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12 Game-Changing Ecommerce Customer Experience Apps You Need in 2023

Discover some of the top customer experience ecommerce and retail tools available to deliver an elevated, differentiated, and delightful experience for shoppers at every step of the customer journey.

A New Year means it’s time to look at new ecommerce apps that will boost site and sales performance. 

First things first: We’ve broken down the top ecommerce trends for 2023 and we strongly encourage you to take a look to get an idea on what areas need attention next. 

But know this - all of the trends we referenced speak to improving the customer experience (CX) for shoppers. 

What is the definition of customer experience? 

Customer experience refers to how shoppers feel about a brand through every step of their customer journey - from discovery through to consideration, purchase, and post-purchase. 

An ideal customer experience looks at all of the steps in a typical customer journey and assesses customer satisfaction and needs. From there, the aim is to optimize each phase to ensure customers are happy, willing and able to buy, and eager to make another purchase, should they convert.

Some examples of customer experience improvements or enhancements for retail might include:

  • Seamless, easy, or free returns
  • User-generated content to help customers make informed decisions
  • Customer support access, channels, and timeliness
  • Product packaging 
  • Promotions and loyalty programs
  • Omnichannel retail synchronization  
  • Product recommendations, personalization, and buying guides 
  • Video content 
  • Social media selling or community-building
  • Onboarding support - welcome email series or demos
  • Bounceback offers to drive second (or repeat) purchases

What is customer experience management software?

Customer experience management software is any type of software designed to enhance or improve the customer experience, at any stage in the customer journey. These customer experience management tools may take the form of retail apps, mobile apps, SaaS, consumer-facing apps, or in some cases, something different altogether.

In some cases, customer experience management can be conflated with customer service or customer support. However, the broader the definition of customer experience management goes beyond just supporting a customer, and instead, involves strategies to enhance the customer experience in a way that negates them ever needing to reach out to a customer support team.

With all of that in mind, we’ve identified 12 customer experience apps for ecommerce that are worth looking at in building a better CX strategy and customer experience management approach for 2023.

For the record with this list, we moved away from customer experience management software that's focused on customer service - but there are plenty of great solutions and mobile apps for that! While some of the customer experience management tools on this list can be used to collect customer feedback, their overall focus is more so on creating a better customer experience at various steps of the customer journey.

GhostRetail

App type: Live shopping

What it does: Live video shopping has been hailed by Forbes as the #1 ecommerce trend to pay attention to in 2023 (for the record, our ecommerce trends guide spotlighted video + ecommerce as being best buddies as well). 

With Ghost, shoppers are able to connect with a live shopping associate on demand or via appointment to get personalized advice, guidance, and recommendations - similar to tapping an associate on the shoulder if they were browsing in store. 

Because they’re on video, the associate can also demonstrate how to use or setup a product, show products up close, or compare products side-by-side. Finally, customers and associates can add products to a customer’s cart, and initiate checkout, all within a live shopping call. The mobile app for associates makes it easy for brands to offer live one-to-one shopping from anywhere, including retail stores, call centers, studios, or even from home. Plus, merchants can collect anecdotal customer feedback they wouldn't receive anywhere else, which can be layered in to continually improve customer service. 

PRO TIP: Ghost also offers livestream shopping and free shoppable videos to round out your online CX. Dig into the entire video commerce suite in a free consultation session.

How it improves the customer experience:  

  • Get shopper questions answered, fast 
  • Provide real-time visual feedback 
  • Offer support on-demand or via appointment 
  • Speed up the time from consideration to conversion 
  • Build trust and authenticity with customers 

 

How to build a live shopping experience download playbook

renovai

Complete the look furniture
Image courtesy of renovai

App type: Visual AI design

What it does: renovai offers a customer experience software suite that pairs visual design with AI to create more engaging online shopping experiences. For example, their ‘Complete the Look’ solution uses customer data, brand styling guidelines, and product insights to automatically generate 2D room or outfit shoppable mood boards that encourage shoppers to continue their customer journey and add more to their bags. Their visual product suite also includes AI-based search enhancements, personalized marketing tools, 3D models and more. 

How it improves the customer experience:

  • Helps shopper discovery 
  • Creates tailored experiences unique to each shopper
  • Boosts shopper confidence by providing detailed visuals
  • Assists in-store shoppers with self-serve, interactive tools

Budbee

Image courtesy of Budbee

App type: Logistics

What it does: Budbee is ultimately a B2B2C customer experience software solution that offers a winning premise: Shoppers that buy an item from a merchant who offers Budbee have the option to send a package to their door, or to a Budbee Box location near them (take that porch pirates!) Upon delivery (which is done using renewable diesel-fueled or electric vehicles), customers simply stop by a locker, insert a custom pin, and pick up their parcel. Need to return an item? Customers can skip the post office and simply drop off with Budbee. 

How it improves the customer experience:

  • Gives shoppers complete flexibility over when and where to receive parcels
  • Creates a convenient return point and process
  • Offers a marketplace of retailers for customers to choose from that prefer the Budbee model

Traverz

Image courtesy of Traverz

App type: Search

What it does: Traverz invites shoppers to give real-time customer feedback on their product preferences by selecting product characteristics and auto-refining search results. Think of Traverz as the ability to pick out specific product tags while looking at an item either as part of a collection, or on a PDP, and then having your search results populate products that match your specific needs. For example, a shopper looking for a bag could identify the tags ‘crossbody’ and ‘vegan leather’, then further refine their search by ‘rose gold hardware’ and ‘multiple pockets’. Hello intuitive search and increased customer satisfaction. As a mobile customer experience solution, Traverz also promotes the fact you can integrate their solution with social media platforms such as WhatsApp to drive conversational commerce conversions.

How it improves the customer experience:

  • Simplifies searching with endlessly customizable filtering
  • Avoids ‘creepy’ personalization by asking for customer interaction
  • Creates zero-party data for merchants to learn from and adapt their UX to
The 6 biggest ecommerce trends in 2023

Avataar

Image courtesy of Avataar

App type: 3D and AR

What it does: Avataar's customer experience software leverages a merchant’s existing 2D photography to create hyper-realistic 3D images that can be browsed independently, or viewed contextually through augmented reality (AR). In-store shoppers can scan a product to view it in a photo of their home, while online shoppers can click on a product to project an AR version into any space they’re in. No matter what, the result is an improved user experience for shoppers trying to outfit their homes.

How it improves the customer experience:

  • Helps shoppers visualize products in any space
  • Creates a more interactive in-store experience
  • Lets shoppers view a product from any angle  

Rise.ai 

Image courtesy of Rise.ai

App type: Customer engagement platform

What it does: Rise.ai promotes three products designed to boost the customer experience under one roof. First, they offer customizable gift cards that can be easily sent on demand or on a schedule, boosting gift purchases from customers that may not know what to buy. Second, they offer a logic-based rewards program based on store credit to drive bigger AOV and higher CLTV. Finally, their refunds and returns product encourages shoppers to bank returns as store credit for future purchases. 

How it improves the customer experience:

  • Makes key online purchases and actions user-intuitive 
  • Rewards shoppers for spending more with a company
  • Saves shoppers time and money

ZineOne

Image courtesy of ZineOne

App type: Predictive marketing / segmentation engine

What it does: ZineOne promises to be able to pinpoint a shopper’s buying intent and customer sentiment within 5 clicks without tapping into PII. From there, it automatically adapts the site experience to that shopper’s particular needs or gaps, including carrying over these learnings to other retail channels. From a merchant perspective, ZineOne's customer experience management software posits they’re able to preserve margins by presenting offers to shoppers who need it, and suppressing them from customers that are more likely to convert on their own.

How it improves the customer experience:

  • Tailors the shopping experience in real time
  • Eliminates generic / irrelevant offers
  • Provides support to shoppers when they need it by suggesting logical next steps

Obsess

Image courtesy of Obsess

App type: Virtual store creator

What it does: Obsess brings online shoppers into a storelike environment by creating click-and-zoom style virtual stores. These 3D stores are merchandised with actual buyable products that shoppers can easily click on their journeys, alongside other immersive content like videos and livestreams. Obsess also helps brands build virtual stores for the Metaverse, including integrations with Roblox and Oculus. The goal with Obsess is simple: Create a better customer experience for online shoppers by taking them from a static 2D 

How it improves the customer experience:

  • Gives shoppers a more interactive, immersive way to shop online
  • Taps into new and emerging shopping channels
  • Creates a contextual environment that brings a brand to life

Charles

Image courtesy of Charles

App type: Conversational commerce

What it does: Charles’ main sales pitch: Reach your customers where they’re already spending time socially, on Whatsapp. Designed for marketing outreach, sales, and customer service, Charles' conversational commerce live chat service promises a 10x higher open rate than email. Charles also promises better customer retention, by establishing a more personal connection with customers. Brands looking to create a great customer experience beyond their website will want to take a look at how Charles is leveraging the mobile app arenas shoppers are already busy in, suggesting that Whatsapp is the ‘email of tomorrow’.

How it improves the customer experience:

  • Reduces abandoned carts by giving customers real-time support
  • Lets customers shop without having to leave a social media app they’re highly engaged with
  • Gives easy access for reordering and subscriptions

Octane AI

Image courtesy of Octane AI

App type: Shoppable quiz builder

What it does: Create shoppable quizzes that serve up products specifically tailored to a customer’s interests or needs. Octane AI is also promoting a new AI tool that will automatically recommend products for each customer based on their unique quiz data and feedback. 

How it improves the customer experience:

  • Shorten the time to value by saving shoppers the hassles of searching and navigating for relevant products on their own
  • Gives merchants valuable data on their primary customer interests to tailor more products, messaging, and experiences to that audience’s needs
  • Provides specific product recommendations on a 1:1 basis to boost customer satisfaction

 

TerraCycle

Image courtesy of Terracycle

App type: Recycling

What it does: Hear us out on this one. We know that most of the customer experience management tools on this list are all about enhancing the digital experience. But on a more macro level, sustainability is critical to consumers, and as we outlined in our ecommerce trends guide, brands have a responsibility to put their money where their mouth is. TerraCycle (and its subsidiary, Loop) is on a mission to help consumers easily recycle waste that might not be covered by their local recycling programs, or better yet, reuse them. Brands looking to up their sustainability factor and boost customer loyalty best pay attention. 

How it improves the customer experience:

  • Provides a demonstrable commitment to sustainable practices
  • Gives shoppers an easy way to minimize personal waste / their carbon footprint

 

RevLifter

Image courtesy of RevLifter

App type: AI-based promotions engine

What it does: Get the right offer in front of the right customer at the right time with RevLifter's customer experience management software. Using a mix of strategic planning and AI, RevLifter will automatically create a personalized experience that presents relevant offers to shoppers based on their behavior. This type of actionable insight is designed to drive more conversions and bigger cart sizes. For example, a shopper that’s on the fence may be offered free shipping, while a net new customer may be given a first-time discount. RevLifter even offers ‘RevWallet’, which stores all customer offers in a centralized hub to avoid FOMO and drive customer behavior toward checkout.

How it improves the customer experience:

  • Stops shoppers from having to ‘coupon hunt’
  • Provides valuable and timely offers at critical moments 

  

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How to select a customer experience management tool

The right customer experience management software really comes down to mapping out the customer journey, assessing if there are any gaps (including actual quantitative research), and applying solutions to overcome the most glaring gaps. Not every customer experience management solution on this list is going to be right for every business. The point is to find the specific tools that address customer feedback to delight shoppers and differentiate your digital experience.

Some customer experience management solutions are also easier to experiment with than others - based on budget, the strategic lift or implementation required, or the actual relevance for a particular business. Live one-on-one shopping can be added to any ecommerce site in short order, and staffed from anywhere. Interested in learning more about providing on-demand or appointment-based video support? Connect with the team at Ghost today.

 

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