vital to identify and focus on a concise set of KPIs that are most critical to your business goals.
  • Ignoring the customer journey: Understanding how customers interact with your eCommerce store and products at each stage is crucial. Key performance indicators should be chosen to give insights into each of these stages to optimize the overall customer experience.
  • Not accounting for market changes: A common mistake is failing to regularly review and adjust KPIs in response to market changes, consumer behavior shifts, and technological advancements.
  • Disregarding qualitative data: While quantitative data is crucial for measuring performance, qualitative data like customer feedback and reviews provide context and deeper understanding that numbers alone cannot offer.
  • Inconsistent measurement and analysis: Ensure that the methods and tools used for tracking KPIs are consistent and reliable. Inconsistent measurement can lead to data discrepancies, making it challenging to accurately assess performance and make informed decisions.

Key eCommerce KPIs to Monitor

Effective monitoring of key performance indicators is critical for the success of any eCommerce business. Tools like Noibu are instrumental in tracking and reporting these KPIs, providing insights that lead to significant improvements in various aspects of eCommerce operations.

Website Performance

Needless to say, website performance should be a top priority for your business. The loading time of your website and its responsiveness across different devices are key factors in user experience. Fast-loading pages reduce bounce rates and improve engagement, directly influencing conversion rates. 

Monitor how the page load time varies across different devices and work towards optimizing the slower ones.

Moreover, consistent website availability is critical for customers to be able to rely on your products and services, as well as helpdesk when help is needed. Make sure your website is available at all times and minimize downtime.

Customer Journey on Your Site

Understanding the various stages of customer journey and paths customers take through your website can reveal valuable insights. The insights you gain from your website traffic will help you optimize the user experience, which then results in boosting conversions.

Knowing where potential customers are leaving can help you identify areas of the website that need improvement. 

Follow these steps to improve the customer journey through the funnel:

  • Break down the customer journey into distinct stages (awareness, interest, decision, action) and analyze the drop-off rate at each stage. 
  • Track the specific paths customers take leading up to a purchase. 
  • Conduct A/B testing on various elements to analyze which paths have the highest conversion rates and which ones see the most drop-offs. 
  • Examine the steps in the checkout process to identify and remove any unnecessary or overly complicated steps.

Which brings us to your shopping cart.

Checkout Issues/Cart abandonment

The cart abandonment rate tracks the percentage of customers who add items to their cart but don’t complete the purchase. Understanding the reasons behind cart abandonment, such as complicated checkout processes or unexpected costs, is crucial for optimizing the checkout flow. 

Streamlined checkout processes can significantly reduce cart abandonment rates by providing a user-friendly and efficient experience that minimizes friction and encourages users to complete their purchases.

Identify the specific pages where potential customers abandon their carts, as this can indicate issues on those pages that need addressing. Furthermore, make sure to measure the average time users spend in the cart before abandoning it, as short times may indicate confusion or dissatisfaction with the checkout process.

checkout process

Analyzing Product Page Engagement

Effective product page design showcases the product’s features, benefits, and value proposition, ultimately leading to increased sales and conversions.

Monitoring how new and existing customers interact with different elements on the product page, such as reviews, images, and descriptions, can inform improvements in product page design and content. This can help you discover which types of content most effectively lead to conversions.

Also, use heatmaps and click tracking to understand which areas of the product page attract the most attention and interaction.

Mobile Optimization for eCommerce

As mobile shopping grows, tracking mobile-specific metrics becomes increasingly important.  Ensuring your site is effectively optimized for mobile devices (e.g. navigation and flow, readability, etc.) is key to keeping people on your mobile website.

  • Your website design should be responsive, meaning it automatically adjusts to fit the screen size of various devices, from smartphones to tablets.
  • Monitor and optimize the speed at which your mobile pages load. Mobile users often have less patience for slow-loading pages, which can lead to higher bounce rates and lower conversion rates.
  • Track how users interact with your site on mobile devices. Metrics like mobile session duration, pages per session, and mobile conversion rates are key indicators of how well your site performs on mobile.
  • Since mobile searches are predominant, ensure your site is optimized for mobile SEO. This includes mobile-friendly content, site speed, and other factors that affect your visibility in mobile search results.

eCommerce Security Metrics

In the dynamic realm of eCommerce, effective security measures serve as the cornerstone of trust and customer confidence, safeguarding sensitive data and fostering a secure online shopping experience.

You should implement top industry practices, a strong security framework, and extensive policies to safeguard the data and information about your clients, partners, and your company.

Moreover, keep track of SSL certification renewals to ensure continuous encryption and security. And of course, monitor how quickly your team responds to and resolves security breaches, as this impacts customer trust.

Marketing Return on Investment (ROI)

This crucial metric provides valuable insights into the effectiveness of your business efforts and helps to make informed decisions to optimize your marketing spend and eCommerce sales strategies.

  • Analyze the return on your marketing investments. This includes evaluating the performance of various channels such as social media, email marketing, PPC, and SEO in terms of the revenue they generate relative to their cost.
  • Assess the ROI of your sales strategies by tracking metrics like cost per conversion and revenue per visit. This helps in understanding how effectively your site converts visits into sales and the financial return of these conversions.
  • Compare the cost of acquiring new customers (CAC) with the customer lifetime value (CLV). A favorable ratio indicates a sustainable business model.
  • Evaluate the ROI of site improvements, such as redesigns, new features, or usability enhancements. Track changes in sales, customer engagement, and conversion rates pre and post-implementation to assess their impact.

Leveraging KPIs for Strategic Decisions

Incorporating KPIs into strategic planning and market positioning can revolutionize the decision-making process of a business. KPIs, grounded in data, provide a firm basis for making informed choices that are in sync with both the company’s long-term objectives and the nuances of market dynamics.

Data-driven Goal Setting

KPIs act as a compass for setting goals that are not only ambitious but also grounded in reality. They enable businesses to form objectives based on a blend of historical data and insights into current market trends. This approach ensures that goals are not just aspirational but also attainable, keeping companies on a path of sustainable growth and continuous improvement.

Resource Allocation and Prioritization

One of the critical strategic decisions any business faces is the allocation of its resources. KPIs offer a clear view of business performance across various departments and initiatives. 

This clarity allows businesses to strategically allocate resources (capital, manpower, or time) toward areas that will yield the most significant benefit. Analyzing KPIs helps identify high-performing areas deserving more investment and areas where resources could be scaled back or optimized.

Deep Understanding of Customer Needs

KPIs that track customer behavior and preferences are invaluable for businesses looking to enhance their product offerings and marketing strategies. These eCommerce metrics provide insights into what customers value, customer purchasing patterns, and how they interact with the business. 

Armed with this knowledge, companies can tailor their products and services to better meet customer needs, leading to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty, and thereby strengthening their position in the market.

Competitive Analysis and Benchmarking

KPIs are instrumental in competitive analysis, offering insights into how a company stacks up against its rivals. By monitoring KPIs such as market share, customer retention rate, and revenue growth, businesses can gain a clearer understanding of their competitive landscape. 

This understanding allows them to identify their strengths to capitalize on and weaknesses to address, enabling them to formulate strategies that can outperform competitors. 

Moreover, benchmarking against industry standards and competitors’ KPIs can highlight areas of opportunity and innovation. It encourages eCommerce businesses to not just meet but exceed industry benchmarks, pushing for continual advancement and leadership in their market segment.

Influencing Product Development and Innovation

KPIs can also play a pivotal role in guiding product development and innovation. Important eCommerce metrics and KPIs like product performance, customer feedback, and sales trends provide valuable insights into market demands and consumer preferences. This information can drive the development of new products or the improvement of existing ones, ensuring that the company’s offerings remain relevant and competitive.

Predictive Analysis for Future Trends

Advanced KPIs enable predictive analysis, allowing eCommerce businesses to forecast future trends and market shifts. This foresight is crucial for staying ahead in a rapidly evolving marketplace. By analyzing trends in KPIs, companies can anticipate changes in consumer behavior, technological advancements, or economic shifts, and adjust their strategies proactively to seize emerging opportunities.

Final Thoughts

In the rapidly evolving world of online commerce, eCommerce KPIs serve as the backbone of strategic decision-making, offering businesses the clarity and direction needed to navigate the complex and competitive digital landscape. 

The insights gleaned from these KPIs empower eCommerce businesses to understand their market position, customer behavior, operational strengths, as well as areas needing improvement. By integrating eCommerce KPI monitoring into their core practices, businesses can cultivate a data-driven mindset, ensuring that every decision is informed by reliable and actionable insights.

As the sector eCommerce industry continues to grow and evolve, staying ahead of the curve will require a commitment to leveraging these resources. Businesses that embrace this approach will not only survive but also thrive, achieving sustainable growth and success in the digital marketplace.

Consumer data is a powerful tool. We can use it to personalize experiences and optimize user journeys through our eCommerce sites, but we have to make sure we’re complying with privacy legislation at the same time, whether that be CCPA, GDPR, or any other.

On the latest episode of The eCommerce Toolbox: Expert Perspectives podcast, host Kailin Noivo is joined by Susie Benson, Head of eCommerce EMEA at Fitbit. Together, they delve into the intricate balance of capturing quality user data and optimizing your offerings while complying with privacy legislation.

Collecting User Data

Susie’s wealth of experience comes from experience across banking, telecoms, and eCommerce. She has learned about the value of collecting and leveraging consumer data in these three industries. 

Data is vital for advising your strategies, but it’s only worth as much as its quality. You shouldn’t just grab whatever you can.

Ensuring consumer data is protected and used in compliance with regulations, particularly in high-stakes industries like banking, is equally important. Consumers expect this protection in such instances, but they also understand that much of their data will be collected. After all, you can’t apply for a credit card without giving over at least some data.

In other industries, consumers will be more reluctant to share their data, so businesses must be creative in asking for it. Susie advises making the data capture as relevant as possible, avoiding taking away from the flow of the user journey.

Compliance with Legislations

Working in Europe, Susie’s team has to be very conservative around GDPR, ensuring they are ticking every relevant box when capturing and utilizing consumer data.

Balancing optimizing the user experience and compliance is challenging but achievable. In fact, the transparency that comes from compliance can even boost the user’s experience. For Susie, the key is keeping it as relevant to the customer as possible, for example, capturing emails by asking if you can keep the customer up to date with exclusive offers and rewards.

Susie Benson on compliance with legislations

The Importance of UX

In eCommerce, delivering quality user experiences is paramount. Thus, Susie advises keeping your website simple. Logging into a site and being overwhelmed with competing buttons and graphics complicates your users’ journeys. Instead, eCommerce brands should focus on clear navigation that allows customers to do exactly what they want within their journey.

Keeping a concise journey and clear navigation helps to ensure that any data capture points will be relevant to the customers, so it’s a win-win for everyone.

Susie Benson on the importance of UX

Listen to the Full Episode Below!

Tune in to this episode of The eCommerce Toolbox: Expert Perspectives with Susie Benson to learn more about the intricate balance of leveraging data capture and complying with privacy legislation.

👉 Apple: https://apple.co/48LnpfJ

👉 Spotify: https://bit.ly/4995I9V

Susie Benson is the driving force behind Fitbit’s eCommerce strategy across the EMEA region. As the Head of eCommerce EMEA at Fitbit, now part of Google, Susie is revolutionizing digital retail in the wellness and technology sector. Prior to joining Fitbit, Susie was the Digital Commerce Manager at Three Ireland, winning the Best Digital Campaign 2018 at Retail Excellence Ireland. 

In 2024, sustainability measures are arguably more important than ever for every brand, from brick-and-mortar stores to exclusively eCommerce sites. But, how do eCommerce brands guarantee profitability while still being good to the environment?

On the latest episode of The eCommerce Toolbox: Expert Perspectives podcast, host Kailin Noivo is joined by James Connell, Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer at Carbon Balance. Together, they delve into how the 2002 Olympics kick-started the growth of Canadian brand Roots, the evolution of omnichannel over the past two decades, and how to balance eCommerce profitability with sustainability measures.

Winter Olympics: A Catalyst for eCommerce Growth

James has worked with one of the most notable businesses, Roots, a leading Canadian lifestyle retailer. 

In the late nineties, the brand overinvested in the new opportunities the Internet posed, ultimately leading to everything crashing in the early 2000s. James had to work to rebuild the capabilities in an effective, smart way that allowed them to prepare for when consumers were ready to adopt the new technology.

Fast forward to the 2002 Winter Olympics, where Roots outfitted the Canadian, US, and British teams and launched related merchandise. As soon as the products launched, the website and phone systems crashed. They implemented a fax line to fix it, receiving over 7,000 faxes in just two hours.

It was suddenly clear that digital channels were no toy; they were impactful, and kick-started Roots’ growth.

The Evolution of Omnichannel

With the success of their digital channels after the Olympics, Roots shifted to an omnichannel approach. At the time, omnichannel offerings meant aligning pricing and promotions, and understanding how to attract a customer to one of two channels.

Nowadays, however, it’s all about empowering customers to shop in any way they want to, through any channel. After all, each customer only has one wallet they use across all channels, so to be an effective omnichannel merchant, your focus should instead be on using the information you derive from each channel to influence the others through a centralized customer data platform.

James Connell on the evolution of omnichannel in eCommerce

Profitability versus Sustainability: How to Find the Right Balance

In his role at Carbon Balance, James is a Co-Founder in the clean tech space. This means he has to balance eCommerce profitability with ensuring sustainability, particularly when it comes to mitigating the brand’s carbon footprint. 

He focuses on this balance in the realm of consumption. He shares an example from his time at Roots to illustrate this. Their vendors often said that every individual item had to be in poly bags, even though that didn’t fit with the Roots brand. James and his team worked with their partners to change this requirement, removing the poly bags, saving on packaging costs, and giving consumers a nicer experience when they receive their parcels. 

Although this worked out cheaper for Roots, sustainability measures can now be more expensive for brands. James is hopeful that as more large companies adopt environmentally friendly practices, it will become less niche. In doing so, it will be more cost-effective to be sustainable for all brands.

James Connell on balancing profitability and sustainability

The Undeniable Impact of AI on eCommerce

AI technologies are constantly becoming more advanced and increasingly more widespread. With each advancement, new opportunities become apparent. James is hopeful they will be able to help consumers understand the best product to buy. Instead of buying six different sizes in six different colors, customers will be able to buy just one or two, thanks to the recommendations made by technology integrated into eCommerce sites.

On top of this, he hopes AI will reduce shipment sizes by determining the best location to ship products to so they get to customers in the least amount of shipments and in the best size package.

Measures such as these should reduce the environmental impact of online shopping by avoiding tying up inventory and unnecessary carbon emissions from returns or inefficient shipments. This is yet another way that brands can balance profitability and sustainability measures.

Listen to the Full Episode Below!

Tune in to this episode of The eCommerce Toolbox: Expert Perspectives with James Connell to learn more about balancing profitability and sustainability.


👉 Apple: https://bit.ly/48uh5Jo

👉 Spotify: https://bit.ly/48sqjWK

 

James Connell is a true visionary in digital commerce and customer experiences. With over two decades of strategic leadership, James has been at the forefront of omni-channel commerce, pioneering the growth of Roots, one of Canada’s most beloved lifestyle brands, from its nascent eCommerce stages to an impressive $100 million revenue stream. Now, as the Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer at Carbon Balance, James is channeling his insight into bridging the gap between business growth and sustainability, proving that environmental consciousness can go hand-in-hand with eCommerce profitability.

In the rapidly advancing digital age, customer data analysis emerges as a fundamental tool for businesses that want to understand and predict customer behavior. Its relevance is especially pronounced in the dynamic and competitive landscape of eCommerce. 

The eCommerce arena is characterized by its fast-paced nature and the ever-shifting consumer preferences, making the need for accurate customer behavior prediction models critical. There are over 44 zettabytes of data in the digital world, so the ability to sift through the massive trove of data from various digital interactions with customers and extract meaningful customer insights is what sets successful businesses apart. 

Data analysis enables eCommerce businesses to identify emerging trends, anticipate customer needs, and tailor their offerings accordingly. In 2024, as digital technologies evolve further and consumer behavior becomes more complex, the role of data analysis in crafting business strategies and driving growth will become more prominent than ever.

The Role of Big Data

The concept of Big Data has transcended from being a buzzword to a critical element in understanding and shaping customer behavior. It refers to the exponentially growing volumes of data generated by digital platforms worldwide. 

This data is not only vast in volume but also diverse in variety, encompassing everything from customer transaction records, and social media interactions, to IoT sensor data. Moreover, the velocity at which this data is created and processed is staggering, requiring advanced tools and technologies for its management.

In the context of customer buying behavior, Big Data serves as a goldmine for consumer insights. It enables businesses to delve deep into consumer preferences, habits, and decision-making processes.

For instance, by analyzing online shopping patterns and social media interactions, companies can understand the factors affecting purchase decisions. Similarly, sentiment analysis of social media data can reveal consumer attitudes toward products, brands, and market trends.

The predictive power of Big Data lies in its ability to provide a multi-dimensional view of the customer. By integrating data from various sources, businesses can create comprehensive customer profiles and predict future customer behavior with a higher degree of accuracy. 

This predictive capability is crucial for personalized marketing efforts, product development, and enhancing customer experiences.

Emerging Technologies in Data Analysis

The landscape of data analytics in eCommerce is being profoundly reshaped by the emergence of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). AI and ML algorithms can sift through vast and complex datasets much more efficiently than traditional statistical methods, uncovering patterns and consumer insights that would otherwise remain hidden.

  • AI systems are adept at processing unstructured data, such as customer reviews or social media posts, converting this qualitative information into actionable insights. This capability is especially important in understanding customers’ nuanced preferences and sentiments.
  • Meanwhile, ML algorithms continuously learn and improve from new data, making them increasingly effective in prediction over time. This dynamic learning process means that the models become more refined and accurate, offering a level of insight into customer behavior that was previously unattainable.

Predictive analytics can be enhanced with deep learning (a subset of ML) to make even more accurate forecasts about customer buying behavior. Additionally, AI-driven natural language processing (NLP) technologies will play a larger role in understanding customer sentiment and feedback, providing businesses with deeper predictive insights into consumer needs and expectations.

The Importance of Data Quality

The effectiveness of data analysis, particularly in the realm of predictive modeling, hinges on the quality of the data used. High-quality data is the foundation upon which reliable predictions are built. 

This means the data must be:

  • Clean (free from errors)
  • Accurate (correct and up-to-date)

  • Well-structured (organized in a manner conducive to analysis)

Poor data quality can lead to misguided conclusions and, consequently, ineffective business strategies. Inaccuracies in customer data could result in misinterpreting customer needs, leading to unsuccessful product launches or marketing campaigns. Similarly, outdated data might not reflect current market trends, rendering predictions irrelevant.

As businesses increasingly rely on automated systems for decision-making, the emphasis on data quality will be even greater. Ensuring data integrity involves rigorous processes of data cleaning, validation, and regular updating. 

Additionally, data structuring and management practices will play a crucial role in making the data amenable to advanced analytical techniques. Companies that prioritize data quality will be better positioned to leverage the full potential of AI and ML technologies in making accurate and actionable predictions about customer behavior.

Key Metrics for Customer Behavior Prediction

Predicting customer behavior accurately requires a deep understanding of various key metrics, each offering unique insights into different aspects of consumer interaction and preferences.

Purchase history

This is a critical indicator of customer preferences and potential future purchases. By analyzing past buying patterns, businesses can anticipate what products a customer might be interested in next. 

Browsing patterns

Understanding how customers interact with a website or app (what pages they visit, how much time they spend on each section, and what items they look at but don’t buy) can reveal a lot about their interests and potential buying intent.

Customer feedback

Direct feedback from customers through reviews, surveys, or social media can provide valuable insights into what customers like or dislike about products or services, guiding improvements and innovation.

Engagement levels

Metrics such as time spent on site, repeat visits, email open rates, and social media interactions offer insights into customer loyalty and engagement. High engagement often correlates with higher customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Behavioral indicators

Actions like cart abandonment, frequency of purchases, and response to promotions can help predict future customer actions, such as the likelihood of completing a purchase or responding to a future marketing campaign.

Real-time Analysis for Dynamic Insights

Real-time data analysis allows businesses to gain immediate insights into customer buying behavior, market trends, and operational efficiencies. This immediacy is vital for making quick, informed decisions, as well as for staying competitive. 

The instant feedback gathered by real-time analysis allows businesses to immediately gauge the impact of marketing campaigns, product launches, or customer service initiatives, enabling quick adjustments as needed. 

When combined with AI and ML, real-time data can be used to predict trends and customer behaviors almost as they occur, allowing businesses to be proactive rather than reactive.

Moreover, real-time analytics can power personalized customer experiences. This can include offering personalized recommendations or discounts to customers as they browse an online store. Also, real-time monitoring of operations can help identify and address issues promptly, reducing downtime and improving overall efficiency.

Key tools for real-time analysis

Here are some analytics tools and technologies that facilitate real-time analysis in customer behavior prediction:

  • Data streaming platforms allow businesses to collect, process, and analyze customer behavior and data in real time as it is generated from various sources, such as websites and apps.
  • Real-time analytics engines can perform complex analytics operations, such as aggregations, pattern detection, and event forecasting, in real time.

  • In-memory databases are essential for scenarios requiring rapid access to data, such as real-time personalization and decision-making.

  • Predictive analytics software facilitates the development and deployment of predictive models, analyzes real-time data streams, and provides predictive eCommerce consumer insights almost instantaneously.

  • Customer data platforms (CDPs) provide the foundation for real-time analytics by ensuring that the data being analyzed is comprehensive and up-to-date.

  • Business intelligence (BI) tools help visualize data in an easily digestible format, enabling businesses to make quick, data-driven decisions.

The ability to analyze data as it is generated will not only provide businesses with a competitive edge but also enhance customer experiences, as businesses will be able to respond swiftly and accurately to customer needs and market changes.

Personalization Strategies

personalized product recommendations

The concept of personalization has become a linchpin in modern marketing strategies, driven by an in-depth understanding of customer behaviors. Personalization goes beyond generic offerings to create tailored experiences that resonate with individual customers. 

This approach can manifest in various forms:

  • Customized product recommendations: Using customer data such as past purchases and browsing history, businesses can recommend products that are more likely to interest individual customers.
  • Targeted marketing messages: Personalized marketing communications based on customer preferences, behavior, and previous purchases and interactions can significantly increase engagement rates.

  • Dynamic content: Websites and apps that adapt content based on user behavior provide a more engaging and relevant experience, encouraging repeat visits and interactions.

  • Personalized customer service: Tailoring customer service based on individual customer profiles and past interactions can enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty.

For example, Starbucks gathers customer data through its rewards programs and mobile applications. With this data, Starbucks tailors product recommendations for its loyal customers, develops more effective marketing campaigns, innovates its menu offerings, and strategically determines locations for new store openings.

Additionally, Starbucks engages in reactivation strategies by sending personalized emails to customers who have not visited in some time. These emails often include special offers and discounts, aiming to rekindle customer interest and encourage store visits.

As technologies evolve, personalization strategies will become even more sophisticated, leveraging AI and ML to create hyper-personalized experiences. This level of personalization not only enhances customer satisfaction but also fosters a deeper, more meaningful connection with the brand.

Predicting Customer Behavior With Data

Predicting customer behavior with data is a multifaceted process that involves several strategic methodologies such as data Integration, segmentation, predictive analytics, and sentiment analysis.

In this process, there are three crucial aspects to consider:

  • Customer behavior modeling
  • Surveys and social listening

  • Brand health assessment

Customer behavior modeling

Customer behavior modeling encompasses a range of techniques and models, each suited to different aspects of customer behavior:

  • Heuristic models are rule-based models that apply simple decision rules inferred from empirical data.
  • Predictive models use historical data to predict future actions, such as logistic regression models, decision trees, or neural networks.

  • Prescriptive models suggest a course of action or strategies based on the predicted outcomes.

  • Segmentation models classify customers into different segments based on behavior, preferences, or demographic factors.

Surveys and social listening

customer surverys

Surveys and social listening are essential tools for gauging customer opinions and preferences. 

Direct feedback from customers through surveys provides valuable insights into customer satisfaction and expectations. On the other hand, monitoring social media channels for mentions of a brand, product, or industry helps in understanding public sentiment and emerging trends.

Brand health assessment

Brand health assessment is critical for maintaining a positive image in the eyes of customers.

This involves:

  • Brand perception analysis: Understanding how customers perceive the brand in terms of quality, reliability, and value.
  • Competitive benchmarking: Comparing a brand’s performance and health metrics against competitors to gauge relative standing in the market.

  • Customer loyalty and retention analysis: Measuring the degree of loyalty and identifying major factors influencing customer retention.

Final Thoughts

The intersection of emerging methodologies and advanced technologies has opened up unprecedented opportunities for businesses to understand and anticipate customer needs in ways that were once considered impossible.

The insights gained from predictive analytics are becoming the cornerstone of strategic decision-making in businesses. This shift is not merely about leveraging data for incremental improvements but about fundamentally redefining how businesses interact with their customers. 

Companies are now equipped to deliver personalized experiences at scale, predict market trends with greater accuracy, and adapt to consumer needs in real-time. This ability to not only respond to but anticipate customer behavior is a game-changer in a marketplace that increasingly values personalization and agility.

The role of data analysis in predicting customer behavior is set to be more influential than ever in 2024. Businesses that adapt to these changes, embrace new technologies, and uphold high standards of data quality and ethics will be well-positioned to thrive in this new era. The future of customer engagement is data-driven, and the businesses that recognize and act on this trend will lead the way in their respective markets.

Since COVID-19 and the evolution of tech over the last twenty years, more and more brands have moved their products and services online. This has been particularly noticeable in the food and drink sector. But what is this transition like for these companies that are more geared toward traditional, in-person experiences? 

 

On the latest episode of The eCommerce Toolbox: Expert Perspectives podcast, our host and co-founder Kailin Noivo is joined by Ksenia Rodionova, Head of eCommerce at Yum! Brands. Together, they delve into strategies and considerations involved when businesses transition from offline to online. 

The Puzzle of Moving Online

Ksenia has spent the majority of her career helping traditional businesses, including popular food brands like KFC, transition from offline to online. While each business is unique, there is a certain puzzle that Ksenia applies to every occasion. 

The first piece of the puzzle is to understand the voice of the customer:

Ksenia on voice of customer

As Ksenia points out, this is vital for every leader anyway, but it is especially important when making big business decisions as you need to know how it will affect your consumer base.

The second part of the puzzle involves knowing what technology is out there, and how to use it. After all, if you’re moving online, you need to have some tech in place to support it.

Thirdly, you have to know how to speak, sell, and deliver to clients. If you understand exactly how to do this, you can help transition your consumers through the process.

Finally, it is important to understand how commercial trends and investments in IT, customers, and operations can lead to an ROI. At the end of the day, you need to know what you will gain from moving online.

Maintaining Profitability

Having worked in the business of moving grocery and food delivery companies online, Ksenia is very familiar with the worry that profitability will be impossible when you move online.

In order to maintain profitability, she recommends first focussing on your money and data, observing exactly where you lose and earn money already. Then, you must make sure that customers are front and center in your new strategies. Build the service for your clients. If you have bad service, you definitely won’t be profitable.

Ensure that every part of your operations serves your customers’ needs, using the appropriate IT resources where necessary. Every step should be justified, use your knowledge of your customers and your new understanding of your existing money model to direct the steps you make in your move online. That way, you’ll be less likely to lose your profits.

Ksenia on maintaining profitability

What do you Gain from Going Online?

So you think you should go online, and you now know how to start the process, thanks to Ksenia, but should you do it if you don’t understand what you gain?

There is a common concern that going online is not growing your business. In fact, some experts see it as reducing your revenue as you take existing in-store customers and just give them a big discount. 

Often with traditional companies, particularly food brands, it is true that you won’t be gaining customers when you move online, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be growing. 

In fact, Ksenia points out that you will actually increase the loyalty of your existing customers, as they will have more opportunities to buy from you. This reduces the likelihood of them turning to competitors and, in turn, can lead to a substantial ROI from your transition to online services. 

Listen to the Full Episode Below!

Tune in to this episode of The eCommerce Toolbox: Expert Perspectives with Ksenia Rodionove to find out more about moving brands online.

👉 Apple: https://apple.co/48DZ0IF

👉 Spotify: https://spoti.fi/3NNgPNr

Ksenia Rodionova is the digital dynamo behind Yum! Brands’ eCommerce success. As the Head of eCommerce, Ksenia is reshaping how we think about digital ordering in the Quick Service Restaurant industry, with her strategies leading to impressive growth and a digital-first approach. With a rich background across top-tier retail companies, she’s a master of digital sales channels and customer engagement.

Let’s face it: eCommerce has never been more relevant than today and therefore, the significance of customer satisfaction has never been more pronounced. With the digital transformation of commerce, relentless competition for user attention, and the rise of consumer expectations, customer satisfaction is not just a key metric but a pivotal determinant of a business’s longevity and prosperity.

A Zendesk report revealed that as many as 70% of customers spend more money with businesses that offer fluid, personalized, and exceptional customer experiences. This highlights a broader market trend where customer satisfaction is a central strategic objective.

By monitoring customer satisfaction metrics and leveraging data on customer experience, businesses can anticipate customer needs, crafting experiences that resonate deeply with their target audience. This proactive approach to customer satisfaction fosters loyalty and propels business growth, as satisfied and happy customers are more likely to become repeat clients and brand advocates.

The Customer Satisfaction Landscape in 2024

The digital era has ushered in a new paradigm where customer interactions are no longer linear but occur across multiple platforms and channels. As a result, customers now expect a degree of personalization and efficiency that was unthinkable just a few years ago. 

This shift is evident in several key trends.

Omnichannel experience

Consumers expect a seamless experience across all channels, whether they’re shopping online, in-store, or through a mobile app. The boundaries between physical and digital channels have blurred, creating a need for consistent and integrated customer experiences.

Personalization at scale

Advanced data analytics and AI have enabled businesses to offer hyper-personalized experiences. From personalized product recommendations to individualized marketing messages, the expectation for tailored experiences is at an all-time high.

Real-time customer support

With the advent of chatbots and AI-driven support tools, customers now anticipate immediate responses to their inquiries and issues, regardless of the time of day.

Proactive engagement

Customers value businesses that anticipate their needs and preferences. Proactive engagement, such as notifying customers of relevant promotions or reminding them of items left in their cart, has become a standard expectation.

The impact of emerging technologies

Technological advancements have been the primary catalysts in reshaping customer satisfaction metrics. The integration of AI and machine learning has not only raised customer expectations but also provided businesses with the tools to meet these heightened demands.

AI and ML

AI and ML are at the forefront of analyzing customer data and predicting future behavior. They enable businesses to understand customer preferences and deliver more relevant, personalized experiences.

Automation

Automation tools have revolutionized customer service, enabling faster and more efficient resolution of issues and queries. This shift towards automation has raised customer expectations for swift service.

AR, VR, IoT, voice and conversational interfaces

Finally, VR and AR technologies, the Internet of Things, as well as voice assistants and conversational interfaces have transformed the shopping experience. These technologies offer customers engaging, interactive, and personalized experiences, resulting in better user satisfaction. 

Now let’s focus on the ten client satisfaction metrics you should religiously monitor in 2024.

Customer Effort Score (CES)

This is a critical metric in assessing how much effort a customer has to exert to interact with a business. 

This could involve:

  • Resolving an issue
  • Fulfilling a request

  • Purchasing a product

  • Availing a service

Customer effort score is pivotal because it directly correlates with customer satisfaction and loyalty. A lower CES typically indicates that customers find it easier to interact with a company, leading to higher satisfaction and an increased likelihood of repeat business.

customer effort score

Measuring CES

To effectively measure customer effort score, companies usually deploy post-interaction surveys asking customers to rate the ease of their experience. The question might be phrased as “On a scale of ‘very easy’ to ‘very difficult’, how easy was it to interact with our company?” 

The responses help businesses identify pain points in customer interactions and streamline processes accordingly. Advanced customer effort score measurement may involve segmenting responses by interaction type or customer demographic to gain more nuanced customer insights.

Net Promoter Score (NPS)

net promoter score

NPS is a widely used metric for assessing customer loyalty. It is based on the fundamental question “On a scale of 1 to 10, how likely are you to recommend our company/product to a friend or colleague?” This simple query provides profound insights into customer satisfaction levels and brand loyalty.

Calculating and implementing NPS

It is calculated by subtracting the percentage of detractors (customers who respond with a score of 0-6) from the percentage of promoters (customers who respond with a 9 or 10). Scores of 7 and 8 are considered passives and do not directly impact the net promoter score NPS. A high net promoter score indicates strong customer loyalty and satisfaction, while a low NPS signals areas for improvement.

Integrating net promoter score into eCommerce strategies involves:

  • Using customer feedback to enhance service quality
  • Segmenting customers based on their loyalty

  • Tailoring marketing strategies accordingly 

For instance, promoters can be targeted with referral programs, while detractors’ feedback can be used to improve products and services.

Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)

Customer lifetime value is a projection of the total value a business can derive from its entire relationship with a customer. This customer satisfaction metric underscores the long-term importance of maintaining and nurturing customer relationships, as opposed to focusing solely on short-term transactions.

Calculating customer lifetime value in an eCommerce context involves analyzing a customer’s purchase history, engagement patterns, and other behavioral data. This analysis helps predict the future value of a customer, enabling more strategic allocation of marketing and customer service resources.

Improving CLV

To enhance the average customer lifespan, businesses can employ personalized marketing strategies that cater to the individual preferences and needs of customers. Implementing loyalty programs that reward repeat purchases can also significantly boost CLV. 

Additionally, providing exceptional customer service at every touchpoint ensures a positive customer experience, encouraging a longer and more profitable customer relationship. Success stories in increasing CLV often highlight a significant boost in repeat customers, higher average order values, and increased overall revenue.

Abandonment Rate

The abandonment rate measures the percentage of customers who start but don’t complete a desired action, such as a purchase or a customer service interaction. The metric is particularly relevant in eCommerce (cart/checkout abandonment) and situations with customer support teams.

A lower abandonment rate often results in increased sales and better customer engagement. Understanding and improving this metric can lead to more effective customer journey mapping and process optimization.

To reduce the abandonment rate, businesses need to analyze the points at which customers disengage and address underlying issues. This might involve streamlining the checkout process, improving website loading times, or enhancing the clarity of communication during customer service interactions.

Average Order Value (AOV)

average order value

This metric is used to measure customer satisfaction by considering the average amount of money each customer spends per transaction. It provides valuable insights into customer purchasing behavior and the effectiveness of pricing and marketing strategies. 

A higher AOV has a significant impact on the bottom line of a business. It suggests that customers are buying more products or higher-priced items per purchase, which can be indicative of effective cross-selling, upselling, or customer loyalty.

By increasing the average purchase spending per customer, companies can boost their revenue without necessarily increasing the number of customers. This is particularly important in competitive markets where acquiring new customers can be costly.

Increasing AOV

To increase AOV, businesses can employ various strategies:

  • Upselling involves encouraging customers to purchase a higher-end version of the product they’re interested in.
  • Cross-selling suggests additional products that complement the initial purchase.

  • Providing incentives for larger purchases, such as volume discounts or free shipping on orders over a certain amount, can also encourage customers to spend more. 

  • Another effective tactic is creating product bundles at a discounted rate compared to buying items separately.

First Contact Resolution (+ Average Time per Request)

First contact resolution measures the efficiency and effectiveness of a business’s customer service team by tracking the percentage of customer inquiries or issues resolved on the first interaction with the company. Alongside this, the average time per request metric quantifies the average duration taken to address and resolve a customer’s request or issue.

A higher FCR and a lower average time per request directly correlate with increased customer satisfaction and efficiency in operations. Efficient resolution of customer issues enhances the company’s reputation and can lead to higher customer retention rates.

How to improve these customer experience metrics?

Improving FCR and reducing the average time per request requires a combination of well-trained customer service personnel, efficient processes, and supportive technology. Streamlining customer service procedures, implementing effective CRM systems, and providing comprehensive training can significantly enhance these customer satisfaction metrics.

Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)

Customer satisfaction score is a fairly straightforward metric used to calculate customer satisfaction with a product, service, or overall experience. It typically involves asking customers to rate their satisfaction on a defined scale, often immediately following a purchase or other customer interaction.

Customer satisfaction surveys are usually concise, asking one or more questions about the customer’s satisfaction level. Customer satisfaction surveys can be delivered through various channels, including email, SMS, or directly on a website post-purchase. The key is to make the survey as accessible and non-intrusive as possible to encourage participation and get an idea of genuine customer sentiment.

CSAT

How to use CSAT data?

Businesses use customer satisfaction scores to pinpoint areas of strength and weakness in their customer experience. By tracking these scores over time, companies can assess the effectiveness of changes made to their products . Data obtained from customer satisfaction scores can also be segmented to understand customer satisfaction levels across different customer groups or product categories.

Repeat Purchase Rate

This metric measures the percentage of customers who return to make additional purchases. A high repeat purchase rate suggests that customers are satisfied with their initial purchase and have a positive perception of the brand.

To increase the repeat purchase rate, businesses should focus on building strong relationships with customers. 

This can be achieved through:

  • Personalized communication, such as tailored emails or targeted offers based on past purchases
  • Implementing a loyalty program that rewards repeat purchases

  • Ensuring consistent quality in products and services

Regular monitoring and analysis can provide insights into which products or services are most likely to drive repeat purchases and identify potential areas for improvement. By understanding these patterns, businesses can tailor their strategies to enhance customer retention and loyalty.

Customer Churn Rate

customer churn rate

This metric measures the percentage of customers who stop doing business with a company over a specific period. It’s an essential indicator of customer dissatisfaction, loyalty, and the overall effectiveness of retention strategies.

Reducing customer churn rate is crucial for long-term business sustainability, as retaining existing customers is often more cost-effective than acquiring new ones. A lower churn rate typically indicates higher customer satisfaction and loyalty.

To reduce churn, businesses should focus on identifying the reasons behind customer departures and implementing targeted strategies to address these issues. 

This may include:

  • Improving product quality
  • Taking customer service to the next level

  • Offering personalized incentives to stay

Customer Retention Rate

Finally, the customer retention rate measures the percentage of customers a company retains over a specific period. It reflects the effectiveness of customer loyalty and retention strategies.

A higher customer retention rate not only improves revenue but also enhances the brand reputation. Loyal customers are more likely to engage in positive word-of-mouth, contributing to the business’s growth and market standing.

Increasing customer retention rate

These are some critical factors that can help you increase the customer retention rate:

  • Understanding customer needs
  • Enhancing customer service

  • Offering loyalty programs

  • Consistently providing value to customers

  • Personalization

Summary

It is more than obvious that the landscape of customer satisfaction is dynamic, challenging, and multifaceted. By monitoring and improving these top ten metrics for customer satisfaction, businesses can develop a more holistic understanding of their customers and increase customer satisfaction as a result. 

This approach is not just about measuring numbers. Rather, measuring customer satisfaction is about building relationships, exceeding expectations, and fostering loyalty in an ever-changing market. As we move forward in 2024 and beyond, these key customer satisfaction metrics will continue to be pivotal in shaping strategies that resonate with customers, improve customer experience, and drive both business and customer success.

Although eCommerce has been around since the ‘80s, the industry arguably did not take off until the 2000s. But in that time, there have been dramatic shifts in the industry. 

On the latest episode of The eCommerce Toolbox: Expert Perspectives podcast, host Kailin Noivo is joined by P.J. Worsfold, Director of eCommerce and Marketing at JD Sports Canada, Livestock Canada, and size? Canada, to discuss the evolving digital transformations he has witnessed first-hand. 

Digital Transformations over the Past Decades

P.J. has witnessed some exceptional digital transformations in his twenty years in the eCommerce space. One of the most profound has been the willingness of people to buy online.

Only recently, P.J. went to his 80-year-old father-in-law’s house and was surprised by how well-versed with tech he was and the devices he owned: an iPad, iPhone, and MacBook – all purchased online. Only a decade ago, the older generation was harder to convince to shop online, as P.J. discovered working with a pharmacy in Canada, but today, it is almost second nature, partially spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic and the availability of online stores.

Personalization Strategies for eCommerce Brands

P.J. is passionate about personalization. In his current work with JD Sports, Livestock, and size?, he has had great success with personalizing email marketing using automation tools for retargeting. However, he is setting off on a new venture: personalizing advertising based on a person’s region.

For example, the weather in British Columbia and Ontario are vastly different, and one can often assume that if it is raining in BC, then there will be snow in Ontario. Thus, based on the weather in BC, the sites would offer different products to their customers based in the two locations, ensuring they are appropriate for the climate. However, no automation tools that are currently available can adequately help with this challenge, so P.J.’s team has had to triple their personalization efforts. 

In today’s tech landscape, every consumer has a different device and uses various platforms, so personalization measures must cut across these variables. As with anything in eCommerce that has a lot of variables, this opens up the floor to bugs in personalization measures across these platforms. However, P.J.’s team has a “killer” quality assurance function to help manage this and ensure their consumers are consistently being delivered personalized, functioning experiences.

What about AI?

As P.J. is already implementing automation and AI in his personalization measures, it is no surprise that he has high hopes for the future uses of AI in the eCommerce industry. He envisions AI having a profound impact on searches. 

At the moment, we are conditioned to be inundated with results when we use search engines, but P.J. believes AI will condition us to expect the best advice instead. For eCommerce brands, this could lead to a significant increase in conversion as customers will not have to deliberate over as many small choices.

Pj Worsfold on AI in eCommerce

eCommerce Challenges Brands Face Today

One key challenge P.J. often faces is attribution. Although he knows there is tech out there to help, he still prefers to rely on last-click attribution to know the conservative number of clicks.
PJ Worsfold on eCommerce attribution

If all else fails, he at least knows what Google delivered on a last-click basis. However, even with this preference, he still knows there is a smarter way out there, but he has not yet found the attribution model that works for his brands.

Listen to the Full Episode Below!

Tune in to this episode of The eCommerce Toolbox: Expert Perspectives with P.J. Worsfold to find out more about the evolution and future of eCommerce.

👉 Apple: https://bit.ly/3GRnIJF

👉 Spotify: https://bit.ly/3Ruvs9p

P.J. Worsfold is the driving force behind some of Canada’s most successful online shoe retailers, including JD Sports Canada, Livestock Canada, and size? Canada. He is an expert in combining technology with business strategy to drive sales, making an innovative approach to eCommerce. He also acts as an eCommerce Consultant to the fashion industry, seeing eCommerce as more than selling; it’s about giving access to a brand.

For businesses to survive and thrive in today’s highly competitive and ever-evolving eCommerce landscape, providing a seamless and enjoyable shopping experience is merely table stakes. A seamless eCommerce experience is frictionless, intuitive, and user-friendly, guiding customers effortlessly through the entire buying process from product discovery to purchase completion. 

eCommerce businesses can reap substantial benefits from a seamless eCommerce experience, such as increased conversion rates and sales, better customer satisfaction and loyalty, improved brand reputation, as well as new customers in the funnel.

This article gives a deep insight into what is eCommerce experience at its best as well as the best practices for improving eCommerce customer experience, equipping you with proven tactics to take your online store to the next level.

Optimizing Website Performance

Website performance is a critical factor in creating a seamless eCommerce experience. Slow loading times and outdated navigation can quickly dissuade potential customers, leading to lost sales and a tarnished brand image. 

To optimize website performance for a smooth user experience, consider the following strategies:

  • Decrease the page load time (aim for 2 seconds or less). 
  • Images are often the largest files on a webpage, so optimizing them can significantly improve loading speed

  • A content delivery network (CDN) can help to reduce load times by caching content closer to the user.

  • Regularly review and refactor code to remove unnecessary elements and optimize performance.

In addition, you should focus on streamlining website navigation by using intuitive labels and organizing categories logically. Moreover, provide a powerful search function that allows customers to easily find products or information using keywords or natural language queries.

Finally, categorize products in a way that is easy for customers to understand and browse by using relevant keywords and hierarchical categories to provide structure.

Implementing Intuitive Design

An intuitive design not only makes navigation effortless but also encourages customers to spend more time on the site, leading to higher engagement and potential sales.

An intuitive design is inherently easy to use, even for first-time visitors. It follows logical navigation patterns that align with customer expectations, reducing confusion and frustration.

Users shouldn’t need to ‘learn’ how to use your website. Rather, the site’s functionality is self-explanatory, leading to a smoother customer journey.

A well-designed, intuitive interface holds users’ attention and keeps them engaged with the content, increasing the likelihood of conversion.

Here’s an example of an intuitive website design with a beautiful image and very straightforward navigation.

intuitive website design

Clear CTAs

Clear and concise calls-to-action (CTAs) provide users with straightforward instructions on what to do next, whether it’s making a purchase, signing up for a newsletter, or learning more about a product.

Effective CTAs are one of the main drivers of conversion rates. They should stand out visually and be placed strategically to guide users naturally through the buying process.

HERS website has a homepage focused on the CTA, bringing clarity and guiding users to their next step.

Balancing Visual Appeal and Functionality

While a visually attractive design is important, it should not come at the expense of functionality. The design should complement and enhance the user experience, not hinder it.

Use colors, fonts, and imagery consistent with your brand. This not only aids in brand recognition but also contributes to a cohesive and positive customer experience.

Ensure that your website is responsive, accessible to all users (including those with disabilities), and provides a seamless experience across all devices and screen sizes.

The ENDY website’s layout is clean and organized, focusing users’ attention on the most important elements.
balance visual appeal and functionality

Personalization Strategies

Personalization goes a long way in enhancing eCommerce experiences by tailoring product recommendations, offers, and overall website content to individual customer preferences. This approach not only improves customer satisfaction but also increases the likelihood of conversions. 

Collect and analyze customer data, such as browsing history, purchase patterns, and demographic information, to create а personalized eCommerce experience by showing product recommendations and tailored offers. Analyze customer behavior to recommend relevant products, predict purchase intent, and optimize website content based on individual preferences.

Finally, keep in mind the importance of complying with data privacy regulations and clearly communicating privacy policies to establish trust and ensure ethical data collection and usage practices.

Seamless Checkout Process

A seamless checkout can make the difference between a completed purchase and an abandoned cart. 

To streamline the checkout process and minimize friction, consider these tips:

  • Keep the checkout process as concise as possible, reducing the number of steps and simplifying form fields to avoid overwhelming customers.
  • Provide a variety of secure payment options, including credit cards, debit cards, e-wallets, and popular payment gateways, to cater to different customer preferences.

  • For loyal customers, offer one-click purchasing options to save time and streamline the checkout process, reducing the need for re-entering payment and shipping information.

  • Implement email retargeting strategies to recapture abandoned carts. Remind customers of the items they left behind and offer incentives to complete their purchase.

Payment Security Measures

Secure payment gateways act as intermediaries between customers’ financial institutions and the merchant’s website, encrypting sensitive data and shielding it from potential breaches. This protection ensures that customers’ sensitive information remains confidential and fosters trust in the online shopping experience.

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificates play a crucial role in building trust by validating the authenticity of a website and safeguarding data transmission. By displaying a visible “lock” symbol in the browser’s address bar, SSL certificates reassure customers that their information is being protected and that they are interacting with a legitimate website.

Moreover, educating customers about safe online transactions is another essential aspect of eCommerce payment security. 

Businesses can empower their customers by:

  • Providing clear and concise information about their payment processing partners
  • Highlighting the security measures in place

  • Emphasizing the importance of creating strong passwords and using secure devices for online transactions

  • Regular reminders about safe online practices

Efficient Inventory Management

Efficient inventory management involves maintaining the right balance of stock to meet customer demand without overstocking or stockouts.

Real-time inventory updates ensure that the stock levels shown on the website are accurate. This prevents situations where customers order items that are actually out of stock.

Customers appreciate reliable information regarding product availability, so real-time updates can significantly enhance the overall eCommerce customer experience and trust in your brand. Moreover, up-to-date inventory data helps in analyzing sales trends and forecasting future demand more accurately, aiding in efficient restocking and inventory planning.

To prevent inventory-related issues, consider these tactics:

  • Establish safety stock levels and reorder points for each product.
  • Conduct regular inventory audits to ensure the accuracy of inventory records.

  • Maintain good relationships with suppliers.

  • Diversify suppliers for key products.

  • Utilize historical sales data to forecast demand.

In addition, you should think about using specialized inventory management and smart merchandising software. This tool automates many inventory management tasks, reducing manual errors and saving time. These systems often come with data analysis tools that provide valuable insights into sales patterns, helping in making informed stocking decisions.

Responsive Customer Support

Offering responsive and effective customer support is a must-have if you’re aiming for a seamless eCommerce experience.

Effective customer support strategies include:

  • Providing multiple support options: Offer a variety of customer support options, such as live chat, email, phone support, and self-service knowledge bases, to cater to different customer preferences.
  • Ensuring swift response times: Aim for quick response times to customer inquiries and complaints. Address issues promptly to maintain customer satisfaction.

  • Training customer support staff: Train customer support staff to handle inquiries effectively, provide accurate information, and resolve issues efficiently.

  • Utilizing AI-powered chatbots: Implement AI-powered chatbots to provide immediate assistance
    with basic inquiries, answer frequently asked questions, and routing complex issues to human agents.

Social Proof and Customer Reviews

Positive customer feedback, often in the form of reviews, testimonials, and ratings, plays a significant role in shaping consumer perceptions and influencing purchasing decisions. These authentic endorsements from fellow shoppers serve as valuable validation for potential buyers, providing them with insights into the product’s quality, performance, and overall value proposition.

Showcasing customer feedback prominently on product pages is a strategic approach that capitalizes on the persuasive power of social proof. By displaying positive reviews and ratings alongside product descriptions and images, businesses can effectively communicate the product’s value proposition and encourage potential buyers to make informed purchasing decisions.

When potential customers observe a consistent stream of positive reviews and endorsements, they develop a sense of confidence in the brand’s offerings. This trust serves as the foundation for long-lasting customer relationships and fosters brand loyalty, encouraging repeat purchases and positive word-of-mouth recommendations.

Continuous Testing and Optimization

Continuous testing and optimization are crucial for maintaining a competitive edge and enhancing user experience. This ongoing process involves regularly evaluating various aspects of the eCommerce platform to ensure optimal performance and user satisfaction.

The Role of A/B Testing in Website Optimization

A/B testing allows businesses to make data-driven decisions. By comparing two versions of a webpage, businesses can determine which elements (like layout, color schemes, CTAs) perform better in terms of user engagement and conversion rates.

Regular A/B testing helps in fine-tuning the website to meet user preferences and expectations, leading to an improved overall user experience. It is ideal for making small, incremental changes that collectively can have a significant impact on the website’s effectiveness and profitability.

Leveraging User Feedback for Continuous Improvement

Direct feedback from users is an invaluable source of information, providing insights into what customers like, dislike, or wish to see improved. Analyzing user feedback can help identify specific pain points in the customer journey, allowing for targeted improvements.

Actively seeking and acting on customer feedback demonstrates a commitment to customer satisfaction, fostering loyalty and trust. Feedback can also inform product development and refinement, ensuring that the offerings remain relevant and desirable to the target market.

Staying Ahead of Trends

The eCommerce landscape is continuously evolving, so staying informed about current trends enables businesses to adapt quickly, maintaining relevance in a rapidly changing market. Additionally, keeping abreast of trends can inspire innovative ideas for website features, marketing strategies, and new products or services.

Early adoption of emerging trends can provide a competitive advantage. It positions the business as a leader rather than a follower in the digital marketplace.

Data Analytics for Decision-Making

User data can reveal valuable insights into customer interactions with the online store. Website analytics tools can track user behavior, including page views, session duration, and bounce rates. This data can identify areas of the website that need improvement, such as slow loading times or confusing navigation. 

Additionally, data from abandoned carts can uncover reasons why customers don’t complete their purchases, allowing businesses to streamline the checkout process and reduce cart abandonment rates.

Some popular analytics tools include:

  • Google Analytics (website traffic, user behavior, and conversion rates)
  • Adobe Analytics (data segmentation, customer profiling, and marketing attribution)

  • Kissmetrics (user engagement and customer lifetime value)

By analyzing user data, businesses can gain actionable insights that guide their optimization efforts. For example, data indicating that customers are struggling with the checkout process could lead to streamlining the process, reducing the number of steps, and offering more payment options.

Mobile Friendliness

With the increasing prevalence of mobile shopping, having a mobile-friendly eCommerce store is crucial for businesses to reach their target audience and provide a seamless customer experience. 

A mobile-friendly eCommerce website offers several benefits for businesses:

  • With more customers shopping on their mobile devices, having a mobile-friendly website can significantly increase website traffic and drive more sales.
  • A well-designed mobile website provides a positive and engaging user experience, making it easier for customers to find products, check out, and complete their purchases.

  • A mobile-friendly website demonstrates a business’s commitment to providing a convenient and accessible shopping experience, reinforcing its brand image and reputation.

Error Monitoring and Resolution

Website errors and performance issues can hinder the eCommerce experience and lead to customer frustration. Monitoring and resolving errors can promptly improve eCommerce customer experience by minimizing the impact of inevitable technical glitches and bugs on sales and conversions.

eCommerce website errors can manifest in various forms, such as broken links, 404 errors, JavaScript errors, and slow loading times. These errors can cause customers to abandon their shopping carts, leave negative reviews, and damage the business’s reputation.

In this situation, Noibu can help. This is an eCommerce website monitoring tool that helps you prevent revenue loss and customer frustration. It identifies, prioritizes, and resolves revenue-impacting bugs. 

Noibu’s real-time monitoring captures all errors across user sessions, presenting them on a prioritized dashboard based on their revenue impact. Tailored for both business and engineering teams, Noibu helps correlate technical errors with revenue, enabling you to address the most critical issues on priority.

Noibu dashboard

Cybersecurity Risks

Protecting customer data and preventing cybersecurity breaches is essential for maintaining customer trust and a secure eCommerce experience. 

Businesses should implement robust cybersecurity measures to safeguard sensitive information and mitigate potential risks:

  • Use reputable and secure payment gateways that adhere to industry standards and encryption protocols.
  • Store customer data securely and take appropriate measures to prevent unauthorized access, such as strong passwords, access controls, and data encryption.

  • Keep software, including operating systems, web applications, and plugins, up to date.

  • Perform regular security audits to identify and address potential vulnerabilities in systems and networks.

  • Provide cybersecurity training to employees to raise awareness of security threats and best practices for handling sensitive information.

  • Finally, develop a comprehensive cybersecurity incident response plan to effectively handle data breaches, mitigate their impact, and notify affected customers promptly.

Post-purchase Engagement

Nurturing customer relationships extends beyond the point of purchase. Engaging with customers after a purchase can foster customer loyalty, encourage repeat business, and generate valuable feedback. 

Effective post-purchase engagement strategies include:

  • Thanking customers for their purchase and providing information about product usage, care instructions, or warranty details.
  • Implementing customer loyalty programs to reward repeat customers with discounts, exclusive offers, or early access to new products. This also drives customer retention.

  • Gathering feedback from satisfied customers through surveys or product reviews to understand customer satisfaction, identify areas for improvement, and gain insights for future product development.

  • Providing ongoing support to customers after their purchase, answering questions, troubleshooting issues, and offering guidance.

Improve eCommerce Customer Experience for Business Growth

In today’s competitive eCommerce landscape, providing a seamless and enjoyable shopping experience is crucial for businesses to thrive. By prioritizing a seamless eCommerce experience, businesses can not only boost sales and conversions but also foster customer loyalty, enhance brand reputation, and build a sustainable competitive advantage in the digital marketplace. 

Hopefully, the tactics we listed in this guide will help you in your future endeavors to provide an outstanding eCommerce experience. The ever-evolving eCommerce landscape demands continuous adaptation, and businesses that stay ahead of trends and embrace innovative strategies will be well-positioned for long-term success.

Architecture. A word often associated with the art and science behind designing buildings and physical structures. Today, it also features heavily in the tech world and more specifically, eCommerce space.

But what does an eCommerce Architect really do?

Do they build out every single tech plan for an eCommerce brand?

Or is it something completely different?

On the latest episode of The eCommerce Toolbox: Expert Perspectives podcast, host Kailin Noivo is joined by Jim Parris, an eCommerce Architect, to discuss the ins and outs of eCommerce architecture as well as how he approaches bugs and instability.

Approaching Technology Decisions

In any organization, your decisions impact your customers, no matter your industry. This includes everything from who you partner with to the tech solutions you scale out. Jim explains that even if you back up every decision with solid data, it’s likely to become outdated within only a couple of years. After all, people change, so their expectations change.

For this reason, Jim approaches every decision with the notion that it will benefit people now, knowing that, in just two years, that might not be the case.

He even builds exit strategies into every plan. This way, even if he leaves the company, any changes can be reversed and altered as and when necessary without too much hassle or panic for any team members.

Jim Parris on approaching bugs and instability

Monitoring Bugs and Instability

Bugs and instability are par for the course when it comes to eCommerce operations, with the likes of Alizée Dard Belmont and Kelli Reeves even recommending professionals stop neglecting bugs on their sites.

Jim’s philosophy is that you must know exactly why you are monitoring what you are monitoring. For example, in the case of a blog, you likely want customers to read about a product, buy the product, and then come back the next time they need something. That is their customer journey. So, if there are logs and logs full of errors, yet your add-to-cart ratio is still the same, do you really need to solve those bugs? According to Jim, not necessarily. 

Instead of digging into why these errors are cropping up, inspect why they are not affecting your customers. One way to do this is to roll your business metrics into your technology metrics, i.e., include your revenue stream in your analysis of errors, so you can easily observe whether instability and errors affect your business’s true performance.

Influencing Cross-Functional Decision Making

As an eCommerce Architect, Jim does not have the final say on any cross-functional decisions. Instead, he maps out the route for other teams, explaining how different decisions will impact the company’s future. 

To help this process, Jim keeps in conversation with various team members across different departments, asking about the culture and tools they use so he has a heads up on where they are already heading. This also helps him constructively contribute towards collective decision-making that proves to ultimately benefit the customer as well as the company.

Jim Parris on cross-functional decision-making

It’s Time to Look Ahead

Jim’s one piece of advice for eCommerce brands is to stop short-term planning. Specifically, he advises eCommerce teams to stop over-indexing on being competitive with their pricing. That’s not a sustainable long-term strategy and will likely just kill your business. After all, a sustainable business is one that makes money, and the cost-benefit ratio of competitive pricing doesn’t always work out.

Instead, he advises brands to find their differentiators from other sites offering the same thing and play that into their strategy. If you’re not a big retailer in your space, you will always fight a losing pricing battle.

Listen to the Full Episode Below!

Tune in to this episode of The eCommerce Toolbox: Expert Perspectives with Jim Parris to find out more about what being an eCommerce architect is really like.


👉 Apple: https://apple.co/3uRaWIi
👉 Spotify: https://bit.ly/3TlwSWc

Jim Parris is an enterprise IT and eCommerce Operations and Architecture professional with over fifteen years of experience. He currently serves as eCommerce Architect at an eCommerce platform dedicated to simplifying how customers shop for everything they need to make their businesses grow. Prior to this, he was a Technology Consultant for Ticketmaster Resale, creating a middle layer of support between customer service and developers.

In the dynamic and highly competitive world of eCommerce, the pivotal role of high-quality customer experience (CX) can’t be overstated. Thus, customer experience insights are essential for eCommerce success. They offer brands a deep dive into the multifaceted aspects of customer behavior and preferences, enabling businesses to tailor their offerings and interactions to meet and exceed evolving customer expectations.

According to a 2023 study by PwC, 73% of consumers point to customer experience as a key factor in their purchasing decisions, ranking it even above price and product quality. By harnessing the power of data-driven insights, companies can not only keep pace with changing consumer demands but also anticipate and shape future trends, setting the stage for sustained growth.
gap in customer experience and expectation

Components of Customer Experience Insights

To understand customer behavior and experience in its entirety, you need to comprehensively analyze various components and other factors that collectively shape how customers interact with and perceive a business.

Brand, Product, Price, and Service

  • Brand sets the tone and expectation.
  • Product and its quality are the primary drivers of satisfaction. 

  • Pricing strategies influence perceived value and affordability, directly impacting purchase decisions. 

  • Service, both pre and post-sale, is crucial in building trust and loyalty. 

Together, these components form the foundation of how customers perceive and interact with a business, influencing their overall experience and satisfaction.

Context

  • Customer’s physical location
  • The environment they are in when interacting with your brand

  • Their mental and emotional state

Contextual insights enable businesses to tailor experiences that resonate more deeply and personally with customers, increasing satisfaction and loyalty.

Customer Action

Insights into customer actions provide a window into the effectiveness of the consumer journey. This includes understanding the steps customers take in discovering, evaluating, purchasing, and using a product or service. 

Analyzing these actions helps identify areas where the journey can be streamlined or enhanced, removing friction points and improving overall customer satisfaction.

Channels

The mediums through which customers interact with products or services (websites, mobile apps, social media platforms, or physical retail locations) each offer unique insights into customer behavior. 

Understanding the nuances of each channel, such as the ease of navigation on a website or the convenience of a mobile app, can help businesses optimize each touchpoint to better meet customer needs and preferences.

Transitions

A key aspect of customer experience is understanding how customers transition between different actions or steps in their journey (e.g. from online research to in-store purchases). 

Analyzing these transitions can reveal areas where customers might experience confusion or frustration, offering opportunities for improvement. By smoothing out these transitions, businesses can create a more seamless and satisfying consumer journey.

Metrics that Matter: Beyond Surface-level Analytics

In the world of eCommerce data, delving beyond basic consumer data analytics is essential for uncovering deeper, more actionable insights. Advanced metrics offer a more granular and predictive understanding of customer behavior and preferences, leading to more informed decisions and strategic improvements in CX.

  • Customer Effort Score (CES): This metric measures the ease with which customers can complete actions or resolve issues when interacting with a business. A lower effort score indicates a smoother, more satisfactory customer experience, leading to higher customer retention and loyalty.
  • Net Promoter Score (NPS): NPS is a widely used metric that assesses customer loyalty by asking how likely customers are to recommend a company to others. It categorizes customers into promoters, passives, and detractors, providing deep customer insights into overall satisfaction and loyalty.

  • User Interaction Patterns: Analyzing how customers interact with a product or service reveals valuable insights into their preferences and pain points. This can include tracking website navigation paths, app usage, or interaction with physical products.

  • Behavioral Segmentation: This involves grouping customers based on their behavior, such as purchasing habits, product usage, and engagement levels. It helps in tailoring marketing and service strategies to different customer groups, enhancing personalization and relevance.

  • Customer Lifetime Value (CLV): This is a projection of the total value a business can expect from a customer throughout their relationship. It is crucial for understanding the long-term profitability of different customer segments and guiding resource allocation and marketing strategies.

  • Cross-channel consistency: This evaluates the uniformity and quality of customer experience across various channels, such as online, mobile, and in-store. It’s key to building trust and satisfaction, as customers expect a seamless experience regardless of the channel they use.

  • Predictive analytics: Finally, integrating predictive analytics into CX insights allows businesses to anticipate customer needs and trends. This involves using data, statistical algorithms, and machine learning techniques to identify the likelihood of future outcomes based on historical data. Predictive analytics can be used for personalized marketing, forecasting customer churn, and enhancing product recommendations.

Strategies for Gathering Customer Experience Insights

In the quest to understand and enhance customer experience, businesses must employ a variety of strategies to gather meaningful insights. These methods should capture real-time customer interactions, sentiments, and behaviors across various platforms and channels.

Analytics and Monitoring

Traditional surveys have limitations in terms of timing and depth. Modern methods, such as real-time monitoring tools, can capture customer interactions as they happen, providing immediate and actionable insights. These tools track customer behavior across websites, apps, and even physical stores, offering a comprehensive view of the customer journey.

Advanced analytics platforms use sophisticated algorithms to analyze large sets of data from various sources. They can reveal patterns and trends that are not immediately apparent, providing deeper insights into customer behavior and preferences.

Noibu is an eCommerce monitoring platform that provides advanced insights into your website performance by proactively detecting and helping resolve revenue-impacting errors that are negatively impacting your customer experience. 

From streamlining the process of error detection to drastically reducing error-resolution time, Noibu redefines how modern eCommerce teams address bugs on their digital storefronts with ease and efficiency. 

Get a free checkout audit by Noibu’s experts to determine what’s really happening under the hood of your site. 

Extracting Valuable Insights from Online Conversations

Platforms like X (formerly known as Twitter), Facebook, and Instagram are goldmines for customer sentiment analysis. Customers often share their experiences, opinions, and feedback about products and services on these platforms, providing raw data and unfiltered insights.

Furthermore, websites like Reddit, Quora, and niche forums are platforms where customers discuss their experiences in depth. Analyzing these conversations can reveal detailed and relevant insights into customer preferences, pain points, and expectations.

The Role of Predictive Analytics

Predictive analytics involves using data, statistical algorithms, and machine learning techniques to predict future customer trends and behaviors. By analyzing historical data, businesses can forecast customer needs, preferences, and potential future actions.

These insights can be used to create personalized marketing campaigns, product recommendations, and customer service strategies, enhancing the overall customer experience.

For example, Target famously leverages predictive analytics to segment customers into distinct groups based on their purchasing behavior and demographic data. This segmentation allows Target to send highly targeted marketing campaigns to their target audience, leading to increased customer engagement, higher conversion rates, and improved sales conversions.

Leveraging Customer Experience Insights

Successfully gathering customer experience insights is just the first step; the real challenge lies in effectively leveraging these insights to drive meaningful change and improvements in business operations. 

Turning Insights into Actionable Strategies

Data-driven customer insights can reveal inefficiencies in business processes, from product development to customer service. Addressing these issues can lead to smoother operations and an enhanced overall customer experience.

By understanding customer needs and preferences, businesses can make targeted improvements to their products, services, and interactions, leading to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Key strategies:

  • Monitoring performance on a regular basis
  • Consolidating data sources

  • Using analytical tools to identify trends

  • Setting priorities based on impact

  • Developing action plans

  • Engaging and training employees

Crafting Tailored Customer Experiences

Businesses can use customer insights to tailor their marketing strategy, offerings, messaging, and interactions to align with individual customer preferences, enhancing the relevance and appeal of their products and services.

Some key techniques include:

  • Collecting comprehensive data
  • Dynamic content personalization

  • Personalized recommendations

  • Personalization across channels

  • Interactive and conversational interfaces

  • Behavioral triggers and automation

  • Continuous testing and optimization

Keep in mind the challenges of implementing personalization at scale, including data management, technology infrastructure, resource and cost implications, complexity in implementation, as well as privacy and ethical considerations. On the other hand, successful personalization means enhanced customer experience, improved business performance, competitive advantage, data-driven insights, and operational efficiency.

Hyper-personalization: Tailoring Experiences to Individual Preferences

Going a step further than standard personalization, hyper-personalization involves creating customer experiences that are uniquely tailored to each individual. This approach leverages detailed insights, including past behavior, preferences, and contextual data, to deliver exceptionally relevant and engaging personalized experiences.

Technologies like AI and machine learning play a crucial role in hyper-personalization, analyzing large datasets to predict individual customer needs and preferences with high accuracy.

Proactive Problem Solving: Addressing Issues Before They Escalate

By closely monitoring customer feedback and behavior, businesses can identify and address potential problems before they escalate into major issues. This proactive approach can significantly improve customer satisfaction and loyalty for most companies.

Businesses can proactively solve problems based on customer experience insights by:

  • Collecting feedback
  • Tracking KPIs

  • Analyzing root causes

  • Developing solutions

  • Communicating with customers

  • Continuously monitoring and improving

Data-driven Decision Making

This section explores how businesses can navigate the challenges and opportunities presented by data-driven strategic decision-making, focusing on overcoming analysis paralysis and embracing real-time decision-making processes.

Overcoming Analysis Paralysis: Streamlining Data for Action

In the face of vast amounts of customer data, businesses must develop strategies to filter and prioritize information effectively. This involves identifying key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics that are most relevant to their business goals and customer needs.

The goal is to extract actionable insights from the data – insights that directly inform strategic decisions and operational improvements. This way, businesses can avoid getting bogged down in irrelevant details and instead use insights to drive meaningful change.

Businesses can streamline data analysis to drive actionable outcomes by:

  • Defining clear objectives

  • Gathering data from various sources

  • Cleaning and preparing data

  • Choosing the right tools

  • Using data visualization techniques

  • Establishing a culture of data-driven decision-making

  • Communicating results effectively

Real-time Decision-making

The pace of change in customer preferences and competitive market conditions requires businesses to be agile in their strategic decision-making. Real-time analytics tools enable businesses to monitor customer behaviors and trends as they happen, allowing for quick and informed responses.

Real-time decision-making enables businesses to respond quickly to emerging trends, sudden market shifts, or immediate feedback from customers. This agility can be a significant competitive advantage, allowing businesses to stay ahead of customer expectations and market changes.

Strategic Implementation

The integration of customer experience insights into business strategy demands a strategic implementation that aligns with the overarching goals of the organization. This section discusses how businesses can embed customer experience insights into their strategic framework and operational processes.

Integrating CX Insights into Executive Decision-Making

For CX initiatives to be successful, they must be championed at the highest levels of the organization. This involves integrating data-driven insights into the core strategic planning process, ensuring that decisions made by executives are informed by a deep understanding of customer needs and preferences.

Executives equipped with comprehensive customer insights are better positioned to make informed decisions that align with customer expectations and business objectives. This alignment is crucial for creating strategies that are not only customer-centric but also contribute to long-term business growth and success.

Fostering Collaboration for Holistic CX Implementation

Implementing effective customer experience strategies often requires input and coordination across various departments, including marketing, sales, customer service, and product development. A collaborative approach ensures that all aspects of the customer journey are considered and optimized.

Moreover, encouraging collaboration across departments helps to break down silos that can impede the effective implementation of CX strategies. When departments work together, sharing data-driven insights and aligning their efforts, the result is a more cohesive and seamless customer experience.

Organizations can break down silos and foster a holistic CX approach by establishing a customer-centric culture, breaking down functional silos, and implementing customer journey mapping. When breaking down functional silos, create cross-functional teams, promote shared ownership of CX, and encourage information sharing and communication.

Impact of Better Customer Experience on Business Outcomes

Improving CX has a profound impact on various key business outcomes.

  • A positive customer experience fosters strong, emotional connections between customers and a brand. This results in more repeat purchases, loyal customers, and brand advocates, as well as reduced customer churn.
  • Positive customer experience can directly enhance a brand’s reputation, making it more appealing to both existing and potential customers.

  • Companies that excel in customer experience often see higher revenue growth. 

  • Moreover, they can differentiate themselves from competitors, attracting more customers and securing a larger market share.

Final Thoughts

Customer experience insights are a powerful tool for businesses to gain a competitive edge, foster customer loyalty, and drive sustainable growth. By embracing data-driven insights and implementing strategic CX initiatives, businesses can transform the customer journey, create a lasting positive impact on their brand, meet customer expectations and achieve long-term business success.

Peloton: an incredibly well-known, popular fitness brand.

With their unique online workouts and classes and state-of-the-art equipment, user experience is pivotal to their success, but how does that affect their approach to eCommerce?

On the latest episode of The eCommerce Toolbox: Expert Perspectives podcast, host Kailin Noivo is joined by Ben Standahl, Former Director of Engineering at Peloton Interactive, to discuss the brand’s innovative approach to eCommerce.

Peloton’s Approach to eCommerce and Customer Experience

A lot of Peloton’s current tech stack centers around powering the front end for the user.

On the front end, they have bespoke reactive experiences managed by engineers to ensure users are always getting the optimum experience. On the back end, they run an order management system and content management system. The latter includes the bulk of the content that is unique to Peloton, such as the workouts and classes, all of which feed into powering the front end.

As a direct-to-consumer (DTC) brand, Ben explains that it is imperative for Peloton’s online services to always be accurate and speedy.  They utilize different sources of back-end data and GraphQL to guarantee this. 

Managing Functionality for Considered Purchases

Peloton products are not bought on a whim; they are very much a considered purchase:

Ben Stendahl on website functionality

Thus, the website must be functioning consistently and reliably so that whenever a customer is looking for more information on the product, they can access it straight away.

Ben explains that the site has to be durable, resilient, and ready for a large influx of traffic, particularly when there are press releases or new launches. To help manage this, they use dashboards with automated alerts and indicators for when any aspect of the site is running slow or crashing.

When Users Abandon Their Carts

A big issue Peloton encounters is abandoned carts and user sessions, with the true underlying cause often being unclear and unknown. The team goes into troubleshooting mode, trying to establish the reason users are leaving the website. One trend they have noted is that abandoned sessions and carts rates increase in areas with significant public transport routes, such as New York City:

Ben Stendahl on cart abandonment

Although only a theory, the team constantly had to consider these potential reasons for site issues. Ben shares that it’s like becoming Sherlock Holmes with the digital sleuthing that goes into ensuring the site is performing.

Peloton’s Take on The AI/ML Revolution

Having been in the tech sphere for almost twenty years, Ben has seen many trends come into play, including the current AI and ML revolution.

Although there have been many attempts to harness the new technologies in ways that are both productive and protective of data, there are still problem areas. One such area is deep personalization as every user is unique. Peloton has been trying to tailor their experiences as much as possible but is struggling with the current state of the software. 

Personalized and unified experiences are important to the Peloton brand. They are now looking to unify their offerings across platforms to ensure that users are getting the best experience possible. 

One crucial aspect of the best user experience? Avoiding modal overlays that feel intrusive and frustrating, but we’ll let Ben explain that in the episode.

Speaking of, Tune in to the Full Episode Below!

Tune in to this episode of The eCommerce Toolbox: Expert Perspectives with Ben Stendahl to find out more about the importance of user experiences to the Peloton brand.


👉 Apple: https://apple.co/4a1u2vF

👉 Spotify: https://spoti.fi/40YtNx0

 

As the Director of Engineering (Web Content and Web Platform) at Peloton Interactive, Ben oversaw all non-fitness web technology in support of the company’s director-to-consumer business, including eCommerce, web frameworks, shared resources, and the deployment principle. Prior to Peloton, Ben held positions as the Director of Digital Media Technologies at iHeartMedia; Product Technology Manager at Google; and Development Manager at Tonzof.

Get a Free Site Audit!

Contact Sales Specialist
First

Get Your Free Checkout Audit!

Contact Sales Specialist
First

Get a Demo