Set yourself apart.

5 practical tips for online retailers.

There are over 800,000 eCommerce websites in Europe – some of whom are doing it right, some of whom who are doing it very wrong. We’ve comprised our top 5 practical tips for online retailers below – simple, inexpensive ways to ensure you’re providing a competitive customer experience.

Manage delivery expectations.

For online retailers operating today, it’s important to manage expectations. With Amazon and other giants being super aggressive with distribution, retailers can feel a lot of pressure to compete with that.  

Ultimately, eCommerce is about delivery, and, while it is important to remain competitive when distributing your product, it’s also vital not to over-promise. Once you say you’re going to deliver, you need to deliver. If you can provide next day delivery – shout about. If you can’t – be clear and communicate that accurately. 

If a customer expects their package in 3 days and it comes a week later it may result in your customer becoming annoyed – an experience they are likely to share with others and may cost you loyal and potential customers. 

A recent study has found that 72% of customers will share a positive experience with 6 or more people. On the other hand, 13% of them will share their negative experience with 15 or even more.

Let’s aim to stay on the consumer’s good side. With that in mind, it’s important to know what customers REALLY expect from delivery

Tell your story!

Yes, making your product available across numerous channels and market places will return positive results – but how do you create and retain loyal members of your website? 

There’s a reason why your consumers go to you and not the wholesaler or Amazon – even if your site is more expensive – why? Because of your brand equity. 

It’s the brand experience that you build – it’s that brand identity and telling the brand story that they are drawn to. If people love a brand story, 55% are more likely to return to your services, 44% will share the story, and 15% will buy the product immediately.

So, if you have a story to tell about your brand, make sure you tell it on your website. It means something to customers to understand the heritage of the brand as this builds up their loyalty. Differentiate yourself on brand and with the experience.

Packaging.

When you order something from wholesalers such as Amazon, it’s safe to say the bubble wrap and cardboard box packaging is less than thrilling. 

The packaging is an inexpensive way to communicate your brand to your customer, while at the same time offering a much-desired personal touch. 50% of consumers said they would recommend a product if it came in gift-like or branded packaging

Receiving a package that is customised and branded creates a sense of justification when you get that package compared to opening a generic cardboard box. 

“Unboxing” is also a trend that has come to fruition in recent years. There are thousands of unboxing videos uploaded to YouTube on a daily basis whereby people showcase their recent special deliveries. 55% of those who watch unboxing videos claim the video convinced them to purchase the product.

Give your consumer something more to flaunt than the product itself.

Options, options, options!

Make your services flexible by giving customers the option to buy across all channels. Omnichannel shoppers have a 30% higher lifetime value than single-channel shoppers – A significant statistic in customer retention.

Offer multi-channel options – click and collect, purchase from mobile/mobile apps, purchase from market places, purchase from social media, offer as many channels as possible. Consumers love nothing more than to have choices – if you have a bricks and mortar presence as well as an online store for your brand, you have already tapped into your customers’ desire for options than implementing omnichannel into your online strategy.

Omni channel shoppers spend 15% more per purchase than those who shop just on one channel – and are much more likely to come back to you. So why not spoil your consumer for choice? 

Transparent checkouts.

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From previous studies, we know that the reasons for cart abandonment pertain to forgotten costs such as shipping, VAT or added fees. In fact,  55% of consumers cite this as the number one reason why they abandon purchases – but this can be easily combatted with transparency. Your consumer may have a strict budget mind and maybe adding to their cart within particular margins. Finding that these constraints have been surpassed upon checkout will result in frustration and abandonment. 

Assist your customer to shop on their terms and create an experience that’s easy and honest. 

With advances made daily in the eCommerce landscape, the opportunities for a competitive edge are endless. But it’s important to walk before you run and ensure you have the basics covered – These are just some simple steps to start your online shop in the right direction. 

Author: Lauren Cassidy, Content Marketer, Kooomo

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