Sofia Grizovskaya

Media Editor at Inweb digital marketing agency

Customer focus in ecommerce

What is Customer Focus and What is Its Role in Ecommerce

It is difficult for businesses to stand out from their competitors. In many areas, there are already market leaders or companies with greater advertising capabilities and budgets. Customer focus is a growth point that can distinguish a brand from others.

In this article, experts from the Inweb agency blog analyze and explain what customer focus is, why it is needed, and what functions it performs in ecommerce. In addition, you will learn how to build a customer-oriented company.

What is Customer Focus

Сustomer focus is a business principle that prioritizes solving customer pain and establishing a connection with them. The strategy is based on helping consumers understand what they want.

A client-oriented company is one that has worked through the entire chain of interaction with the client. This includes training for specialists who communicate with potential customers, packaging, loyalty programs, etc. It is not enough just to put the product in a beautiful package, it is important to pay attention to the consumer at every stage of interaction.

Key Principles of Customer Focus

Customer focus in retail includes principles that create the basis for building strong and long-term relationships with customers, partners, and employees.

What are these principles:

  • Providing quality products. Without quality, it is impossible to build loyalty, as managers will constantly have to deal with negative customer feedback, objections, and disappointments.
  • Formation of values. A company that has built its own values and principles, has a mission and vision, and adheres to its visions is already one step closer to the concept of "customer-centric."
  • Employee training. Instill the company's values in managers and teach them to listen and understand the consumer's pain. It's great when all the people who have direct contact with leads are experts. They can independently solve customers' problems, advise them on effective solutions, and avoid conflict situations.
  • Accessibility of the company. Customer focus is also based on the company's accessibility on social media, through a call center, etc. Don't make the customer guess when their goods will arrive, and don't redirect them to different departments — this is what a not client-oriented company does.
  • Responsibility and transparency. A company's willingness to take responsibility for a defective product is also a customer-focused principle. By demonstrating its strengths and weaknesses evenly, the company becomes closer to the consumer. That is why, for example, you should not delete bad reviews.
  • Ability to learn and listen. Development, improvement, and progress are the hallmarks of a customer-centric company. You can learn from your mistakes and your competitors` best practices.

By following these principles, you can build a strong company that will grow and develop a customer-oriented approach at all levels of interaction with customers and partners.

Types of Customer Focus

There are different types of customer focus, such as:

  • Product. In this case, the company focuses entirely on the production and improvement of the ideal product.
  • Interactive. The key role here is played by the interaction between the customer and the business; providing high-quality service, followed by an analysis of customer pain and quick responses to conflict situations.
  • WOW customer focus. This type is focused on creating an unforgettable experience that exceeds all customer expectations of the product. This kind of customer focus is possible by combining the previous two types.

You shouldn't focus on just one of these types because when you focus on the product and its quality, it's easy to lose sight of the importance of communication. Thus, you can make a quality product but not know how to present it properly.

At the same time, if you put all your efforts into ensuring high-quality communication across all channels, you may not notice a deterioration in the quality of your product or focus too much on customer feedback, forgetting about the company's values.

How to Increase Customer Focus in Ecommerce

In a fiercely competitive environment, ecommerce companies need to focus on customer satisfaction and quality service. Below, we will analyze the ways and strategies that can be used to increase the level of customer focus in ecommerce.

Company Analysis to Improve Customer Focus

You should start by auditing each of the company's business areas. We recommend using a SWOT analysis to learn the company's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats in depth.

To complete the analysis, it is advisable to involve consumers, partners, and employees. With such an analysis, you can fully understand what needs to be changed immediately and what can be implemented gradually or eliminated altogether.

You shouldn't start completely retraining managers, changing packaging, or rebranding without analyzing the situation. Such steps may be unjustified and unnecessary for the company.

Strategies for Implementing Customer Focus

After the independent analysis, you should initiate a general discussion to brainstorm ideas from each department on how to improve customer focus using the data from the analysis. This will help you to formulate independent strategies and steps to achieve results.

Product-oriented Customer Focus Strategy

In this case, the business is working to improve the final product, for example:

  • search for new raw materials;
  • improving functionality;
  • expanding the range of products;
  • launching research to improve production technologies;
  • expanding staff to speed up production;
  • reducing the product cost by optimizing production.

The ultimate goal is to provide a perfect product that will satisfy the customer's needs and outperform the competitors in terms of quality, price, and functionality.

Henry Ford used this strategy at the beginning of his career, spending 12 years creating his ideal car, the Model T. He rethought the collection of every part and material for car production, analyzed and studied the employees' productivity.

Ford conducted research, developed backup plans in case of supply problems, and worked through every process, including the speed of employees in production, to create the perfect product. 

Interactive Customer Focus Strategy

The engagement strategy includes improving the processes related to direct communication with the customer. This type is suitable for those retail companies that do not have their own production facilities and do not depend on them to determine what the product may turn out to be.

Improvements may relate to:

  • ToV companies;
  • training managers and improving their skills;
  • website usability;
  • company`s social networks;
  • crisis algorithms;
  • studying customer feedback;
  • creating personalized content and offers.

This strategy is the most common among ecommerce companies because it is less costly than the first, quality-oriented one. If, in the first case, a company needs a few years to improve technology, reduce the cost of the product, and finalize it; in contrast, it can change the tone of interaction and improve the skills of managers in a year or two.

The TehnoYizhak brand is an example of an interactive customer-focused strategy. The company does not produce iPhone, MacBook, Dyson, or PlayStation, but it provides quality service. It offers buying advice to its customers, consultations, a user-friendly website, and communication through direct channels.

TehnoYizhak brand website

In addition, TehnoYizhak's website has product recommendations that facilitate the selection and purchase process.

Product recommendations

Strategy for WOW Customer Focus

This is when a company exceeds consumer expectations and creates an experience that makes customers want to return.

WOW customer focus is a combination of an interactive and product-oriented approach. This combination is the most difficult to achieve, but it provides the best CSAT (customer satisfaction) scores.

How to achieve WOW customer centricity:

  • form a loyalty system;
  • create a community based on a brand or company;
  • build omnichannel communication;
  • conduct courses, exhibitions, and presentations for clients and partners;
  • create a recognizable style that reflects values.

An example of WOW customer focus is the Ukrainian company Etnodim. The team creates a unique and recognizable product, joins charity, and allows its customers to become а part of Ukrainian culture lovers’ "family".

Etnodim's audience includes people who are interested in Ukrainian embroidery. The brand keeps in touch with them by creating an initiative to recreate the embroidered shirts of famous Ukrainian figures.

Etnodim brand website

How to Measure the Customer Focus Success 

After implementing changes and strategies for customer centricity, it is necessary to measure the success of the process. To do this, various tools and metrics are used to assess how well the company is meeting customer expectations.

What is used to analyze customer interaction:

  • Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT): is a percentage indicator that reflects the level of customer satisfaction with products, services, and interaction with the company. Analyzed by surveying a sample of customers.
  • Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a metric that measures customers' willingness to recommend a company to their friends and relatives. It is calculated based on answers to questions such as "How likely are you to recommend our company to friends or colleagues?"
  • Feedback and comments on social media and the website. Analyzing reviews on various platforms can provide valuable insights into customer experience and brand perception.
  • Frequency of repeat purchases: how often customers repeatedly purchase products or use services demonstrates loyalty and satisfaction with the company.

The introduction of a customer-centric approach will also increase the number of loyal customers.

Customer-Centric Approach Examples 

“Bob Snail”

Consider the example of a review in a social network about the interaction of the Bob Snail company. The consumer was satisfied with both the product and the interaction with the company.

Review about the "Bob Snail" company

Lovespace

To increase customer loyalty, the Lovespace brand supports charitable initiatives. For example, the company organized the ruffle of products to raise money for a car for the army. 

Raffle in the social network

Monobank

Monobank is an example of a company that has achieved WOW customer focus. Quickly solving problems in chats and communicating with live people is invaluable, especially when large companies are increasingly being distanced from chatbots and artificial intelligence.

Customer support via chat


A customer-centric approach involves comprehensive work on demonstrating values, improving the product, and developing algorithms to avoid or solve problems. This is a continuous improvement that the entire company, not individual departments, should work on.

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Sofia Grizovskaya

Media Editor at Inweb digital marketing agency

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