Businesses must ensure a new customer has a smooth first interaction with an online store or an app. Even more, it's important to guide the customer to place an order and return with another one.
That's why onboarding new customers is paramount in eCommerce as in any other niche. But, it can be hard to pay the same attention to each customer. Here customer onboarding automation comes into play.
In this post, you'll know why trying automation in customer onboarding is important. Also, what flows should you consider streamlining in onboarding new customers?
The importance of customer onboarding in eCommerce
Around 82% of businesses see their onboarding strategy as an essential value driver. Also, 90% of customers expect smooth sign-up, clear guidance, and personalized support. But unfortunately, they rarely get this value.
That's why companies want to produce hassle-free customer journeys from the very beginning. It ensures trust-based lasting relationships with their customers in the future.
Here everything starts with onboarding new customers. It guarantees long-standing benefits if done smartly.
So customer onboarding in eCommerce is crucial. It impacts further interactions with your business, customer loyalty, and satisfaction. In other words, you can improve customer experience with effective onboarding strategies.
What is customer onboarding automation?
Automating your customer onboarding means minimizing manual work and saving team resources. It is also about refining onboarding to deliver a better customer experience.
Customer onboarding automation introduces your eCommerce business to your customers with less effort. It includes automated onboarding steps like AI-driven chatbot responses instead of manual flows.
Let's explore the key advantages of customer onboarding automation below.
Customer onboarding automation benefits
Automation ensures that each customer onboarding journey is effective. Meeting such standards can be challenging in eCommerce. Meanwhile, automation can help with that by providing these 3 key benefits.
Consistency in onboarding
One of the top benefits of customer onboarding automation is delivering consistent value. Even the most talented team cannot provide every customer with the same level of support
In other words, we cannot provide customers 24/7 with the guidance they need. But chatbots or in-app messages can ensure seamless onboarding at any time. Even if customers try to buy at midnight. They will receive the same level of help.
Efficiency and productivity
Another undoubtful advantage of automated onboarding is high efficiency. For instance, email automation (like automatic order confirmation) spares time for you. You and your team can focus on other tasks instead of contacting customers manually.
An example of an automated order shipping confirmation email (Source: Really Good Emails)
It's only one example of automation. You can do much more 😉. By automating the onboarding stages, you improve efficiency in doing time-consuming activities. Automated solutions open a space to forget about repetitive tasks.
Automation is a crucial consideration for any growing eCommerce business. Say, you started extending your company. It may be daunting to deal with more customers onboard. But automation enables you to do it effortlessly.
Besides, you can gather invaluable data with automated tools. You'll learn about your customers' behavior during onboarding. You can use these insights when scaling your business.
Automation will help you set up flows for different markets and segments if you go global. Also, you'll be able to adapt with less stress and resources.
5 flows to automate when onboarding new customers
Several automation opportunities to use in the onboarding of new customers exist. Let's discover them and reap the benefits that will follow.
Some might believe the job is done if a customer is ready to sign up. Not always… It's just the beginning.
Do you like long registration forms? Me neither 😀. Sometimes we don't like to fill in even emails and passwords. In fact, 77% of customers are looking for social logins. This way, signing up and placing the first order will only take a few clicks.
The first flow worth automating is signing up. Automate sign-up flow with SSO, Google, Apple, Facebook, and other social login opportunities. It will make registration effortless.
An automated sign-up should be a part of landing page optimization activities. These imply using A/B testing for singing up buttons' style and placement. Also, you can play with automated pop-ups.
On the other side, allow new customers to proceed without registration. Afterward, send them a triggered email to continue a sing up flow. You can motivate them with some reward like a discount.
Imagine you landed on the website and saw the product you wanted to purchase. But you don't see delivery and payment information. It's unclear where's your card and how to make an order. What will be your first impressions about this online store?
First-time customer experience with your service is vital for eCommerce onboarding. It defines whether your customer will feel valued or feel left in the middle of unknown waters for them.
An automated welcome message personalized to customer interests will help break the ice. Also, quick in-app introductions set the tone for lasting customer relationships. The same applies to other types of guidance and displayed tips.
It would be a great idea to gather feedback at the early stage. You can automate first impression reviews to engage with new customers.
For a simplified reviews collection, you should try Debutify. This platform allows you to gather, filter, and automatically post reviews. It helps eCommerce businesses to boost brand visibility and reputation.
Emails and messages
We've already touched on the topic of automated welcome emails. But now, let's focus on emails and messages in a broader realm.
A sequence of onboarding emails enables you to connect with customers more personally. Behavioral messaging can make onboarding smooth and appealing for each group of customers. They can receive helpful information at each stage of onboarding.
New shoppers can get automated first-interaction guidelines. You can automate reminders for them. For example, remind users to fill in shipping info, notify them of order or delivery status, etc.
Apart from notifications, automated messages open a Pandora box of convenient walkthroughs. While navigating your website or app, your customers won't feel lost or alone. They'll see automated tips to navigate them.
Here’s an example of an in-app message from ASOS:
Another customer onboarding process flow needing automation is customer support. The key aspect that makes customer service good turns out to be speed:
Customers want their problems solved fast and around the clock. Automation assists with it.
It allows fast and 24/7 support when onboarding new customers. Say, your business is global and customers have different time zones. They might need to solve a specific onboarding challenge. So contacting customer support should be effortless for them.
You can use AI-powered chatbots to deal with repeating customer requests. Such solutions can provide a customer with all the necessary information. If needed, delegate your request to the customer support representative.
So self-service support is a crucial driver for improved onboarding experience.
Knowledge base and guidance
Another valuable point in customer onboarding automation is walkthrough guides.
One article won't do the trick. But the sequences of materials targeted at new customers' needs will. A developed help center shows that you care about your users at the initial stage of their journey.
Consider creating an FAQ section, knowledge base, in-app guidance, and video tutorials.
An example of a help center with navigation and an integrated chatbot (Source: AliExpress)
Producing and updating such content automatically is possible through software. For instance, content scheduling and posting tools will streamline content publishing. A help center and knowledge base provide visitors with the necessary guidance.
Automate sharing these tooltips and checklists through emails, in-app messages, and chatbots. Also, don't forget about pop-ups in accounts and modal windows.
All this guidance will support users at each point in their onboarding journey.
Bonus: customer onboarding analytics
Knowing what went wrong and what satisfied your customers is essential. Understanding which onboarding areas the team should work on is insightful as well.
You need to know what to measure and how to do it effectively to get the best out of onboarding new customers. You need to track metrics to provide an excellent onboarding of new customers. This also can improve customer acquisition in the future.
You should definitely check these metrics:
- Customer retention rate
- Product adoption success rate
- Response time
- Completion rate
- Time to value (TTV)
Customer onboarding analytics paves the way for a more personalized and seamless experience. Assessing onboarding data will help you optimize welcoming new customers.
You will know which flows bring the most value to the user. Also, you'll understand how difficult it is to interact with your website or app. As a bonus, you can use obtained insights for reporting in marketing and adjusting the strategy.
Besides, customer onboarding analytics is about team efforts and contributions. You can assess the team's efficiency in dealing with customer onboarding projects. These aspects are also insightful.
You'll need to gather, analyze, and visualize data to automate these processes. You can do it within customer data analytics solutions or through data integration setups.
You can export data from work management platforms to analyze progress. With that data, you can also build the next steps in customer onboarding.
Onboarding new customers is about fostering strong relationships. Good onboarding keeps customers satisfied. Automating onboarding impacts the process, team, and revenue.
From automated sign-ups to customer analytics — all can help polish customer experience. While you save your time and resources, your clients receive improved service. As a result, they are willing to return to you.
You can start automating your onboarding flows step by step and analyze the outcomes. With time, you'll find your business's best-automated customer onboarding flow. Go ahead and give automation a try!