The user experience has become an important differentiator for customer engagement as more people shop online, and IT services provider, Empired believes an organisation’s digital presence is a key component in ecommerce success.

Empired head of digital and experience design, Kevin Miller said customer expectations have been rising steadily as organisations get better at delivering frictionless experiences.

“Developing a strong online relationship with the customer is a crucial part of doing business in the digital era. Businesses must invest in an omnichannel experience that delivers connection and consistency across all devices, platforms, and channels. This is the only way to compete successfully,” he said.

Miller believes there are three key elements making up the ecommerce experience – firstly, brand assets including messaging and visuals, secondly, platforms that power shopping including technology integrations and thirdly, external customer touchpoints such as social media or email marketing.

“It’s essential to consider all three elements together to create a cohesive experience aligned to strategic objectives,” he said.

The process starts with an understanding of the customer journey and how the business can address customer needs and pain points. This should underpin a process of continuous development to ensure excellence and avoid stagnation.

“Technology is the lynchpin that determines the success or otherwise of an ecommerce offering. It’s important to think beyond sales and include every aspect of the customer’s experience. A digital experience platform (DXP) helps deliver a smooth and consistent customer experience across all channels,” Miller said.

A robust and powerful DXP lets companies develop strong marketing assets supported by fast loading times, easy website navigation and strong security, to strengthen the customer relationship, upsell and cross-sell more effectively, offer advanced payment options, and personalise the experience.

Businesses can also use the information gathered by the DXP to understand customer behaviour and trends, tailoring offers and campaigns accordingly, Miller said.

“Empired partners with specialists such as Episerver to deliver digital experiences for customers with measurable outcomes. The solution brings together content, commerce, multichannel marketing, and predictive analytics, offering the ability to launch surveys, social integration, automated email marketing, customer personalisation and more,” he said.

“These activities take into account the entire customer lifecycle, from intelligent optimisation and lead generation to conversion and repeat business.”