The internet and social media have changed virtually everyone’s lifestyle and this includes their buying habits. Most tech-savvy consumers these days would check product reviews on social media or online stores, iOS mobile app developer ratings, and competitor brands prior to making a purchase—from food and clothing to home appliances and even apps to download and movies to watch.
With shoppers becoming more aware of where and how they can get better deals and competition growing by the hundreds overnight, businesses must come up with new-age sales and marketing strategies that can and will drive their audience to them and keep them coming back for more. Nowadays, it is not enough for businesses to have a physical store and friendly staff to win customers. Apart from making the first purchase, they must also gain customer loyalty to guarantee repeat business. Here are a few tips from e-commerce specialists.
Like mentioned, a brick and mortar shop is not enough these days. According to research, more than two billion people made a purchase online in 2020 alone, causing e-commerce sales to reach over $4B in sales worldwide.
It is crucial for businesses to keep up with the times and be present where the customers are. The pandemic has kept most of the population indoors and physical stores closed for a significant amount of time. While there were businesses that are taking advantage of the omni-channel strategy, it has gotten more popular in 2020. This marketing strategy refers to the business presence on every important platform such as physical stores, online shops, apps, and more. This gives the consumer the freedom to make a purchase where it is convenient for them.
Since the customer shopping behavior has evolved, this means they may get interested in a product through an ad they have seen online and since they wanted to save on shipping or enjoy discounts when they make a purchase, they may end up using an app or website to make that purchase. On one hand, there are customers who would want to test the product prior to purchase, which means they are more likely to visit a store.
A business that is present on all these channels (or omnipresent) has a greater chance of closing that sale compared to one that is only present on one.
Improve User Experience
Have you ever tried to buy something but lost the patience to do so due to errors on the page? Or have you felt skeptical about providing bank details due to a poorly constructed website? A poor or bad user experience can drive customers away and make them look for more convenient options to shop.
A well-designed and programmed website will provide consumers with the best user experience—from finding your website to browsing products and making a purchase. If payments must be made online, integrating a secure payment portal will help customers feel safe when providing important personal and financial information.
A good UX establishes site and brand credibility, which is crucial when you want to earn customer trust. Research shows that 70% of customers abandon their cart, and poor user experience is part to blame for this.
Provide Excellent Customer Service
There will always be a competitor who would want your customer’s business. Perhaps the biggest mistake a business can make is provide them with poor (or no) customer service. Everyone wants value for their money and if a product arrives at them damaged or is not as described, your business will be met with bad reviews. How a business handles a bad customer experience is how they will be known for. Make sure to have a dedicated customer support team that will handle concerns from pre-sales, to payments and refunds, to product returns and warranty.
Not only will you be able to gain their trust; customers are also more likely to recommend your products to family and friends. Also, happy customers will spend more with a business they trust. Approximately 70% of purchases made are based on how the customer is feeling while shopping—is the shopping attendant friendly and courteous? Were their questions answered? These may seem like simple customer service gestures but can mean a lot to customers and affect how much they will be spending.
Customer buying habits may have changed and many are geared towards getting the best value for their money, but these will not be a hindrance to businesses that put their customers first. Take the time to know your target market and try to provide them the best-personalized shopping experience even when everything is digital and online.