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There’re two primary goals for any e-commerce business: to serve customers and to sell products.

Here, serving customers comes first, before selling products. Because if you fail to take good care of your customers, they will NOT convert and make a purchase of your products or services. As Forbes puts it:

"To stand out in a sea of sameness, customer experience is the only way to do that."

More happy customers😄 = more sales & more revenue🛍💰! Delivering a remarkable customer experience (CX) holds the key to success in e-commerce today. By contrast, bad customer experience kills conversions and sales!

Based on our 10 years of experience and data from working with 3000+ e-commerce stores, we’ve summarized the top 4 examples of poor customer experiences that business owners and e-commerce managers often overlooked. To further guide you, we'll also present the "how-tos” that you can practice in order to fix the bad customer experiences in your e-commerce store.

Before diving into the concrete examples of bad CX, we need to clarify two essential questions:

  1. Why is customer experience so important?
  2. How does bad customer experience affect your business?

Why is customer experience SO important?

According to HubSpot, customer experience (CX) is the impression your customers have of your brand as a whole, throughout all aspects of the buyer's journey. So, on the one hand, CX results in their view of and loyalty to your brand; on the other hand, it influences factors related to your bottom-line, including sales and revenue.

Latest studies show that customer experience has grown to be a decisive factor for many consumers, outranking pricing and products! For instance, according to WalkerInfo’s recent report, customer experience will outshine price and product as the key brand differentiator by 2021.

Accordingly, a recent study surveyed 1,920 business professionals, and 45.9% of them cited customer experience as their number one priority for the next five years (beating product and pricing).

If you want to learn more about the top statistics, facts & trends of customer experience, check out our latest article 📊📖.

How does bad customer experience affect your business?

Let’s look at some stats first:

Evidently, poor customer experience is harmful to your business in many ways. Some of the fatal damages include 👇

bad customer experience consequences

Now, let’s dive into 4 commonly overlooked examples of poor customer experience!

1. No personalization

The importance of personalization in customer experiences is unquestionably enormous🌟. It can create or destroy sales!

While 80% of frequent shoppers only shop with brands that personalize the experience, 66% of consumers say encountering content that isn’t personalized would stop them from making a purchase.

Worse still, Your poor personalization efforts may result in losing customers to your competitors. As 47% of consumers check Amazon if the brand they’re shopping with doesn’t provide product suggestions that are relevant.

How to fix it?

Technically speaking, personalization is grounded in collecting and analyzing data of your customers' shopping and buying behaviors.

Powered by cutting-edge AI and machine learning technologies, Clerk, an intelligent CDP (customer data platform), allows you to easily manage and analyze customer behavioral data. powers personalization and relevance for 3,000+ e-commerce stores worldwide to automatically grow sales across site search, product recommendations, emails, social media & ads.

Clerk performance data

A great personalized customer experience makes people feel appreciated and special, maintaining a human element and minimizing frictions while maximizing efficiency.

Want to know more about the latest e-commerce personalization facts and trends? Check out these 46 insightful statistics right here 💡.

2. Fail to understand misspelling search queries

Many businesses fail to convert shoppers with high intent to purchase, due to the lack of an intelligent on-site search engine that allows for correcting spelling mistakes and typos.

Misspelling is a much bigger problem than what most e-commerce businesses anticipate. Google’s latest research reveals that every day, one out of ten search queries is misspelled! Specifically, on e-commerce websites, approximately 25% of all site search queries are misspelled.

If your webshop’s on-site search system cannot understand shoppers’ misspelling search queries and present them with relevant search results, they will immediately bounce away without giving it another try. Because shoppers today know that there must be many other e-commerce stores selling the products they’re looking for.

How to fix it?

The easiest solution is to implement an intelligent search engine, such as Clerk Search, which has a typo tolerance feature. Below is an example of how Clerk helps Natural Baby Shower save revenue by saving misspelled searches. When a customer uses the site’s search and misspells "stroller", Clerk can still deliver the correct search result with intelligent autocorrect. Now, Naturally Baby Shower doesn't have to worry about potentially losing sales when customers misspell items or create typos.

misspelled searches

3. No (data-driven) segmentation

While doing marketing campaigns, are you still segmenting targeted audiences based on customers’ demographic profiles or even just your instincts? 😳

It’s no longer good enough! For instance, if you want to send follow-up emails to drive recurring purchase orders, you have to first distinguish between purchases that are one-off and those that may be recurring 💡. A customer who just bought a toilet seat from you is unlikely to buy another one in a short time frame 😂:

Amazon toilet seat

How to fix it?

Let AI take over and make the most out of your customer data. Beyond basic segmentation based on demographic data, geography, and timezones, Clerk’s AI can analyze historical and real-time customer data and figure out complex marketing questions, like:

  • Will this customer be interested in this product, category, or brand?
  • How often does this customer purchase from your store?
  • Is this customer still active or slipping away?
  • How does this customer respond to offers and discounts?
  • What is the average order value of this customer?

and the list goes on…

Clerk Audience

4. Lack of product recommendations as navigation assistance

Your e-commerce store is more or less just like a physical store - customers will be:

  • People who know what they want to buy already and know how and/or where to find it (- they’re probably repeat customers);
  • People who know what they want to buy but don’t know where to find it in your store;
  • People who are just window-shopping (browsing) and don’t know what they want to buy (- but they’re open to discovering new, interesting products).

In most physical stores, it's easy to accommodate the different needs of these customers. Since there'll always be store assistants helping customers find the right products and discover new ones.

However, this is not the case in an e-commerce store. If a customer lands on a product page of your e-commerce site, but the product is not exactly what they're looking for, and there are no recommendation banners showing alternative options. Most likely, they will immediately leave your webshop - you lose the sales just like that.

How to fix it?

You can use personalized product recommendations to assist customers with navigation around your site and guide their product discovery journey.

Here’s an example of how GrejFreak utilizes Clerk to optimize product recommendations on their product pages. The brand primarily uses the product logic 'Best Alternative Products' for recommendation banners on its product pages alongside the 'Best Cross-Sell Products' logic. This not only helps customers find the product they are interested in without having to do more searching or return to category pages but also provides relevant items to be purchased alongside hiking boots, for example. In doing so, GrejFreak is able to sell additional products to the customer that they might haven't known they needed, increasing customers' basket sizes by 25% on average 🛒.

GrejFreak product recs

Customer experience is EVERYTHING. Let’s get it right! 😉🙌

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