Ecommerce is a profoundly competitive industry! If you own a business in this field, then you’ve always got to keep in mind just how many options your customers have. A few wrong moves - or even just one wrong move - can send customers back to the famously sunny shores of Amazon and eBay.
In fact, a lot of people who are thinking of starting an ecommerce business - and you may well be one of them, as opposed to someone who’s already in the industry! - are actually put off of the endeavor precisely because the field seems to be dominated by these big names. But it’s completely possible to make a big name for yourself in this field, despite the strong and daunting competition. If you play your cards right, you may even put a bit of a fright into the beast they call Amazon.
The key is to ensure that your customers are as happy as they can possibly be, as well as ensuring that they actually hear about you in the first place! Here are some of the things you need to focus on if you want to get more customers and keep them all happy.
So how exactly are you supposed to get noticed when every ecommerce ad out there seems to be pointing web users towards Amazon? If there’s one thing that’s for sure, it’s that you’re not going to beat them at the marketing game by yourself. It’s highly recommended that you work with a digital marketing agency. Pay attention to their strategies; in the meantime, work on making sure your service is the best it can possibly be. Work on lowering prices and keeping delivery consistent and trustworthy. (Amazon are actually known to be slipping in that latter area, so there could a quality vacuum you can fill there!)
Unrealistic expectations are the devil
If the customer expects something that you can’t deliver, then you’ve made a hell of a mistake. It’s better to underpromise. Let’s say that you have an item you can deliver in three or four days. To account for potential errors, you could give a delivery estimate of a week. This will give your customers something to be very happy about it. Delaying delivery for even a day longer than they expected can result in severe disappointment. But there’s a problem with underpromising - you risk presenting an unattractive proposition which puts potential customers off your service. So while underpromising is better than overpromising, the best thing you can do is be as accurate as you can be. It can be a tricky balancing act - but whatever you do, don’t promise something that you can’t deliver.
Customer retention is cheaper than customer acquisition by quite some margin. So one you’ve got customers, you need to keep them loyal. One of the best ways to do this, outside of offering a consistently good service, is to develop a loyalty program. There are several forms this could take. Customers may be required to meet certain prerequisites before getting benefits. Relaxing of policies and additional discounts for repeat customers could also be introduced.
If you’re good at web development, then you may be tempted to build the website from scratch. This would mean that you have control over every single element of your website, which sounds pretty good for business. But most ecommerce businesses aren’t run this way. It’s usually much more cost-effective to work with a content management system, especially one that’s designed especially one that’s tailored for ecommerce businesses. Some people are put off because it’s actually owned by eBay, but don’t let this put you off!
The problem with reviews
Customer reviews are an essential part of ecommerce, right? Well, there are a lot of businesses that don’t have them on their website. Customer reviews of the products that your business sells are very influential in this field, more so than images and the copy. Before deciding on a purchase, most users will look at reviews first. But the problem is that users can leave scathing reviews of a product despite having never used it. Maybe they don’t like the company who made it, or the author, or they have some moral objection to its existence. Or maybe they’re just being trolls. The answer to this isn’t to not feature reviews - they just need to be regulated. However, you need to do this in a way that doesn’t complicate process - you want to make it easy for people who want to leave glowing reviews to do just that!