In the last couple of years, there has been a substantial increase in businesses that market their products and services using the internet. The latest figures estimate between 12 million and 24 million eCommerce businesses worldwide.
While eCommerce is a marketing choice of many corporations, several businesses face some challenges that affect the smooth running of their online enterprises.
One problem affecting many eCommerce businesses is poor communication. Without effective communication, no online retail business can inform, persuade, and make sales to customers.
According to current statistics, about 2.14 billion people bought products and services online in 2021. The question is: how many of these online prospects have you converted to paying customers?
The difference between successful eCommerce businesses and the rest of the pack is the quality of their communication strategies. If you have an eCommerce business and find it difficult to break through, or you are experiencing a decline in sales, it is time to reassess your communication strategy.
Below are ways you have been communicating wrong in your eCommerce business.
One disadvantage of eCommerce is the impersonal nature of its transactions. Buyers and sellers interact with little or no chance of meeting physically.
Statistics, however, show that consumers love personalized communication. It is no surprise that some of the most successful eCommerce brands have the best-personalized communication strategies.
Unfortunately, many eCommerce businesses still neglect personalized communication in their interactions with customers.
When you do not personalize communication in online transactions, your customers will feel you do not listen to them or understand their needs.
In eCommerce, personalized communication helps in customer engagement and retention. Personalized communication means you offer only products and services tailor-made for individual customers.
One research found that about 71 percent of consumers feel frustrated when their shopping experience is impersonal. The research also discovered that 44 percent of consumers said they are likely to become repeat buyers after a personalized experience. Personalizing your messages increases customer loyalty.
Neglecting Customer Feedback
Many businesses do not know how to manage customer feedback and this way, a very vital aspect of eCommerce transactions gets neglected. Customer feedback is the best way to know how your customers feel about your products and services.
Some reports show that consumers view brands that accept and implement feedback as more favorable than those that do not.
The many benefits of feedback in eCommerce include:
- Increase customer satisfaction
- Improve your products and services
- It is a source of current industry trends
- It increases trust
- Improves customer experience
- It shows you care about your customers
- Increases customer retention
Using customer feedback shows your transparency and serves as a powerful social proof that helps your business generate leads. For instance, you could create a video involving some reviews to show prospects how your product can cater to their needs. Client feedback can also enrich your content marketing strategy in general.
Studies show that customers are more likely to buy from businesses that proactively solicit and welcome feedback.
The biggest mistake you can make as an eCommerce brand is ignoring customers’ feedback. Acknowledge all feedback, whether favorable or unfavorable.
Not responding to feedback will make your customers feel disregarded, and it can discourage them and others from further dealing with your brand.
In eCommerce communication, time is of the essence. With so many options at their disposal, customers will take their patronage elsewhere if you do not respond to their questions and complaints on time.
A quick response time is not only good for prospective customers but also for those who have already patronized your business. No customer is more dangerous than one scorned.
Often, a slow response is not deliberate. Your inability to respond quickly to customers’ issues may be because of factors like lack of time, work overload, and burnout.
Fortunately, many tools can help you automate your customer service communications by responding timely and round the clock.
Making Communication Difficult
There will not be eCommerce transactions without effective communication channels. If you want a successful eCommerce business, simplify your communication channels.
The difficulty communicating with some online businesses is a major complaint among people who conduct online transactions.
A common mistake among some eCommerce businesses is having a few communication channels.
ECommerce businesses must recognize that their customer base comprises people from different regions and walks of life. Your customers have different ways of communicating with the outside world. The more communication channel options you provide, the easier it is for your customers to interact with you.
When you have a few options for communicating with your audience, you alienate a good portion of your customer base.
Many business owners think having multiple communication channels will be difficult to manage and increase operational costs. But the benefits of having different communication channels for your eCommerce business outweigh the disadvantages.
Some benefits of providing many communication channels for your customers include:
- You reach more customers
- You discover your customers’ communication preferences.
- Increase customer loyalty
- You increase your reach
- Boost customer trust
To avoid some challenges associated with having multiple communication channels, experts advocate using omnichannel tools to gather all messages from the different channels into one platform.
With omnichannel technology, eCommerce businesses do not need to worry about moving from one channel to another to communicate with each customer.
Your customers do not need to go the extra mile to communicate with or contact you. You can make communication easy by using a unified communication platform.
Not Being Transparent
Transparency is always at the heart of every business. Without transparent communication, many businesses will struggle to keep their customers.
According to one report, hidden extra costs, like tax and shipping, are the main reason for cart abandonment during checkout among customers.
Sadly, many eCommerce businesses are nothing but transparent when communicating with their prospects and customers. Some eCommerce brands are afraid that being transparent can harm their business.
But there are many benefits of transparency when communicating with your clientele.
- Transparency increases trust
- Improves customer service
- Builds positive public image
- Helps in crisis management
You can increase transparency when communicating with your customers by:
- Avoid making bogus promises—In an attempt to gain customers, some eCommerce brands make promises they have no intention of fulfilling. Failure to keep your promises can come back to hurt your business.
- Be accurate in your billings—Some eCommerce businesses wait till the last moment to inform their customers about hidden charges. Failure to disclose all costs can cause a problem and make the customer question your transparency. Always be clear from the beginning on all charges.
- Acknowledge your errors and mistakes—Mistakes occur in all human endeavors. Some eCommerce businesses try to cover their tracks when errors occur. Big mistake. Acknowledging your brand’s mistake and rectifying the same is the best way to show your transparency.
- Carry your customers along—Change is the only constant in life. As your business grows, you will make some changes to serve your customers better. The changes can affect your products, their packaging, or their prices. Let your customers know before these changes instead of taking them unawares.
Most eCommerce brands know the importance of communication for the survival of their businesses. Unfortunately, many online brands make serious mistakes when communicating with their customers.
Recognizing the eCommerce communication mistakes in this article will help you ensure you provide a better experience for your customers.