Starting an online business requires more than just having a large inventory of products to sell. There are lots of things to take into account if you want to be a successful online entrepreneur. From choosing the right products and designing your brand to conducting social media marketing and building your online store, you must have a clear understanding of every element of running an online business.
With global e-retail sales projected to grow up to $4.8 trillion by 2021, from the $2.8 trillion sales last 2018, it only makes sense that you make the most of every online business opportunity that comes your way. Thus, it’s important that you provide your customers with a great buying experience.
From the moment that a customer decides to visit your online store until the time that they decide to checkout and pay, you must make sure that everything is flawless. This is why choosing the right e-commerce platform matters. To better understand the importance of using the right e-commerce platform, here are some of the ways your selected platform can impact customer experience.
Provides 24×7 Support
One of the most important things that an online entrepreneur should prioritize is customer support. Nowadays, there is a wide variety of e-commerce platforms to choose from. From Amazon and eBay to Shopify and WooCommerce, all of these platforms understand the importance of putting customer support at the forefront of any business. This is why they provide their users with the ability to support their own customers.
To be able to provide great customer support, you should take note of the following best practices:
- Use an inbox that can be easily integrated with your selected e-commerce platform.
- Provide your customers with a knowledge base. This way, they won’t have to always rely on your staff for any necessary support.
- To better reach out to all your customers, it’s best that you provide customer support through channels that they prefer to use.
- Integrate a process automation such as Facebook or Instagram bots to make it easy for you to maintain efficient communication processes.
- Measure the performance of your customer support process and make use of your
Integrates Easy Payment Options
Another important feature that every good eCommerce platform must have is the integration of efficient payment channels. Given that you are selling products and services online, it’s important that you provide your consumers with a selection of payment options that are easy to use and access. It’s important that you give your customers enough choices to easily make purchases from your store. Aside from credit or debit card payments, there are many other payment options that you can provide such as Paypal, BitCoin, Amazon Pay, Google Pay, Stripe and many more. With more payment channels available, you get to improve your chances of closing a sale.
Gives Options of Virtual Auctions
Apart from the ability to setup options for payments, there are a number of e-commerce platforms that provide customers with the option to bid for a product or service that they want. This type of virtual transaction can be a good choice for rare or special products and services, making it easy for collectors and speciality enthusiasts to find what they are looking for. With the success that eBay achieved through this form of transaction, many other platforms followed suit, including Liquidation.com, eBid.net, Atomic Mall, Bonanza and more.
Improves the Security of Handling Cash
Another important aspect that customers consider when choosing where to shop is the security of their payments and information. This is why it’s important for online sellers to choose a platform that can provide a safe and secure payment method for users. Nowadays, many e-commerce platforms are providing users with different payment methods, depending on what a user will be comfortable with. Online shoppers can choose to complete their payments using credit or debit cards, online payment portals such as Paypal or BitCoin, over-the-counter bank or ATM payments, or even through cash on delivery. This way, more and more people can feel at ease with shopping online.
Reduces the Amount of Paperwork and Clerical Work
One of the most tiresome parts of running a business is handling paperwork. But thanks to the wonderful world of computers and the internet, it is now more convenient to handle your business documents and provide any important paperwork to your customers. In fact, with the growing trend of paperless transactions, it has become easier for both businesses and consumers to transact since all documents can be easily accomplished and stored through their chosen e-commerce platform.
Contains Warranty Information
An important part of a good customer service is an online store’s provision of product or service warranty. Majority of online stores and e-commerce websites nowadays provide their customers with product or service warranty, including extended warranty, for that extra peace of mind that most consumers would like to have. In fact, warranties are one of the things customers look for when shopping online. And as an online seller, it’s important that you create a substantial warranty that can help make your buyers feel more at ease about the products and services that you offer.
Savings in Staff and Other Costs
Another important benefit of using an e-commerce platform is that it helps eliminate the need for more manpower. eCommerce websites such as Amazon and eBay provide their own couriers, which reduces a seller’s need to handle their own shipments and deliveries. And because these e-commerce websites provide continuous business to couriers, sellers and buyers get to also benefit through discounted courier service rates, which translates to better customer experience and better business across all parties.
Easy to Use and Improves Control
With the continuous pursuit for better e-commerce solutions, most large and well-known e-commerce websites get to hatch better ideas of improving their user experience. By providing users with a better interface, customization and more efficient controls, sellers can establish and provide a better experience for their buyers, thus, enhancing customer experience.
No matter what e-commerce platform you may decide to use, it’s important that you choose the platform that is most suited for your business. You should also see to it that the e-commerce website that you decide to use supports your need to provide a great buying experience to your customers. This way, you get to enhance your brand’s identity and boost your digital presence in your industry.
Also published on Medium.