5 Reasons Why Customers Care More About Experience Than Price
In a digital world where most purchases we make are faceless, you wouldn’t expect customer experience to be so valued. In reality, though, it’s more important than price.
While the popularity of online shopping was built on low prices and convenience, many consumers still look to customer service when deciding which businesses they should shop with. This is often more important to customers than saving a little extra cash.
To help improve your online store, here are 5 reasons why customers care more about customer experience than product pricing.
It makes customers feel safe
Online shopping is still a somewhat scary experience. Horror stories of identity theft ward off many from shopping with anyone bigger than the largest ecommerce stores. This kind of customer is difficult to win if you’re a smaller store, but they can be won over through great customer experience.
If a website is lacking in vital information about who runs it, or doesn’t feature an established brand name, a customer may be wary of its true purpose. Exceptional customer service helps to sell your store as legitimate. If the consumer is guided through the purchase or can speak to a friendly voice at the end of a phone call, email, or chat function, they will feel at ease with completing the order and giving away their details.
In this situation, a low price can actually be cause for more trepidation, as the customer will question how a business could afford to sell a product for so little. The customer experience is the first step to dispelling these fears and building a relationship.
Good experience makes customers happy
The main mission of an online store should be to leave the customers feeling happy. If you have a lot of customers coming through each day but they’re unhappy with their purchases and write negative reviews, you won’t retain them, and you’ll struggle to attract new customers.
Their complaints won’t be about price: they’ll be about how they were treated throughout. Consumers want to feel valued and leave your store knowing they chose well.
Seeing a sale sign or discount can make a customer feel happy, but if the process of buying the item is arduous then that happiness will soon disappear. It’s a lot harder to win a dissatisfied customer back than it is to win a completely new one.
Think about how your customer is going to feel throughout each step of the journey. Will they think they’re valued, or are they going to be frustrated? Would you shop somewhere that didn’t value your business or look to treat you the same as a competitor would?
Retail therapy is something we often use to make ourselves feel better, so providing a negative buying experience will discourage someone from returning — even if returning would mean saving them money.
It replicates traditional shopping experiences
For so many of us, online shopping has become a regular activity — but that doesn’t mean we prefer it. Many consumers prefer going to physical stores to check out the products they’re interested in buying. When they’re forced to shop online, they want to come as close to that in-store experience as is possible.
Good customer experience mimics those in-store elements very broadly. A well-designed online store will feature a process that does everything a great retail assistant would: recommend products, answer questions, and complete orders efficiently.
A well-designed website can be the online equivalent of someone’s favorite local store: they might pop in to visit for the aesthetic, even when they don’t really need anything.
Providing a fantastic experience that’s similar to the in-store experience can turn price into a secondary concern. Take inspiration from high street retailers: try to recreate the offline experiences they have mastered to build a store that your customers will love.
Customers want to support brands
Consumers want to be associated with brands nowadays. They’re not looking to shop around for the best prices or take chances on unfamiliar companies — they want to tie themselves to well-known high-quality names.
Brands such as Supreme have shown that price is not the deciding factor: it’s the assurance of exclusivity and the presence of a great customer-first culture. Good customer service helps to build a relationship between the consumer and the brand responsible.
Notably, the modern consumer wants to know what a brand stands for. What are its values? Pricing says nothing about that, but finely-honed customer experience does: it tells them that the brand values its customers’ happiness. If a consumer feels that a brand cares about them and is offering something of quality, they’ll probably be happy to pay full price.
In the last decade, we’ve seen premier brands offer must-have products that really aren’t competitive when it comes to price (e.g. Apple). If you can establish a unique customer experience constituting a water-tight process that’s attentive to the needs of the individual, you can help to establish meaningful brand loyalty (more on that next).
Customers are looking to stay loyal
In the same way that customers want to support brands and be associated with them, they want to be given reasons to stay loyal: loyalty is easier and more convenient. When you go to buy groceries, you don’t shop around in different places for the best prices: you go to the same retailer you always have because it’s close and you’re familiar with it.
Customer experience is much more important for building that convenience loyalty than price ever could be.If your customer experience is streamlined and does exactly what the customer needs it to do with little input from them, they will continue to shop with you regardless of price.
Everyone is looking for the easiest experience possible online, and the main goal of customer service should always be to make things simpler.
We all love the idea of getting the best prices, but we love to feel valued and appreciated even more. If you run an online store, think back to the best customer experiences you’ve had — both online and offline — and use them to inspire your design work.