This is a guest post from Victoria Sullivan. Victoria is a Marketing Manager at Payability with more than eight years of social media, copywriting and marketing experience. Prior to joining the Payability team, Victoria developed social media content and strategies for top technology brands such as Skype and Samsung.
When you’re running an eCommerce business, it’s critical to establish a rapport with your customers. But it’s also very difficult. As you know, you can’t interact with them face-to-face to answer questions about your products, and they can’t see, touch or try before they buy.
You need to promote confidence in their buying decisions so they not only continue shopping with you but also encourage others to do the same.
So, how do you do that?
By optimizing the customer experience. Here are five ways to get started:
5 Steps to optimizing eCommerce customer experience
Define Your Brand
Establishing your brand is critical when it comes to the customer experience. After all, branding helps to legitimize your business and give prospective customers a holistic understanding of who you are as an online retailer.
So think about the kind of store you want to be and how you stand out among your competitors. In other words, do you focus on a particular product category, or do you have something for everyone? Do you promise a reliable shopping experience that includes prompt shipping and always-available inventory?
At the end of the day, you want to be consistent with how you define, communicate and execute your brand so that buyers know they can rely on you for their product needs.
Improve Your Listings
The last thing you want to do is surprise a customer with a product that doesn’t live up to its listing. First and foremost, be accurate with your product descriptions, images and videos. And be thorough so a prospective buyer has all the information he/she needs to make a decision — that means providing detailed descriptions of your product and its features, as well as sharing multiple high-resolution images and video demos of your product. At the end of the day, you want to make their virtual buying experience feel as real as possible.
Personalize the Shopping Experience
While it may seem impossible to create a personal buying experience online, there are some simple steps you can take to make your customers feel appreciated. It starts with how you engage them throughout the buying process.
For example, if a customer submits a product question, respond in a timely manner, consider updating your listing with the information they asked about, and thank them for bringing it to your attention.
Then, after they’ve made a purchase, include personalized notes in their order confirmation and shipping emails as well as in the shipments themselves that address them by name and acknowledge what they ordered.
Finally, follow-up with them to see how they are liking their purchase, ask for feedback and/or if there is anything you can do to make their experience better now or in the future, and suggest other products based on their recent purchase.
This might seem like a lot of work, but there are customer engagement tools for marketplace sellers that will automate customer communication and feedback solicitation.
Offer Fast, Free Shipping
These days, consumers expect instant gratification. For online shoppers, that means fast (and free!) shipping. To provide this benefit without decreasing your margins, consider a service like Deliverr that offers fast and affordable order fulfillment across all your eCommerce channels.
Not only that, it will save you time, so instead of worrying about fulfilling orders, meeting shipping standards, uploading tracking numbers in real time, and managing inventory for each of your selling platforms, you can focus on growing your business. Check out how much you can save by using Deliverr.
Stay in Stock
This goes without saying, but you won’t have any customers if you don’t have any product in stock. To make sure you always have enough to cover demand, you need a sound inventory management strategy and a reliable source of cash. But chances are, your cash flow is anything but reliable. Until now.
Payability — a financing company for marketplace sellers — makes daily cash flow a reality so you can fund inventory as you need it or even take advantage of your suppliers’ flash inventory sales. Here’s how their two products work:
- Daily payments with Instant Access: You get paid one business day after making a sale, so if you sell $1,000 in product on Monday, Payability will pay you $800 of it on Tuesday (the rest is kept on hold in case there are chargebacks or returns, but you’ll get it back according to each platform’s regular payment schedule).
- Large lump sum of cash with Instant Advance: Payability buys a certain amount of your future receivables at a discount. For example, they would buy $5,000 worth and give you $4,000 at once.
More about Payability
Since 2016, Payability has helped more than 2,000 marketplace sellers stay in stock and turn more inventory more quickly. In fact, they’ve been able to grow 2.5 faster than their competitors. Just ask Jump City Toys, an Amazon seller that uses Payability to buy more, sell faster, and grow. Want to count your business among these rapidly-growing ecommerce sellers? Visit go.payability.com/Deliverr to get started. Your receive a $200 sign on bonus and a 1.5% Instant Access fee (normally 2% of gross sales) just for being referred by Deliverr. For even more on Payability and how they help sellers grow, check them out on Trustpilot, Retail Dive and Fit Small Business.