Building Customer Trust through E-commerce
Source: The Hindu
A report highlights that there are now 300 million Indians who belong to socio-economically affluent segments (NCCS A/B/C), who are currently using the internet. Most of these people have the disposable income to buy online. However, of this number, as many as 160 million people consume only content online. They prefer to shop offline. The top reason for this is lack of trust in getting the right products online.
How can online stores build trust in their customers?
Quality is King:
One key reason that shoppers have dropped out of online shopping is poor product quality in their first online transaction. This poor first purchase also reinforces a perception that we can check out (i.e. “touch and feel”) product quality while buying in brick-and-mortar stores, hence, why shop online and risk poor goods, once again? E-commerce sites therefore need to ensure consistent product quality of all goods sold on their platforms. In addition, once they are sure of this, they need to emphasise superior quality through all their communication. Only then can they win customers’ trust.
Good Customer Experience: Two pain points that create barriers to online shopping, and also lead to dropouts, are the inability to return products easily, and delayed product deliveries. E-commerce companies have to relentlessly focus on basic elements of customer experience. Their messaging and grievance redress systems have to provide the required reassurance. Building omnichannel presence — where brick-and-mortar stores can complement the online site, and provide touch-points for easy returns or quick deliveries — is another possibility.
One key driver of trust and assurance is the belief that your store speaks your language. Online players have a long way to go, on this front. A major barrier for many small-town customers is that most online sites speak only in alien English, whereas offline store staff speak in familiar vernacular.
Online players, having obtained lots of consumer data through their digital interfaces, and having applied the power of analytics to such data, need to be mindful of how they use this information. If you hound your customers, they will walk away. Transparency and respect for customers’ privacy is critical. It is also time that e-commerce players ask themselves, how do we empower customers with their own data, rather than merely leveraging this data to target their next purchase?
That will truly make customers trust E-Commerce!
How to Develop an Effective Ecommerce Website?
Whether you create your own shopping website or hire a professional website builder, always remember three critical aspects that can make or break your business:
1. Display results that are relevant
You know the links people click when they browse your Ecommerce site, but it is critically important to display results via those links that are most relevant to what they intend to know. When you want to make link building and information segmentation absolutely accurate, experts recommend faceted search–it is the best retrieving technique. With this technique, information is organised as per a classification system–airline websites or retail websites can be considered as reference points where results are segmented based on parameters such as price, age, or generation.
However, there are some inherent threats of overusing segmentation in the faceted search method. When the facets exceed a threshold, users get irritated by it. Hence, the sense of proportion has to be maintained.
There is another point which needs the attention of web designers while applying filters:
When the products are similar, people pay attention to the price while when the products are exclusive; they tend to ignore the price. When an Ecommerce website is designed, this point should be kept in mind.
2. Optimize conversions by developing ways to direct traffic to your website
People should browse your Ecommerce website irrespective of the suitability or interest of your product to them. Undoubtedly, it‘s a tough thing to build but is not totally impossible.
How to accomplish this?
Sometimes, you are not in a position to recommend your products to consumers/customers. However, the capability has to be built over a period of time. When you are not able to furnish their requirements because the product is not sold on your website or is out of stock, the best thing is to suggest a complementary product.
3. It is not a good practice to force customers to create an account first
When people browse your Ecommerce website, it is not a good practice to force them to create an account before they proceed towards buying. Seasoned website builders never commit this blunder. Though you may find this norm in certain websites that have worldwide acclaim, it is not good for every website, especially start-ups. Reports say that there is a drop of more than 50 percent when people are forced to create their login before their first transaction.
What are the best ways to create successful ecommerce stores?
Successful ecommerce stores deliver an unforgettable experience to their visitors. But how do they do that?
Here are a few quick tips to understand the tact behind creating successful ecommerce stores:
1. Making a good first impression:
Poorly designed websites do not get revisits. Customers might land up on them somehow due to good advertising or by chance but a bad design stops them for revisiting these online stores. Successful ecommerce stores have a classic design that makes a good first impression… even if it's just a logo concept or an idea for the manifesto.
2. Offering customers/visitors something to do:
Successful ecommerce stores offer their visitors the option to create a story/idea using the products on display. Online catalogue making is one such example. These catalogues have products that are handpicked by users and displayed for others to view...adding added excitement to the user experience.
3. Creating the ‘wow’ factor:
Successful online stores greet their visitors with the ‘wow’ offers first. Heavily discounted items are labelled as “wow” offers and feature certain top brands and show their best deals. A successful and stylish interface doesn't beat around the bush. It tells you the best deals in the store. This is intelligent influencer marketing.
How many of these aspects do you focus on already?
Creating successful online stores doesn't come easy. You always have to focus on delivering the ultimate experience to your customers, to analyze your competition while doing your best to stay ahead and to know when it's time to change gears. To wrap things up, it seems ecommerce will hit new records and a well thought out plan can make all the difference. Choose an ecommerce platform that works for you. This guide will help you eliminate those that don't suit your niche. And get going; push your online store to the limits.