Without pretending to be an e-commerce guru, in this article I want to share some reflections both as a consumer and as a marketing professional related to experiences when buying in online stores. The conclusion is that they have a lot to learn and improve to compete on the Internet.
Several times I have wondered why amazon.com does not open its amazon store in by offering excellent customer service during all the years I have purchased on its website. It could serve the entire Hispanic community and increase its global market share, but they should have strong reasons not to take that step. Therefore, not have to compete with amazon or other monsters of e-commerce presents an opportunity for SMEs with online store.
However, before offering intelligent technology such as product recommendations based on user searches and products, or a 5-star system for consumers to value products with comments, I suggest that SMEs focus on the basics, which is to guide your e-commerce strategy to give good customer service, easy to say but not so easy to achieve.
I offer here a list of capital sins inspired by companies with online stores, in which I summarize my experience as a user when trying to buy on their websites:
1. Do not promote a product that you do not sell
How many times have you been disappointed that after finding the product you are looking for when you go to the purchase page with the cart, it shows you a message saying “this product is sold out” or a similar message?
Stores must ensure that they maintain the discipline of their “showcase” on the Internet, make the most of the spaces on their website to place temporary offers, and eliminate all products they have stopped receiving and therefore sell.
2. Do not deliver the product or arrive defective
The worst of all sins because consumer confidence is undermined leads me to the conclusion that online fraud is being committed, or that they are taking me for a fool. I bought a VoIP product on July 3 and paid it on the same day. I’m still waiting for a response from the store about when the product will arrive. I’m very tempted to name it in this article, but today I’ll wait a little longer to see if they deign to respond because I’m not for the task of attacking an SME, that we have enough with which is falling to go tripping.
If there are defects in the product, they should provide a quick way to change it and return another quality product in less than 5 days.
3. Do not respond to customer emails
Another big mistake If you make available to your clients a mail account of the type clients @ … or info @ … make sure that you are responding in a maximum period between 24 and 48 hours. If you want to be excellent, respond in less than 24 hours.
4. Not having an operational customer service telephone line
The worst case that I have encountered has been one in which the store provides a 902 payment number so that after not answering the calls, or the only time I could talk to someone, they tell me that they do not work for that company and that can only leave messages. I prefer to keep the opinion on what I thought at that time of said online store.
5. Do not use a secure and functional payment gateway
There are several initiatives such as Confianza Online that recognizes with its seal those websites in which you can “browse, buy or share information with total confidence”.
The reliability of the payment gateway is important. Few things irritate more than after having spent half an hour looking for each of the products you need, for example, if you buy for example a digital camera with all its accessories, when you proceed to online payment with a card it shows you an error message and you have than to start over from the beginning. I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s been through this.
6. Not developing a multi-channel strategy
The integration of offline and online materials is logical, although many stores have not yet achieved it. Production of product catalogs, offers at events and online promotion of the same, sales channel on Twitter as is known the famous case of Dell, online store on Facebook, etc. The opportunities are unlimited, but just focus on the basics to get started.
7. Do not promote your store on other websites that may attract customers
Within this multi-channel strategy, it is ultimately a sin not to promote your website online in other websites that allow you to publicize your store, products, and promotions. Anyone who knows the concept of “long-tail” knows that there is more than jack, horse and king online advertising, and therefore, thousands of websites that can facilitate your meeting with potential customers, if the online store knows where to advertise with free online tools to segment audiences and reach your target market. It is not complicated, and if someone needs help to contact me and I will lend a hand.
What are the capital sins of e-commerce for you?