Key Challenges Facing E-commerce Brands

With the continued rise of e-commerce and ever-growing customer expectations, brands need to facilitate seamless online shopping experiences throughout the customer journey. Astute offers solutions to help e-commerce brands like yours align your customers' experiences to their expectations.

woman shopping using ecommerce

People are turning to online channels more than ever to shop. In 2019 alone, US e-commerce sales for retail brands totalled just over $600B. With the onset of COVID-19, this figure is only expected to grow.

The ability for companies to deliver simple, seamless online shopping experiences on all devices has never been more important. Here are some of the challenges currently facing e-commerce brands today.

Ensuring frictionless shopping and checkout experiences

Shoppers crave frictionless experiences and reward brands that can deliver on these expectations. One study shows that 64% of consumers are more likely to recommend a brand to others if it offers simpler experiences and communications. Brands that can’t deliver? They are leaving about $98B per year on the table.

From the time they start their research on your website, all the way to when they click “Submit Order,” e-commerce brands face the constant challenge of identifying the barriers preventing customers from successfully purchasing on their site. About seven in 10 shoppers today abandon their carts.

Pinpointing these barriers quickly and helping shoppers surpass these barriers before they abandon is crucial to minimize lost revenue today and inform UX decisions to optimize future shoppers’ online shopping experience.

Empowering shoppers and customers with proactive, assisted experiences

As consumers, we demand instant gratification and access to key information to help drive our purchase decisions. Also, we want to make sure we get the most out of every purchase.

Most people like to try to help themselves first before reaching out for help. More than six in 10 customers prefer using digital self-serve options for simple inquiries, only escalating to a support agent for more complex questions.

At the same time, shopping habits have evolved to the point where being bound by traditional opening hours and waiting hours (if not days) to get assistance is no longer acceptable. Ninety percent of customers find it essential to receive an immediate response to their customer support questions.

The advent of chatbots is helping brands be proactive in meeting this growing demand. Through Artificial Intelligence (AI), Natural Language Processing (NLP), and conversational AI, chatbots can help offer customers the quick, accurate, and relevant information they need to help drive their purchase and post-purchase experiences.

Translating great desktop experiences for on-the-go shoppers

Mobile phones have surpassed desktops as the go-to device for US shoppers. However, while three out of four shoppers use their phones for shopping because it saves them time, very few find them the most convenient device to shop, with usability issues like “small links” being common culprits.

People are increasingly relying on their phones in their everyday lives. However, with every poor online mobile commerce (m-commerce) experience, brands risk not only losing a sale today but also on potential future purchases from that customer – not to mention from those they may tell about the sub-par experience they had.

E-commerce brands today must always ensure their customers have the means to support themselves on their preferred devices. In the case of mobile, optimizing the experience on smaller screens, offering powerful mobile self-service options, and providing the ability to interact with your brand via SMS or WhatsApp should be priorities to cater to their on-the-go shoppers.

Catering to the growing group of social shoppers

Social media’s influence on our daily lives only continues to grow. About nine in 10 e-commerce customers say social media plays a role in their purchase decisions.

Social commerce sales were over $20B in 2019 in the US alone and should only continue to grow in the coming years. Brands today must ensure they can support shoppers and customers on their social channels. Facebook Messenger bots, for example, have been used to help obtain information on your products, get personalized recommendations, or even help them find locations where they can buy specific products.

Simultaneously, ensuring your social media management efforts are set up to quickly identify and escalate critical mentions, questions, and issues to an agent right away is crucial in rapidly remedying these requests as soon as possible and ensuring a possible shopping experience.

Customer engagement software to help brands tackle these challenges

Astute empowers e-commerce brands with software and first-party insights to deliver exceptional experiences that help drive conversions, customer retention, and advocacy.

Helping customers help themselves with instant assisted experiences. Astute’s self-service solutions help empower customers with the right information at the right time during their shopping experience. Astute’s AI-driven chatbot ensures visitors receive the reliable, accurate answers they need, regardless of the device they use, even on your social media channels.

Empowering live agents with full context. Should a visitor want to escalate their question to a live agent, Astute ensures your team has the tools to best support them. Astute’s CRM and social media management platforms provide agents with context, suggestions for the next best action, and consistent answers to ensure quick, helpful, and exceptional service.

Optimize the shopping experience with VoC insights. Add crucial context to your visitors’ behavior with intuitive, secure, and accessible survey technology. Astute helps you engage your visitors to learn about their needs and frustrations, as well as their perceptions of their website experience so that you can identify and address barriers standing in the way of positive shopping experiences.

Learn more and see Astute’s suite of engagement solutions in action. Request a personalized demo today.