User Onboarding in Ecommerce—The Most Effective Way to Increase Retention

Good user onboarding is the process of introducing new users to your ecommerce app in a way that makes them likely to adopt it habitually and return to it frequently.

Confusing, unhelpful user onboarding experiences are one of the reasons why many ecommerce businesses fail.

On the flip side, good user onboarding improves retention rate by 82%. This figure is big enough to want to improve your user onboarding process. 

This can be a challenge for most businesses, especially ones in ecommerce that are operating on a limited budget.

However, there are plenty of ways to optimize your onboarding experience so your users remain engaged after their first use of your app. 

This blog introduces six onboarding strategies every ecommerce business needs to implement to increase retention.

6 user onboarding strategies your ecommerce business needs to use NOW

  1. Leverage technology by using a user onboarding software 


At the heart of the user onboarding process is ensuring an amazing customer experience for the users who have just onboarded your ecommerce website or app. 

If you succeed at amazing them with a great customer experience, you can have: 

  • 2 times the retention rate, 
  • 2 times more repeat customers, and 
  • 2 times the revenue of other businesses who don’t provide the same. 

These are some enticing figures, but it isn’t as easy as it sounds to design and place a stellar user onboarding process. 

You have to do a lot of things as explained later in this article, and sometimes it is humanly possible to miss out on some of them.

But wait—you’ve a solution to this problem as well. You can employ AI to keep track of everything and have a peace of mind that your new customers are receiving the care you intend to provide them. 

The today’s digital era has provided many technological solutions to many old fashioned ways of doing things, and user onboarding software is one of these solutions. 

A user onboarding software can do all the onboarding things you wish. 

  • You want to give your new users a quick app tour? A user onboarding software has you covered.
  • Do you want to welcome or congratulate them? Done. 
  • You want to insert video guides? Inserted. 
  • Add thank you notes for using your app? Added. 

Similarly, these tools have become so advanced that you just name a feature you want and they already have it. 

Even some of these tools, like Appcues user onboarding software, give you the privilege to do all of the above-mentioned things codelessly. 

Yes—you can design a stellar user onboarding process for your ecommerce business without having to know how to code.

That’s a great deal, right? 

So, our very first strategy for you to adopt is leveraging technology to improve your user onboarding process.

  1. Show users the value of your app

Many ecommerce businesses focus on onboarding strategies that teach their users how to navigate the app. 

While this is certainly important, it’s also essential to show your users the value of your app as soon as possible. It helps you avoid 21% drop in retention rates

The sooner users see the value of your app, the sooner they’re likely to increase their engagement and retention with the product and recommend it to others. 

Here are a couple of ways you can show your users the value of your app: 

  • Create buyer personas 

Before you even begin creating your app, you need to know 

  • Who is your ideal customer? 
  • What problems do they have? 
  • What are their biggest frustrations? 

Once you’ve identified who your ideal customer is, you can create content that speaks directly to them and shows them immediately how your app solves their problems.

  • Show a clear value proposition

Once you’ve created content that shows your users the problems your app solves, it’s time to show them how it solves those problems. 

Create a clear value proposition for your app that outlines how it benefits your users and how it stands out from your competitors.

  1. Listen to users’ feedback


One of the most important elements in keeping a user retained is to listen to feedback and act on it.

By listening and implementing user feedback, you ensure that you keep 97% of your users loyal to your app for years to come.

One of the biggest mistakes companies make is not listening to their users. 

If you’re not listening, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to learn what your users want and what they don’t. 

By taking the time to understand your users’ needs, you can create an onboarding experience that truly meets their needs and keeps them coming back for more.

By listening to feedback, you ensure that you are building an app that truly resonates with your audience.

This doesn’t mean responding to every comment or email; it means putting the feedback into action by making changes to your app that address the concerns of your users.

  1. Don’t overload users with too much information and features at once


It’s important to remember that new users don’t know a lot about your app. Neither do they want to be overwhelmed by a lot of new features. 

That’s why you need to spend so much time showing them the ropes when they first start using your app. 

However, as you keep showing them the ropes, you need to start pulling back. 

This is especially true when it comes to app information and new features. You know your app inside and out, but new users don’t. 

That’s why you have to show them what they need to know without also confusing them with all the technical specifications. 

Your research and development team is doing wonders and adding new features frequently—that’s great. However, if you bombard all those features on your users at once, you can cause ‘feature bloat’. 

There’s a fine line between being helpful and overwhelming new users with too much information and features at once. 

Do you know that information overload can adversely impact one’s physical and mental health? As per a study, it was even found to decrease a person’s intelligence level.

So, don’t forget to pull back on the app’s information and feature addition after the initial user onboarding process is over unless it is necessary. 

  1. Use video to increase user comprehension


One of the most effective ways to increase user comprehension is to add video to your user onboarding process. 

Do this by creating a product walkthrough video or a tutorial-style video to show people how to properly use your app. 

Product walkthrough videos focus on what your app does. Use them to highlight the benefits of your app and solve any common problems people might have. 

A tutorial-style video is useful for explaining how your app works. Unlike a product walkthrough video, it also provides information on how to use your app effectively. 

Video is one of the most effective ways to communicate with users. People process visual information 60,000 times faster than text, making it an ideal way to teach new users about your app.

  1. Create tutorial for your ecommerce app

A tutorial helps the user understand your app by breaking down its complex features into simple steps that the user can follow. 

This is a great way to increase retention and reduce abandonment.

A tutorial can be a video. Or, it can also be an entire page with step-by-step instructions for using your app.

Tutorials are especially useful for apps with many features or processes. 

Your tutorial should focus on features of your ecommerce app and explain it in simple terms. 

This way, the user knows what they need to do when they first start using it. 

Once you have created your tutorial, share it with your users on your ecommerce site, social media, or email campaigns.

By showing new users how to use your app, you can increase their confidence in it and increase your sales.

Increase retention rate with user onboarding in ecommerce 

User onboarding is an extremely important part of the overall user experience, and there are many ways you can improve yours. 

The trick is to prioritize it, which isn’t always easy in the ecommerce sector when you have a lot on your plate. 

Remember, though, that the user onboarding experience in ecommerce is what determines whether a user becomes a long-term customer or not

It’s critical that you do everything you can to ensure your user onboarding experience is as seamless as possible. 

By following these six strategies, make sure your users have a great experience from the moment they land on your ecommerce app.


Author’s bio

Saifullah Napar is a content writer working in this field for the past three years. He has been writing on topics such as business technology, blockchain, fintech, and digital marketing. (LinkedIn)