Product or Customer Experience: What Should Be Top Priority in Ecommerce?

Product or Customer Experience: What Should Be Top Priority in Ecommerce?

October 28, 2021 | by Lianda Dadlana

Modern customers have more options on where to purchase a product than ever before. With that knowledge, it’s changed their outlook on shopping. For example, it’s no longer based on the product itself but the shopping experience instead. 

These changing behaviors have made it challenging for businesses to adapt their strategies. (Plus, add new competition that’s popping up, and it has become even more difficult.) So, with all these up-and-coming trends and demands, which experience should you focus on? Is it customer experience or product experience?

Well, according to this article, 2022 is set to change the status quo. Customer experience will take the lead over the product itself or competitive pricing. 

5-year projection of the top customer experience priorities

Source

 

Let’s break it down a little further to understand the role of customer and product experience, and which one should be your top priority. 

Businesses are focusing on customer experience in 2022 

Ecommerce is a very saturated and highly competitive space.

The USA alone, according to the Insider Intellegence, is expected to see an ecommerce spending growth increase of 2.6% in digital buyers and an 11.1% rise in spending per customer. This shows that the US ecommerce market is close to reaching a saturation point as it continues to grow more in line with the total internet population. Now, when you think of this from a customer perspective, they’re spoilt for choice. They can choose from hundreds of businesses selling the exact product or service you’re offering, and customers are aware of this.

Customers know that they can get a product through social media apps, web shops, in-store, comparison shopping engines (CSEs), and marketplaces. But what they are struggling to get everywhere is outstanding customer experience. 

This is why 55% of companies believe that customer experience should be a top priority for businesses that intend on growing and becoming successful.

Think about it this way, a customer sees your product on the first page of Google, or through a paid ad. They’re more likely to check out your product, especially if: 

  1. You have good product reviews 
  2. Your website is user friendly and easy to navigate 
  3. You have compelling product descriptions and high-resolution images

However, the experience they receive while interacting with your business will determine whether they return again in the future. Your goal is to create a lasting impression that will make them choose your product over your competitors. 

What do customers expect from digital brands now? 

Now that it’s clear that customers demand an excellent customer experience, how do you get it? And what do customers see as a “great customer experience?” 

It all boils down to personalization, cultural connection, and authentic interactions. This is because 75% of customers say they are more likely to buy online from a company that knows their name, their purchasing history, and can recommend items they need based on previous site searches or purchases. 

Let's think of the experience you get at a traditional store. Think of how they interact with you when you have questions on a product, when the item you’re looking for is out of stock, or when they advise you on a suggested product that’ll go well with your current purchase. All these small details make you feel valued. 

And that’s what customers wantthey want to feel valued and special. 

Yes, this type of experience can only be experienced in person. But, online businesses can replicate their own experience with the technical data available.

Good online customer experiences mean: 

  • Updating inventory regularly
  • Easy-to-use search functionality 
  • Personalized experience 
  • A mobile-friendly website 
  • Rich content and product information 
  • Varied payment and delivery options

A good customer experience is crucial for customer retention. This article suggests that a 5% increase in customer retention can increase company revenue by 25 to 95%. And, according to PWC, 73% of consumers rate customer experience as a crucial part of the purchasing decision. A further 42% of consumers will pay more for products or services that deliver an outstanding experience.

But, customer experience benefits don’t stop there. 

  • 1 out of 3 customers will leave a brand they love after just one bad experience
  • Customers will pay 13% to 18% more for luxury, personalized customer services
  • 49% of customers have made impulse purchases after experiencing a more personalized customer experience
  • Customers are willing to spend more and will remain loyal to a brand for up to six years if they experienced impeccable customer experience

And this is why customer experience has become an important metric.

Importance of customer experience

Source

What is the most important out of the two?

Product experience is the driver of user experience

It focuses on the entirety of the customer journey and ensures a customer gets the product experience they expected to have. Let’s take a look at the latest global pandemic and how it shifted buying behavior. Before, people were buying based on what they wanted. Fast forward to the pandemic and the impact it had on people and their finances, they bought based on their needs. According to this article, there are five behavioral changes due to the impact of COVID-19: 

    1. Increase in digital adoption
    2. Change in mobility patterns due to remote working
    3. Change in buying behavior (moved to value-based purchases)
    4. Increased awareness of taking care of your health
    5. Change in interpersonal behavior

Behavioral change #3 tells us that perfecting your product experience still plays an important role in making your product valuable to customers. A value-based purchase can’t only be tied to the customer experience but is based on both. 

When there is an economic downturn, your product experience is what will make a customer keep buying from you. Because they’ll know what to expect, and they’ll know what the product can do for them based on product experience and product data given. Showing your customers the value your product delivers to them will work for your brand in two ways 1) it will help you retain your current customers even during tough economic times, and 2) it can encourage a customer to buy your product even before they can get to the customer experience aspect. 

So, the verdict is—you NEED both 

Customer and product experience work hand in hand to create the best shopping experience. When you have both, you can thrive in multichannel commerce. 

Here's what customers expect when it comes to product experience: 

  • Optimized product data, information, and assets to help them make more informed decisions
  • Ensuring customers can find exactly the experience they were expecting on your website
  • Omnichannel customer service with multichannel buying opportunities 

Circles (as factors) that make up the best customer experience

Source

Win at both with a next-generation PIM 

Customer and product experience should be at the forefront of your ecommerce success strategy. And that’s where product experience management comes in. 

There are many benefits of product information management software, and this is why so many retailers have seen the need to invest in a next-generation PIM tool.

Our PIM tool, for instance, is all about improving and simplifying your data management so that you can spend more time improving your product and delivering an impeccable customer experience regardless of the sales channel. 

By using the right tools, you can work faster to get your product to the market. Sign up to try our content management software as a single source of truth.

Download of FREE ebook to unlock our tips to multichannel commerce success!

Lianda Dadlana

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