Any digital marketing professional worth his salt will tell you that in 2019, the E-commerce business landscape is more challenging and competitive than it has ever been. Customers are no longer tied to one platform for their online shopping needs, and successfully managing customer expectations across multiple sales channels is turning out to be the major differentiating factor for online businesses.
Before addressing the core question of customer relationship and retention, E-commerce businesses have to dwell on the huge footprints left by the giants in the arena, Alibaba and Amazon. Matching their dominance in the online retail space is next to impossible given their sheer scale, infrastructure, and resources. So how does one compete and co-exist whilst being surrounded with seemingly insurmountable odds? The answer to this starts and ends with your customers.
Providing your customers with a unique customer experience leveraging their emotions and curating your products to match their expectations is the key towards competing and achieving success in the E-commerce business sphere.
Knowing your customers and engaging with them using their shopping data, can lead to enhanced customer experiences. Personalization involves offering your customers unique deals based on their shopping preferences. It’s more than just the likes and dislikes, it means making them feel like insiders. Tapping into customer data gives you the required information to tailor your advertising and marketing campaigns leading to increased customer acquisition, growth, and retention.
If customers simply disappear after completing a transaction on your site, then you are missing out on a very critical part in the customer experience loop. Ensure that you reach out often to customers and encourage feedback through your multiple marketing and social media channels. Incentivize customer interaction with game mechanics so that customers will be happy to share and engage. This will improve customer engagement and also enhance your customer service reputation in an increasingly competitive marketplace.
Building customer trust and loyalty over time requires robust customer service and shorter response times for more efficient handling of customer queries and complaints. Even though most customers prefer a human element in customer service, the speed at which their problems are addressed takes precedence over any other factor. Reducing lag and wait times improves overall customer trust. Automating and standardizing responses greatly helps in letting your customers know that you are more than happy to help. It’s the effort that counts towards winning your customer’s trust.
One of the biggest bugbears for E-commerce retailers is cart abandonment. Making the shopping process seamless and designing an experience with as few steps as possible to complete an order is crucial. Ensure that your checkout and payment processing system is in absolute sync so that customers experience a smooth and secure process. Evolving towards an omni-channel strategy for your products is also another way to enhance the customer experience. Understanding customer demands and reacting to them in proactive ways will help in catering to unique customer segments and creating shopping experiences which will lead to more conversions.
Remaining relevant to your customers and engaging with them more deeply will contribute towards building long term customer relationships. Designing processes, experiences and addressing customer needs based on customer feedback and customer data, will not only differentiate your brand, but it will also help you create a niche in the digital and E-commerce marketplace