Managing an ecommerce business enables you to reach almost anyone worldwide, but providing the best customer experience possible can be tricky. Because you are not a brick-and-mortar establishment, you cannot look every customer in the eye and ask them how their day was or smile at them as they check out. You do not exactly have a quaint space with friendly interior design to show off, either. You do have the digital equivalent, however—so here are a few ways to make your customers’ shopping experience the best that it can be, even if they are sitting at home.
Have an aesthetically pleasing website
Having a beautiful website to look at enhances your legitimacy. Would you feel comfortable buying something from a website that looks like the developers don’t know what they are doing or took ten minutes to build? Probably not; it could be an unreliable business or an outright scam. Your website is essentially your “space,” so take special care to make it the simple act of visiting it worthwhile. Do not sacrifice functionality for beauty, though—looks will increase consumers’ confidence in you, but ultimately they want to order your products smoothly.
Display all relevant information
Another related question: would you do business with an online shop that you could not get a hold of? If you do not display your phone number, email, social media links, physical location (if you have one), and other details, shoppers will assume you are fraudulent. Even if their packages arrive on time, they will have an awful time attempting to contact you if something is wrong with their orders, and will, therefore, discourage others from doing business with you.
People feel more comfortable doing something when they see other people doing the same thing. When you shop at brick-and-mortar locations, you have the option of feeling a product with your hands and imagining what it would look like in your life. Because this option is unavailable through ecommerce, consumers will want to know the quality of a product through peer opinions before they buy it. Display reviews on your website so that shopping with you is not a mystery.
Educate your site visitors
Have you ever gone to a home repair shop, completely clueless about what kind of product you need? The first thing you do is talk to an on-site expert. You can make yourself available via email, phone, and social media, but your customers will appreciate if you publish educational content that saves them an interaction. They can also use your website or blog as a resource for all things related to your industry and are thus more likely to turn to you when they need something.
Make payment easy
One reason why online stores lose sales is that they make the purchasing process itself a nightmare for their customers. When people shop, they want to put in their credit card information and be on their way. Instead, some businesses force them to make accounts and transition between numerous pages before letting customers click that final “place order” button. Making shoppers go in circles will only result in cart abandonment, so make the payment process as easy as it is in-person (and accept multiple payment methods as well).
Send thank-you notes
To make your customers feel assured that their orders are placed and that you are a trustworthy company, send automated emails to them with confirmation and a thank-you note. People will feel appreciated, and you can use these emails as receipts to send them deals on future purchases.
Be honest about your delivery times. People typically expect their orders to arrive within 3-5 business days (or sooner, if you can make it happen), but unless you let them know up front, they will scoff at anything longer. If you are the kind of ecommerce business that does not hold inventory, you will need to search for dropshipping shopping suppliers strategically located close to your highest concentration of buyers. Consumers love fast shipping, so the sooner you can send them their stuff, the sooner they will buy from you again.
Boast exceptional customer service
Your customer service can make or break a customer’s experience. If you take too long to reply, speak curtly, or in any way prove unhelpful, people will leave you with a sour taste in their mouths. Responding to questions and comments promptly, however, along with being amicable and understanding, will dramatically improve how a customer thinks of you. You want consumers to feel taken care of, and one of the best ways to do that is to put their needs first.
The nature of ecommerce means that you will interact with very few (if any) customers face-to-face, but there are still numerous ways to make your customers’ experience shopping with you a positive one. How will you make your customers feel taken care of?