How Technology Is Changing The End-To-End Online Shopping Experience

by Juliana Casale in March 16th, 2021

If you visit the Shopify homepage, the first thing you see in big, bold green letters is “Anyone, anywhere, can start a business.”

Shopify’s built an empire on providing tools that make it easy for merchants to launch their ecommerce stores quickly and professionally, without the need for formal marketing training or technical expertise.

The result is hundreds of thousands of stores driving billions of dollars in sales across the globe - and a booming ecosystem of technology providers that has sprung up to support further growth. 

Your website is just the beginning of a customer’s relationship with your brand; if you play your cards right, it will be a long-term love affair that doesn’t end when the post-purchase experience does. 

Let’s explore how technology influences the online shopping experience, and how you can use it to build a loyal customer base

1. Website Tools

Your website serves many purposes, from establishing your brand and your values to showcasing your products and facilitating the purchasing process.

Here are just a few areas where website technology can help you build a better browsing experience:

Product Pages

  • Product review apps like Junip allow you to provide shoppers with helpful information about sizing and fit, sourced from other customers
  • You can place a live chat bot like Tidio on your most popular or big-ticket item landing pages to answer any questions shoppers have in real-time as they consider making a purchase
  • Shoppers can get targeted product suggestions and bundles based on what they’re looking at when you use a recommendation app like Frequently Bought Together

Checkout

  • Build shopper confidence with a trust badge provider like Free Trust Badge
  • Offer customers the option to send a gift or include a note with their purchase using a tool like Super Gift Options
  • Provide a discount when shoppers sign up for recurring purchases using a subscription tool like PayWhirl
  • Once a shopper has completed the purchase process, you can suggest related items or present a special offer using a cross-sell/upsell tool like CartHook

2. Customer Communication Tools

From transactional updates (order confirmed; refund issued) to marketing messages, keeping customers in the loop is an important part of keeping them happy.

Here are just a few customer communication tools that will help you send relevant, helpful outreach campaigns:

Email Marketing

  • Pop up tools like Privy allow you to offer customers a discount code and keep them posted about sales when they share their email address on your website
  • Ecommerce email providers such as Klaviyo make it easy to send customers targeted communications based on their purchase behavior

SMS Marketing

  • Not sure why your customers are abandoning cart? A text communication tool like Cartloop acts as a personal shopping assistant to smooth out the buying process
  • SMS apps like Postscript make it easy to spare your customers’ inboxes by sending segmented marketing campaigns to their phones

Facebook Messenger Marketing

  • A Facebook Messenger marketing app like Octane AI helps you turn your Facebook page visitors into leads and keep new customers in the loop on sales, product releases, the status of their order and more

3. Supply Chain Tools

Customers start to anticipate receiving their order before they even hit the Buy button; keep the post-purchase experience positive with these helpful apps. 

Shipping 

  • Offer shoppers free shipping, same-day delivery, and a range of other options with shipping rate management software like ShipperHQ

Order Status Updates

  • Let shoppers know where their packages are before they have to ask with order tracking software like Wonderment

Returns/Exchanges

  • Help customers find a better fit or get their money back easily with a self-service portal like Loop 

4. Customer Retention

A satisfied customer is your brand’s biggest advocate. These tools will help you support and delight online shoppers so they stick around.

Live Chat & Helpdesk

  • Provide shoppers with real-time assistance and after hours support across multiple channels using an ecommerce customer service tool like Gorgias

Post-Purchase Surveys

  • Ask customers how you can improve their online shopping experience and show you’re listening to their feedback using a survey tool like Enquire

Loyalty Programs

  • Reward customers for their purchases with and friend referrals with a program management tool like Smile.io

Conclusion 

This post barely scratches the surface of the technology solutions that are available to ecommerce merchants (did you know that the Shopify app store boasts 4,000+ apps, and that “Store Design” alone has 21 sub-categories?) but it’s a great starting point.

Looking to improve the end-to-end shopping experience for your customers? Let us help you.

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