What is the right answer to the modern e-commerce dilemma: whether higher consumer expectations are improving the customer experience (CX) or whether innovations in CX are creating more demanding customers? Whichever is the right answer it is clear that strong customer experience generates repeated business by harnessing loyal customers. There are a multitude of tools on offer to help businesses meet customer demands and create an enjoyable and stress-free shopping experience; here are four essential tools that will support businesses in providing quality customer experience.

Introduction of Instant Messaging

According to Forrester, the British public spends as much time on WhatsApp as on Facebook’s social-networking app. It’s easy to see how this trend could cross over with customer service and swiftly become one of the most popular choices for consumers to contact brands. There is no need to press numerous buttons to get through to the right department, there is no hanging around listening to horrendous hold music, and there is no need to wait for email replies!

One of the main benefits of using IM for customer communication is that IM services targeting rules and triggers can now be very well-tailored depending on need. This enables businesses to interact with consumers at vital points of their shopping journey and can make the real difference in increasing sales and procuring loyal customers! IM provide consumers with real-time responses to queries or concerns about a product or service in the format of their choice, click to call, chat or video. The 2015 Aspect Consumer Experience Survey showed that 76% of consumers say they view customer service as the true test of how much a company values them. Equipped with IM services, businesses can stand by consumer’s side every step of their shopping experience to really show how much their visit and custom counts.

Abandoned cart reminders

 With an IM service up and running,  business are increasing their chances to see the customer right through to the checkout, but with abandoned cart rates as high as 68.63% last year, according to Baymard, there is more that needs to be done to secure the purchase. Abandoned cart reminders can be additional useful e-commerce tool. SalesCycle stats show that more than 11.61% of cart abandonment emails are clicked. With the average click rate for E-commerce newsletters at3.77% (SmartInsights’ latest stat), cart abandonment emails really do offer a great opportunity to regain lost sale. Businesses have a wide range of tools to choose from. The cost and ease of setup are the obvious factors that will influence the business decision. We advise to choose the tool that offers personalisation features, manageable targeting criteria (cart total or page reached, for example) and sends at least 2 emails per prospect. The recommended approach is to send a time-sensitive, urgent email first, and then to offer a discount or coupon in the second email. It’s always advisable to include some extra information in your cart abandonment emails. It could be about the products the prospect chooses or any other products that may be of interest or use (for example, batteries for a product which comes without them), or delivery details and confirmation of the secure payment options in place.


As well as reminder emails, newsletters are a great way at staying in touch with customers and can be the starting point of a great customer experience when used to acquire new clients. They can showcase new products; keep loyal customers informed of new deals, offers or products that are back in stock. However, to ensure the best CX, newsletters must be mobile optimised. According to the recent, Litmus ‘Email Analytics’ Study, 55% of email is now opened on a mobile device. The Radicati Group has predicted that 2.282 million people will access email via their mobile devices by 2017! Businesses simply cannot afford to not optimise their newsletters for mobile devices, and what a waste of a great newsletter if half the customers can’t read it on the go! Newsletter tools should be capable of segmenting client base, creating personalised emails and enabling analytics to get the most out of email campaigns to ensure a good CX by delivering the right message to the right customer at the best time for them.

Consumer Review Tool

The fourth tool no E-commerce website should live without is a consumer review tool. 61% of customers read online reviews before making a final purchase decision according to Econsultancy. If your site doesn’t provide genuine consumer reviews; customers are likely to check them on other platforms. This poses a real risk to business of losing a sale and a potential customer. By enabling customers to leave reviews, businesses strengthen their brand image whilst also strengthening customer relationships through trust and transparency. As the volume of reviews increases they are more likely to start appearing in Google results. This can create additional content for a site. Product pages which showcase client reviews see click rates exceeding 17% according to Google! To choose a high performing review tool, you need to ensure that it has adaptable email sending settings (send a review request after an order has been placed, upon reception, etc.), a threshold amount for sending requests, the number of items to review and personalisation options so that your brand is well represented across all communications and the customer enjoys the all-important personal touch.

Customer experience boils down to how a consumer sees and interacts with a business, by using these tools businesses can be present at important touch points in the customer’s journey, supporting them, providing information and answers in real-time and making the customer feel valued and important. This is the perfect mix for a successful customer experience!

Marc Schillaci

Marc Schillaci


Marc Schillaci is CEO and Founder of Actinic (Part of the Oxatis Group)