Digital leaders like Amazon and Ebay who have built their ecommerce businesses on data and artificial intelligence have raised the bar and set the standard for what visitors expect on any ecommerce site – including yours. Due to the precedent those leaders set, the expectations your customers had were already sky-high – and now they’re rising even higher. 

With more people buying online than ever before by necessity, without any alternative, their expectations have only increased as their tolerance has decreased. If they can’t get what they need quickly and easily from you, they have no choice but to go elsewhere. 

These expectations aren’t likely to fade, and given that many may choose to stay online, you can no longer use brand loyalty or the promise of an exceptional in-store experience as buffers to compensate for your digital shortcomings – even when the crisis passes. Customer loyalty will lie with those who were able to provide for them online in their time of need and can continue to do so when the dust settles. 

Just as going digital has become the only option for your customers, rapid digital transformation has become the only option for you to meet present demands and beat the expectations that have arisen and will endure in this new digital reality. Thankfully this is easier than you might think, and we are here to help you succeed in doing so.

Brian McGlynn, VP Commerce at Coveo, and Andy Hoar, CEO of Paradigm B2B  & Co-founder at B2B Next, presented “The eCommerce Imperative: An Action Plan.” They provided insight on how to solve for the challenges of today and plan for the new normal. 

In addition, to help you navigate the waters ahead, we commissioned a survey of consumers across North America to gain greater insight into their buying behavior, and ultimately help you determine how you can deliver the intelligent shopping experiences needed to persist and prosper. Let’s start with what we found:

1). You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression with your digital experience. 

  • When we asked shoppers what they typically do first when they visit an eCommerce site, 5 out of 10 shoppers said they search for a specific product or content first, ahead of browsing the homepage and catalog, checking out sales, reading content or immediately purchasing an item. 
  • Six out of 10 also reported that they have left a site because of a poor digital experience.
  • Bottom line: You need to enable shoppers to find what they are looking for quickly and easily.

2). Irrelevant search results are missed conversion opportunities. 

  • Six out of 10 shoppers reported that they are frustrated when site search results aren’t tailored to their past online behavior or search query.
  • And when asked what areas online retailers should invest in to keep customers loyal, more than 60 percent of shoppers said they want you to suggest what to search for, based on what you know about them.
  • Bottom line: You need to tailor results and recommendations to shopper needs. 

3). Personalization is critical now – but you have to get it right. 

  • More than 90 percent of shoppers reported that they would return to a site with a personalized digital experience that tailors product recommendations based on their previous shopping habits.
  • And more than 60 percent of shoppers purchased something based on a product recommendation from a retailer, with the number skewing even higher for younger generations: 63 percent of ages 18-24 and 68 percent of ages 25-44. 
  • Bottom line: You need to understand your shoppers in order to satisfy them and increase customer value. 

To discover more about the state of shopping experiences today –  and how you can create the intelligent experiences necessary to meet and beat rising customer expectations – download our Guide to Delivering Intelligent Shopping Experiences.

Dig Deeper 

Dive into what defines relevance in ecommerce and what components you need to deliver it in this 6-minute read Retailers: Don’t Call Relevance a Superpower .