Bridging the Gap Between eCommerce and Real-World Experience

It was with great pleasure that I contributed to an “Expert Panel” organised by CX Buzz to answer this interesting question…

What could companies do to bridge the gap between eCommerce and Real-World Experience

Here is my take on it…

When customers go to a brick-and-mortar store, they expect 3 main things:
1) A clean and uncluttered space;
2) Easy-to-find products;
3) Staff at arms-length.

They expect the exact same when they go to an online store. However, most eCommerce sites have:
1) too much information (promotions, disclaimers, alerts, pop-ups, etc.) cluttering what are increasingly small screens (as customers use mobile devices more than desk or laptops);
2) poor search capabilities, forcing customers into a lot of clicking and scrolling, or digging into badly designed and structured menus;
3) hide, or make it hard to find, ways of getting in touch with customer services (to deflect contacts), and even when they make virtual assistants available, they are often unhelpful.

So, to bridge the gap between real-world and eCommerce experience, companies need to surface customers’ needs, understand their expectations, and design experiences that are based on those, rather than their own view of the world and business interests. And then use technology to enable it.