E-commerce is about more than offering products and services. The marketplace is more competitive than ever, with online companies and brick-and-mortar brands boosting their e-commerce capabilities every day. Now, these businesses must focus not only on increasing profits and carving out a niche, but also on making an impression on their customers.
But how can brands drive revenue and connect with their client base? There are a few key strategies:
Bring user experience and customer service to the forefront
With so many technological systems at their disposal, e-commerce companies need to ensure that user experience is not an afterthought. When establishing or updating the website, business leaders should consider the possible pain points users might have when utilizing the platform, and address these to offer the best user experience possible.
The same idea can be applied to customer service. Nowadays, businesses have an array of available channels to leverage. Offering consumers several contact options helps ensure they use the channel that best suits their needs. In addition, this strategy can go a long way toward guaranteeing a positive user experience.
"It is expected that online stores will place greater focus on providing excellent customer service to distinguish themselves from the rest," TechCocktail noted. "There is a need to create a smooth shopping experience to prevent customers from going to a competing online store as they enjoy better experiences."
Always open: Can your services keep up?
A robust online presence doesn't just mean that customers can locate your online platform anytime. They must also be able to make purchases and arrange for services at all hours. This "always open" strategy is a main reason clients interact with e-commerce brands over brick-and-mortar facilities. However, Shipwire contributor Nate Gilmore pointed out that the company's service must be able to keep up. This includes the overall supply chain, fulfillment centers and customer service capabilities. Even the United States Postal Service makes deliveries on Sunday - your brand should be able to respond to customers' needs just as quickly and efficiently.
In order to effectively fulfill these needs, a brand's available channels must be unified to allow consumers to interact with different channels during their purchase journey. This is particularly key now that services like buy online, pick up in store are becoming increasingly popular.
"Retailers are evolving the in-store experience so that you can browse online and use the store as your personal pick-up center," Gilmore wrote. "[It] all comes down to being faster, cheaper and more convenient."
Mobile is a must
For years, experts have been harping on the importance of a robust mobile presence, ensuring that consumers are able to use any device they please to connect with a brand. Now that the mobile platform has considerably developed, having mobile capabilities is now an absolute must.
"For online sellers, the need to serve the needs of those who do their shopping on the mobile platform will no longer be just an option," according to TechCocktail. "As more and more people rely on their mobile devices to do various things. it will be illogical not to optimize shopping experiences for mobile users."
TechCocktail noted that those that refuse to optimize will likely fall behind their competitors.
Overall, these strategies will not only serve to improve the customer experience, but can help boost the brand and its revenues.