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Ecommerce Customer Experience in 2023: Insights & What’s Next in 2024

8.0
min
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Christelle Agustin
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Dec 18, 2023

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Blog

Ecommerce Customer Experience in 2023: Insights & What’s Next in 2024

min
-
Christelle Agustin
-
Dec 18, 2023

TL;DR: 

  • Shipping status, refunds, and damaged orders were the top customer concerns of 2023
  • The average first response time was 7.6 hours, a resolution time of 18.6 hours, and a CSAT score of 4.5/5
  • On average, 15% of interactions were resolved with automation
  • Experts predict that 2024 will focus on strategic planning, optimized AI use, more real-time communication, and amplifying the voice of CX within companies

This year, we witnessed customer service teams from 16,140 brands support over 77 million shoppers and millions of tickets with Gorgias. 

As we turn to a new chapter, we want to spotlight how six of the top-performing industries delivered customer service in 2023. 

From food to fashion, we’ll see how quickly agents answered questions, then discover what customers were asking, and learn from experts about what customer experience trends to expect in the new year.

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Support teams resolved tickets in 2.5 business days

Step into the ecommerce world, where you’ll find a vibrant population of merchants, each with their own niche and groups of loyal customers. Together, they generated $1.45 billion in revenue in 2023. 

Of course, this would not have been possible without the grit of customer service teams and their dedication to customer satisfaction. 

Support teams across 20 industries answered customer inquiries within one business day and solved them in two and a half, resulting in very satisfied shoppers. Impressively, 15% of interactions were fully automated and resolved on average.

Here are the average industry support stats:

  • First response time: 7.6 hours
  • Resolution time: 18.6 hours
  • CSAT score: 4.5/5
Average support performance across 20 industries in 2023
 

From food to fashion: a cross-industry glance at support statistics

The most popular ecommerce industries — Apparel and Fashion, Health, Wellness, and Fitness, Cosmetics, Food and Beverage, Consumer Goods, and Luxury Goods and Jewelry — were the top performers. 

Using exclusive Gorgias data, we’ll look at how support teams from these industries handled tickets. Then, we’ll gain expert insight into the ecommerce experience in 2023, and how experts predict it will change in the coming year.

Apparel and Fashion strutted with a 4.5/5 CSAT score

Our first stop is the bustling market of Apparel and Fashion. We’re all familiar with how tricky online clothes shopping can be. Most likely due to issues with sizing and style, support teams mainly dealt with inquiries about:

  • Shipping status
  • Returns
  • Refunds

Yet, despite receiving the highest number of customer tickets among the six industries, Apparel and Fashion brands kept customers happy. They responded within one business day and resolved issues within two, with 15% of interactions being resolved with automation.

Here are their stats compared to the overall industry average:

  • First response time: 8 hours (+0.4 hours)
  • Resolution time: 17 hours (-1.6 hours)
  • CSAT score: 4.5/5
Apparel & Fashion response and resolution times
According to Loop, over 50% of their merchants now charge for certain returns, including fees for exchanges and returns for store credit. This change aligns with consumer preferences, as their report shows 70% of shoppers are willing to pay for premium, convenient experiences, a trend already embraced by half of these customers.

Cancellations and returns were Health, Wellness, and Fitness’ biggest hurdles

The next stop on our tour is the thriving Health, Wellness, and Fitness industry.

Unfortunately, brands in this sector had a challenging year keeping up with unpleasant tickets about:

  • Shipping status
  • Subscription cancellations
  • Refunds

Perhaps support teams could have automated more than 15% of interactions to handle these repetitive tickets better. But despite their slower-than-average first response time, customers were still pleased with the support experience:

  • First response time: 9 hours (+1.4 hours)
  • Resolution time: 18.3 hours (-0.3 hours)
  • CSAT score: 4.5/5
Health, Wellness & Fitness response and resolution times

Expert Insights: Amanda Kwasniewicz, the VP of Customer Experience at women’s wellness brand Love Wellness, highlights that personalized customer service has been a key trend of 2023. She’s observed that customers now expect to receive personal recommendations during their shopping journeys.

Cosmetics enhanced support with 18% automation

Now, take a peek at the fast-growing Cosmetics industry, and you’ll see how eager customers were to check out the hype around both small businesses and celebrity brands.

Given the boom of influencer marketing for these highly personal products, customers often inquired about:

  • Shipping status
  • Feedback
  • Damaged orders

To solve these tickets, support teams automated 18% of interactions and attained faster times than average:

  • First response time: 7 hours (-0.6 hours)
  • Resolution time: 15.8 hours (-2.8 hours)
  • CSAT score: 4.5/5
Cosmetics response and resolution times

Food and Beverage served it fresh with a 5-hour first response time

Getting hungry? This year, the growing appetite for Food and Beverage in the ecommerce world was unmistakable. Beef jerky or freshly squeezed fruit juice, customers savored their snacks. But it also didn’t stop them from being tough critics. 

The main issues raised to Food and Beverage support teams revolved around: 

  • Shipping status
  • Feedback
  • Damaged products

Luckily, they cut down their first response time by automating 15% of interactions — nearly three hours faster than average:

  • First response time: 5 hours (-2.6 hours)
  • Resolution time: 17.2 hours (-1.4 hours)
  • CSAT score: 4.5/5

Expert insights: Zoe Kahn, former Manager of CX & Retention at Chomps and now Owner of Inevitable Agency, saw inventory issues as a major challenge of 2023. The complexity of inventory logistics is difficult for consumers to understand, leading to higher outreach from customers wondering when items would be back in stock. "Quieting those concerns is really difficult," Zoe notes. However, after witnessing inventory issues over the last few years, Zoe realized that "it's inevitable that inventory problems will happen because of how challenging the logistics of selling a product are."

Food & Beverage response and resolution times

Consumer Goods has CSAT down pat with a 4.6/5

There’s a lot to explore in the all-encompassing Consumer Goods industry. You’ll find brands that sell everything from sustainable water bottles and furniture to everything else in between, like dog toys and mystery subscription boxes.

While Consumer Goods brands only automated 14% of interactions, their resolution time was two hours faster than the industry average, resulting in the happiest customers among the six industries:

  • First response time: 8 hours (+0.4 hours)
  • Resolution time: 16.4 hours (-2.2 hours)
  • CSAT score: 4.6/5 (+0.6)
Consumer Goods response and resolution times

The top tickets Consumer Goods brands received were about:

  • Shipping status
  • Damaged orders
  • Customer feedback

Expert Insights: Ren Fuller-Wasserman, the Director of Experience at TUSHY, notes that the impact of the macroeconomic climate was among the top challenges faced in 2023. “As there's talk of recession and inflation, people are really looking for products that provide added value,” she says.

Our partner Okendo, a growth marketing platform that has worked with well-known brands like SKIMS and Rhode, notes that tech stack consolidation has been the top priority in 2023. They saw that merchants who used a multifaceted product with app integrations resulted in a 15x return on investment

Luxury Goods and Jewelry polished interactions with 28% automation

Our final stop is at the small gem of an industry, Luxury Goods and Jewelry. Making sure their pricey wares arrived to customers safely was the top priority. That’s why the top questions support teams received were in regard to:

  • Shipping status
  • Discount requests
  • Damaged orders

Out of all the industries, Luxury Goods and Jewelry brands automated the most interactions at 28%, which certainly helped to shorten response and resolution times:

  • First response time: 6 hours (-1.6 hours)
  • Resolution time: 17.1 hours (-1.5 hours)
  • CSAT score: 4.4/5 (-0.1)
Luxury Goods & Jewelry response and resolution times

Expert Insights: Caela Castillo, Director of CX at Jaxxon, advises preparing early for BFCM but being flexible to change. She notes, “Sometimes you need a different perspective,” acknowledging that agents are valuable resources to gain customer insights, especially when it comes to planning new customer service strategies.

How to prepare for ecommerce in 2024 (according to experts)

It’s been a fruitful year of expediting the traditionally slow support process. However, with greater strides made in AI technology, ecommerce has only scratched the surface of providing accelerated service. 

We interviewed ecommerce experts who saw the rise and fall of trends in 2023 and are ready to use their learnings to make the new year better. 

Here are the top four actions ecommerce companies should take in 2024. 

1) Identify business goals to adapt to new tech

We’re constantly fed an endless stream of new technology, which can be a distraction to business goals. That’s why the CTO of ecommerce agency Novatize, Pierre-Olivier Brassard, highly recommends planning a robust strategy first. Clear business goals will help teams pick the best tools — not the other way around.

2) Maximize the use of AI to streamline support

Customer service management platform TalentPop saw AI as the top CX trend of 2023. They foresee late adopters using AI next year, while early adopters will focus on optimization. To get ahead of the game, TalentPop recommends that support teams research all AI options since CX will only become more saturated with AI tools.

Brandon Amoroso, Founder & President at Electriq and Co-founder at SCALIS observed similar trends. In 2023, many CX teams implemented more self-service options for customers. Going into 2024, Brandon notes that a “continual integration of AI into the entire customer experience” is likely.

3) Offer real-time communication options

As social shopping gains traction, marketing platform Yotpo predicts customers are going to look for more real-time communication with brands. In fact, HubSpot reports a 45% year-over-year surge in using social media DMs for customer service. Therefore, using tools that enable interactions through DMs or text, like Yotpo SMS, will be a crucial strategy in the upcoming year.

4) Amplify the voice of the customer

Amanda Kwasniewicz, VP of Customer Experience at Love Wellness, advises CX leaders to ensure their contributions are recognized. Kwasniewicz notes that support teams often know the business better than any other department. "Beat the CX drum loudly. If you're not in the room, find a way in the room," she stresses.

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Alexa Hertel
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Christelle Agustin
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