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Feb 23, 2024 | 13 minute read

10 Experiences Customers Expect from Your Online Store

written by Seamus Roddy

If you sell online, you’re selling customer experience in addition to your products. Personalized experiences, a fast site, dynamic product pages, fast checkout – all will boost conversions and revenue. By the same token, poor site experiences – a lack of live chat, weak site search, a clunky site – will repel customers and possibly even send them to your competitors.

Learn what experiences customers expect from a high-performing online store. You’ll also see how Elastic Path enables these experiences without necessitating a crush of development work or forcing your business to invest a ton of money.

What Customers Expect From Your Online Store

  1. Personalization
  2. Seamless omnichannel experiences
  3. Fast and reliable performance
  4. Strong navigation and search
  5. Dynamic product pages and rich catalogs
  6. Multiple, secure payment options
  7. Live chat and customer support
  8. Easy, intuitive checkout
  9. Loyalty programs and incentives
  10. Informative, plentiful customer reviews

1. Personalization

Why it’s important to customers: Your online store won’t maximize business without strong personalization. Consumers value personalization – 80% say a personalized experience boosts the odds they make a purchase. Prominent examples of personalization include recommending products based on past purchases and browsing behavior, or delivering geographically-specific landing pages to buyers in certain zip codes.

How Elastic Path can help: The challenge with personalization is that everyone says they personalize. But as one of our partners at Twilio Segment said in a recent webinar, true personalization can’t come only from personas and audiences. Personalization means 1:1 engagement, which means first-party data. Our integration with Twilio Segment enables true, first-party, data-driven personalization for any brand – regardless of size or budget.

See Elastic Path in action: Watch below to see a demo of our integration with Twilio Segment.

2. Seamless Omnichannel Experiences

Why it’s important to customers: “Omnichannel” is a term that means giving customers a unified buying experience throughout their buying journey. Customers want a strong, consistent, individualized buying experience whether they’re shopping online, in a store, or a mix of both. They don’t want to have the same conversation with a chatbot and an employee, or learn that they can’t order a product online and pick it up at a store.

How Elastic Path can help: Elastic Path’s suite of modular, composable products power omnichannel-friendly commerce. Jewelry brand Teilor reduced loading time, downtime, and the time to conversion with an Elastic Path solution that enables expansive product catalogs and customer experiences that convert in-store and online.

We have an ambitious growth strategy. We selected Elastic Path because we know it enables our team to deliver a unique multi-channel customer experience at speed.

TeilorWilly Dicu CEO, Teilor

3. Fast and reliable performance

Why it’s important to customers: Would you want to shop on a slow site? Fast and reliable site performance is non-negotiable for online shoppers, as even a 1-second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions. A slow online store will tar you as an unreliable seller – depressing customer loyalty, conversions, and revenue.

How Elastic Path can help: Elastic Path powers fast, high-performing sites and online stores. For developers, our 99.99% uptime and fast API response time mean building and innovating quickly. For merchandisers and marketers, Elastic Path CX Studio offers a fast frontend that supports personalization and no-code editing.

Get started with Elastic Path today

Explore fast, flexible, and scalable eCommerce solutions from Elastic Path.

4. Strong navigation and search

Why it’s important to customers: Just as when they shop in-person, visitors to your online store want to be able to find products fast. According to Forrester, visitors that use your site search are 2-3X more likely to convert and make a purchase.

How Elastic Path can help: We integrate with leading site search vendors, including Algolia, so that your merchandisers can turn on site search with a few clicks and in a matter of minutes. Elastic Path Composer, the iPaaS purpose-built for commerce, helps you manage these third-party integrations with confidence.

See Elastic Path in action: Implement a site search engine for your online store in minutes. Watch the demo below to see Algolia configured in Elastic Path’s business user tool.

5. Dynamic product pages and rich catalogs

Why it’s important to customers: Dynamic product pages are critical to consumers' online shopping experiences because it helps bridge the sensory gap between shopping in-store and online. Dynamic product pages result from effective product merchandising and catalog management, in which you serve the right product at the right time with the right amount of information to the right prospect. Strong product pages help build trust and confidence for consumers using your online store, and display your products in the best possible light.

How Elastic Path can help: Elastic Path Product Experience Manager has industry-leading product management and catalog management capabilities. Launching new catalogs, product variations, and product experiences is in the hands of your merchandisers – no code or IT required.

See Elastic Path in action: Watch the demo below to see how Product Experience Manager helps you merchandise 5X faster and deliver product-centric experiences that boost revenue.

6. Multiple, secure payment options

Why it’s important to customers: Customers want to pay how they want to pay. Credit card, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, PayPal – buyers want choice, and having multiple payment options increases revenue by nearly 30%. Security also affects conversion rates and revenue, as an American Express survey found that 42% of buyers have abandoned an online purchase due to security concerns. Payment flexibility, such as Buy Now, Pay Later, offers an individualized, user-friendly experience for buyers.

How Elastic Path can help: Elastic Path Payments, our best-in-class payment processing solution, offers comprehensive payments support that includes enabling multiple, secure payment options. Billfold, a point-of-sale solution for live events, uses Payments to offer a range of secure payment options.

Our previous technology stack had a bunch of faults. We couldn’t support Apple Pay or Samsung Pay – which customers at events now expect to use. Elastic Path helped us unlock both and offer our clients a better product.

Billfold logoStas Chijik CEO and co-founder

7. Live chat and customer support

Why it’s important to customers: Once, shoppers expected to have a store associate available to answer questions as they shopped. Now, for visitors to your online store, that role is filled by live chats and chatbots. Selling online comes with the benefits of reaching a large audience but the drawback of low single digit conversion rates. Live chat and chatbots can boost conversion rates by offering an individualized customer experience.

How Elastic Path can help: You don’t need a big tech team or budget to get leading chatbot capabilities. CX Studio has a pre-built integration with Gorgias, an AI-driven chatbot service. Plus, any chatbot provider that uses a JS snippet can be plugged into CX Studio with a custom integration.

8. Easy and intuitive checkout

Why it’s important to customers: Nobody likes a long checkout process, and people shopping online are looking for convenience – not for a checkout that takes longer than your competitors’. This can cost you business, as 70% of customers will abandon their cart if the checkout process takes too long.

How Elastic Path can help: Elastic Path Payments has a one-click checkout feature that your merchandisers can set up in minutes. Our Cart and Checkout capabilities allow for a unified checkout experience across devices and brands.

See Elastic Path in action: See how a merchandiser can set one-click checkout for certain products in an online store in a matter of clicks and minutes. Watch the demo below.

9. Loyalty programs and incentives

Why customers expect it: Customers want to feel an affinity for and relationship with your brand. Developing those positive feelings pays off, as a 5% increase in customer retention can produce more than a 25% increase in profit. Loyalty programs signal to your most enthusiastic buyers that you’re meeting their needs and offering them the exclusive experiences they deserve.

How Elastic Path can help: Managing loyalty experiences has traditionally been difficult and expensive, as rigid catalog management tools mean custom development work. Product Experience Manager makes it possible to build loyalty experiences fast – driving consistent revenue growth without delay or big financial investment.

10. Informative, plentiful customer reviews

Why customers expect it: Social proof has always been an important part of making a purchase, and by now, consumers are conditioned to seek reviews before purchasing a product. 99.9% of consumers read reviews when they shop online. Displaying product reviews can increase conversion rates 200% or 300%, indicating that if your online store doesn’t have reviews, consumers will go to a competitor’s store that does.

How Elastic Path can help: Composer’s Integrations Hub, a library of instant-on commerce integrations, includes a pre-built, no-code integration with eCommerce retention marketing platform Yotpo. The integration helps you automatically display and collect reviews, and can allow your site search capabilities to include rating filters and other dynamic, ratings-based displays.

Meet eCommerce Customer Experiences with Elastic Path

Our family of modular, composable products gives your merchandisers and marketers the ability to deliver customer-pleasing experiences on your online store. As a brand that sells online, your level of customer experience is a matter of winning or losing business. Talk to one of our commerce experts today about how you can boost customer experience and get value fast with Elastic Path.

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