How to collect customer feedback in ecommerce

This guide will walk you through asking for, and then acting on, ecommerce customer feedback for your business.

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Customer feedback is especially vital in the ecommerce space. You don’t have the face-to-face contact and conversations with customers that happens in a brick-and-mortar retail store, so you need to invest in other ways of getting ecommerce feedback. And with the increasing competitiveness of the ecommerce industry, you can’t afford to forgo the edge that customer feedback will give your business. 

Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to gather customer opinions and insights about your ecommerce customer experience and products. And once you’ve collected that feedback, it’s time to act on the information you’ve received to ensure you’re delighting your customers and exceeding their expectations every day. That’s what creates strong customer loyalty and builds your business.

This guide will walk you through asking for, and then acting on, ecommerce customer feedback for your business.

How to ask for feedback from customers 

The first step in creating an excellent ecommerce customer experience is figuring out how to get feedback from customers. It’s important to consider not just what your business needs, but also how much you are asking your customers to do. Offering feedback takes time and it primarily benefits your business, not the customer, so keeping their priorities and time in mind will help you get more responses and feedback. 

There are many different ways to gather feedback from your customers so you can choose the one that fits your business and your customers best. Here are a few of the most effective ways of gathering customer feedback about your ecommerce business you should consider implementing.

Customer surveys

Customer surveys are one of the most effective ways to collect ecommerce customer feedback. They offer a variety of flexible ways to collect opinions, insights, and information from your customers so you know exactly how they feel about your business. And they can offer actionable ways to improve your customer experience and your products or services so your business is set up for success. 

Sending the right kind of survey begins with thinking about your business goals. Are you looking to measure your customer satisfaction levels, or assess how loyal your customers are, or ensure you’re providing an experience that makes it easy to do business with you? All three of these goals can be achieved starting with a specific survey. 

Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)

Customer Satisfaction Score is a customer loyalty metric that companies use to measure how satisfied customers are with a specific interaction or their overall experience with the business. Customer satisfaction surveys offer a way to measure customer sentiment about your customer experience. 

You calculate your CSAT score by sending a survey that asks customers, “How would you rate your overall satisfaction with [brand or interaction]?” Customers respond on a 5-point scale, from 1 (very unsatisfied) to 5 (very satisfied). Then divide the total number of customers who selected very satisfied (5) or satisfied (4) by the total number of responses and times that by 100 - that’s your CSAT score. 

Customer Effort Score (CES)

Customer Effort Score is another customer experience metric that measures how easy it is to do business with your company. After all, even if customers love your products and services, they don’t want to have to put in a lot of time and effort to make their online purchases or get help when something goes wrong. 

A CES survey asks customers to rate their agreement with this statement on a 7-point scale: “The company made it easy for me to handle my issue.” The potential responses range from1 (strongly disagree) to 7 (strongly agree). This score will tell you how easy you make it for customers to resolve any issues that come up. For example, if they are trying to return an item that arrived damaged but they are transferred from department to department and need to repeat their issue several times, that’s frustrating and will make them less loyal to your business in the future. 

Net Promoter Score® (NPS) 

Net Promoter Score is an excellent measure of customer loyalty and can help you build deep and lasting relationships with your customers. It uses one simple question to sort your customers into three categories that tell you how loyal they are, and if they’re strong brand advocates. Companies with leading NPS scores grew more than 2x as fast as their competitors, so this score is highly correlated with growth and profitability as well. 

Your NPS survey asks customers, “how likely are you to recommend [business or product] to your friends and colleagues?” Customers respond on a scale from 0 (not at all likely) to 10 (highly likely). 

Those who answer with a 9 or 10 are your Promoters, who are highly loyal and also vocal advocates for your brand. Anyone who answers with a 7 or 8 is a Passive, people who like what you offer but aren’t particularly loyal. And those who respond with a 6 or below are Detractors, who are definitely dissatisfied and probably vocal about it. You calculate your NPS by subtracting the percentage of Detractors from the percentage of Promoters (% Promoters – % Detractors = NPS). 

Open-ended questions 

Each of the survey types above are most effective when you include a second open-ended question following the rating scale so customers can tell you why they rated your business, products, or an interaction the way they did. 

While the quantitative data from the ratings is certainly valuable so you can gauge what customers think, you also need to know why they think that. And you can’t do that effectively without including a space for customers to express what’s on their mind and the reasoning behind their rating. 

When to send surveys 

Choosing the right time to send surveys to your customers is essential to getting good feedback. The survey send time depends on the type of survey, and the experience you want to gather feedback about. 

If you’re looking to get feedback about a customer service interaction, like asking a customer service representative for help via phone or chat, sending a survey immediately after the interaction will get you the most accurate information. The interaction will be fresh in your customer’s mind and so they will be able to offer clear feedback. You can send a CSAT survey asking about their satisfaction with the interaction, a transactional NPS survey to gauge loyalty, or a CES survey to see if your team made resolving the issue easy. 

On the other hand, if you’re looking for feedback about the product or service your customer just purchased, hold off on sending a feedback survey for a few days or a week. Your customers won’t be able to offer a full opinion on their new purchase until they’ve had the chance to use it at least a few times, and that can take up to two weeks to happen. Sending a product survey after some time has passed ensures you’re getting a measure of how your products or services offer value over time. 

And if you’re looking to measure customer feedback about your company as a whole, you can time surveys to be sent at regular intervals, like quarterly or yearly. This cadence ensures you can measure trends in customer experience metrics and see what direction your ecommerce business is headed in over time. 

Customer reviews 

Customer feedback surveys aren’t the only way to measure how your ecommerce experience is serving your customers. You can also use customer reviews to track trends and resolve issues in your ecommerce business. Your ecommerce website might offer a space for customers to leave reviews, whether that’s on your product pages or somewhere else. You probably also receive reviews on at least one external review website such as Google, Yelp, TripAdvisor, or others. These reviews offer a treasure trove of information on customer opinions about your products or services and your company as a whole. 

Checking customer reviews regularly can help you uncover insights about your ecommerce customer experience and offer potential areas for improvement on your website or in your products and services. For example, you may notice a recent uptick in reviews that mention a particular problem during the checkout process, or noting that returns are more difficult than they should be. You can take these trends and work to find solutions so your customers are more satisfied with your ecommerce experience.  

Feedback button

You can also gather customer insights by including a feedback button directly on your website. A feedback button is a small tab on the side of your site that offers customers the chance to offer their thoughts as they browse. It has many benefits to both your customers and your business. 

  • Shows you value customer input. Offering an on-demand, easy-to-access way for customers to give you feedback when they want to tells them that you value their input and opinions. And the more your customers feel you care about them, the more loyal to your business they will be. 

  • Makes giving feedback easy. Giving feedback to businesses that offer an online retail experience is more difficult for customers than a traditional brick-and-mortar store because they can’t simply walk in and tell you when they have a problem. But adding a feedback button to your website ensures giving feedback is easy for your customers when they need it. 

  • Offers instant feedback. Sometimes customers will have an issue that is urgent, or encounter a bug that prevents them from making a purchase or abandoning their shopping cart. Hearing about these issues immediately ensures your business can fix them fast and avoid losing out on potential purchases. 

How to use customer feedback 

Why is collecting customer feedback on your ecommerce experience important? It’s not simply because you want to hear about how things are currently going - it’s so you can make improvements to your customer experience. Using your customer feedback wisely ensures you’re truly making use of the gift of feedback your customers have generously provided to you. And this feedback can be used to help you make improvements in many areas of your ecommerce business. 

Improve customer experience

Customer feedback can help you identify areas of the customer experience in your ecommerce shop that need adjustments to better serve customers. By analyzing your customer feedback, you can identify areas of the website that could use improvements based on what customers say about it. 

For example, you might have a checkout process that is excessively complicated or requires users to create an account before they can make a purchase, and this could be hurting your customer experience. You won’t know how customers feel about touchpoints on the customer journey until you offer them the chance to tell you by providing feedback and close the loop on their suggestions and ideas.

Increase customer loyalty 

Gathering feedback from your ecommerce customers in surveys can certainly tell you what you’re doing that needs improvement. But it can also tell you where you’re doing well, and those findings can help you increase customer loyalty. 

NPS surveys are especially helpful here as they help you identify your most loyal customers. You can then learn from those customers what they love about your company and what has them so highly satisfied, which will identify your strong points. Then, you can build on those points to create more loyal customers as you now know what’s most important to them and what they value highly. 

For instance, perhaps you survey your Promoters more deeply and find out they absolutely love your return policy and the return experience. Not all customers will need to return items, but you can build in more promotion of your return policy into your marketing and sales efforts and bring in additional customers who will be loyal. 

Support product development 

When you’re looking to create new products or features for existing products, it can be tricky to know which ones your customers will truly value and want to purchase. But this is another place where customer feedback can be vital. Feedback can help your business identify particular features or details that customers would like to see and value highly. 

This information can make an effective case for future product development projects. By taking product ideas directly from what customers have told you they want to see, you are anticipating their needs and desires. And that doesn’t just increase sales - it also makes them feel cared for and seen, and that creates strong loyalty. 

Influence product improvement 

Customer feedback can allow you to make improvements to many aspects of your customer experience that are falling below customer expectations. Your website shopping experience might be clunky and frustrating, with images that are too small to see clearly or too large to load quickly. Your checkout process might have bugs or too many steps that frustrate would-be buyers. And your products or services might be lacking essential features or quality that turns customers to your competitors for their next purchase. 

But you can improve all these areas of your ecommerce experience by getting lots of customer feedback and then acting on areas where customers tell you they are unsatisfied. Customer feedback can help you focus in on the product improvements that will make the biggest difference in your customer experience so you know you’re delighting customers every time.

Increase conversions 

If you’ve ever looked at how many people browse your ecommerce website or app, compared it to the number of people who actually make a purchase, and felt that gap is much too wide, you’re not alone. Your conversion rate, or how many site visitors convert to customers by making a purchase, is essential to measuring how successful your website is at creating new buyers. 

Customer feedback can help you identify why some visitors convert and some fail to do so. It could be that your website lacks some essential features or information that they need before they feel confident enough to buy, or a flaw in your checkout process. Whatever the cause, you can use customer feedback to identify it and help you fix it so your conversion rate rises and your online sales soar

Key takeaways 

Why is collecting feedback from customers important? Because it’s the most effective way to figure out how to create an excellent ecommerce customer experience. When you create a highly efficient customer feedback program, you’ll learn exactly what your customers desire, value, and where they want to see improvements as well. And that information is incredibly valuable to your business because it allows you to meet and exceed their expectations every time - that’s how you create a large and loyal customer base. 

Collecting and analyzing customer feedback to improve your ecommerce experience doesn’t need to be complicated. In fact, with a tool like GetFeedback’s customer experience platform, it couldn’t be easier or faster to set up your own customer feedback program. Customer experience is now an essential way to stand out from your competitors and increase sales, so don’t risk falling behind on the future of customer feedback.

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