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The eCommerce Toolbox: Expert Perspectives podcast has officially hit 10 episodes! That’s right, host Kailin Noivo has sat down with ten different eCommerce experts to discuss all things eCommerce, including trends, predictions, preparing for the future, and learnings from the past. 

Keen listeners will have noticed that in almost every episode, Kailin asks our guests about the one thing eCommerce brands need to stop doing, the biggest advice that they have for fast-growing teams, their perspective on the role of AI in eCommerce, and so much more. 

Now, they have all provided such incredible answers that we just had to put together a list of takeaways to help you all uplevel your eCommerce game.

Are you ready? Let’s get into it:

Move Away From the “Growth At All Costs” Mentality

John Merris, the CEO of Solo Brands, joined us first and had the following sage advice: Stop growing at all costs.”

He explains that there is a stigma in the world of DTC brands that they know how to grow, but don’t know how to generate profit. The Solo Brands team is working to debunk that, and they have been profitable since day one. 

In order to be profitable, eCommerce brands need to fix their model to stop chasing growth and instead chase profit. After all, a business that is making a profit but not necessarily growing quickly is still a healthy business.

Catch the whole conversation here:

Stop Looking for the Silver Bullet

Ribble Cycles’ Chief Digital Officer, Matthew Lawson advises brands to “stop looking for that one thing that’s going to be the win.” Whether that be a new SaaS technology, a new platform, or even the new website you’re designing, 

Matthew is clear that you cannot expect it to be the one thing that makes you successful. To him, wins come from the graft, from grinding out work. There is no such thing as an easy win to scale, it’s all about incrementality and the marginal gains in every channel.

No matter how great you think your new experience is, chances are it will introduce new problems and issues that you will have to work on. However, he says if “you keep on dialing out that new experience, it’ll be far better than it was before.”

Catch the whole conversation here:

Always Give Customers Abundant Choice

Matt Ezyk, the Director of eCommerce at Pet Supermarket, is a strong proponent of allowing customers choice. He says, “Whether it’s checking out as a guest or certain journeys they have on their site, the way I look at it is that you need to make things easy and available for how they want to check out and how they want to experience your site and then let them choose how they do that.”

At the end of the day, in a physical store, you wouldn’t force your customers to walk down certain aisles if they didn’t want or need to, so why do it digitally?

As a fifty-year-old retailer with many loyal customers who have stuck around for decades, we’re inclined to believe Matt and Pet Supermarket here. 

Matt Ezyk on the eCommerce toolbox

Catch the whole conversation here:

Scale Responsibly

Edmond Georges, President, CTO, and CO-Founder of Hobbiesville, has always maintained an ethos around scaling responsibly, similar to John Merris. 

He says, “We saw the end of an era where all people cared about was top-line revenue. And it was like, as long as we’re growing and we’re growing fast, then we will continue to be able to get money to fuel burn and to inevitably hit this future tier of profitability.“ 

They never wanted to be in the same ballpark and so they have been bootstrapped since day one. Three years into the game, they’ve hit eight figures in revenue, so maybe it’s worth thinking about Edmond’s approach for your brand.

Catch the whole conversation here:

Stop Being Absorbed in Analytics

Jared Poole of Bass Pro Shops strongly believes that eCommerce brands are getting too wrapped up in their analytics. With the influx of AI, it’s almost become too easy to personalize experiences for consumers, often going too far and pushing customers away. 

In fact, getting stuck in a cycle of thinking about the next thing you can offer your customers can lead to completely irrelevant suggestions, where your own opinions bleed into the data. Jared explains, “When we get into that mindset of what’s the next thing we can suggest for Joe or what’s the next thing we can suggest for Sally that would make them want to buy, a lot of times we’re letting our own opinions kind of bleed into this.”

Catch the whole conversation here:

Avoid Over-Personalizing Customer Experiences

In a similar trend, Natalia Walicki, former eCommerce Product and UX Director at Cazoo, also advises brands to step away from over-personalizing experiences. Nowadays, the trend is to utilize data and AI to repeatedly suggest products and services to customers. 

Natalia disagrees with this. She says, “I think that sometimes companies take us as consumers for granted. At the end of the day, you know, you kind of know what you’re looking for and what you want to buy.“ 

To Natalia, it’s time to step back and think about what customers want, thinking like them. That is what being customer-obsessed really means.

Catch the whole conversation here: 

AI is Invaluable to eCommerce Success

Lisa Camm, Head of Digital Transformation at Fortnum & Mason, is, like most of us, exploring the potential benefits of AI to the brand. They have been exploring everything possible with it and seeing that it’s far more than a buzzword, it’s an invaluable tool in some instances. 

However, she recommends avoiding overusing it in AI on the customer service side, explaining “We don’t want to lose that connection we have with our customers and that personal human touch.” 

Catch the whole conversation here: 

Don’t Neglect Front End Bugs and Instability

Alizée Dard Belmont, Senior Manager of eCommerce and Innovation at Richemont, is realistic in her view that websites are always going to have issues, but she strongly recommends that brands focus on the front-end instability before the back-end. 

She says “For instance, you go to a boutique, I don’t know, you cannot open the door. Like there is a problem. It’s the same. You go to the website, you cannot just click on the button, like add to cart or I don’t know, like complete my purchase. It’s just like, all right, so I’m not going to come. I’m not going to find the product. So this is just too bad. I’m going to go to the competition or whatever, or I’m just going to find it on another channel.”

If brands neglect to fix their front-end bugs, they will lose revenue and potentially long-term customers. She adds that of course the back-end systems should still be maintained, but they should not be your priority.

Catch the whole conversation here: 

Customers Shouldn’t Have to Work Hard to Use Your Site

Kelli Reeves, Senior eCommerce Program Manager at Floor & Decor, is a strong proponent of creating seamless user experiences. It’s no surprise then that her advice is to stop the narrative that customers will work harder to use your site, even if they face errors:

Kelli Reeves on the eCommerce toolbox

Every time a customer leaves and comes back, or repetitively refreshes the page to overcome errors and slowness, you are delaying revenue. Brands need to put themselves in the shoes of their customers and think about what is creating a negative brand memory or shopping experience, then take steps to fix those issues.

Catch the whole conversation here: 

Ensure Your Marketing Methods Aren’t Intrusive

Ben Stendahl, former Director of Engineering (Web Content and Web Platform) at Peloton Interactive, is another eCommerce expert obsessed with the customer experience. His advice? Stop using modal overlays everywhere. 

He says, “There is nothing that irritates me more and that I see in full story logs quicker […] as it is modal pop-ups.” He strongly encourages product, design, and engineering teams to develop marketing methods that are far less intrusive and annoying to customers.

Catch the whole conversation here: 

So, there you go, ten things to avoid doing for eCommerce brands, brought to you by the best of the best. If you haven’t had a chance to listen to any of these episodes, be sure to tune in and take home some actionable insights on how to improve your eCommerce strategy for 2024. 

In eCommerce, the checkout process is a critical moment of truth. Far exceeding the role of a simple transactional endpoint, the checkout experience serves as a pivotal element that profoundly influences both customer satisfaction and overall sales outcomes. 

A study revealed that approximately 69.8% of online shopping carts are abandoned, which underscores the immense impact that the checkout experience can have on eCommerce success. 

shopping cart abandonment rate in 2023
Optimizing the eCommerce checkout flow is not merely an operational concern but a strategic imperative that directly correlates with customer retention, satisfaction, and the overall health of the business’s bottom line. As the eCommerce landscape continues to evolve, understanding and enhancing this crucial aspect of the customer journey becomes paramount for businesses aiming to thrive in an increasingly digital marketplace.

Why a Smooth eCommerce Checkout Process Is Important

This aspect of online shopping is not just a final step in purchasing but a significant component of the customer’s interaction with a brand. An intuitive and hassle-free eCommerce checkout flow streamlines the path to purchase, removing any potential obstacles or frustrations. This efficiency does more than just facilitate a transaction; it creates a lasting positive impression on an online shopper.

A positive checkout experience can resonate deeply with customers, influencing their perception of the brand. In an online setting, where personal interactions are limited, the smoothness of the checkout process becomes a key touchpoint for overall customer satisfaction and experience. Beyond simply speeding up a sale, a streamlined checkout process plays a pivotal role in building trust and fostering customer loyalty. A smooth, secure, and transparent checkout process addresses concerns about security and privacy, reinforcing the customer’s confidence in the brand.

This trust, once established, becomes a driving force behind higher conversion rates. Customers who have a positive and secure experience during checkout are more likely to complete their purchase, reducing the likelihood of cart abandonment.

Furthermore, this trust extends beyond a single transaction; it cultivates loyalty. Loyal customers are not only more inclined to make repeat purchases but are also likely to become brand advocates, recommending the online store to others.

Common Challenges in eCommerce Checkout

eCommerce checkout flows, though crucial, are often fraught with challenges that can impede a smooth customer experience. These issues, if not addressed, can become significant barriers to completing a purchase, affecting both customer satisfaction and the overall success of the eCommerce platform. 

Slow Loading Times

One of the most common and impactful challenges is slow-loading pages. In the fast-paced digital world, customers expect quick and responsive online experiences. A delay of even a few seconds can be enough to frustrate customers, potentially leading them to abandon their cart.

Therefore, optimizing the loading speed of checkout pages is vital. This can involve:

conversion rate vs page load speed

Complex Navigation Paths

A checkout flow with too many steps or confusing navigation can easily overwhelm and deter customers. Simplifying the eCommerce checkout flow to a few clear and concise steps can make a substantial difference.

This simplification includes:

  • Reducing the number of pages to navigate through
  • Clearly labeling steps
  • Providing a progress indicator to give customers a sense of how much longer the process will take

Security Concerns

With increasing incidences of data breaches and online fraud, customers are more cautious than ever about the security of their personal and financial information. Ensuring robust security measures not only protects the customers but also builds their trust in the brand.

This can be addressed by:

  • Implementing secure payment gateways SSL certificates for encryption
  • Compliance with data protection regulations like GDPR and PCI DSS
  • Clearly displaying security badges and certifications

Additional Challenges

Other challenges in eCommerce checkout include inadequate payment options, mandatory account creation, and lack of clear error messages.

  • Providing multiple payment options caters to different customer preferences, enhancing convenience.
  • Allowing guest checkout options can attract customers who do not wish to create an account.
  • Clear and informative error messages can help customers quickly rectify any issues they encounter during the checkout process.

Key Elements of a Seamless Checkout Experience

Several key elements contribute to crafting a seamless experience, each addressing different aspects of the customer’s needs and concerns during the final stages of their purchasing journey.

eCommerce Checkout Page Design

A well-designed page should embody simplicity and clarity to minimize distractions and focus the customer’s attention on completing the purchase. This involves a clean layout, intuitive navigation, and clear, concise instructions. The goal is to eliminate any potential confusion or frustration that could lead to cart abandonment.

Guest Checkout Option

Many customers prefer a quick, registration-free process, especially when purchasing for the first time from a site. A guest checkout option reduces the barriers to completing a purchase, as it removes the need for forced account creation, thereby speeding up the process and reducing friction.

Streamlined Form Fields

Minimizing and streamlining these fields can significantly reduce the effort and time required from customers. This means asking only for essential information and using predictive input and autofill where appropriate. Streamlining these fields not only makes the process faster but also reduces the cognitive load on the customer, leading to a more pleasant experience.

Mobile-friendly Checkout

The mobile checkout experience should be as smooth and intuitive as the desktop experience. This involves responsive design, larger form fields suitable for touchscreens, and simplified navigation tailored for smaller screens. Ensuring the checkout is optimized for mobile devices can dramatically improve the experience for a large segment of customers.

Secure Payment Options

Implementing advanced security measures like SSL encryption, two-factor authentication, and compliance with PCI DSS standards can reassure customers that their financial data is safe. Clearly displaying security badges and certifications also enhances this trust.

Multiple Payment Options

Finally, providing a variety of payment options can include traditional credit/debit card payments, digital wallets like PayPal or Apple Pay, and even newer payment methods like cryptocurrency. Offering multiple payment process options ensures that customers can choose their own preferred payment method, thereby enhancing the convenience and accessibility of the eCommerce checkout flow.

The Role of eCommerce Monitoring Solutions For Ensuring Uninterrupted Checkout Flow

issue management in Noibu

eCommerce monitoring solutions play a crucial role in ensuring a flawless and uninterrupted checkout flow. These solutions are engineered to scrutinize eCommerce websites continually, identifying and alerting on any issues that may disrupt the checkout experience. They serve as a vigilant guardian, detecting problems ranging from minor glitches to significant system failures.

Platforms like Noibu specialize in providing real-time insights into eCommerce website performance and functionality. They can pinpoint errors that could lead to checkout disruptions, such as broken links, eCommerce checkout page loading issues, payment gateway failures, or practically any other technical error causing customer frustration.

By promptly identifying these issues, an eCommerce business can quickly address them, minimizing the impact on the customer experience. This proactive approach is essential in maintaining a smooth and reliable checkout process, which is fundamental to retaining customer trust and loyalty.

Addressing Cart Abandonment

Cart abandonment is a pervasive issue in eCommerce, with substantial financial consequences. Luckily, various strategies can be employed to tackle this challenge.

  • Simplifying the eCommerce checkout flow is a primary method, as a complex or time-consuming process is a common reason for abandonment.
  • Offering incentives such as discounts, free shipping or low shipping costs, or special deals can also entice customers to complete their purchases.
  • Additionally, sending reminder emails to customers who have left items in their carts can be an effective strategy. These emails can include personalized messages, additional incentives, or information about the products they’ve left behind, nudging them toward completing the purchase.
cart abandonment statistics

Additional Strategies

Beyond addressing cart abandonment, several other strategies can optimize the checkout process:

  • Implementing money-back guarantees can alleviate customer concerns about the quality of products or services, thereby encouraging purchases.
  • Proactive customer support, such as live chat or easy-to-access help options, can assist customers with any queries or issues they encounter during checkout, providing a sense of support and reliability.
  • Visual cues are another impactful tool in guiding customers through the checkout process. These can include progress indicators, clear call-to-action buttons, and visual confirmations of actions taken. Such cues not only make the process more intuitive but also add to the customer’s sense of control and understanding of the process.

Personalization in Checkout

In today’s digital marketplace, personalization has become a key differentiator in enhancing the customer experience, and the checkout process is no exception. Incorporating personalized recommendations and messages at this stage can significantly elevate the customer’s engagement with the brand.

Tailored Recommendations

Utilizing customer data to offer personalized product recommendations during the checkout process can increase the likelihood of additional purchases. For instance, suggesting items that complement the customer’s current selections based on their browsing history or previous purchases can be highly effective. This not only aids in cross-selling and up-selling but also makes the online shopping experience feel more customized and thoughtful.

personalized product recommendations from Amazon

Customized Messages

Personalized messages, such as addressing the customer by name or acknowledging their loyalty status, can foster a deeper connection. These subtle personal touches make the experience more welcoming and can positively influence the customer’s perception of the brand.

Context-sensitive Offers

Presenting tailored offers or discounts based on the customer’s shopping cart contents or purchase history can also enhance the checkout experience. For example, offering a discount on a customer’s next purchase or providing free shipping based on the cart value can incentivize them to complete the transaction and return for future purchases.

Dynamic Content

The checkout process can be further personalized by displaying dynamic content such as customer reviews, ratings, or testimonials related to the items in the cart. This not only aids in reinforcing the customer’s purchase decision but also adds an element of trust and authenticity to the process.

Post-purchase Confirmation and Communication

Post-purchase confirmation and ongoing communication play a crucial role in reinforcing the customer’s decision to purchase and setting the tone for future interactions.

  • An immediate order confirmation, ideally through multiple channels such as email and SMS, assures the customer that their transaction has been successfully processed. This immediate feedback is essential in establishing trust and reducing post-purchase anxiety.
  • Providing detailed receipts and order summaries, including itemized lists of purchases, prices, and expected delivery dates, helps maintain transparency and keeps the customer informed.
  • Regular updates on order processing, shipping details, and delivery timelines are crucial in maintaining customer engagement post-purchase. These updates can be communicated through emails, SMS, or mobile app notifications and should be clear and timely.
  • Post-delivery follow-ups, such as satisfaction surveys or invitations to review purchased products, demonstrate continued interest in the customer’s experience. This not only provides valuable feedback but also reinforces the customer’s relationship with the brand.
  • Offering easy access to customer support in post-purchase communications, for issues such as returns, exchanges, or product inquiries, enhances the overall customer experience. Knowing that support is readily available if needed can significantly impact customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Measuring and Analyzing Checkout Performance

It’s not enough to simply implement a checkout strategy; businesses must also ensure that it remains effective over time. This involves using various tools and metrics to evaluate the checkout flow and making data-driven decisions for continual improvements.

Tools for performance measurement include:

  • Analytics platforms like Google Analytics offer in-depth insights into customer behavior during the checkout process.
  • Heatmap tools such as Hotjar or Crazy Egg visually represent where users are clicking, scrolling, and spending time on the eCommerce checkout page.
  • A/B testing tools allow businesses to test different versions of their eCommerce checkout page with real users.
  • Gathering direct feedback from customers through surveys or feedback forms can provide actionable insights into their experiences and perceptions of the checkout process.

Moreover, here are some key metrics to evaluate:

  • The cart abandonment rate indicates the percentage of customers who add items to their cart but do not complete the purchase.
  • The conversion rate measures the percentage of visitors who complete a purchase.
  • Average order value helps in understanding the spending behavior of customers during eCommerce checkouts.
  • Time to checkout is the amount of time it takes for a customer to complete the checkout process from start to finish.
  • Error rate is the frequency of errors encountered by customers during checkout, such as payment failures or form errors in an eCommerce store.

Finally, keep in mind that it’s essential to continually analyze, optimize, and strive for the best online checkout process. Regularly reviewing the performance metrics and making adjustments based on data-driven insights ensures that the checkout experience stays relevant and effective. This can involve tweaking the design, simplifying the process, adding new payment options, or enhancing security features.

Final Thoughts

Implementing eCommerce checkout flow best practices goes a long way in defining the customer’s overall experience, directly influencing their satisfaction, trust in the brand, and loyalty.

A positive experience at this crucial stage can encourage customers to return for future purchases, while a complicated or frustrating checkout process can deter even the most interested customers.

Therefore, eCommerce businesses must prioritize the continual evaluation and improvement of their checkout processes. This involves staying attuned to changing customer preferences, technological advancements, and emerging eCommerce checkout best practices.

Today, the one thing common among all eCommerce brands is that they’re enthusiastically embracing AI and futuristic tech to transform their growth strategies. 

But what does that mean for the future?

On the latest episode of The eCommerce Toolbox: Expert Perspectives podcast, host Kailin Noivo is joined by Jordan Baines, Vice President of eCommerce and Digital Marketing at Inkbox, to discuss the future of eCommerce and the role that emerging technologies are going to play in redefining it.

Incorporating AI for Enhanced Results

We rarely have an episode of The eCommerce Toolbox where AI is not mentioned, and today is no different. It’s no surprise really, given the number of opportunities AI presents.

At Inkbox, AI is leveraged to improve search relevance, SEO, and accessibility for their customers. Given the brand’s product is an art form, you wouldn’t be alone in wondering whether they have considered using AI-generated art for their tattoos, or even just their catalog images.

While there is potential in this, Jordan explains that AI should only be used in places where it both allows for the company to be more effective with their spending, but also allows for an increase in immediate utility for customers.

Human artists aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.

Positioning for Success in Q4

With the holiday season well and truly underway, it’s a little late to be worrying about how to approach this Q4, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get ahead on next year. In fact, that is exactly Jordan’s advice: the best thing you can do is start early.

Inkbox actually start planning for the holiday season in June and July, developing a well-structured promotional plan spanning from Singles’ Day all the way to Boxing Day.

Jordan further explains how they use incrementality testing and geo-testing to measure the true impact of their marketing efforts. If they can understand the incremental value of each campaign then they can optimize their spending and increase their profitability.

Once again, he recommends starting early in measuring the effectiveness of marketing activities, getting it done far in advance of the holiday rush triggered by Black Friday:

Jordan Baines on preparing for the holiday season

Bringing Technology Development In-House

Almost every eCommerce brand one day faces the same dilemma: should I bring my technology development in-house or rely on third-party vendors?

At Inkbox, they have combined both strategies: developing their own technology for production and fulfillment while modularizing their marketing and eCommerce stack. By leveraging third-party vendors for their front-end solutions, such as tag management, SMS, and CDP, Inkbox have been able to customize and trace events effectively.

However, just because they have gone for a modularized approach does not mean that Jordan and Inkbox frown on platforms. In fact, Jordan recognizes their value in sharing knowledge across functions and saving costs all around.

Stop Thinking You Need To Grow At All Costs

Jordan’s biggest advice to eCommerce brands? Stop thinking you need to grow at all costs. Instead, given the current economic climate, he recommends shifting the focus to sustainable growth.

Without a clear value proposition, there’s no point spending massive amounts of money on awareness plays. Instead, focus on building strong infrastructure, nurturing relationships, and listening to loyal customers. It is imperative you understand the unique value your brand offers and align your growth strategies accordingly, preparing for the future growth curve so you are ready to capitalize on it.

Listen to the Full Episode Below!

Tune in to this episode of The eCommerce Toolbox: Expert Perspectives with Jordan Baines to find out more about the future of eCommerce.

👉 Apple: https://apple.co/3R8BegD
👉 Spotify: https://spoti.fi/3NeMKpJ

Jordan Baines is a seasoned professional in the eCommerce and digital marketing space. At the helm of the team at Inkbox as their VP of eCommerce and Digital Marketing, Jordan is passionate about marrying data-driven insights with creative strategies. With a background that includes co-founding Digital Matter and working with a diverse set of clients, he brings a breadth of experience to the table. 

Digital experience monitoring (DEM) is a proactive approach to ensuring that users have a positive experience when interacting with a digital product or service. DEM tools collect and analyze data from a variety of sources, including user behavior, application performance, and infrastructure health, to identify and resolve issues before they impact users.

DEM is important in the digital business landscape because it helps businesses to improve customer satisfaction and loyalty, increase revenue and profitability, reduce risk and compliance costs, as well as gain a competitive advantage. This is reflected in the predictions showing that the global DEM market is expected to reach $6.53 billion by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 18.3% from 2022.

This comprehensive guide covers what is digital experience monitoring, the reasons why end-user experience monitoring is important, its benefits and challenges, as well as a reliable tool you can use to take your DEM to the next level.

The Rising Significance of Digital Experience Monitoring

The need for digital experience monitoring is becoming increasingly important as digital ecosystems become more complex and interconnected. By 2026, 60% of digital businesses will likely use DEM to measure endpoint performance, applications, and services on users’ digital experiences.

Therefore, digital experience monitoring tools play a pivotal role, helping businesses validate the compliance of their services and platforms. By providing a clear lens through which the digital customer experience can be evaluated and optimized, it also assists in preemptively identifying potential compliance infractions, thus mitigating the risk of regulatory entanglements.

However, the analytical capabilities of digital experience monitoring software extend beyond problem resolution. They are equipped with predictive analytics and machine learning algorithms that can foresee potential issues before they escalate, enabling proactive issue management. This foresight allows businesses to maintain a consistent and reliable digital experience, which is paramount in building and sustaining customer trust.

Why is digital experience monitoring important?

  • Increasing adoption of digital technologies by businesses and consumers: As more and more businesses and consumers adopt digital technologies, the demand for digital experience monitoring and synthetic monitoring is growing. Businesses need to ensure that their customer-related digital processes are performing well and meeting the expectations of their customers in the world of digital transformation.

    End-user experience monitoring helps with acquiring a deeper understanding of user interactions and behaviors, enabling businesses to fine-tune their digital offerings in accordance with customer preferences and expectations. This, in turn, fosters customer satisfaction and loyalty, which are vital for competitive differentiation and long-term success in the digital arena.

  • Growing complexity of digital ecosystems: Digital ecosystems are becoming increasingly complex, with businesses relying on a wide range of interconnected digital products and services. This complexity can make it difficult to identify and resolve issues that impact the digital customer experience. DEM can help businesses overcome this challenge by providing a holistic view of the digital customer experience.

    It can help you collect and analyze data from all aspects of the digital ecosystem, including the end user’s device, browser, application, infrastructure, and network monitoring. This data can then be used to identify and resolve issues quickly and efficiently, thereby elevating the overall digital customer experience.

  • Need to comply with industry regulations: Many industries (e.g. healthcare, finance) have strict compliance requirements that businesses must meet. Digital experience monitoring can help businesses to ensure that their services meet all applicable regulations. These sectors are bound by rigid compliance mandates, making it imperative to ensure that services are in alignment with the prevailing regulations. For example, in the healthcare industry, digital experience monitoring can be used to monitor the system performance of electronic health records (EHR) and ensure that they are meeting HIPAA compliance requirements.
  • Data-driven decision-making: DEM serves as a critical component in shaping a data-driven culture within an organization. It collects comprehensive data regarding how users interact with digital services, providing a rich tapestry of information that includes everything from user click patterns to transaction times. By transforming this myriad of data into actionable insights, businesses can pinpoint areas for enhancement, eliminate guesswork, and systematically improve their digital offerings. This evidence-backed decision-making enables companies to allocate their resources more effectively, ensuring that investments in user experience (UX) and backend improvements are both justified and targeted for maximum impact.
  • Enhanced revenue growth: By continuously tracking and optimizing the end-user experience, businesses can significantly reduce the instances of cart abandonment and bounce rates due to performance issues. A streamlined and responsive user interface encourages users to proceed through sales funnels, culminating in increased conversions. This optimization, informed by DEM’s insights, directly translates to an uptick in sales figures and, consequently, revenue.

Leveraging Digital Experience Monitoring for Enhanced Performance

Identifying and resolving performance bottlenecks

Digital monitoring can help businesses detect and resolve performance bottlenecks by providing insights into the performance of digital services at all levels, from the user device to the underlying infrastructure. This information can be used to identify areas where performance is being impacted, such as slow database queries or inefficient code. Once a bottleneck has been identified, digital experience monitoring can also be used to track the progress of remediation efforts and ensure that the issue is resolved quickly and effectively.

Optimizing digital services for different devices and browsers

DEM can help businesses optimize their digital services for different end-user devices and browsers by providing actionable insights into how users are interacting with their services across different platforms. This information can be used to quickly identify areas where the user experience can be improved, such as ensuring that pages load quickly on mobile devices or that forms are easy to fill out on all browsers. 

Monitoring and improving website performance, speed, and reliability

Digital experience monitoring can help businesses monitor and improve the performance, speed, and reliability of their websites by providing real-time data on website uptime, response times, and error rates. This information can be used to identify any issues impacting the website experience for users and to take corrective action quickly.

Application performance monitoring can also be used to track the impact of changes to website infrastructure and code on performance, ensuring that any changes made don’t have any negative impact on users.

Tracking and measuring key performance indicators (KPIs)

DEM can help businesses track and measure key performance indicators (KPIs) such as page load time, conversion rates, and bounce rates. This information can be used to identify areas where digital services are performing well and areas where there is room for improvement.

Additionally, if you want to monitor trends over time to identify any long-term changes in performance, you can do this with DEM.

Using real-time insights and analytics to improve the digital customer experience

DEM can help businesses to use real-time insights and analytics to improve the digital customer experience. For example, it can be used to identify users who are having problems with digital services and provide them with personalized support. It can also be used to identify patterns in customer behavior and use this information to improve the design and functionality of digital services.

Digital Experience Monitoring Challenges

It’s obvious that digital experience monitoring is a powerful tool that can help businesses improve their digital customer experience and achieve their business goals. However, there are a number of challenges that businesses may face when implementing and managing a DEM solution.

Cost

One of the biggest challenges of DEM is the cost of DEM solutions. They can be expensive, especially for enterprise-grade solutions. This can be a barrier to adoption for some businesses, particularly small businesses and startups.

Complexity

DEM solutions can also be complex to implement and manage. As they typically collect data from a variety of sources, including user devices, browsers, networks, applications, and infrastructure, the data can be complex to analyze and interpret. Additionally, DEM solutions can generate a large volume of alerts, which can be difficult for businesses to keep track of.

Requires extensive training and expertise

Making the most of DEMs and driving significant ROI requires extensive training and expertise, which can be an uphill battle for businesses looking to get started or experiment with it.

Noibu: The Advanced Tool To Monitor Your Digital Experiences and Much More!

Noibu dashboard

There are a number of reasons why your eCommerce platform could not work optimally (e.g. third-party integrations, redesigns, feature releases, operating systems and devices that customers use, etc.)


Noibu is not quite your typical (real user monitoring) RUM or digital experience monitoring tool, but it does so much more! From proactively tracking website errors to intelligently prioritizing them based on revenue impact, Noibu streamlines your eCommerce monitoring efforts by providing you with all the information you need to decide which error you need to solve, with what level of urgency, and how you need to fix it.

 

  • Dashboard: In its dashboard, you can see all the performance data you need and get a clear picture of your site’s health. Noibu’s dashboard guides you on how to address your site’s health with funnel impact, the top errors, their occurrence, and corresponding revenue impact. With it, you’ll know exactly where to start tackling your site bugs with maximum efficiency.
  • Error Tracking: With Noibu, you can gain valuable insights into the occurrence and timing of issues. It captures all JavaScript and HTTP errors and not only identifies errors impacting revenue and conversions but also pinpoints their location within the user funnel.
  • Funnel Analysis: Noibu’s Funnel Analysis feature helps you understand how issues affect revenue and conversions. It allows you to track user behavior and progression through your funnel, and identify points of friction. By highlighting errors throughout the customer journey, Noibu provides clear insights into their impact on revenue and user experience, eliminating the need for guesswork.
  • Developer Tab: Access all the information necessary for efficient debugging through Noibu’s Developer Tab. This feature enables you to view stack traces, browser details, recent steps, HTTP data, and more, all within the context of the specific issue you’re addressing. This quick access to details streamlines the process of debugging by providing the exact details required to fix the error.
  • Session Replay: Noibu’s Session Replay feature lets you step into your customers’ shoes by providing end-to-end video replays of their interactions with your website or application. You can review every recorded session with real shoppers, complete with video playback and console information. This eliminates the reliance on customer tickets for issue reproduction.
  • Issue Management: Collaborate and plan bug resolution directly within the Noibu platform. It allows you to conveniently prioritize and handle tickets, and custom tags enable efficient issue organization and referencing. Additionally, sharing capabilities simplify collaboration with external partners.
  • Issue Trends: Gain a comprehensive overview of issue occurrences with Issue Trends. It helps you identify spikes in performance issues and potential correlations with conversion drops. Moreover, it enables you to assess issues based on revenue and occurrence metrics, facilitating easy comparisons.
  • Help Code: Shoppers can generate help codes as and when they experience an error on the site, which will point to the session where the error occurred. By adding Help Code’s to support tickets, developers can use Noibu to pull up the shopper’s session and investigate the error far more efficiently.

Final Thoughts

Digital experience monitoring is an essential tool for businesses of all sizes and industries that want to improve their digital customer experience. DEM helps businesses identify and resolve issues that impact the digital customer experience, optimize their digital services for different user devices and browsers, and track and measure key performance indicators (KPIs). This information can then be used to improve both the digital customer experience and business outcomes.

If you want to go beyond digital experience monitoring and are looking for a holistic eCommerce monitoring solution, try Noibu. Noibu is an advanced solution that can help businesses overcome the challenges of digital experience monitoring and achieve their goals. The tool is easy to implement, seamless to integrate, and requires no extensive training to get started with tracking and resolving revenue-impacting errors.

As with anything involving retail transactions, eCommerce is more often associated with B2C brands and businesses, but that’s not always the case. B2B companies are also heavily involved in the eCommerce industry.

In fact, eCommerce expectations are vastly different in the B2B sphere compared to B2C.

On the latest episode of The eCommerce Toolbox: Expert Perspectives podcast, host Kailin Noivo is joined by Kelli Reeves, Senior eCommerce Program Manager at Floor & Decor, to discuss the difference between B2B and B2C eCommerce.

B2B Versus B2C: How Do Customer Expectations Differ?

In Kelli’s storied career in the eCommerce sphere, she has worked across both B2B and B2C organizations, observing differences in both customer experience and how they operate.

Working at SiteOne Landscape Supply, she was surprised by the dichotomy between the expectations of B2B and B2C consumers.

B2B customers have an expectation that their online store experience is simply an extension of their in-store sales relationship, which drastically raises the eCommerce bar. Whatever experience they have in store, they expect the same service online.

Further, B2B customers were far more likely to get in contact with the company if they experienced a site performance or data issue as they often focussed more greatly on back-office features due to their business needs being driven by their own customers.

Meeting B2B Customer Expectations

With such high expectations of eCommerce from B2B customers, it can feel like a never-ending uphill battle. Kelli explains that step one is getting better at extending the relationship from in-store to online.

Part of this comes from training store associates on the value of using data to deepen customer relationships. In the not-so-distant future, AI will be a tool to help associates predict customer needs, even before they walk into the door. However, Kelli shares that there is no reason we cannot use that data now to help fuse in-store and online channels together.

One way of doing this is by observing notes left by customers at checkout. These small comments are not always relevant to that individual transaction but they can be built out to offer new experiences to a company’s consumer base.

Discovering Links Between Errors

Kelli and her team have been utilizing the Noibu platform to help discover links between errors, seeing patterns that were otherwise invisible. The platform is helping to reduce a lot of the noise around individual errors, bringing direct relations to light, no matter if they are serving B2B or B2C customers.

For example, she has witnessed that, as they service more B2B customers, more integration issues come to light due to their data complexity:

B2B ecommerce experiences

Creating Frictionless eCommerce Experiences

Kelli’s biggest piece of advice to B2B eCommerce brands is to stop the narrative that customers will work harder to use your site, regardless of the errors they face:

creating frictionless ecommerce experiences

Every time a customer is faced with an error, they will be faced with a choice between leaving the site and coming back later (or even going to a competitor) or waiting it out and repetitively refreshing the page. Either option delays your revenue, or even reduces it.

Further, every error is a memory you create with the customer, but it would be much more beneficial to create positive brand memories. For Kelli’s team, the mantra is to make it everyone’s responsibility to create a frictionless customer experience, whether they be a leader or an intern, or somewhere in between.

 

At the end of the day, no matter how good your promotions are at driving traffic to your site, you will lose customers through errors. Fixing them will make conversions clean and your customers will think far more highly of your brand.

Listen to the Full Episode Below!

Tune in to this episode of The eCommerce Toolbox: Expert Perspectives with Kelli Reeves to find out more about navigating B2B customer experiences.

👉 Apple: https://apple.co/3QZiEJ6

👉 Spotify: https://spoti.fi/3SFE8fc

Kelli Reeves is an accomplished digital and eCommerce leader with over two decades of experience in the sector. She is currently the Senior eCommerce Program Manager at Floor & Decor, a Georgia-based flooring retailer. Prior to this, she was the Senior Manager of eCommerce Applications at SiteOne Landscape Supply, where she built the .com on-site team from the ground up. 

Preparing your online store for the holidays can be just as overwhelming as it is exciting. From inventory to marketing to customer service, there’s so much to optimize and hence prioritizing can be a real challenge. As you zip through checklists and get your store in order for the holidays rush, we’ve put together a handy guide on some tips you can action right away to see a significant boost in your online sales these few months. 

Why Should You Optimize for the Holidays?

As per a report by Deloitte, 2023-2024 holiday season eCommerce sales are projected to grow from 10.3% to 12.8% year-over-year, with total sales accounting for $278 – $284 billion. Given the anticipated increase in volume of traffic and sales, and the whopping growth numbers, the last quarter of the year brings a massive opportunity for online retailers to offset some of their pandemic losses by boosting their holiday sales. 

 

In fact, at Noibu, we see eCommerce brands experience an average of 9.25% increase in sessions during the holiday season and a 19.48% increase in Nov alone!

 

While the statistics look as promising as ever, making the most of this time comes down to optimizing your eCommerce store for the holiday rush and preparing to deliver flawless shopping experiences. With holiday shoppers eager to check out their carts and bring their wishlisted items home, you really can’t afford to lose out on those sales to a competitor because your site couldn’t handle the rush. 

 

So, without further ado, let’s jump right into the best practices and tips to optimize your eCom store for the holidays: 

Preparing Your Online Store for the Holiday Rush: Best Practices and Last-Minute Tips

You’ve probably streamlined your inventory for the holidays and have a bunch of promotional campaigns running at this point. However, if your online store is not optimized to fetch you the best results out of your operational and marketing efforts, all of it could be ineffective in making this your most successful holiday season so far.  Let’s look at some best practices and tips to streamline your eCommerce store for the holidays and prepare for the impending rush. 

Monitor Your Site for Technical Errors and Implement Hot Fixes

At Noibu, we’ve seen eCommerce brands witness a whopping 175% increase in website errors during the holiday season! It shouldn’t come as a surprise, though, as the massive influx of traffic is bound to lead to additional site performance issues and higher-than-average bugs due to integrations, third-party elements, and multiple new features. 

 

But, this is not the time you can afford to lose out on sales to abandoned carts and stranded checkout processes. Instead, you want to stay on top of whatever issues your site is facing and resolve them proactively, in real time. 

 

Dedicate your engineering team’s bandwidth toward monitoring your site for unexpected errors and implementing hot fixes to resolve them before they lead to any further revenue loss. 

 

Noibu helps eCommerce brands across the world streamline their error monitoring processes, especially during the holidays when every small bug could have a significant revenue impact. 

 

Noibu’s three-fold approach towards eCommerce monitoring ensures that bugs are: 

 

  1. Detected proactively, with teams being alerted in real-time to minimize impact on customers 

  2. Prioritized based on revenue impact, so they can be addressed efficiently based on criticality  

  3. Resolved in record time by providing all the necessary technical information needed to make the fix (down to the exact line of code)

Noibu error monitoring dashboard

In one of our recent episodes of The eCommerce Toolbox podcast, our guest Lisa Camm, Head of Digital Transformation at Fortnum & Mason, talks about how her team relies on Noibu during the Holiday season. As they go into a code freeze during this time, her team uses Noibu heavily to uncover site errors and address them in their fortnightly sprints, and ensure that the site runs smoothly when the peak traffic hits. 

 

To experience how Noibu’s eCommerce monitoring can redefine how you detect and resolve errors, sign up for a free checkout audit to uncover what’s really happening on your site. 

Improve Customer Service Accessibility

It’s not surprising to note that for 74.5% of eCommerce businesses, efficiently managing the customer service needs of the hugely anticipated rush is the second-biggest holiday season concern. And rightfully so! If you’ve spent thousands of dollars on stocking up inventory, running promotional campaigns, and optimizing your site for conversions, poor quality or inefficient customer service could hurt your potential holiday ROI. 

 

Therefore, it’s wise to streamline all your customer service channels and prepare to resolve a much higher volume of queries during these busy months. Here are a few items you can add to your checklist to optimize your customer service efforts for the holidays: 

 

  • Implement an AI-based chatbot and self-serve options that address common queries 

  • Build a dedicated FAQs page for the holidays that can be accessed from the homepage 

  • Keep all customer response templates updated with the latest holidays information 

  • Optimize inquiry forms to obtain all customer information in the query upfront 

  • Identify your most commonly used customer service channels and improve bandwidth across those 

  • Extend customer support via social channels as well 

Make Quick Tweaks to Your Site Copy and Design

To align with the general theme and sentiment of the holidays, make simple tweaks to your site copy that immediately grab buyers’ attention and make them stay. From adding certain design elements that evoke the feeling of holidays to editing the copy to share wishes, and promote relevant gifting products, use your digital real estate wisely to make the most of your holiday promotions and campaigns. 

 

You can also include key information that shoppers usually look for on the homepage itself to improve accessibility and reduce overall shopping times. This could potentially include updated shipping timelines and pricing tiers, information on deals and promotions, and revised customer support timings. 

 

Here’s an excellent example from Pottery Barn of how making small tweaks to the homepage copy can make a huge difference in elevating the aesthetic of the site, while providing all the relevant information shoppers would look for in one quick glance:

Pottery barn website during holidays

Optimize Your Website Speed

Did you know that more than 50% of customers expect a web page to load within 2 seconds or less and about 40% of them end up abandoning the site if it takes more than 3 seconds to load? Clearly, nothing kills conversions like a slow-loading website! This is true, especially during the holidays, when online shoppers are impatient and desperate to check out and receive their items in time. A delay of an additional second could cost you thousands of dollars in lost sales this time of the year. 

 

To leave nothing to chance, make sure to be overly vigilant of your site speed and regularly monitor it for downtime, slow-loading pages, broken links, and overall performance during these two months. You are highly likely to experience these issues during the holidays when your site receives more than average traffic. 

Enable Cart Abandonment Notifications

If there’s one time of the year when cart abandonment notifications can make a world of difference in your online store’s sales, it’s most definitely the holidays. Shoppers probably have tons of tabs open on their computers – browsing products, creating carts, comparing prices, calculating shipping, and very often, moving on with their days without making a decision. 

 

Since these are high-intent shoppers who probably need the most minimal nudge to checkout those thoughtfully created carts, not reminding them to do so would be as good as leaving money on the table. 

Create (or update) your cart abandonment notifications strategy to instill a sense of urgency that encourages potential shoppers to checkout before it’s too late. You can also include social proof in the copy by highlighting how many people have bought the particular item or simply remind buyers how soon the promotion is going to end. Either way, the aim should be to not lose touch with any shopper who expresses interest in your products by creating a cart. 

cart abandonment notification

Offer Express Shipping Options

Even if you don’t normally offer multiple shipment options, Holidays are normally the time when shoppers expect to receive their ordered items sooner than usual and are willing to pay more for it. Increasing your logistical bandwidth to offer express shipping options (such as same-day delivery) or tier-based shipping can go a long way in boosting your sales at this stage where time is literally money. You can even set a minimum shipping fee on all orders when 7-10 days away from big events such as Black Friday or Christmas. 

eCommerce shipping options

Your eCommerce Store is Now Holiday-Ready!

As you wrap up your holiday season prep, these few last-minute optimizations can go a long way in ensuring you make the most of the anticipated rush spike. Shoppers have the highest purchase intent this time of the year. So, the key to boosting your conversion rate and average order value is delivering delightful shopping experiences. Therefore, regularly monitoring your site for any inconsistencies or broken experiences and making hot fixes can bring you a lot closer to your goal. On that note, here’s wishing you a successful holiday season for your eCommerce store! 

Every year for the past 26 years, the Technology Fast 50 and Technology Fast 500 awards program by Deloitte has celebrated innovation, excellence, achievements, and entrepreneurship in tech both in the Canadian and North American sectors. 

 

These awards are presented to trailblazers that have demonstrated promising growth trajectories and are emerging as tech leaders in Canada and North America. Rankings are given in multiple different categories, including Technology Fast 50, Companies-to-Watch, Clean Technology, and Enterprise—Industry leaders. 

 

With a three-year growth of 12,865%, Noibu has been ranked 2nd in the 2023 Technology Fast 50 and 12th in the Technology Fast 500 categories for its rapid revenue growth, relentless innovation, and entrepreneurial spirit. We are elated to receive this honor and be ranked among the fastest-growing companies that are paving the way for all budding tech startups and entrepreneurs.

Deloitte Technology Fast 50
Deloitte Technology Fast 500

5 years ago, we set out with the vision to redefine eCommerce monitoring by proactively detecting revenue-impacting bugs. Today, being able to partner with some of the biggest names in the eCommerce space and redefining how they detect, prioritize, and resolve errors is an achievement in itself. 

 

Being recognized for our incredible growth journey reminds us how far we’ve come and makes the hard work of our passionate team worthwhile. We are grateful for the trust our customers have placed in us and thrilled to play a small role in their growth journeys. 

Noibu - The End-to-End eCommerce Monitoring Platform for Modern Teams

Over the past years, Noibu has emerged as the leading eCommerce monitoring solution for teams that want to avoid revenue leaks in their websites. Noibu has a three-fold approach that streamlines the entire process of error resolution: 

 

Comprehensive error detection: 100% of website errors that occur in any user session are detected by Noibu and presented in the dashboard, along with the corresponding session information where it occurred, the potential revenue impact it has, as well as the technical details required to resolve it. 

 

Intelligent error prioritization: Errors are prioritized based on the annualized revenue impact they have so that those with a higher impact on conversion and sales can be addressed immediately. 

 

Real-time alerts: Custom alerts can be created based on different metrics and conditions. Noibu’s Alerts dashboard provides a list of active alerts along with their corresponding urgency and when it was last triggered.  

 

Efficient error resolution: All the technical information required by developers to reproduce and resolve an error is provided by Noibu, down to the exact line of code that needs fixing (works even for minified code). This helps reduce error resolution time by up to 70%. 

Noibu search replays

By incorporating eCommerce monitoring as a proactive strategy, Noibu has helped some of the biggest online retailers save millions of dollars in what could have been lost sales. 

What Does the Future Hold for Noibu?

As we tread forward on our journey to continue transforming error detection and resolution, Noibu is all set to become the go-to eCommerce monitoring platform for fast-growing businesses looking to reduce the negative impact of errors on their site and deliver flawless shopping experiences. 

 

With 2024 just around the corner, we are working to enhance our product features and capabilities further to give eCommerce teams more control over their online storefronts so they can eliminate any friction in the customer journey. 

Typically when we discuss the world of eCommerce, we only look at individual brands, but there are also companies that operate with a different structure. Some are groups with ownership of numerous individual brands, each with their own individual customers and set of processes. 

How then do eCommerce approaches differ when we think of companies operating as part of a larger conglomerate? 

On the latest episode of The eCommerce Toolbox: Expert Perspectives podcast, our host and co-founder Kailin Noivo sits down with Alizée Dard Belmont, to discuss crafting seamless customer experiences at the global scale. Alizée is the Senior Manager of eCommerce and Innovation at Richemont, a luxury goods retail group.

Diverse Backgrounds: Key to eCommerce Success?

Often, eCommerce organizations, and companies more widely, consider digital channels in isolation, keeping them separate from other forms and channels of customer interaction.

As with anything that is repeatedly done in the same way, it can be hard to break these traditions. 

Alizée has had a very diverse career background, coming up through marketing, working at the brand level, and now at the group level and it has all influenced her to start to think about the overall customer experience when debating the digital side.

To her, it is essential to build connections between all forms of customer interaction, digital, in-person, and even call centers, to ensure customers are always being provided with what they want and need.

Alizée on having a diverse career background

Transition From Brand to Group Level

Richemont is a luxury goods group that owns a variety of brands. 

This is Alizée’s first experience working at the group level, having only previously worked with individual brands, and the change has been far from small.

On the brand side, the focus is far more personal; you need to understand exactly what your customer wants.

On the group side, however, it is far more high level. Of course, you still need at least some understanding of the market, but there is simply not enough time and resources to get into it in detail. Instead, your focus becomes centered around ensuring that while each customer has a tailored experience, you can also scale across the different brands, each with its own unique business model and clientele.

Alizée on transitioning from brand to group level

For Alizée, transitioning from the brand to the group has been nothing but beneficial. She came into the role with a concrete understanding of the market, which feeds into her approach to scaling each individual brand.

Data, Data, and More Data…..

Alizée shares that, when operating at the group level, it is imperative to take in information at the data level.

Why?

Simply put, it’s impossible to go into each and every website to check that they are working properly, which is especially true when you consider how many layers make up any single website.

Utilizing data can show you what is and isn’t working through metrics such as traffic measurements, allowing you to prioritize what needs fixing first.

Unfortunately, websites will almost always have problems, so you need to be in a constant cycle of prioritizing and resolving the most important issues.

According to Alizée, the critical aspect is the front end. If you walk up to a boutique and the door is locked, you’ll find somewhere else to shop. The same rings true for a website, if you can’t checkout, you’ll go somewhere else. This means losses in revenue for your business. 

Back-end issues don’t necessarily directly affect revenue or customer experience, so they can be placed further down the list. 

AI For Seamless Customer Experiences

Every single company utilizes AI today, and Richemont is no different.

For the websites, they use AI to learn from previous consumer behavior, and automate processes to improve the experience for customers today.

They further leverage automation in the supply chain, helping to build seamless customer experiences.

Being a luxury goods company, not a tech company, Richemont relies on third parties and their tools, including Noibu for eCommerce monitoring, to guarantee the delivery of the best customer experience while leveraging AI and automation.

Listen to the Full Episode Below!

Tune in to this episode of The eCommerce Toolbox: Expert Perspectives with Alizée Dard Belmont to find out more about crafting seamless customer experiences at the global scale.

 👉 Apple: https://apple.co/3tRXqnf

👉 Spotify: https://spoti.fi/3QhQGqt

Alizée Dard Belmont is the Senior Manager of eCommerce and Innovation at Richemont, a leading luxury goods group. Prior to her current role, she held two other positions at Richemont: Performance Analyst of Digital, Data, and Omnichannel and Chief of Staff Assistant to the CDO. Previously, she has worked with Van Cleef & Arpels, Le Couvent Des Minimes, and MB&F, all of which have contributed to her expertise in the luxury goods industry.

In the dynamic world of digital commerce, the stability and reliability of your online operations are deeply connected to the effectiveness of diligent monitoring practices. Unexpected technical issues on websites are more than just minor inconveniences; they represent a serious risk to revenue and the overall perception of your brand. 

Technical errors or minor delays in website responsiveness can lead to significant drops in customer conversion, underscoring the critical nature of high-performance digital platforms. In fact, 89% of users shop from a competitor after a poor customer experience, which only confirms the point that consistent monitoring is not just beneficial, but essential for survival in today’s cut-throat eCommerce landscape.

This comprehensive guide is a valuable resource for online retailers who want to master eCommerce monitoring. It will help you excel in providing seamless, efficient, and enjoyable online shopping experiences, securing customer loyalty in an increasingly competitive digital marketplace.

So, let’s dive right in to understand how eCommerce monitoring helps maintain the overall health of the site: 

Keeping Abreast Of Occurring Errors

In the realm of eCommerce, remaining vigilant about system errors that could impact user experience or operational efficiency is paramount. System errors don’t just impact user experience; they hit the bottom line. Therefore, the critical nature of these systems means that monitoring must be a high priority, not just a background operation.

Sometimes even the smallest website error can equate to substantial financial losses, illustrating the critical need for effective, continuous monitoring. For example, if the “Pay Now” button on an eCommerce site ends up malfunctioning, thousands of dollars in potential sales could be lost in a matter of a few hours. 

Real-time alert systems are integral in these scenarios, allowing for immediate response to any errors, to avoid customer drop-offs and revenue loss. 

Noibu Dashboard

 

Continuous eCommerce website monitoring plays a critical role in maintaining the health of an online retail platform, directly impacting user experience, operational efficiency, and revenue generation. By constantly checking various elements and functionalities of a site, businesses can detect and resolve issues before they escalate or impact customer experience.

Pinpointing 3rd Party Elements Affecting Site Performance

Third-party services such as integrations, payment gateways, CRM systems, or analytics tools are integral for comprehensive functionality. However, they can introduce unforeseen variables, potentially slowing down or, in worse cases, disrupting site performance. They could also end up introducing errors at various stages in the checkout funnel. 

To mitigate risks associated with third-party elements, eCommerce sites must implement regular performance audits. These audits are strategic analyses that benchmark the site’s performance against established standards, ensuring that third-party components do not deviate from expected service levels.

Service Level Agreements (SLAs) with third-party vendors are crucial in this regard. They formalize the expected performance metrics and standards, providing a basis for accountability. Non-compliance with these SLAs can then be identified through performance audits, enabling prompt action to address service lags or disruptions.

Additionally, employing robust tools like Google’s Lighthouse is essential in these audits. Lighthouse provides an in-depth evaluation of a website’s performance, accessibility, and adherence to best practices, offering both qualitative and quantitative data. This information is critical for understanding how third-party elements integrate with your site, potentially impacting load times, user interface, or overall user experience (UX).

Improving SEO Rankings

Monitoring your eCommerce website significantly influences SEO rankings by ensuring optimal performance and user experience, both of which are crucial factors in search engine algorithms.

Enhanced user experience

Users are more likely to stay on a website that is fast, error-free, reliable, and easy to use. This can lead to lower bounce rates, longer session times, and more page views, all of which are positive signals for search engines. When search engines see that real users are having a positive experience on your website, they are more likely to rank it higher in search results.

Quick error resolution

Search engines want to provide users with the best possible experience, so they reward websites that can quickly resolve errors. This includes things like broken links, 404 errors, UX glitches, and server downtime. Website monitoring tools can help you to identify and resolve these errors quickly, which can improve your SEO rankings.

Better security

Search engines also want to keep users safe, so they favor websites that have good security measures in place. This includes things like using HTTPS, having a secure checkout process, and being regularly scanned for malware. With website monitoring, you can identify and address security vulnerabilities, and thus improve your SEO rankings.

Providing 360-degree Visibility Into Site Performance

By integrating comprehensive site performance monitoring into their growth strategies, eCommerce businesses can make informed decisions about website performance.

  • eCommerce monitoring helps track errors or technical issues on the website that may be preventing customers from making a purchase and thus, directly impacting revenue. 

  • eCommerce monitoring tools can track the page load speed of individual pages and the website as a whole. This information can be used to identify pages that are loading slowly and to take steps to improve their performance.

  • Moreover, you can identify periods of downtime and take steps to improve the website’s reliability.

  • You can also track the response times of individual pages and the website as a whole, identifying pages that are slow to respond. 

  • Finally, thanks to website performance monitoring, you can track the resource utilization of a website, such as CPU usage, memory usage, and network bandwidth usage. You can then use this information to identify bottlenecks.

 

Slow performance can deter customers, so maintaining optimal speeds is crucial. Real-time alerts for performance dips allow for immediate remediation, ensuring consistent user experience.

Ensuring Compliance with Regulatory Standards

Compliance with various regulations and standards is crucial for building trust with customers and avoiding legal complications. Adherence to eCommerce regulations, such as GDPR, is non-negotiable. Automated compliance monitoring tools ensure these standards are met, avoiding huge penalties.

Here’s how monitoring plays a pivotal role in this context:

Data protection and privacy

By continuously monitoring traffic, data storage, and transactions, eCommerce sites can ensure they’re compliant with laws like the GDPR in Europe and the CCPA in the United States. This involves safeguarding customer information, securing payment gateways, and providing data breach notifications.

Accessibility compliance

Monitoring tools can analyze website elements to ensure they meet the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), making the site usable for people with disabilities. Non-compliance can lead to legal issues and a loss of customer trust.

International trade compliance

For eCommerce businesses operating across borders, compliance with international trade laws is essential. Automated monitoring systems can track changes in international regulations, helping businesses stay informed about relevant customs, tax laws, and export restrictions.

Age restrictions and content regulation

Constant monitoring helps enforce age restrictions for certain products by verifying customer age during account creation and purchase. This is crucial for industries like alcohol, tobacco, and gaming.

Financial auditing and fraud prevention

Real-time monitoring of transactions can prevent fraudulent activities, ensuring compliance with anti-fraud laws. It helps in the immediate detection and mitigation of suspicious activities, protecting both the business and its customers.

Documentation and reporting

eCommerce monitoring includes the automatic generation of reports and logs, essential for auditing purposes and proving compliance in case of inspections or legal disputes.

Recovering Lost Revenue

Maintaining a seamless online shopping experience for users can directly impact revenue preservation, and monitoring can make all the difference in this regard.

Site errors and performance can lead to revenue loss in a number of ways:

  • When customers encounter errors or performance issues on a website, they are more likely to abandon their shopping carts and leave the website without making a purchase.
  • Customers who have negative experiences with a website are less likely to return in the future. This can lead to increased customer churn and reduced customer lifetime value.

  • Site errors and performance issues can damage a business’s brand reputation. This can make it more difficult to attract new customers and retain existing customers.

  • Search engines consider website performance and user experience when ranking websites in search results. Websites with errors and performance issues are less likely to rank well, which can lead to reduced traffic and revenue.

Here are some tips for effective implementation of website monitoring to prevent these scenarios.

Regularly monitor website errors

Invest in a tool that allows you to proactively track and address website errors in real time. Keeping a consistent and regular check on your site errors will ensure that you are able to fix them before they cause anymore harm to your conversion rate

Noibu not only helps eCommerce businesses detect crucial site errors proactively, but also prioritizes them based on revenue impact, and provides the technical details required to resolve them efficiently. Session replays allow eCommerce teams to step into the customer’s shoes and experience the bug as they did and then address it based on the suggested fix. Noibu streamlines eCommerce monitoring by providing all the information required by developers to fix errors, down to the exact line of code.   

Searching session replays in Noibu

Pay attention to site speed and performance

Slow website speed leads to higher bounce rates. The best tools that analyze page load times help in pinpointing elements affecting site performance. Optimizing images, leveraging browser caching, and using a Content Delivery Network (CDN) are practical steps for improvement.

Don’t ignore broken links and checkout errors

Automated scans for broken links or checkout process errors are vital. Regularly testing the checkout process, including payment gateways, ensures transactions are not declined or disrupted, preserving sales.

Ensure mobile responsiveness

As a significant portion of shoppers purchase via mobile devices, you need to make sure the site is mobile-optimized and provides a seamless checkout experience. 

The following graph by Statista showcases the rapid growth of mobile eCommerce these past years and in the coming future. This only goes to prove that mobile can make or break your eCommerce conversion rate.

Mobile eCommerce statistics

Work on regular backups

Regular backups prepare for unexpected issues, enabling quick site restoration and ensuring continuous sales operations.

Learning More About Website Visitors

eCommerce monitoring tools analyze user behavior, helping businesses understand visitor preferences and optimize their websites. 

Session replays and recordings are tools that businesses can use to record and playback user sessions on their website. This allows them to see how customers are interacting with their website and identify areas where the user experience can be improved.

Session replays and recordings can help businesses to:

  • Understand the customer journey: By seeing how customers navigate through their website, businesses can understand which pages are most important to customers and how they are finding the information they need.
  • Identify friction points: Session replays and recordings can help a business to identify areas where customers are struggling to use their website. This could include things like broken links, confusing navigation, or difficult checkout processes.

  • Improve customer support: Session replays and recordings can be used to train customer support staff on how to resolve common issues. Customer support staff can also use session replays and recordings to better understand the customer’s perspective and provide more personalized support.

For instance, a travel website could use session replays and recordings to see how customers are planning their trips and booking flights and hotels. This information could be used to improve the booking process and make it easier for customers to find the information they need.

Enhancing User Experience

It goes without saying that eCommerce businesses must prioritize user experience monitoring and assessment to stay competitive. This section explains how e-commerce monitoring contributes to enhancing UX.

Importance of user-centric design

eCommerce monitoring ensures that the website is functioning from the user’s perspective. By constantly checking errors, load times, transaction paths, and responsiveness, businesses can ensure they meet user expectations, which is crucial for retention and conversion rates.

Monitoring user interactions helps in understanding behavior, enabling the creation of personalized experiences. Tailoring content, recommendations, and deals based on user activity statistics can significantly enhance UX.

Monitoring tools for UX assessment

Tools like heatmaps, session replays, and performance monitors provide access to real-time insights into how users interact with the site. This data is crucial for identifying pain points, testing new features, and making informed decisions.

Advanced analytics from these tools help understand user journeys better, assessing areas like page flow, drop-off points, and click frequency. Such insights drive strategic improvements in UX design.

Summary

In the dynamic world of online retail, eCommerce monitoring emerges as a cornerstone for sustainability and growth. This systemic approach is not merely about troubleshooting; it’s the business’s radar for upcoming challenges and opportunities, ensuring resilience and proactive adaptation.

Monitoring acts as a compass, enabling businesses to stay ahead of the competition and navigate changes confidently. It keeps track of website performance and customer interactions, so that any disruptions in the shopper experience due to glitches, bugs, or errors can be addressed proactively to avoid buyer frustration and revenue loss. 

In today’s fiercely competitive eCommerce industry, where options abound and attention spans are fleeting, the significance of customer experience cannot be overstated. 

eCommerce customer experience (ECX) includes every touchpoint a customer encounters while interacting with an online store. It extends from the initial visit to the final purchase, and even the post-purchase experience, encompassing the user interface, responsiveness, product information, and post-purchase support.

A seamless and satisfying ECX holds the power to convert casual browsers into devoted customers. Satisfied customers are more likely to not only be loyal customers who make repeat purchases but also become enthusiastic brand advocates. They share positive experiences, leading to an organic expansion of your customer base.

And while 85% of brands believe they offer personalized customer experience, a mere 60% of consumers agree. This disparity underscores the challenge of delivering tailored experiences that resonate with individual preferences and needs.

This comprehensive guide will delve deeper into understanding customer behavior, implementing effective strategies, and employing advanced techniques for everyone who wants to know how to improve eCommerce customer experience.

Understanding Customer Behavior

If you’re marketing to everyone, you’re probably marketing to no one. In the realm of eCommerce, comprehending customer behavior is fundamental to success.

Analyzing consumer preferences

Understanding consumer preferences is like holding the key to unlocking customer satisfaction. It allows eCommerce brands to tailor their offerings and product pages to align with what their customers expect and desire.

This knowledge enables businesses to curate product assortments, optimize user experiences, and personalize marketing efforts to resonate with their target audience and potential customers. It forms the bedrock of customer-centric strategies.

Divide your customers into segments based on preferences, demographics, and behaviors. This allows for more targeted marketing and product recommendations.

To better understand consumer preferences, implement regular surveys to gather direct input from customers about their preferences and experiences with your eCommerce store. You can also use feedback forms and advanced analytics platforms. 

When it comes to tools, try: 

 

  • Google Analytics, which provides comprehensive insights into user behavior and preferences;

  • Mixpanel, which enables in-depth event tracking and user behavior analysis;

  • Zoho Survey, which provides structured feedback collection and analysis.

Buyer journey mapping

The buyer’s journey is a pivotal concept in understanding how customers progress through the stages leading up to a purchase. Effectively mapping this journey is essential for guiding customers towards conversion.

This process involves visualizing the steps a customer takes from the initial awareness of a product or service to the final decision to make a purchase. It provides insights into touchpoints, emotions, and decision-making triggers.

Although you can find different approaches to mapping the buyer’s journey, it traditionally  consists of three stages: 

  • Awareness

  • Consideration

  • Decision 

Effectively mapping this journey involves identifying key touchpoints, content requirements, and potential pain points at each stage.

This not only facilitates a better understanding of customer behavior but also informs the creation of targeted content and experiences. 

So, make sure to identify potential hurdles or concerns customers may face at each stage and proactively address them to enhance the overall experience. Also, develop content tailored to each stage of the buyer’s journey to provide relevant information and guide customers smoothly through the process.

This enhances the likelihood of conversion and customer satisfaction.

Defining customer personas

Creating customer personas involves crafting detailed profiles based on demographics, preferences, and behaviors. This process entails collecting and synthesizing data on your existing customer base, including factors like age, gender, location, purchasing behavior, and psychographic traits.

Customer personas serve as invaluable guides in product development, marketing messaging, and user experience design. They humanize data, making it easier to relate to and address the diverse needs of your customer base.

These personas should provide a comprehensive view of your customers, encompassing not only basic demographic information but also delving into preferences, pain points, and aspirations.

  • Gather customer data, including demographics, behavior patterns, and preferences through surveys, interviews, and analytics.

  • Divide your customer base into distinct segments based on common characteristics and behaviors. Create detailed profiles for each segment.

  • Tailor marketing messages, product recommendations, and content to align with the preferences and needs of each customer persona.

When done effectively, customer personas become powerful tools for tailoring product offerings, messaging, and overall user experience to resonate with specific segments of your audience. Here’s a customer persona template by HubSpot that you can use to create yours:

Customer persona template

7 Tried and True Ways to Improve eCommerce Customer Experience

Once you understand the importance of a memorable eCommerce customer experience, it’s time to take some concrete steps to take your eCommerce user experience to the next level.

Conduct a design and UX audit

A well-designed and user-friendly website is the cornerstone of a positive eCommerce customer experience. In order to ensure easy navigation, clear information presentation, and seamless interactions, you should take the following steps:

  • Evaluate user interface: Assess the visual elements of your eCommerce website, including layout, colors, fonts, and images. Ensure they align with your brand identity and are aesthetically pleasing.

  • Check navigation and accessibility: Confirm that navigation menus are intuitive, and all elements are easily accessible. Verify that the website is compatible with various devices and screen sizes.

  • Evaluate page load speed: Slow loading times can lead to customer frustration. Use tools like Google PageSpeed Insights to identify and rectify performance issues.

  • Review content quality: Ensure that product descriptions, images, and other content are accurate, informative, and engaging.

  • Test checkout process: Streamline the checkout process to reduce friction. Test it thoroughly to identify any hurdles customers might face.

Align customer needs to business goals

Aligning your business goals with customer needs is pivotal for a customer-centric approach. When you understand your customers’ pain points, desires, and expectations, you can tailor your business objectives to address and fulfill these needs. Some of the strategies you can employ include:

 

  • Customer journey mapping: As we already mentioned, you need to visualize the steps a customer takes from awareness to purchase. Identify touchpoints and opportunities for improvement.

  • eCommerce personalization and segmentation: Divide your customer base into segments based on preferences and behavior. Deliver personalized experiences, recommendations, and offers.

  • Feedback loops: Implement feedback mechanisms to gather insights. Act on feedback promptly to demonstrate responsiveness and commitment to customer satisfaction.

Survey your customers to learn about their pain points and preferences

Customer feedback surveys provide direct insights into eCommerce customer experiences. They help identify areas for improvement and validate successful strategies. When you survey your customers:

 

  • Ask specific questions: Tailor questions to extract actionable insights. For example, inquire about specific pain points during the shopping process.

  • Utilize Net Promoter Score (NPS): Gauge overall customer satisfaction and loyalty. Use NPS feedback to pinpoint areas needing attention.

  • Analyze and implement: Analyze survey data and implement changes based on the feedback received.

Use projective techniques

Projective techniques provide deeper insights into a customer’s experience, behavior, and preferences. These are methods used to uncover subconscious thoughts and feelings. Examples include association tests and role-playing exercises.

Conduct exercises where customers associate your brand with emotions or imagine scenarios related to your products. Then analyze the responses for deeper understanding.

Offer omnichannel customer experiences

This approach ensures consistency in eCommerce customer experience across different touchpoints, whether it’s the website, mobile app, or physical store. It allows customers to transition between channels seamlessly, providing convenience and enhancing their overall experience.

Personalize for better customer retention and acquisition

Personalizing the shopping experience can significantly impact customer satisfaction and loyalty. Analyze customer behavior and preferences acquired through post-purchase surveys and analytics to provide relevant product suggestions.

Moreover, you can send personalized emails or messages addressing individual customer needs or milestones.

Leverage AI to enhance the customer journey

Leveraging artificial intelligence can revolutionize the customer experience in eCommerce. For instance, you can implement AI-powered chatbots to provide immediate assistance, answer queries, and guide customers through the purchase process.

Furthermore, you can use AI algorithms to anticipate customer behavior and preferences, enabling targeted marketing and product recommendations.

Amazon product recommendations

Monitoring Your Site Performance

If you keep making changes and optimizing your online store without actually monitoring it, there’s no way you can know what actions should be repeated and what can be improved.

Here’s why it’s crucial to monitor your eCommerce website performance:

  • Address revenue-impacting errors efficiently: Monitoring your eCommerce website for bugs that might be hampering the user experience and leading to customer frustration and possibly revenue loss is imperative to delivering a well-rounded and frictionless customer experience.

  • Performance optimization: Monitoring allows businesses to track the performance of their online platforms. This encompasses website speed, uptime, and overall responsiveness. Swift-loading pages and seamless navigation are pivotal for retaining customers and reducing bounce rates.

  • Security and trust: Monitoring helps safeguard against cyber threats and ensures the security of customer data. This is vital for building trust and maintaining a positive reputation. A breach of security can lead to severe financial and reputational damage.

  • User experience enhancement: By employing tools that track user behavior and experience, businesses can identify areas for improvement. This includes factors like mobile-friendliness, accessibility, and ensuring secure connections through HTTPS.

  • Load balancing and scalability: Effective monitoring allows businesses to allocate resources dynamically. This ensures that during traffic spikes, the website doesn’t crash or become sluggish. Scalability is essential for handling high volumes of users, especially during sales or promotions.

  • Application performance optimization: Monitoring enables businesses to continuously improve the performance of their web applications. It helps in identifying bottlenecks and areas where optimization can lead to a smoother user experience.

  • Benchmarking and continuous improvement: eCommerce monitoring provides benchmarks for performance. By regularly comparing these benchmarks, businesses can identify trends, make data-driven decisions, and implement improvements to stay competitive.

  • Customer satisfaction and retention: A well-monitored eCommerce site ensures that customers have a positive experience. This directly contributes to eCommerce customer experience and satisfaction, which is a key driver for retention and positive word-of-mouth referrals.

There are various tools that can help you improve all these aspects, but Noibu stands out in the crowd. It is an eCommerce monitoring solution that will help you identify technical issues and errors on your site that affect your revenue and eCommerce customer experience, and potentially cause cart abandonment. This way, you can monitor your website and achieve great eCommerce customer experience to prevent losing customers and improve customer retention.

Noibu dashboard

How to Measure eCommerce Customer Experience

By quantifying ECX, businesses gain invaluable insights into customer satisfaction levels, pain points, and opportunities for refinement. This data forms the basis for refining strategies to meet and exceed customer expectations, ultimately gaining an edge over competitors.

Here are some key performance indicators (KPIs) you can use to measure customer satisfaction and experience:

 

  • Conversion rate: A pivotal metric that monitors the percentage of visitors who carry out a desired action, such as completing a purchase. Conversion rate serves as a barometer of your website’s effectiveness and the appeal of your product offerings.

  • Average order value (AOV): AOV provides insight into the average expenditure made by customers in a single transaction. Vigilantly monitoring AOV aids in honing pricing strategies, as well as optimizing upselling and cross-selling tactics.

  • Cart abandonment rate: This KPI exposes the percentage of users who populate their cart but fail to finalize the purchase. Knowing the reasons behind abandonment can lead to crucial enhancements in the checkout process.

  • Net promoter score (NPS): NPS gauges customer loyalty by posing the question of how likely they are to recommend your brand to others. It serves as a clear gauge of overall customer contentment and attachment to your brand.

  • Customer satisfaction score (CSAT): CSAT evaluates how satisfied customers are with specific interactions or experiences. It serves as an invaluable tool for identifying areas necessitating immediate attention.

  • Customer effort score (CES): CES gauges the ease with which customers can complete specific tasks, such as finding a product or communicating with a customer support team. Lower effort scores signify a smoother customer journey.

eCommerce CSAT and NPS

Image Source: Bloomreach

How to Ensure That Your eCommerce Site Performs Well

With more and more online stores launched every day, the performance of your website can make all the difference. A well-optimized site not only provides a seamless customer experience for your customers but also helps in retaining existing customers and driving conversions.

Improve the speed of your eCommerce site and eliminate errors

Here’s a checklist of proven steps to take to enhance the speed and functionality of your eCommerce site, as well as identify and resolve errors efficiently:

 

  • Optimize loading speed: Swift loading times are essential for retaining visitor interest and reducing bounce rates. Techniques such as image optimization, minification of code, and reducing server response times can significantly improve loading speeds.

  • Implement caching: Caching enables the temporary storage of frequently accessed data, reducing the need for repeated retrieval from the server. This can lead to substantial improvements in page load times.

  • Reduce HTTP requests: Minimizing the number of requests made to the server can expedite page loading. Techniques like combining files, using asynchronous loading, and reducing unnecessary elements can help achieve this.

  • Error monitoring with Noibu: Noibu is an invaluable tool for proactively identifying and addressing errors on your site that inevitably occur due to redesigns, third-party integrations, feature releases, or different browsers, operating systems, and devices that consumers use to navigate the website. By providing real-time insights into issues that may be hampering user experience, it allows for swift resolutions, ensuring a smooth and positive customer experience for eCommerce.

Create a seamless online shopping experience to increase customer satisfaction

If you want to convert visitors into customers, a seamless shopping experience is paramount for online buyers. Here are a few key aspects that contribute to a frictionless journey for online shoppers:

 

  • Optimized user interface (UI): An intuitive and user-friendly interface ensures that visitors can easily navigate your site, find products, and proceed to checkout without unnecessary complications.

  • Responsive design: With the increasing use of mobile devices, having a website that adapts seamlessly to various screen sizes is crucial for catering to a wider audience.

  • Streamlined checkout process: A lengthy or confusing checkout process can lead to cart abandonment. Streamlining the steps involved in completing a purchase can significantly improve conversion rates.

  • Detailed product information: Clear and comprehensive product descriptions, including specifications, high-quality images, and customer reviews, help visitors make informed decisions, ultimately boosting confidence in their purchases.

Boost customer loyalty

Customer retention is as vital as acquisition. These strategies will help you foster long-term relationships with your clients:

 

  • Employee experience portal: Ensuring your employees are equipped with the tools and knowledge to provide excellent eCommerce customer service can significantly impact overall satisfaction and retention.

  • Loyalty programs: Rewarding repeat customers with brand loyalty programs and incentives encourages them to continue shopping with you.

  • Data-driven improvements: Leveraging data analytics to gain insights into customer behavior can guide strategic decisions for enhancing eCommerce customer experience.

  • Transparency and trust: Building trust with your customers through transparent policies, secure transactions, and clear communication is key to maintaining a loyal customer base.

Final Thoughts

In the dynamic realm of eCommerce, continuous improvement in customer experience stands as a linchpin for sustainable success. With an ever-expanding online market, delivering exceptional customer experiences sets a brand apart, attracting and retaining customers in a highly competitive landscape.

Ongoing improvements in ECX allow eCommerce businesses to swiftly adapt to evolving market conditions, customer preferences, and emerging technologies, ensuring they stay relevant and meet the ever-changing needs of consumers.

A brand known for delivering an outstanding eCommerce customer experience establishes a positive brand reputation and attracts a wider customer base. Moreover, an eCommerce business that prioritizes ongoing improvement and stellar customer experience is more agile and better equipped to weather market disruptions or changing customer demands. It can swiftly implement necessary adjustments, ensuring continued success for an online business.

On the latest episode of The eCommerce Toolbox: Expert Perspectives, host Kailin Noivo is joined by Lisa Camm, Head of Digital Transformation at Fortnum & Mason, to discuss the challenges of digital transformation and the importance of addressing production-level bugs efficiently. 

Discover how Fortnum and Mason leverages AI while maintaining a personal touch with their customers, and the processes and challenges of migration and modernization of the tech stack at legacy companies.

Join them as they cover touchpoints such as the critical role of technology in operations and strategic thinking at organizations, challenges of migration and modernization of the tech stack at legacy companies, the role of AI in enhancing the customer journey, and strategies for dealing with production-level bugs.

Using AI to Supercharge Business Growth

AI has been the trend of the year and will likely continue to be part of every conversation in the coming years. 

If you were to log on to LinkedIn, you’d be greeted by an array of posts about how it’s changing the landscape of the working world and how it’s going to open up new opportunities for us. Whether or not you agree with this is up to you, but we can’t deny the impact of its existence.

Some see AI as a shallow buzzword, whilst others choose to see it as a revolutionary innovation that is not to be taken lightly. In the world of eCommerce, it tends to be the latter. AI is constantly being used to take the eCommerce industry to take businesses to the next level, and no one knows this more than our latest podcast guest, Lisa Camm.

Leveraging AI for eCommerce Growth

Lisa explains how her company uses different AI tools like Chat GPT and analytic platforms to recommend relevant products to customers and facilitate an enhanced customer experience. However, don’t be fooled as there are still a few challenges. One of which is bringing AI to the customer space; the risk of losing out on human interface with the customer. Hence, AI needs to be used selectively to enhance customer experience.

Lisa Camm on building customer connections

The Challenges of Modernizing a Legacy Tech Stack

This has been a huge challenge in the modernization of Fortnum and Mason’s tech stack. As a legacy company that has built a huge reputation with their customers for having personal connection and human touch, integrating new technologies is difficult but necessary. 

To combat this challenge, the team approached the modernization in phases, redesigning the foundations so that the business would not be affected by the technology changes. 

Lisa explains that, from a business perspective, it almost seems that they are staying stagnant, but if you observe their technology, there has been a complete shift in functionality, which has allowed them to make it much easier to deliver their customers’ needs.

Identifying and Addressing Technical Issues and Bugs

Lisa explains how catching production-level bugs is spread across all stakeholders. For instance, a customer may point out that Apple Pay is not working for people within the organization who notice glitches on the website or the purchase process. All this information gets fed back to the IT department for real-time corrections. In fact, she explains how she obsesses over the checkout funnel to see where the highest drop-offs happen, which indicates a problem area. 

What can fellow eCommerce businesses learn from this? Well, we should always be vigilant and prepared for any technical issues that may come our way, because you never know. As great as technology is, it can sometimes be unpredictable, and the problems we come across – especially those that affect the customer experience – can be crushed and sorted if we keep an eye out.

When to Look for Technical Issues

In fact, if sales fall short of the weekly target, the first area Lisa looks at is identifying if there have been any technical issues. From that information, the next step is determining how big the problem is and how many customers it has impacted. 

Lisa explains that sometimes it’s hard to prioritize because of the noise from customer-facing verticals that distracts the team from understanding the issue’s impact.

Lisa Camm on issues in the checkout funnel

The Unknown Impact of Bugs & Issues

We simply do not always know the impact of technical bugs and issues until after it’s happened. It’s why strategic planning is so vital to understanding them, as it helps us draw upon issues in the past that we can learn from and, with any luck, fix them in the current issues.

Lisa Camm on website issues

Listen to the Full Episode Below!

Tune in to the episode of The eCommerce Toolbox: Expert Perspectives with Lisa Camm to find out more about AI and technical issues in the eCommerce world:

 👉 Apple: https://bit.ly/46wxGva

👉 Spotify: https://bit.ly/3rM0CQY

Lisa is a highly strategic Project Manager, committed to helping IT departments maximize their contribution to the business’s success. She is passionate about business and technology integration, customer engagement, retail technology, and innovation. Lisa previously had a five year stint at Burberry and Harvey Nichols, where she led Harvey Nichols’ digital roadmap for Retail and Hospitality and other strategic projects.

Meet Cazoo – a company transforming the way people can buy used cars online in the UK.

How are they doing it? By being customer obsessed! 

On the latest episode of The eCommerce Toolbox: Expert Perspectives podcast, our host and co-founder Kailin Noivo sits down with Natalia Walicki, former eCommerce Product and UX Director at Cazoo to discuss her experience at Cazoo, delving into how exactly they are transforming the online UK used car market.

What Does It Really Mean to be Customer Obsessed?

So many companies claim to be customer-obsessed today. Just so many!

Often, however, they have differing views on what that truly means.

To Cazoo, to be customer-obsessed means to put the needs of the customer in front of the needs of the business. This is a big undertaking, and it’s not always possible. Teams have to pick their battles and stay aware of when it is necessary to bring the business to the front. 

To Natalia, what is most important is to empower product teams with this focus on customers. If they have the freedom to make business cases whilst always keeping customers in the forefront, then you will most likely end up with what the customers are looking for.

Building Trust From Day One

Customer centricity has been at the very heart of Cazoo since day one.

The founding idea was to make the experience of buying a car online as simple as buying anything else online. It was an idea that was simply unheard of in the UK used car market at the time. 

In order to stand out from the competition, Cazoo had to build trust with their consumer base. After all, nobody else was doing what they were, so why would someone in the market for a used car even consider them in the first place?

To build this trust, they immediately built a customer centric culture, building out the C-suite first and then hiring teams accordingly, the opposite of the standard startup approach. 

This ensured the company had the pillars in place to be successful, which then allowed them to evolve with their customers’ needs and stand out from the competition.

Natalia Walicki on building trust with customers

Proactively Approaching Bugs and Instability

Having built trust with their customer base, Cazoo soon found themselves growing rapidly. With rapid growth often comes technological bugs and instability, both of which are often approached reactively by fast-growing eCommerce businesses.

Cazoo, however, stands out from the crowd in this. Their approach has always been proactive, establishing a triage protocol when bugs arise:

Natalia Walicki on Cazoo's proactive approach

This culture was established at the very beginning, so when any issues arose, they would immediately find out what, not who, caused it, retrospectively determining how they could prevent it happening again. 

Natalia shares their good fortune in never having too many bugs, but this approach ensured that when they did crop up, they were handled appropriately

Step Away From The Trends and Think Like Your Customer

Natalia’s parting wisdom for eCommerce brands is to stop trying to over-personalize experiences

Nowadays, the trend is to utilize data and AI to repeatedly suggest products and services to customers, forgetting that customers know what they want and why they want it. 

To Natalia, it’s time we all step back from the trends and really think about what our customers truly want and need, after all – that’s what being customer obsessed is truly about.

Listen to the Full Episode Below!

Tune in to this episode of The eCommerce Toolbox: Expert Perspectives with Natalia Walicki to find out more about balancing data and customer insights.

 👉 Apple: https://bit.ly/3sXriyd

👉 Spotify: https://bit.ly/3RAJTdw

 

Natalia Walicki is a customer-obsessed product leader with almost a decade of experience building and managing product and UX organizations, delivering impactful solutions in fast-paced environments. She was most recently the eCommerce Product and UX Director at Cazoo, an organization transforming the car buying and selling experience across the UK.

As AI takes the world by storm, eCommerce is one of the industries that has witnessed the biggest transformation in terms of how emerging technologies are leveraged to streamline operations, improve customer experience, and boost efficiency across functions.

 

Given the high stakes and promising results that AI-backed eCommerce growth strategies offer, jumping on the AI bandwagon is an absolute no-brainer in today’s competitive landscape. However, getting started with AI is not at all a cakewalk. 

 

So, if you’re just getting started with leveraging AI for your eCommerce business and could use some diffraction into which tools and solutions are worth investing in, this blog post will come in handy. 

 

Read along for the ultimate AI tech stack that you can invest in for your eCommerce business to catapult growth and stay ahead of the competition. 

Brand and Marketing

SEO Content Generation with Surfer SEO AI

Surfer SEO AI helps fast-growing eCommerce content marketing teams produce undetectable search-engine-optimized content that generates website traffic and search engine rankings. 

 

From delivering articles on any given topic based on keywords and users’ search intent to optimizing it for search engines, Surfer SEO AI does it all within minutes. The tool is built on its own proprietary AI algorithm and promises unique, well-researched, and high-quality content to help you reduce manual content creation effort. 

surfer SEO

Social Media Assistance with Flick

Regardless of the industry a brand operates in, its digital presence is incomplete without a comprehensive social media strategy that helps build the brand voice and partake in ongoing and relevant conversations. However, what most brands struggle with is being consistent and regular with their content. 

 

Flick’s AI assistant promises to supercharge your social media workflows by sourcing unique and engaging content ideas, crafting personalized brand captions, auto-generating hashtags, and efficiently scheduling posts. Therefore, from content creation and brainstorming to repurposing and scheduling, Flick does it all with efficiency, so your team can bank on a robust social media strategy. 

Design Automation with Designs.AI

Don’t you wish you could design logos, videos, and banners for your eCommerce website within minutes?  Designs.AI makes that possible by leveraging AI to create captivating visuals in just under 2 minutes! 

 

So, even if your creative juices aren’t flowing or you don’t have enough design bandwidth, you don’t have to be bottlenecked and can always rely on graphics generated by Designs.AI for your campaigns. 

Designs.AI

Reputation Management with Brand24

Whether your brand receives a mention on social channels or there is a shift in the overall sentiment toward your brand, Brand24 ensures you are notified in real time and are up to date with the online conversations surrounding your brand. 

 

This allows you to Identify emerging trends and key events that you can capitalize on and ongoing conversations that you can partake in. You are also provided with GPT-powered recommendations to improve your brand’s presence, reach, and overall sentiment on social platforms. 

Brand24

Analytics and Predictive Modelling

Predictive Intelligence with Qualtrics

Predictive intelligence from Qualtrics provides detailed and granular insights into shopper sentiment and what makes customers click, so teams can target each customer segment with personalized and unique offers, promotions, and rewards. 

 

Its intuitive dashboards allow eCommerce teams to predict customer behavior and what is likely to get them to convert, so they can prioritize actions with the biggest impact. 

qualtrics

Customer Analytics with Tableau

Tableau by Salesforce is a one-stop solution for intelligent eCommerce decision-making based on automated insights gathered from the analysis of millions of data points across customer journeys. 

 

By relying on Tableau, you are guaranteed smarter visualization as well as highly accurate predictions and recommendations. Tableau leverages AI to transform how eCommerce data is collected, organized, and used to improve shopping experiences. 

tableau

Smart Inventory Management and Merchandising

Demand Forecasting with Remi AI

Tailor-made for retail and eCommerce enterprises, Remi AI is a supply chain management and demand forecasting tool that leverages the power of AI to accurately predict customer demand and hence streamline everyday operations with agility

 

From seasonality and market trends to weather and customer shopping patterns, Remi forecasting AI engine automates demand prediction and helps you react and adapt quicker to changes in the market. So, instead of guessing what your customers might like or need, Remi allows you to predict demand and accordingly make stocking decisions. 

Dynamic Pricing Automation with Sniffie.io

From market changes and seasonality to competitor pricing and fluctuations in demand, Sniffie.io takes it all into consideration before recommending the best prices for your products that would maximize profits and sales. 

 

Sniffle allows eCommerce teams to boost conversions and profitability by making smarter pricing decisions based on insights derived from machine learning-backed software that crunches massive amounts of data to determine the right price for a certain product at a particular time.  

Sniffie.io

Category Merchandising with Klevu

Klevu helps eCommerce businesses optimize category pages to maximize conversions by leveraging AI-powered merchandising that delivers streamlined category navigation. From automatically re-ordering products in search results, category pages, and product recommendations based on shopper behavior and purchase patterns to fine-tuning listing pages, Klevu helps shoppers navigate smartly and reach products they are most likely to add to cart. Ultimately, for eCommerce businesses, Klevu helps boost productivity as well as top-line revenue. 

Klevu

Customer Support

Conversational AI Chatbot with Boost.AI

For eCommerce businesses, the quality of support can make or break the customer experience. Boost.AI helps make customer service chatbot interactions more conversational and human and less robotic. Its conversational AI chatbot is designed to tackle complex human interactions with personalized responses. 

 

The purpose of the tool is to understand the user intent behind each input and learn from every conversation to deliver more accurate results. Boost AI automates queries on virtually any topic – ranging from product information to order returns. 

Boost.AI

Personalization Chatbot with Certainly.io

Marketed as a “digital twin of your best salesperson”, Certainly.io is an AI chatbot built to maximize profits by offering intelligent product recommendations, reducing returns, and upselling. Powered by Large Language Models (LLMs), Certainly specializes in contextual understanding to avoid customer frustration and boost average order values. 

 

Certainly also helps reduce the burden on customer support agents by deflecting queries to the self-service that operates in over 100 languages around the clock. Apart from assisting customers, the AI-based platform is designed to collect insights into customer shopping behavior and patterns to help you get to know your target audience better without relying on zero-party and first-party data! 

Certainly.io

Personalization and Product Recommendations

Personalized AI Product Recommendation Engine with Vue.AI

Hypercontextualized product recommendations can be game-changing in boosting online shopping experiences and helping improve average order values. Vue.AI’s product personalization engine is designed to provide online shoppers with relevant products across their shopping journeys that are simply hard to ignore. 

These recommendations are based on their buying preferences and search intent, as well as trends and demand. The AI-based engine uses rich product and customer data to match every single shopper’s preferences in real-time. The outcome? Watch your engagement and conversion metrics go north and to the right with intelligent personalization! 

Vue.AI

Omnichannel Personalization Platform with Dynamic Yield

Looking to leverage hyper-personalization at scale? Dynamic Yield is the ideal solution built to help personalize every shopper touchpoint, across devices and channels. Personalize end-to-end customer journeys with this AI-enabled powerhouse of a tool that crafts cohesive experiences for modern shoppers. 

 

From improving product discoverability and targeting better to recommending smartly, Dynamic Yield helps eliminate data silos by unifying your personalization efforts and empowering you to engage cohesively with your customers. 

Dynamic Yield

Website Personalization with Intellimize

Intellimize is another comprehensive AI-powered tool designed for eCommerce website optimization that stages tailored experiences to turn casual browsers into loyal customers. If you’re looking to transform your eCommerce website into a conversion magnet through personalized shopping experiences, Intellimize could be the tool for you. 

 

After analyzing over 10 billion web pages, Intellimize showcases unique variations to visitors to improve the likelihood of them converting. The tool combines the capabilities of A/B testing with the limitless power of AI and ML to serve specific variations of your web page to visitors which are tailor-designed to drive higher conversions. 

Intellimize

eCommerce Monitoring

Noibu: The Robust eCommerce Monitoring Solution

Given the competitive nature of the eCommerce landscape today where online shoppers have very little patience for poor website experiences or friction in online user journeys, there is absolutely no excuse for website errors that lead to customer frustration. However, the harsh reality is that website errors are inevitable and the best you can do to reduce their impact is to detect and resolve bugs before they hamper your conversions and cart abandonment rate

 

A one-of-its-kind tool that makes error monitoring, prioritization, and resolution a breeze for eCommerce businesses, Noibu is built to detect 100% of all errors that occur on any eCommerce website. Noibu automatically detects website errors, prioritizes them based on the impact they have on your revenue, and provides the technical details required to resolve them (down to the exact line of code). 

session replays in Noibu

Not only do you get to address revenue-impacting errors in real-time, but also save on resolution time by up to 70%. Designed for business teams, product managers, and engineers alike, Noibu helps streamline the entire error detection and resolution process for eCommerce businesses to ensure minimal impact on customer experience and conversions. 

 

Ready to experience the magic of Noibu for your online store? Sign up for a free checkout audit to uncover errors that could be impacting your sales.

Every year, The Globe and Mail launches a business report ranking Canada’s Top Growing Companies by three-year revenue growth. This year, the fifth annual report features 425 businesses across the country (ranging from 3 to 9000 employees). With a three-year revenue growth of 3853%, Noibu was ranked in the 8th spot among this list of trailblazers, making 2023 the second consecutive year that Noibu has been featured in the report.

Noibu ranked 8th top growing company

We’re absolutely thrilled to receive this honor and couldn’t be more humbled by the trust our customers have put in Noibu. Our incredible growth journey is a product of our passionate team’s persistent hard work and pursuit of excellence. We’re only getting started and recognitions like these motivate us to keep marching forward and aim higher.

Noibu - The Robust Error Monitoring Solution for High-Growth eCommerce Teams

In the past five years that Noibu has been around, we’ve had a singular vision – to streamline error monitoring for eCommerce teams. We’ve had the rare opportunity and privilege of working with some of the fastest-growing eCommerce brands in the world, looking to transform how they detect, prioritize, and resolve errors.

Noibu error monitoring dashboard

From helping product and IT managers proactively detect revenue-impacting errors to empowering developers to reproduce and resolve bugs in record time – Noibu enables eCommerce teams to optimize their error-monitoring workflows and

 

  • Reduce or eliminate the impact of errors on revenue
  • Reduce error resolution times by up to 70%

  • Proactively address issues that customers have not reported yet 

 

As Noibu was designed exclusively for eCommerce businesses, the platform provides IT teams with error resolution suggestions and insights that are highly specific to the industry. Moreover, what sets Noibu apart is that it provides engineering teams with all the technical details they require to resolve bugs, down to the exact line of code that needs fixing (even for minified code). 

What Lies Ahead for Noibu?

With 2024 fast approaching, we’re all set to embark on our journey towards becoming the go-to eCommerce monitoring solution for teams looking to supercharge growth for their online stores. From flagging revenue-impacting errors across the customer shopping journey to reporting bugs caused by third-party integrations to streamlining prioritization workflows, Noibu is going to redefine the world of eCommerce monitoring

 

In the coming months, Noibu is on the path to becoming an end-to-end eCommerce monitoring solution focused entirely on empowering online retailers to deliver frictionless shopping experiences that overcome cart abandonment and convert better. 

“Software is eating the world” 

– Andreessen Horowitz, 2013

“AI is eating software” 

 

– Unknown, 2023

  •  

A decade ago, one of the world’s most prominent venture capital firms established the writing on the wall for the world to come. Companies that do not embrace software are going to be eaten off by the ones that do. The world, as it stands today, is a testament to that fact. 

 

Since then, the world’s been evolving at a breakneck pace. Software eating the world is now a thing of the past. Artificial Intelligence (AI) has invited itself to the buffet and will feast on everything in its way, including but not limited to what software managed to gulp. 

 

For eCommerce companies, it only means one thing – leveraging AI to gain a competitive advantage. In a climate where survival of the fittest is the war cry, to thrive and grow is a moonshot only a few will be able to manage. All it will come down to will be the willingness to be agile and embrace change at the speed at which it is happening. 

 

In this eBook, we break down: 

 

  • How can AI potentially transform your eCommerce business?

  • Applications of AI in driving eCommerce growth

  • The ultimate eCommerce tech stack to invest in

  • Brands setting the bar high with their AI-backed growth strategies 

and so much more….

 

We can promise you that this guide is loaded with valuable insights that you can put into practice right away to catapult growth for your eCommerce business. There’s so much being unpacked here, are you ready to join us on this journey? Read on.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the hottest trend of the year (probably for the next few) and there’s no denying this disruptive technology is out to eat the world. But, let’s not forget that AI has the potential to be game-changing in driving business efficiency and taking over human workload. Businesses that have been quick to acknowledge this potential and jump on the AI bandwagon are undoubtedly better positioned for success in 2024 and beyond. 

 

When it comes specifically to eCommerce, AI has proved to be worth its weight in gold ever since global online retailers have found success with it. Today, AI-driven growth strategies are no longer a good-to-have, but are starting to give eCommerce businesses a competitive edge that can really set them apart. 

 

It’s exciting to see how first movers are driving tangible results by leveraging AI to their maximum advantage. If you’re looking for some inspiration on how you can get started with AI or are simply intrigued by what the best in the business is up to, this blog post is for you. We break down how the biggest eCommerce giants in the world are using AI to supercharge growth for their businesses. So, let’s get right into it!

Optimized Dynamic Pricing: Amazon

Amazon has always been a trendsetter when it comes to adopting emerging technologies and paving the path for disruptive growth. The eCommerce giant relies on AI-backed dynamic pricing algorithms to evaluate and update the prices of millions of products from its catalog in real time, multiple times a day. Sellers on Amazon can then rely on automation to dynamically adjust their prices in order to meet consumer demand, and keep up with shopping patterns and preferences, while maximizing profit margins and undercutting competition. 

Amazon dynamic pricing

From historical and anticipated product demand to product availability and stock volume to customer buying behavior and competitor prices, Amazon’s sophisticated algorithms take a plethora of factors into account before suggesting optimized pricing for products. 

Smarter Inventory Management: Walmart

Walmart uses AI and ML-backed self-driving specialized mechanical floor scrubbers that make their way through aisles scanning shelves to capture real-time images of products. These scrubbers operate at more than 95% accuracy and are trained to distinguish between brands and automatically alert stock rooms when a particular product reaches a predetermined level on the shelf so it can be marked “available” for online orders. If products are not available, associates are alerted in time so shelves can be restocked for upcoming orders. 

Walmart AI scrubbers

Streamlined Supply Chain: Carrefour

French retail behemoth Carrefour leverages AI to detect vast amounts of data from its stores, eCommerce sites, and warehouses to streamline its supply chains and improve inventory management. By integrating software developed by advanced analytics leader SAS into its supply chain, Carrefour was able to free up their teams’ bandwidth, which could then be diverted towards further perfecting their forecasting strategies to meet consumer demand and incrementally reduce waste. 

Carrefour streamlining supply chain with AI

Shopping Assistance with Cognitive Computing: North Face

In an effort to make their online shopping experiences more personalized, interactive, and engaging, North Face partnered with software solutions provider Fluid and IBM’s Watson cognitive computing technology to help expedite and redefine the shopping experience. How this works is that if a customer lands on the website looking for a jacket, the tool prompts a bunch of questions about what, where, and when the jacket is going to be used to recommend the best ones for the particular customer’s needs.

The AI-based tool analyzes massive amounts of data, including customer reviews, social sentiment, previous user preferences, expert recommendations, weather forecasts, activities, and so on to zero in on a few choices that are most likely to meet the shopper’s needs. 

North Face and Cognitive Computing

Immersive Virtual Try-On Experiences: Sephora

When shopping online for cosmetics, the biggest apprehension most buyers have is not being sure about whether or not a particular product is likely to suit their complexion and facial features, and rightfully so. Sephora knocked it out of the park with their augmented readily-driven virtual try-on experience, developed in partnership with AR company ModiFace to solve for that single biggest challenge. 

 

Whether customers want to try out a particular lipstick shade or check if a foundation matches their skin tone, they can virtually try and test the product out to see for themselves before committing to a purchase. 

Sephora's virtual try on experience

Redefined Real-Time Support with Chatbots: Whole Foods

A grocery retailer known for its healthy and organic produce, Whole Foods leverages AI to provide customers with an innovative way to discover interesting meal recipes by conversing with a robot chef via Facebook Messenger. 

 

To find delicious and healthy recipes, all you need to do is kickstart a conversation on Messenger and drop in the emoji of the ingredients you have in mind. Within seconds, you’ll be presented with a specially curated list of recipes that feature the particular ingredient for you to explore. 

 

The entire experience is built to redefine real-time support while offering an alternate and exciting way for customers to discover recipes. 

Whole Foods intuitive chatbot

Improved Demand Forecasting: Ikea

To reduce overhead costs associated with a poorly managed or inefficient supply chain, Ikea relies on an AI-based smart demand forecasting tool that helps uncover insights into anticipated demand for all their products, across their in-person and online operations. 

 

The tool considers historical data on demand for each product as well as upcoming trends like seasonal shopping patterns, holiday season, festivals, interior design trends, and weather forecasts to accurately determine which of their products are likely to be more in demand in which of their locations. This allows them to make the necessary adjustments to their supply chain in order to reduce waste and stockouts.

Reinventing Community Marketing: Casper

Casper’s always been known for its quirky marketing campaigns, and this one didn’t disappoint either. To help people dealing with insomnia and keep them company when they need it the most, Caper launched the world’s first bot – Insomnobot3000 which is only available to chat between 11 pm – 5 am. From bedtime stories to meditation to midnight snacks, you can talk to this bot about anything as if it were a real person. 

 

The bot was programmed to sound as human as possible so people who have trouble falling asleep can confide in it and talk to it as a friend. This innovative idea helped the brand amplify its community marketing effort and establish a deeper connection with its potential customers. 

Casper Insomnobot3000

Enhanced Predictive Analytics: H&M

In an effort to stay at par with global demand, the fast fashion retailer, H&M uses AI to predict fashion trends and determine spend analytics to understand what consumers are likely to buy and how much of it they need. Their AI-based systems are trained to capture trend data from search engines, blogs, and even runways of some of the fashion capitals of the world. 

 

From colors and patterns to materials and fabrics, their algorithms are able to capture all relevant insights needed for designers to make more informed decisions. All of these efforts help them get a sneak peek into consumer preferences and thus, reduce waste and make more sustainable decisions. 

Personalized Geo-Targeting: Skandium

London-based furniture and home accessories retailer, Skandium caters to online shoppers from all across the world with dynamic content. No matter where you visit the site from, Skandium uses AI-based geo-targeting to personalize the content of their shopping site to customize the experience right from the moment you land on the site. 

 

The banner on the homepage is changed dynamically based on where you are logging in from to provide the relevant information on shipping, duties, delivery timelines, etc. Take a look: 

Are You Ready to Jump on the AI Bandwagon?

The future of eCommerce is always going to be uncertain, but what we know for sure is that AI is going to continue to disrupt the world. Businesses that embrace this change and do so with agility are going to witness limitless growth in the coming years. There’s no time like the present to take the plunge and start incorporating AI into your day-to-day business operations and long-term strategies. We hope that the examples we shared in this blog post served as inspiration to help you take the leap and future-proof your eCommerce business. 

In today’s competitive landscape, impeccable customer experience is the cornerstone of success for every eCommerce business. 

But how much do you know about what goes on behind the scenes of your website to really  ensure your customers are having the best possible experience?

On the latest episode of The eCommerce Toolbox: Expert Perspectives podcast, our host and co-founder Kailin Noivo sits down with Jared Poole, Solutions Delivery Manager at Bass Pro Shops, to discuss the role DevOps plays in the customer journey.

From leveraging automation to why we need to take a step back from analytics to keep shopping relevant, Jared provides a one-stop shop for everything you need to be aware of in the space.

DevOps and Customer Experience: What’s the Connection?

What do you think about when considering customer experience and user journeys?

Is it the surface level transitions from A to B?

Or do you think about what’s going on in the background; what the DevOps team is up to?

We’re going to take a guess, and assume your answer is no, you don’t think about DevOps. Not a lot of people do.

As Jared explains, the DevOps team are the cogs turning in the background; making sure your site is available for customers 99.9999% of the time (feel free to add more nines to that number!).

They are a vital part of your entire team, keeping your users happy and conversion rates high

After all, if a customer gets to checkout and there’s an error, how likely are they really to come back and checkout?

The Power of Shifting Left as Decoded by Jared Poole

So how do DevOps teams avoid issues cropping up when customers are using your site?

Well, it all comes down to one of their first lessons: shifting left.

Now, what is this? 

It’s all about finding issues as early as possible in the testing process to avoid bugs and instability at the production level.

Today, automation is being heavily leveraged for this, removing as much of the human element from the equation as possible.

Why is this necessary? Because the majority of errors come from human interference. Removing that aspect from the equation eliminates any issues caused by it.

Jared Poole on shifting left

AI: The eCommerce Trend of the Year

AI has taken the world by storm in recent years, so it is no surprise that it is one of the hottest eCommerce trends today.

Leaders are currently looking at ways they can plug AI into all aspects of their business. This is great, because it means that everyone is looking at data differently, businesses are becoming more intelligent and quick in order to make changes that are good for customers.

However, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. More money is being poured into data analysis, leading to post hoc fallacies where we start believing that correlations are causations.

Jared Poole on AI

It’s Time to Take a Step Back from Analytics

Jared’s biggest advice to any eCommerce brand? Stop being so absorbed in analytics.

As above, focussing too hard on analytics can lead to incorrect conclusions or even over-personalization of user journeys.

Customers have their own perception of noise, and if they receive daily “don’t miss out on this product emails”, they will switch off

Getting stuck in cycles of thinking about the next things to offer your customers lets your own opinions bleed into the objective data you have collected. In essence, personalization becomes depersonalization.

We all need to take a step back from the data and keep shopping relevant.

Listen to the Full Episode Below!

Tune in to this episode of The eCommerce Toolbox: Expert Perspectives with Jared Poole to find out more about the world of DevOps in eCommerce.

 👉 Apple: https://bit.ly/3sXriyd

👉 Spotify: https://bit.ly/3RAJTdw

Jared Poole is a self-proclaimed tinkerer who can’t just do stock; he has to know how things work, how to fix them, how to build intricate halloween displays, you name it. He is currently Solutions Delivery Manager for Bass Pro Shops, North America’s premier outdoor and conservation company. Prior to this, he was a Solutions Engineer at Noibu, where he helped partners learn how to easily measure and prioritize their tech debt and solve bugs quickly using the Noibu platform.

So, you’ve set up a flashy and functional eCommerce website that boasts a fairly exhaustive catalog of relevant products to keep your target audience engaged and interested. What’s next? Your digital storefront is ready for business! 

 

However, how can you be sure that your potential customers are having a seamless user experience browsing through your online store, creating wishlists, adding products to their carts, or making a purchase? After all, about 14% of online shoppers end up abandoning their carts during checkout due to website errors.

reasons for cart abandonment

When it comes to positioning your eCommerce business for growth, the final piece of the puzzle (and arguably the more complicated one) is constantly monitoring your website for technical errors, downtime, or performance issues, to avoid any friction in shopping experiences that could potentially cause customer frustration or cart abandonment


To ensure your virtual cash register never stops going ka-ching, it’s advisable to incorporate a regular website monitoring plan in your eCommerce growth strategy. In this blog post, we shall explore some website monitoring best practices to build a healthy and high-converting digital presence and deliver flawless shopping experiences. So, let’s dive right into it!

But First, What is Website Monitoring?

Website Monitoring is the process of continuously tracking, testing, verifying, and analyzing the performance, functionality, usability, and availability of a website with the end goal of maintaining a frictionless user experience. 

 

For eCommerce businesses, an efficient and optimized website that goes above and beyond to delight shoppers is the backbone of success and sustainable growth in this digital age. Anything less, and you’re likely to be eaten by competition, as today’s shoppers are spoilt for choice and increasingly impatient.

broken link on eCommerce website

From manual checks to ensure the checkout process is flawless to automated tools that detect inconsistencies, bugs, or downtime, a comprehensive website monitoring strategy encompasses it all to give eCommerce businesses complete control over their shopping journeys.

Types of Website Monitoring

Synthetic monitoring

Synthetic monitoring utilizes simulation or scripted recordings wherein behavioral paths are created to reproduce the end-user experience on the website with the aim of identifying any critical bottlenecks that could potentially be leading to downtime, reduced page load speeds, or any other functionality or performance issues. 

 

This helps businesses potentially spot any possibilities of downtime, glitches, speed or performance issues, or hiccups in navigation on the website, without any actual traffic or before it affects end users. This especially comes in handy when new site features need to be tested before launch to ensure a smooth transition, or even for regular testing. 

 

The most common types of synthetic monitoring include: 

Performance Monitoring

Performance monitoring involves testing page load times and speed so that end users don’t experience any form of delays or lags while accessing a site that may encourage them to drop off out of frustration. From slow response times caused due to third-party elements to slowly loading text and images, performance monitoring is a holistic approach to optimizing the accessibility of a website. 

Transaction Monitoring

As the name suggests, transaction monitoring is a proactive approach towards testing potential user interactions with a website such as a login or registration, site search, form fills, or checkout with the ultimate goal of ensuring that visitors are able to successfully complete intended tasks without bottlenecks. The process involves running scripts that simulate a user journey on the site to verify anticipated “happy paths” of completing expected actions.

Availability Monitoring

Also commonly referred to as uptime monitoring, availability monitoring is the process of ensuring a particular site is accessible and operational from different locations of the world, without any performance or response issues. This ensures a site is available at all times to end users, whether they access it directly, via email, social media, or an ad. 

availability monitoring

Real User Monitoring

Real User Monitoring (RUM) collects data from interactions that actual visitors have with a website to allow businesses to step into their customers’ shoes and gauge end-user experience. Real user monitoring is a comprehensive technique to strategically improve and optimize a site experience by tracking technical bugs, hiccups in navigation, or any slowdowns that might deter users from converting or making a purchase. 

 

As opposed to synthetic monitoring, RUM enables eCommerce businesses to identify and resolve issues that are impacting their customers and potentially leading to revenue loss or at least unsatisfactory user experience. 

Noibu session replays

Any changes made to a live site, third-party elements, multiple integrations, and bulky content might end up causing glitches on a site, which directly impacts the customer journey. RUMs help correlate your eCommerce website’s performance with end-user experience.

Website Monitoring Best Practices

Much like any other testing or optimization strategy, best practices depend almost entirely on your specific website needs, user journeys, and issues unique to your site infrastructure. However, the following are 5 tried-and-true best practices that will ensure you are in an optimal position to make the most of your website monitoring strategy. 

Analyze Historical Website Performance Data

As the very first step, make sure to comprehensively deep dive into your historical site performance data to get a fair idea of what you’re working with. This should help you: 

 

  • Benchmark KPIs such as bounce rates, load times, session durations, etc. to understand what the baseline key metrics are

  • Identify trends across different time periods to notice and compare patterns in performance highs and lows 

  • Pinpoint exactly what needs improvement, so you have some direction for your strategy 

Noibu dashboard issue trends

Don’t Trust Averages; Segment Data Before Studying Patterns

It might seem quick and easy to jump to calculating averages when studying monitoring data, but it’s a rookie mistake that could negatively impact your insights. Averages are grossly misleading. Always segment data before drawing any conclusions or interpreting visitor behavior on your site to really understand which group of users are facing what particular challenge. 

 

For example, if your average website load time for a period is 5 seconds for 500 visitors, this should tell you nothing unless you segment this data for various browsers, device types, and/or locations. Only when you get down to studying monitoring data granularly do you get insights that are worth investigating and issues that are worth solving. In this particular case, your page load time could be 3 seconds for desktop users and 7 seconds for mobile users and it’s worth looking into what’s causing a delay for mobile visitors. 

Set Up Real-Time Website Monitoring Alerts to Get Notified Instantly

Website monitoring is a passive activity that often takes place behind the scenes as you’re running your eCommerce store. With so much going on, it’s easy to forget about staying on top of any changes or issues that might be affecting your site in real-time. That said, setting up real-time alerts for your team is crucial to reducing the negative impact of issues (read: customer frustration or cart abandonment).

 

From page load issues to technical errors, setting up notifications that are delivered via email, Slack alerts or Jira tickets is paramount to creating a regular cadence of fixing issues as they occur.  

Invest in Both - Synthetic Monitoring and Real User Monitoring

Synthetic monitoring specializes in proactively discovering site issues in a controlled environment, while real user monitoring deals with giving you a sneak peek into the experience a real user has on your eCommerce store. As both have their separate strengths and outcomes, it is important to invest in synthetic as well as real user monitoring to maintain a healthy and flawless website – free of errors, glitches, and downtime. 

 

Synthetic monitoring helps you ensure website availability, optimal performance, and maximum uptime and real user monitoring mirrors the customer journey on your digital storefront. The bottom line is that when deployed together, both techniques work to deliver more value than either of them would separately. 

Regularly and Proactively Analyze Monitoring Data

Website monitoring is an ongoing activity that you must regularly revisit. It might seem tempting to analyze results once in a while, implement quick fixes, incorporate long-term optimizations into your strategy, and call it a day. However, in order to truly maintain a frictionless online storefront that prioritizes user experience, it’s imperative to make website monitoring a continuous effort to maximize your site’s potential. 

Website Monitoring Tools Worth Investing in for Your eCommerce Store

As an eCommerce store operating in today’s competitive landscape, you’re probably inundated with countless choices for website monitoring tools promising to help streamline your business. When it comes to website monitoring, we’ve collated the select few you can trust to maintain a healthy digital marketplace.

Noibu - A Robust Website Monitoring Tool That Helps Recover Lost Revenue

Noibu is a website monitoring platform that helps eCommerce businesses detect, prioritize, and resolve revenue-impacting errors on their online stores in record time. Noibu detects 100% of all errors that occur on any eCommerce site, alerts you in real-time, prioritizes them as per the impact it has on the revenue, and provides all the technical information required to fix it, making the entire process as smooth and efficient as possible. 

 

From detecting critical errors that could otherwise go undetected and lead to customer frustration and potentially cart abandonment to providing suggested fixes to minimize error resolution time, Noibu is a one-of-its-kind solution that helps businesses and product teams correlate the impact of technical errors with revenue loss

Noibu dashboard

Before partnering with Noibu, Oak & Fort was struggling with errors on their eCommerce site and relied heavily on customer complaints to detect and resolve them. Feature releases and a large number of third-party tools integrated through the platform had amplified the introduction of new errors, which was another cause of concern.  

 

Our team at Noibu was quick to realize that there was a missing link between how the team at Oak & Fort was detecting errors and the overall workflow of gathering enough relevant information to reproduce and resolve. With Noibu, they were able to detect errors in real-time while launching multiple features a week, prioritize engineering resources based on revenue impact, and leverage granular stack trace views to gather session information vital to resolving errors efficiently. 


Read more about Oak & Fort was able to identify reproducible and high-value bugs through Noibu and resolve them in record time to reduce any negative impact on their revenue.

Datadog

A real user monitoring tool, Datadog provides end-to-end visibility into user journeys for eCommerce websites. Datadog offers error troubleshooting capabilities, product usage analytics, and frontend performance issues resolution to improve the overall site experience by fixing errors that might be discouraging users from converting. 

Uptrends

Uptrends is a robust website monitoring tool that focuses specifically on avoiding downtime, improving site speed, pinpointing broken website interactions, and identifying inconsistent experiences to streamline how users navigate a website. It ensures you’re the first to know about any downtime and can instantly fix the corresponding issues. 

Hotjar

Hotjar offers heatmaps and session recording capabilities to enable businesses to determine the “why” behind their site user interactions. From how visitors interact with specific elements on a particular page to stuff they seem to be ignoring to friction-causing elements and conversion blockers, Hotjar gives you insights into it all – from the perspective of real users! 

Google Analytics

Google Analytics 4

Google Analytics provides all the quantitative data you need to break down user experiences on your site. With the launch of Google Analytics 4, behavioral data is now available in an event-based model to track the various activities users engage in on a page. From unique visitors to views to engagement time, Google Analytics 4 offers data on all key website monitoring metrics required to maintain the health of a site and ensure it functions without hiccups.

2020 – The peak of COVID-19 was an exceptionally difficult time for the whole world. With so many businesses struggling, laying off staff, and even shutting down for good, it’s hard to imagine any company starting up and then being extremely successful, isn’t it?

Well, Hobbiesville managed it and how! 

A hobby shop, stocking all types of collectibles, from Pokemon to Magic the Gathering, Hobbiesville was launched in 2020. Today, they have over eight figures in revenue. That’s just in three years! It’s an extraordinary achievement for any business, let alone one that started out during such a hard time for businesses everywhere. 

So how did they do it?

On the latest episode of The eCommerce Toolbox: Expert Perspectives podcast, our host and co-founder Kailin Noivo sits down with Edmond Georges, Co-Founder of Hobbiesville, to discuss the journey Hobbiesville has been on in the last three years. 

Their chat covers everything from technology decisions taken early on in the growth journey to managing moving parts today. Find out exactly how they’ve achieved greatness in a short space of time by reading on and tuning in to the full episode. 

Making The Transition From Online to Brick-and-Mortar

We typically see businesses transition from brick-and-mortar to omnichannel, venturing into the eCommerce space (we’re looking at you Pet Supermarket). Hobbiesville did the opposite.

Having launched during the height of COVID-19, it’s understandable that their initial presence was strictly online. After all, none of us were really going to stores in person. Initially, their launch was experimental; they were just seeing if there was a market for the old collectibles they found in their parents’ basement by setting up a Shopify store.

There was a clear market. However, restrictions across the collectibles space meant that they needed to have in-person trading to stock certain products.

Edmond Georges on transitioning from online to in-store shopping

This spurred them on to open their first brick-and-mortar location. 

Like their online offerings, this was incredibly successful, and only lasted a year before it completely outgrew its infrastructure. This led to them opening up an Ottawa base, which is now supported by a Toronto store. 

Their omnichannel approach has benefited both them and their customers, particularly in the realm of buying online to pick up in-store.

Achieving Eight Figures Revenue in Just Three Years

We’ve already said it, but we’ll repeat it here: growing to eight figures in revenue in just three years is exceptional. But how did Edmond and his Co-Founder do it?

Well, from day one, part of their ethics was centered around scaling responsibly

Prior to the pandemic, there was a definite era where all people cared about was top-line revenue. Having seen the end of that philosophy, Edmond and his Co-Founder have been bootstrapped since day one.

Have they ever had a fundraiser? No.

What do they do with any debts? Leverage them strategically.

And how long have they been profitable? Since day one.

Over the years they have utilized different tools, such as traditional banks and alternate lenders, to grow, and now, at the closing of year three, they are sitting at 62% up year over year. 

Managing Moving Parts: How Hobbiesville Does it Efficiently

Before even venturing into the collectibles business, Edmond and his partner interviewed merchants across the industry to find out about pain points and the biggest issue across the board was inventory syncing, particularly around returns and single-item skews like unique cards.

Hobbiesville itself has many moving parts. They have their online store,  brick-and-mortar locations, and they have customers who come in to get their unique collectibles priced and potentially put into inventory. It is these unique collectibles that have helped to build the Hobbiesville catalog to around 60,000 individual skews, an immense amount to manage.

To get ahead of the game, and make their management easier, they utilize a variety of methods. For one, they have their own dedicated fulfillment warehouse that they run and operate. They have further launched on eBay recently in a long-term partnership. And finally, they utilize a mobile sales channel that helps them cope with customer returns. 

All of this together keeps them on top of inventory synchronization while allowing customers to be able to interact with the business in different assets and avenues – it’s a win all around.

Quality Customer Experience: The Foundation of Hobbiesville’s Growth Strategy

Hobbiesville has always tried to place customer experience high in their priorities. 

In their early days, Hobbiesville tried to be as responsive as possible to customers, with a focus on proactivity in letting the customer know where their order is at every step of the journey and automations set up to deal with pre-orders.

As part of their future plans, they are looking to expand their focus on customer experience, by building an ecosystem of content around the different products they sell and creating customized experiences on their mobile app, giving back to the loyal customer base they have built over the past three years. 

Edmond Georges on customer experience

Listen to the Full Episode Below!

Tune in to this episode of The eCommerce Toolbox: Expert Perspectives with Edmond Georges to learn more about the Hobbiesville journey to eight-figure revenue.

👉 Apple: https://bit.ly/3Z8R5iM

👉 Spotify: https://spoti.fi/44FlWVw

 

Over the past ten years, Edmond Georges has built eight companies in the hospitality, retail, eCommerce, and tech spaces. His most recent venture is Hobbiesville, where he is currently President and CTO, as well as Co-Founder. Hobbiesville is a hobby shop, stocking all types of collectibles from Pokemon to Magic the Gathering, shipping across Canada and internationally. 

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