The popularity of e-commerce has exploded in recent years, and with the increased demand has come increased competition from more companies offering online shopping options to their customers.
While online shopping was first touted for its convenience, shoppers are now looking for a higher level of customer service in their overall online shopping experience. The pressure is now on e-commerce providers to raise the service bar and fortunately, they have many options in that area to consider.
Make Contact Easier
Customers may appreciate the convenience of shopping online, but what happens when they have a question about a product or purchase? Customers need to know they can easily get in touch with someone from your business if an issue arises. Make sure your contact information is prominently displayed on multiple pages of your website to ensure your customers can get help when they need it.
Consider Return Policies
One of the biggest fears customers have about shopping online is the ability to return an item if it does not turn out to be what they want. Liberal, easy return policies are vital to good customer service online, and encourages customers to make that initial purchase with your business. Display your return policy in a prominent location, and make it easy to read and understand for your customer.
For e-commerce businesses having a good online presence is critical. Being found on the seach engines is important and that starts with good keyword research. Ask yourself what type of solution does your ecommerce business offer? How does your brand’s promise align with what your consumers are looking for? Consider the help of tools like SEO Suite to find the right words that will help search engines and users to identify you.
Be Available in Real Time
When customers do need to contact your business with a question or issue, they want to connect with a real person right away. Create a customer contact center with extended hours that make it easy and convenient for customers to interact with your business. Live chat or a toll-free phone number are generally the best methods of contact. Social media is becoming a popular way for customers to contact businesses as well. If you can’t be available 24/7, provide an email address, as well as a time frame in which a customer can expect a response.
Include Information on Your Website
Companies can eliminate many similar questions from customers by providing a comprehensive FAQ page with responses to many of those questions. It might be helpful to track customer questions for a period of time before creating your FAQ page to ensure the information you provide is helpful to the majority of your customers.
Offer Free Shipping Options
Another drawback to online shopping for some customers is the cost of shipping items. Many companies get around this obstacle by providing free or reduced price shipping. If your company cannot afford to absorb all shipping costs at this time, consider offering free shipments for orders over a particular amount. Another option is to provide periodic promotions, where free shipping is available for a limited time.
Online shopping has become as popular as shopping in brick-and-mortar stores today. However, unlike retail stores, websites often fail to provide the personalized service customers have come to expect and appreciate.
In summary, start with a good ecommerce platform that can be integrated with effective tools like SEO Suite, be sure to include helpful support and contact information on your website, be available to answer live enquiries and offer customer-friendly policies and free shipping options.
With just a few simple tips, you can transform your e-commerce business from one of mere convenience to one that provides a positive customer experience every time your customer visits your website.