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The Pandemic’s Impact on Ecommerce Customer Experience Expectations

In a post-pandemic landscape, how can we meet rising customer expectations? How can partnership with a digital product experience platform ease this transition?

It’s no exaggeration to say that the global pandemic created by COVID-19 changed just about everything in the world of online retail. Massive acceleration led to leaps forward in digital transformation, technological development and adoption. It’s thought that ecommerce experienced five years of growth within a single year. With so much change happening within the industry, it would be short-sighted to assume there had been no comparative impact on the customers we all serve. In this article, we’ll explore five ways in which expectations surrounding customer experience have shifted in recent times.

1. A Need For Omnichannel Consistency

Online customers want to recognize the brands they know and love, wherever and however they experience them. When it comes to the purchase pathway, consistent representation of brand is a key factor in building recognition and trust. 

This is especially important within the digital realm – and as the result of local “shelter in place” orders and national lockdowns, for many months, this was the only way that customers could experience and interact with the brands they favored.

Meet The Need: Tight brand control is essential if omnichannel consistency is to be achieved. ECP offers a clear overview of product information and digital assets managed across your full range of channels, making it simple to address discrepancies. Multiple user access helps your team to leverage product assets collaboratively and consistently.

2. Instant Answers

Customers who’ve made the effort to locate and navigate to a specific product page are showing high purchase intent. Nothing should frustrate them when it comes to moving seamlessly towards conversion – least of all the inability to find the answer to a question that they might need before moving ahead with their purchase.

During the pandemic, customers were forced to rely exclusively on brands’ digital communication. As a result, expectations for seamless provision of information are high. This is more than customer service – it’s about the contents of your product pages too. By taking care to ensure that your product pages are richly populated with digital assets and detailed product attribute information, you can minimize the need for additional help.

Meet The Need: Pay close attention to keeping product pages well populated with high quality, helpful assets, information and attributes. ECP’s content scoring feature can help to make sure there are no gaps in the level of detail you’re providing.

3. A Rich Product Experience

Ecommerce exploded during the pandemic, with many new audiences experiencing online retail for the first time as a matter of necessity. The challenge for retailers in a post-pandemic world is to keep this new audience engaged and continuing to shop online now that stores have reopened.

To achieve this, ecommerce retailers need to up their game to ensure they’re delivering the same kind of multisensory experiences that shoppers would be enjoying in a brick-and-mortar store. This means better leverage of a wider range of digital assets and product information.

Meet The Need: Learn more about how product content management can play a key role in improving customer experience through enhanced brand representation.

4. Access To More Choice

Ecommerce is growing, and this has been accelerated by the pandemic. As a result, people expect access to a wider range of products. If your inventories are growing in recognition of this increase in demand, make sure that you have systems in place to maintain customer experience at scale. Meet The Need: Partner with a Product Information Management solution and Digital Management Asset Software that can help you keep close control over expanding inventories, help you achieve consistency across channels and enable speedier automated product onboarding.

5. Rebuilding Reassurance

As the importance of the digital showroom has become increasingly apparent, internal solutions have evolved alongside the need for great control, accuracy and automation. However, some common stumbling blocks still present themselves to retailers. Let’s take a look at some of the most persistent and problematic issues.

Problem Solved With ECP

The pandemic shook a few assumptions about ecommerce. Systems that, from a consumer perspective at least, felt infallible broke under the pressure of huge peaks in demand and restricted supply. Delivery times, inventory and supply chains were all negatively impacted.

Meet The Need: In order to keep up the momentum that the pandemic created, there’s a need to build consumer confidence in online retail. Customer experience will be core to this steadying influence – and presenting a consistent impression of brand and asset-rich, informative product pages have an important role to play here.

Post-Pandemic: Tell The Full Story Of Your Products

Online retail has been transformed in recent years, and as a result brands, retailers and distributors alike must all keep their approach to customer experience reviewed and refreshed. As the ecommerce sector continues to evolve, so must tactics to keep customers engaged, satisfied and loyal.

ECP’s digital product experience platform offers the opportunity to leverage product content to its maximum potential, whilst reducing pressure on teams through the power of AI and automation.

Tell (and sell) the full product story with ECP’s cutting edge digital experience software.

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