Running an ecommerce business works much differently than running a quintessential brick-and-mortar store. Your website and the way you brand your business is basically your storefront. You don’t get the opportunity to interact with your customers face-to-face as you would normally, which is why you need to ensure that your customer service caters to the needs of your consumers to keep them coming back. Consumers are fueling the fire on a growing ecommerce industry; it provides convenience, fast delivery and offers consumers the opportunity to shop on their terms without having to be pressured into buying something.
With so many ecommerce businesses appearing online, it’s imperative that retailers offer unique online experiences for customers to ensure continued conversions. Shopping has never been easier, as one can just lay in bed with their phone and look through everything that ecommerce sites have to offer. It’s like having millions of shopping catalogs accessible all at once, and you can buy as many items as possible with one click. That being said, the competition among ecommerce business is fierce, making it more challenging for ecommerce sites to attract and retain customers. You always have to be one step ahead of what consumers are expecting to ensure you create unique customer experiences that will keep them coming back.
Each shopping experience is unique
Consumers want the best possible experience and for those who are new to the online shopping concept, ensure you make the process go as smoothly as possible. Many online stores offer the assistance of a sales representative via live chat, should someone have questions about a product being out of stock or what the delivery options are, for example.
Some ecommerce companies even offer assistance via video chat that can help customers accessorize or show them how they can mix and match certain outfits. It’s like having your own online shopper. Providing these personalized interactions offers a valuable experience that creates trust and loyalty between the consumer and the business.
Offering more than just technical support
Live chat and video chat on ecommerce sites are not just for personalized shopping experiences with stylists—some people may have trouble navigating your site in which case, you can have online technical support available throughout multiple phases of the sales process. Technical customer support can also help consumers figure out how products and services work, giving them the opportunity to visually engage with someone at the company that creates a more personal interaction to help solve a problem. Amazon already has one such feature called the Amazon Mayday button, giving customers a chance to seek help rather than getting frustrated and bouncing off the site.
The worst thing would be to lose a customer due to technical difficulties, something that can easily be avoided by providing proper support. Having easy access to online assistance will help increase conversion rates, as the online sales reps can help customers make the final decision in purchasing an item.
Make use of cross-channel marketing
Having an ecommerce business means you can also have fun promoting your company across many online channels. You can provide links to your brand via email marketing campaigns, and you can represent your company on a plethora of social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Pinterest so you can interact with your consumers even more. Having an influential online presence also allows you to tell your story and get your consumers more invested in the inception of your brand, closing the gap between impersonal and personal relationships. Helping your consumers further identify with your brand can also help them become unofficial brand ambassadors.
Once the connection has been made between your brand and consumers, the latter has the power to share your business with friends and family, increasing the potential for more conversions on your site. Just by nurturing your relationships with your customers, you are increasing your opportunity to network simply by way of referrals.
As an online site, you can also provide shoppers the opportunity to create wish lists or shopping lists that can be shared with their contacts, bringing even more people to your ecommerce site by developing an online community. Being one of the pioneers and now the king of ecommerce, Amazon offers many features that go along with its lists including the ability to customize them into a Shopping List, a Wish List or an Idea List that you can provide to the rest of your shopping community. You also have the option of keeping your lists private or public.
Make shopping as convenient as possible
Shopping online in and of itself is a convenient notion, any ecommerce site can throw a list of items on its homepage and call it a day. But what sets you apart is how organized and compartmentalized your products are displayed. Don’t make your shoppers go searching for something. Create a reliable search function that will take them to their desired SKU or list of similar items. Finding exactly what they’re looking for can create euphoria for the shoppers, and they’ll praise your site for carrying exactly what they need.
Along with the help of recommendation algorithms and search engine prediction tools, ecommerce businesses can engage customers with items that are related to past purchases, should a repeat customer find their way back to your site. You can also leverage your cross-channel marketing by analyzing consumer behavior to predict which related item they may buy next based on what they’ve already viewed or purchased. A tracking pixel can also be installed onto your site to follow the consumer who didn’t complete their purchase to remind them they still have an item in the cart or send them an email with a list of similar items or the item they’re still contemplating. It may relight the fire that originally sparked interest in the product.
Ecommerce businesses have the ability to create unique and enjoyable experiences for their customers. No longer do they have to settle for being just a list of products on a computer screen. The interaction with consumers is what will set you apart in creating the business/customer relationship that is built on trust and loyalty. The rise of ecommerce is slowly making brick-and-mortar stores obsolete. Make sure you’re keeping up with the advancements and setting yourself apart from your competition by offering amazing products and exemplary customer service.