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Improving the e-commerce customer experience with technology investments

This article was based on the interview with Laura Ritchey of Radial by Greg Kihlström for The Agile Brand with Greg Kihlström podcast. Listen to the original episode here:

Technology plays a crucial role in improving the customer experience in the e-commerce industry. With the rise of online shopping, customers have become more demanding and expect seamless and efficient interactions throughout the buying journey. Brands that leverage technology to meet and exceed these expectations are more likely to succeed in this competitive market.

One area where technology has greatly improved the customer experience is in the management of inventory and supply chain. In the past, retailers relied on historical data to determine where to place their inventory. However, with the advent of generative AI and predictive modeling, brands now have better tools to track selling trends and allocate inventory to locations that are nearest to expected customer demand. This allows for quicker pivoting and ensures that products are available when and where customers need them.

Furthermore, technology has also improved visibility for customers. Through email notifications and tracking systems, customers can now receive real-time updates on the status of their orders. They are notified when their order is received, when it is being processed, and when it is on its way to their home. This level of visibility not only provides customers with peace of mind but also puts pressure on brands to meet delivery expectations.

However, there are still areas where brands may not be paying enough attention to when it comes to customer experience. One such area is returns. While there have been significant advancements in the front end of the order process, the return process still lags behind. Customers often face challenges in returning products, such as not knowing where the product is until it reaches the retailer’s warehouse or experiencing delays in receiving credit for the returned item. Brands like Amazon have set the bar high by providing access points for drop-offs and issuing immediate credits upon verification of receipt. To improve the customer experience, brands need to adopt similar practices in the return space.

Another aspect that brands may overlook is the opportunity to drive incremental buying through returns. By encouraging customers to return items to physical stores, brands have the chance to engage with customers directly and potentially upsell or offer alternative products. This not only improves the return experience but also increases the likelihood of additional purchases.

In conclusion, customer expectations are a driving force behind the success of e-commerce businesses. Brands that prioritize meeting and exceeding customer expectations throughout the buying journey are more likely to thrive in today’s competitive market. Timely delivery, accurate inventory management, and seamless omnichannel experiences are key factors in meeting these expectations. Platforms like Radial can provide the necessary support and infrastructure to help brands deliver on these expectations and create a positive and satisfying customer experience. By leveraging technology, brands can enhance their operations, improve visibility, and streamline the return process, ultimately leading to happier and more loyal customers.

House of the Customer by Greg Kihlström is now available.
House of the Customer by Greg Kihlström

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