E-commerce: The Road to Customer Satisfaction
We’ve become dependent on online interactions for everything we do – it’s how we communicate, how we pay our bills and how we shop. This year’s Cyber Monday hit a new record as the largest online shopping day for American shoppers in the past four years. Online sales grew 30.3 per cent compared to last year. And this is just the beginning of the holiday shopping season. As the Internet becomes a more crucial source of revenue for retailers, the task of improving e-commerce retention is imperative.
E-commerce sites have become the underlying success to thousands of businesses (and that’s a modest number). But the success of using e-commerce really boils down to one factor: customers. They are the foundation to any effective business; regardless of your brilliant marketing tactics, the final choice as to whether or not to buy your product is solely up to the customer.
The advancement of your e-commerce site can help improve customer service efforts. Whether you have recently developed a site, have an outdated site that needs revamping, or are planning to create one from scratch, customer service should be a top priority.
We’ve identified four techniques that can be used to promote excellent customer satisfaction through e-commerce sites:
Provide easy access to company contact information. This is the easiest way to improve customer satisfaction. For the simplest layout, place the contact information along the bottom of the site on every page. And ensure any social media links are easily accessible through your website.
Encourage customer feedback.Never assume one purchase will lead to another. To build an online relationship with your customers, create conversations over social media. Reply to comments on your blog. Social media gives the opportunity to address issues as they arise, which can save you from losing valued customers.
Go mobile. Simply having a company website isn’t enough anymore. Your company’s online presence needs to be mobile-friendly. Statistics show three out of five searches are done on a mobile device, and two-thirds of smartphone owners shop on their phones. By the year 2013, forecasts predict there will be 1.7 billion mobile Internet users. Install a mobile plugin on your site and create smart, thorough navigation with clear, distinct tabs.
Offer self-service options whenever possible. Customers appreciate guidance throughout the purchasing process, but they also appreciate independence. It is more convenient for a customer to purchase items on their own, or find solutions to their problems without having to enter a store or call customer service. Include a frequently asked questions page on your site to address any issues – or to prevent them from occurring in the first place. Companies save approximately $20 every time a user is able to effectively search for the answer to his or her support issue online.
Design with your customer in mind. Any colour, format or text on your site needs to reflect your company brand, but be sure to consider how it looks through the eyes of the customer. Fight the urge to use white fonts on a black background – it’s difficult to read. The design of your site can push a customer away instantly if it doesn’t meet the expectations and user experience of the recipient. These techniques can change the general perception of your company and brand. Think about your business by thinking about your customers. Internet retail growth is expected to continue to increase over the next three to five years. E-commerce is quickly becoming the most significant factor in this transition – so now is the time to take advantage of it.