Thousands of store owners are hungry for conversions, so you need to step up and make your store more compelling than the alternatives.
Let’s say you’re planning to launch an eCommerce store soon, or you’ve already launched one and you’re in the early stages of trying to make it work. You have your core details figured out — the name of your brand, the products you’ll sell, the cost of developing an eCommerce store, what niche you’re going to target, etc. — but you’re intimidated by the intense competition of the online marketplace (as you should be).
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There are currently more online retail merchants jockeying for position than ever before. The COVID-19 pandemic caused major problems throughout most industries, but the eCommerce world was able to carry on mostly untouched — and this has led to record-breaking profits. Throw in the ease of entry and the amount of free time people had during lockdown (particularly those furloughed or fired) and you have a recipe for countless new sellers.
So how are you going to stand out in this mess of frenzied activity? Thousands of store owners are hungry for conversions, so you need to step up and make your store more compelling than the alternatives. Lower prices are hard to sustain. Faster shipping is costly and complicated. Unique products don’t stay unique for long. What’s the secret?
Very simply, it’s customer experience. By making your store better to use, you can secure meaningful customer loyalty even if you can’t outperform your rival stores in any other way. And core to this is having great customer support. In this post, we’re going to run through five ways in which a new eCommerce store can vastly improve its customer support. Let’s begin.
Implement strong feedback systems
If you’re going to invest significantly in customer support, you need to know when it’s proving effective (and when it isn’t) — and for that, you need a robust system in place for collecting feedback. This is what Nicereply is all about: creating ranges of customized surveys that are automatically triggered at the most useful times, allowing you to capture invaluable data about how your customers view the various elements of your conversion funnel.
After all, it isn’t just about dealing with direct customer outreach. It’s also about ensuring that every part of your store website is suitably polished. If just one link in the sales chain is weak, it can undermine everything around it. If you get positive feedback, you’ll know you’re going in the right direction — and if you receive strong criticism, you’ll need to improve as a matter of urgency. Directly addressing negative feedback is ultimately a great way to earn loyalty.
Embrace hybrid retail options
Hybrid retail is the relatively-recent practice of merging elements of offline and online retail, and it’s become sufficiently important that you mustn’t overlook it. The most common element of hybrid retail is the click-and-collect system whereby you can pay for something online and collect it in person. There’s also the option of paying for something in person — likely at a pop-up store using a point of sale system (or pos system) — that will ultimately be delivered.
This is all about giving your customers the options they want. If someone wants to collect an item in person instead of needing to wait for it to be delivered, you should allow them to do just that (there are plenty of other sellers out there that feature various click-and-collect integrations, so it’s vital for competing). You need to communicate the options very carefully, though, as well as other pieces of data (as we’ll see next).
Add clear stock and shipping data
It’s quite frustrating to visit an online store that doesn’t make it clear which products are in stock or how long you’d need to wait for your order to arrive. It’s all too common for a poorly-worded FAQ answer to lead shoppers to expect that they’ll receive their items faster than they probably will — and when their expectations aren’t met, they’ll feel aggrieved and want to vent that anger.
This is why you must add clear stock and shipping data to your eCommerce store. Beyond just saying “In stock” or “Out of stock”, you should include details such as “5 in stock” or “10 sold today” to make it clearer how long your shoppers have to decide. This will also add a major dose or urgency to proceedings without causing any annoyance, making it a win-win. This data also has a role to play in the following section…
Provide convenient chatbots
Ecommerce has become a strongly-international industry, with stores in so many countries selling to buyers throughout the world — regardless of the cost of the products involved. Due to this, you might attract prospective customers from time zones very different from yours, leading to your store site being active while you’re asleep.
This is a good thing on the whole, but what if someone wants support at such a time? What if there’s a query they can’t see answered elsewhere? Implementing a sales chatbot will help you to keep things ticking over. A chatbot can run on a 24/7 basis, never needing to rest or getting angry, and it’ll scale indefinitely (just add more processing power).
A modern chatbot can handle a lot of basic queries, using integrations to draw upon vital data (answering a customer’s question about when they can expect their order, for instance). This then allows you and any support assistants you hire to focus on the complicated support requests your chatbot can’t handle.
Monitor social media mentions
Do you think that the only support issues you’ll need to deal with will appear through your website? That certainly isn’t the case. At this point, consumers expect their favored brands to be active and reachable through social media. Issuing a Twitter support query without using a DM, for instance, carries an implied threat: deal with this issue, or I’ll sully your reputation.
Because of this, you should be monitoring social media at all times to see when your brand is mentioned. When people leave positive comments, you can engage with them to thank them and show that you appreciate your customers. When people leave negative comments, you can politely address them and attempt to make things better. No one expects brands to be perfect, after all: it’s making the effort to improve that really matters.