A good shopping experience depends on numerous factors including good execution, a great brand experience, a fast and secure checkout process and an efficient problem recovery system. Implementing a solid e-commerce capability in your business is not only a great way to create a good shopping experience for your customers, it is also an important tool that can ensure that your business remains super relevant and competitive in today’s increasingly digital world.
Recent studies by market research firm Forrester have shown that online retail sales are expected to climb up to $370 billion by 2017 compared to $262 billion in 2013. Consumers between the ages of 25 and 34 years of age are more likely to use their smartphones to read online reviews, compare pricings and interact with companies via social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.
These trends highlight a huuuge opportunity for companies to capture a greater portion of their market share and take their business to the next level by using e-commerce. The following tips are sure-fire ways to develop an effective e-commerce strategy…
Establish an Easy-To-Use and Reliable E-Commerce Capability
E-commerce offers a low-cost way of doing business and provides both business owners and clients numerous benefits. The cost savings that e-commerce can provide to business owners allows them to cut costs on the promotion of their products and services. Customers gain the benefit of being able to shop online at any time from the convenience of their home or from their smartphone or other mobile device. It’s a win-win!
A great shopping experience always involves making things easier for the customer when they are browsing your online store. Making the registration process as painless as possible will be helpful in getting clients to go from “browse mode” to “click and buy mode”. In addition, offering alternative methods of payment, like PayPal, is another smart way to convert browsers into buyers.
Building Trust and Providing Convenience with E-Commerce
Online shoppers tend to have a much shorter attention span than when they are physically at a store location. Making sure your online store is up and running smoothly day and night, everyday builds trust among online customers who tend to be easily discouraged by error messages or inaccessible accounts. Fortunately, some companies can provide businesses with the systems, staff, skills and backup plans that ensure your website is open for business on a continual basis and that your customer’s information remains confidential.
Maintain a Great Customer Service Support Team
In addition to a reliable online system, a great customer service team can add significant value to your business. Although customers can have access to all the information related to your business’ products and services on your company website, talking to a friendly and knowledgeable customer service staff member can help build the confidence with clients to close the transaction. In addition to adding a human element to your online business, customer service teams are able to engage with customers and answer any enquiries or concerns they may have with your products and/or services.
Provide Transparent Documentation and Easy Tracking
When placing an order online, it is crucially important that clients get some form of receipt in their inbox which confirms their transaction with your business. In addition, leaving a digital paper trail provides a form of protection for both the customers and the business by ensuring that purchase details are closely monitored and that the delivery status of the purchased item can be easily tracked.
Having a good checkout system has been found to significantly reduce the amount of sour visitors who end up leaving before paying. A smooth checkout system will encourage customers to come back for more purchases and are more likely to recommend your site to their family and friends! Business owners gain the benefits of not having to spend time and money fixing customer problems and dealing with a bad reputation.
E-Commerce is No Longer Just an Option for Businesses
Recent trends have shown an 11% increase in online retail and 13% in orders during the first quarter of this year. Mobile purchases were responsible for a 35% increase in retail sales during the same period. These figures clearly show the rapidly increasing importance of e-commerce in today’s business environment. Making sure your business is committed to providing a great online shopping experience to your customers is the best way to ensure they keep coming back for more and more! They’ll love you for it… And your bottom line won’t be too shabby either.