How to Design a Kickass Customer Onboarding Process for Your Ecommerce Business

Onboarding is a crucial process in many industries and sectors, but it’s often something that Ecommerce leaders tend to overlook – at least when it comes to onboarding customers. While employee onboarding is a standard process and a crucial step towards running a successful online business, customer onboarding is often something that we associate with the SaaS industry and other service-based sectors.

Photo by on Unsplash

In reality, though, customer onboarding in Ecommerce can be a vital step towards building lifetime brand loyalty, inspiring repeat customer rates and purchases, and boosting your retention rate. What’s more, if you onboard people properly, you can expect to capitalize on better word of mouth and social proof, as well as take your sales and marketing processes forward. 

Fortunately, onboarding Ecommerce customers don’t have to be a difficult task, as there are only a few crucial steps you should take to bring your new customers into your brand’s family. This will also inspire them to become loyal brand advocates and create a meaningful connection with your business.

Here’s what you need to do onboard customers efficiently and effectively. 

It all starts with good project management

In order to build, organize, standardize, and also personalize your onboarding process, you first need to establish a robust good project management plan. Good onboarding starts with good project management that has clear goals and objectives, standardized procedures, but also creative solutions in order to personalize the experience as much as possible.

Now, being an Ecommerce business means that you can’t hope to personalize onboarding like the SaaS companies do, but it does mean that you can optimize the process to fit the needs of specific customer groups. As an Ecommerce company, you have numerous tiers of customers and target demographics, and it’s important that the onboarding process accommodates their needs and requirements.

For example, if you have people from vastly different age groups visiting your site or buying your products, it’s a good idea to scale the onboarding up or down according to their age. This requires skilled project management and strategizing, which you can only do by implementing a cloud-based project management tool and working closely with an experienced project manager.

This project should cover all the steps that your new website visitor takes towards becoming a paying customer, and it should outline the steps you need to take to inspire them to register on your website. Once they do, you need to have a clear onboarding procedure to familiarize them with your site, the perks they get for registering, and what it means to be a part of your community.

Learn from the SaaS industry

SaaS companies have some of the most sophisticated and well-rounded customer onboarding processes in the world. They have to, because SaaS companies bank on the fact that a new customer can become a lifelong brand advocate and continue to use their software for years to come. What’s more, by onboarding them quickly and properly, SaaS leaders know that these new customers will spread the good word of their brand. 

This is why you should look to mirror the SaaS marketing playbook and use their customer onboarding best practices in your own strategy, so that you can maximize the value of each new customer you get. For one, it’s important to show the customer the value you’re providing right off the bat.

It’s not just about your amazing products, it’s about the problems you solve and how being a part of your community can benefit them over the long term. Think of the value you can offer here, and how your customer success teams can guide them towards better products and solutions, better deals and discounts, and various other rewards. 

Use storytelling to get them on board

Good storytelling is one of the foundational pillars of content marketing, and it can help you take your Ecommerce business to the next level in this competitive industry. For one, you need to weave storytelling into your SEO and content creation strategy, as well as your website’s copy and narrative in order to create something more engaging and meaningful than a mere online store. 

After all, you might have amazing products, but you also need amazing copy to create lifelong customers. The same goes for your customer onboarding process. Make sure to familiarize them with your rband and what you stand for, and you can even write a short autobiography if you are the face of a brand that brings together a tight-knit community of devoted customers and supporters.

People want to know whom they are supporting and why they joined your Ecommerce community, so this is your opportunity to seal the deal with your amazing story. Your goal here should be to weave your brand’s values into the story so that they resonate with the hearts and minds of your customers. 

Create an interactive walkthrough

Another amazing way to onboard Ecommerce customers is to create an interactive walkthrough. This can be a video tour or an infographic, a product tutorial or even quiz, as there are numerous types of fun and engaging content you can give them to familiarize them with their new products, or a group of products, or even your brand as whole.

Needless to say, this is yet another timeless SaaS tactic you can steal for yourself, as product tours can guide your new customers towards repeat purchases and give them all the information they need to make good use of the products they buy. This of course, means going the extra mile for your customers.

You can put detailed interactive guides on the product pages to inspire people to make a positive decision much faster, but you can also follow up after a purchase to help them make the most of it. One of the best ways to go about this is to use the products as an infographic and as a part of a use-case set of photos in which you’ll showcase all the ways a customer can use that product, as well as the best ways to do so. 

Send out an onboarding and a thank-you email

Email marketing is one of the most powerful marketing tactics at your disposal as an Ecommerce business and you should use it to onboard your new customers as well. This is your opportunity to show how much you appreciate them registering on your site and provide them with all the info they need on how to leverage their membership for some great rewards.

You should start by thanking them and introducing your brand’s story, which is the foundation of good onboarding email copy that will capture their attention and inspire them to continue reading through the whole thing. After that, talk about the shared values that connect you to your customers, and how together you can achieve a common goal – always have a worthy goal for your brand.

You can then finish things off with a strong CTA, incentivizing them to check out your blog page, some of your products, or reach out if they have any further questions. 

Design an informative FAQ section

Last but definitely not least, take the time and put the effort into building a comprehensive FAQ section for your Ecommerce site. Modern customers have a lot of questions, but they don’t want to send you an email or a DM to get the answers. Rather, they want to get their answers as quickly as possible, so this is your opportunity to provide all the necessary information in your FAQs.

Instead of doing what the majority of Ecommerce companies do and write up a short FAQ consisting of some shipping info and some details about returns, use this opportunity for effective customer onboarding. Include various questions about your memberships and how customers can use their profiles on your site.

Talk about your loyalty programs and why customers should register, and mention the special features that your members can access on their profiles. If you can include screenshots and guide them through the entire process.

Over to you

Onboarding your Ecommerce customers can help your brand boost its customer retention rate, and maximize the lifetime value of each new customer. But that’s just the beginning. In the long term, you can expect customer onboarding to deliver numerous benefits to your entire operation, including elevated word of mouth, better social proof, and higher customer acquisition.

With these tips in mind, go ahead and build a winning onboarding process that will help take your Ecommerce business to new heights of success.