In this day and age, consumers are more digitally savvy and increasingly shopping online. Report by Temasek and Google says that Singapore’s e-commerce market is expected to exceed S$7 billion in 2025.
But when things start to move into the virtual space, what should you do to better serve your customers ONLINE?
Winning online retail customers and serving them better:
Your online store is the same as your physical store – the layout is important.
You can choose to develop a website or subscribe to third-party services like Wix or Shopify to set up an e-commerce site. But do make sure that the layout has to be pleasant to the eyes.
I won’t go into details about classifying your items together; having search/filters function for easy navigation etc… All these are already taken into consideration by many retailers. What I would like to emphasize here, is to make sure that your website is optimal for MOBILE.
It makes sense to pay attention to mobile experience since many marketing activities are done through the phone – “Oh there’s an ad put up on Facebook? Let me check out their website by clicking on the link!”
The frustrating thing is, some e-commerce stores are easy-to-navigate ONLY when browsed from a desktop computer. Yet, the experience is totally different when it comes to mobile.
So, make sure that your e-commerce site is mobile-friendly by testing them on different devices.
Be it replying emails or running social media accounts… interacting with customers online is the same as offline – how you are treating them offline, you are doing the same online to create a coherent retail experience.
Many retailers employ different resources when they hire retail staff and online staff. But customers only recognize the brand and they will expect the same level of treatment and experience from both your physical store and online sites.
It is crucial to take note that when it comes to managing your staff, make sure that everyone shares the same mindset that they are not just an individual – they also represent the brand of the company.
Study reveals that brands are not responding to customers online (especially social media) fast enough – or at least, not up to the expectations of customers.
Moreover, customers take things to social media only after reaching out via email / call but didn’t work. Yet they were told to email or call the hotline AGAIN to settle the issues.
Being shuffled around among different representatives is not only frustrating on the customers’ end, it’s also costlier for the company.
If you can’t respond timely, it will be good to give a range so that customers know what to expect upfront. If you say that you’re off on weekends, then anyone who sends in messages on weekends won’t be angry at you for not responding for the past 2 days.
But of course, it will always be great if you can respond to customers online as soon as possible. It strengthens your relationships with them as they feel that they were being heard and taken care of by the brand they trust.