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Top E-commerce Business Investments

DesktopShipper
Posted by DesktopShipper on Jun 9, 2021 10:00:00 AM

If you're similar to other e-commerce businesses, you probably hear about a million different frameworks that are "essential" for your business. With all that noise, how are you able to differentiate what is actually necessary? 

Short answer: Listen to your customers. 

Though the old saying goes, "the customer is always right," we like to say, "your target customer is always right." Target customers will love, nurture, and promote your brand via word of mouth, ensuring return customers and building brand loyalty. 

A recent article from Forbes reported that, "Research found that existing customers are 50% more likely to try new products and spend 31% more, on average, compared to new customers." In the article, Bain & Company and Harvard Business School report that "increasing customer retention rates by 5% increases profits by 25% to 95%.

Still not sold on the importance of brand loyalty? According to Temkin Group, 77% of customers recommend a brand to a friend after a single positive experience. Understanding your target customer takes extensive research, so to keep ahead of the curve (and your competitors!), here are three top e-commerce infrastructures every business should invest in to build brand loyalty:

 

Social Commerce

Social commerce is the manner of advertising and selling goods or products directly on integrated social media platforms. The entire buyer journey takes place directly on the social platform. All the major social platform players have switched focus and begun investing in social commerce integrations. 

Social commerce has grown immensely and is projected to grow by 34.8% in 2021 year-over-year reaching $36.09 billion total, according to eMarketerThe article also projects that social commerce alone will account for 4.3% of all e-commerce sales. Though it's not necessarily the first place consumers go shopping, they are progressively using it to discover new products and businesses.  

Twitter's CEO, Segal, announced on May 25th that "You should be able to click and buy something on Twitter." On June 7th, Pinterest made a significant shift to the way people shop on their platform, adding marketplace-like features allowing their users to save their favorites in a cart and purchase from multiple stores on their platform. It might take a bit of time for consumers to use these implemented features and change their shopping habits, but it is expected that this will soon become the norm. E-commerce companies who have yet to shift their focus to selling on all social platforms are indeed leaving money on the table. Be an early adopter and make sure you grow with these new selling platforms. 

 

Great Customer Service 

Whether you are a consumer or a business owner, you are probably thinking, "Duh, customer service is important!" But with e-commerce, customer service has to mean more than just smiling and greeting people when they walk into a store. Great customer service for e-commerce means investing in elements that will lead to brand loyalty. Here's how:

  • Tracking Information Updates

Consumers continuously want their orders yesterday. The expectations are high for fast, free shipping, which can be challenging for small to medium-sized businesses. Whether or not you are offering free two-day shipping, consumers still want to be informed during every step of the shipping process. Don't make your customer search for the tracking information; make it accessible in multiple places, with options to send text or email updates. Keeping constant communication with a consumer shows them that your company cares about their overall experience. 

  • Easy Returns

According to BizReports, "According to their new report, nearly all (95%) consumers they polled said a bad returns experience would 'make them less likely to return to a store." A lousy return experience includes the following: consumers paying for their returns (if sellers did not explain this ahead of time), a company simply not accepting a return, restocking fees (unless otherwise stated at the time of purchase), forcing the consumer to obtain a refund via a gift card or store credit when they paid cash, not accepting online returns in store, and overall just not being transparent about your return process. Depending on your target market, they might find different things frustrating, so it's essential to survey your customer base and possibly even hire an outside company to research, so you don't lose valuable customers. 

  • Overall Consistency 

Consistency is key in e-commerce. The phrase, "whatever you publish on the internet lives forever," is true. Once you put something on your website, it's important to follow through on that. Having straightforward shipping, shopping, and return policies in place will help customers understand your company's expectations and help them keep things transparent. Consistency also means consistent branding within the packaging, as well as item codes and tags. Making sure things are the same for every order helps you provide great customer service, which builds customer trust. 

 

Shipping Solution

Thanks to large companies such as Amazon and Walmart, most customers assume every business will do free two-day shipping. That can be expensive, time-consuming, and difficult for companies of all sizes. To keep up with consumer expectations, a shipping solution is a great way to save money and organize your shipments. DesktopShipper allows you to collect all of your orders from multiple selling platforms, and through our order management system, filter your orders, create batches, and print customized packing slips. Our shipping software is designed to be scalable, efficient, and affordable for online businesses. We negotiate the best rates with carriers to guarantee a range of low-cost options, empowering you to provide advantageous choices for your happy customers.

 

It's tough to know what's important for your specific e-commerce business. Still, we are confident that investing in Social Commerce, Great Customer Service, and Shipping Solutions will help build brand loyalty with your target customers. Though some of these are forward monetary investments, others will take organization, commitment, and time. Don't fall behind on the e-commerce game and keep up with your target market's customer expectations. 

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