Why does the potential customer decide to halt all progress with their online shopping? All about the e-commerce industry:
Shopping in online stores has become the norm nowadays. In fact, a lot of people prefer this method over going to physical shops and wasting their time browsing through every item when it’s all accessible online. We save a lot of effort this way as well – a lot of people get put off by the walking and looking and bumping into large crowds at the stores, especially on a busy weekend! So, a huge number of web users choose to purchase the things they need via the web: equipment, clothing and even groceries. But the best thing is that this system is very well managed nowadays, and returning things, delivery services and customer service are top notch.
The e-commerce industry is growing dynamically to help clients make purchase decisions and efficiently execute transactions, quickly and efficiently. Nevertheless, many customers aren’t that convinced about the service, and in order to be tipped over the edge they need to see an offer, have a gift card or be treated with promotional codes. So why do they give up shopping on normal items?
The e-commerce industry – the main problems
The e-commerce problems are completely differently perceived by the owners of online businesses and general customers of online stores. Nevertheless, a lot of these problems overlap, and the business owners + customers are looking for one thing – the success of e-shopping. But e-shopping will be successful if a couple of vital circumstances are fulfilled. if the customer receives satisfying goods, at affordable prices and on time delivery. Good contact between seller and customer is achieved etc. If these are followed, the number of its clients purchasing your stuff should grow systematically.
Bear in mind that a customer can often shop online and resign at the last minute, because something annoyed or irritated him/her. And even if the person purchases the goods, in the future the chance is that he won’t be coming back. But what are the most common reasons for customer discouragement?
- Hidden prices – the price of basket-goods should always be in a visible place and cover the entire amount to be paid. Everything must be exposed clearly, so that the customer isn’t surprised by the newly revealed prices e.g. for packaging or extremely high costs of delivery, even though it was advertised as being free. If the customer learns the correct price just before the last stage of shopping i.e. ‘payment method’ then you’re basically shooting yourself in the foot. Even if it’s disclaimed that these extra hidden costs will be added, the customer may not notice this small print, and in the worst-case scenario he may even sue the business if he’s really dissatisfied. Not to mention he/she will spread bad word about your e-shop, either online or in real life. Such situations need to be avoided to guarantee you and your e-shop success.
- Long shipping/delivery time – the shipping/delivery time depends highly on the form of delivery method (e.g. economic letter, registered letter, priority/special delivery, postal parcel, courier etc.). Nevertheless, if the seller claims that the package in a given method will arrive between such and such day, he should keep his/her word, otherwise some customers may be very disappointed. If the courier/delivery service is at fault then you should always apologise to the customer, and perhaps offer a little discount for the inconvenience caused. Customers do not like to wait long for their goods, especially if they paid a little extra for quicker delivery. So, it’s better to cooperate with trusted couriers or delivery services as well. One last thing to remember is that all customers should always be provided beforehand info that their parcel might be late or delayed, even if it’s a matter of a couple of hours. This builds the trust, as the customers know that you care for them, even if something hasn’t gone fully to plan.
- Difficult contact with the seller – sometimes it happens that the customer wants to determine the details of the delivery with the seller, or he wants to exchange a couple of words to gain more insight on the product etc. Regardless of the reason, contact with the seller should be made easy, responsive and fast. As we already mentioned, it’s unacceptable to not contact the customer if the deliver was delayed, or even worse, don’t allow any means of contact at all.
- Delivery of damaged goods – say the goods arrive on time, but they are damaged. The customer is discouraged from shopping, especially if the seller avoids being responsible for the failure, won’t apologise nor try to correct the situation. Unfortunately, the e-commerce industry is not free of such problems. The key here is this – prioritise and treat the customer as if they were your king or queen. They have a right to be upset or nag, and you should have the responsibility to make them feel satisfied again, even if they cause you hassle or pain.
- Delivery of wrong goods – two issues should be addressed here. The first is the incompatibility of the item with the description, i.e. the ordered skirt should look exactly as shown on the model, and its waist size should be exactly as chosen by the customer. The material cannot have a different texture either e.g. jumper made from wool when customer hates the material. This is why the online pictures of the clothing should be accompanied by brief descriptions that the customer can read and know what to expect. After all, we can’t gain much insight from a single picture. The second issue is the delivery of a completely different product that was ordered in the first place e.g. instead of the skirt we get a jumper. Organisation and precaution are key, because a few of such mistakes could cost our business and online store to decrease in customer significantly. It’s unreal, after all, how quickly bad word of mouth spreads.
- The goods did not reach the indicated address – the customer made a transfer, waited for the parcel and … didn’t receive it at all. Once again, we need to make sure that out delivery service is trusted and on point! Besides this we also cannot deceive the customers, and offer items on the online store that we haven’t got in stock at this moment in time. Another issue is lost parcels and no possibility to get a refund. We have to make sure that our customers receive their goods into their own hands, and if the parcel is left behind a bin or at the neighbours, we need to assure that the goods are actually in a safe place. Otherwise not only we may suffer losses, but the customer will also be disappointed.
- Problems with returns/complaints – every customer has the right to return the product at a secured date, without need to provide a reason. The process of returns shouldn’t be disputed either, unless the item that was returned got damaged or something along those lines occurred. If our website addresses: ‘we do not accept refunds’ then you can immediately say goodbye to majority of potential customers out there. After all, if you don’t trust them, why should they trust you that you will provide them with legitimate goods. This quote is used by many services online, and many customers claim that it makes them seem distrustful and deceiving, as if they’re dealing with dodgy and scam goods and don’t want to deal with the customer if they aren’t satisfied. Some stores allow a free return; then the customer does not bear the shipping costs and is not afraid of making further orders. So it’s always recommended to make that offer. After all it’s best to pay a bit more for a couple returned parcels, but at least you’ll have a returning, trusted customer.