5 Ways To Boost Your eCommerce User Onboarding Experience


eCommerce business owners and marketers might think that once a customer clicks the Buy or Check Out button, the hard part is over. After all, attracting the customer to a site or app and presenting the merchandise in an attractive, compelling way are the most difficult tasks in finding potential customers and converting them. 

However, onboarding is another step in the eCommerce app user onboarding process that many might not realize is important. While some eCommerce sites, apps and services offer a “Check out as guest” option, eCommerce businesses must consider a more robust onboarding process that benefits both the customer and the company without increasing friction along the path to conversion or reducing brand equity. Let’s have a look at a few ways to ensure a smooth eCommerce app user onboarding process.

1. Personalize the Experience

Shoppers have a love-hate relationship with apps and websites that know too much about them. However, if convenience is involved, they’re on board.

For example, when onboarding a new customer, your app or website can determine the shopper’s location and present nearby pick-up locations, such as Amazon Hub Locker.

2. Add Visuals

Short videos with captions that appear in the lower-left or right-hand corner of the screen could be a great way to explain your store’s site or app features in an engaging, non-intrusive way. 

You might also want to provide a short tutorial via screen annotations or call-outs. When executed properly, these onboarding features can reduce messages to the contact center while demonstrating your eCommerce store’s most important features. 

3. Reduce Friction

Pick your battles wisely: you want a robust onboarding experience, but you don’t want to make your new customer jump through too many hoops. Decide which questions or processes should be presented and be made mandatory during onboarding and which can be saved for later (the popular but important “Skip for now” or “Maybe later” choice). 

Credit card verification isn’t normally part of the eCommerce app user onboarding process. However, as fraud is on the rise, you might wish to incorporate an extra step of identity verification to protect both you and your new customer.

4. Inform Users on Security and Preferences

A strong onboarding process in an eCommerce environment lets users know that the site or app takes security and privacy very seriously.

In order to check out, a user would need to create an account, including adding a payment method. Requiring identity verification might seem unusual or extreme, but eCommerce business owners can provide helpful explanations along the way to reduce confusion.

In addition to the security side of onboarding, asking customers their preferences for certain products, shipping and other factors can be helpful in making their experience shopping and checking out in the future a stellar experience.

Guest checkout can certainly help new or infrequent customers place their orders and be on their way again, quickly and without annoying them. However, if customers agree to an onboarding process that’s a bit longer than they normally experience while shopping online, the merchant can be sure that they will most likely be repeat buyers.

5. Boost Return Visits and Loyalty

For new customers who agree to go through an onboarding process requiring a few more steps than they normally would, the eCommerce company should reward them in some way.

Customers who sign up with a new eCommerce site or app most likely expect to soon begin receiving emails, texts, pop-ups and other offers. However, if they’ve invested a bit of time in the onboarding process, the business should invest a bit of time presenting several options to ensure that the customer stays for the long term and does not disappear.

Offer several different newsletter delivery options, perhaps weekly or monthly, and be sure to tailor offers to the customer’s past shopping behaviors so as not to alienate them.

The Need for eCommerce App User Onboarding

Smaller eCommerce businesses might think that user onboarding seems like an expensive, unnecessary step when customers simply want to check out and await the delivery of the merchandise they ordered.

However, as a business grows in size and popularity, it might become the target of cybercriminals wishing to exploit vulnerabilities. These could be related to identity theft, such as using stolen credentials or credit cards, or more complex, such as claiming nonreceipt of merchandise to claim a false return and receive a chargeback.

Indeed, global payment fraud is on the rise and will cost merchants $40.62 billion in losses by 2027, according to the software review site FinancesOnline. Owners of eCommerce companies need to protect the integrity of the business by rejecting fraudsters and providing the best experience possible for the right customers.

Instnt Accept™ is the first fully managed digital customer onboarding solution for businesses, offering up to $100MM annually in fraud loss insurance. With codeless integration on websites or apps, Instnt  AcceptTM reduces rejection rates by as much as 50% without friction or fraud, allowing companies of all sizes to grow top-line revenue and lower operational costs by 30%. See how it works!


About the Author

Instnt's fraud loss insurance platform offers comprehensive protection for businesses for the entire customer lifecycle, from account initiation, and onboarding to subsequent logins, transaction processing, and the broadened accessibility of additional products and services.