If you’re running an online retail business, then you’ll face a treacherous journey over terrain that hasn’t quite been mapped yet. With the landscape constantly changing, it’s easy to get left behind by the competition. If you’re already lagging, you’ll need to make a point of seeking out weaknesses in your online store, and figuring out a few ways in which those weaknesses might be addressed. Let’s take a look at some of the ways online shops tend to fall down, and figure out a few ways in which these problems might be solved.
Be more transparent
It’s much easier to keep your existing customers than it is to win new ones over. If you’re drawing customers in with promises of a low headline price only to bolt on an extra fiver when they arrive at the checkout, then they’re likely to bounce right out of there, never to return. Customers are constantly growing more savvy to the sophisticated ways in which retailers lure them in – and so they’re likely to reward a little bit of honestly with repeated custom.
Give your customers options
It’s generally a good idea to throw in free delivery. That way, you’ll be able to advertise the price of your goods up front, and prevent any nasty surprises occurring at the checkout. With that said, the delivery offered for free is invariably the cheapest, slowest delivery – and some customers might be willing to pay a premium in order to get their shopping delivered in a timelier fashion. Don’t tie their hands; give them a range of delivery options to choose from, and thereby secure a more diverse customer-base.
Record addresses accurately
Misplaced post is one thing (besides a product recall) that’s likely to ruin your reputation. After all, what customer is going to willingly stump up cash for goods that might never show up? Add to this the fact that the minority of customers who experience this problem will surely head over to Trustpilot and bad-mouth your business, and you’ve a recipe for significant harm. While it’s impossible to eliminate this problem altogether, you can minimise the problem with the help of an address lookup system. This works by having the user input their postcode, and then selecting from a range of matching addresses. This makes mistypes all but impossible. For best results, you’ll also want to invest in a label-printer and a franking service: both are investments that’ll more than pay for themselves over the long-term.
Take advantage of social media
Social media is an exceptionally powerful tool when it comes to marketing – and this looks set to become even more so in 2018. While some practices, like encouraging users to ‘like’ and ‘share’ content, are set to be dis-incentivised, engaging with your would-be customer base via social media can make them willing evangelists for your products – which will help to grow your reach exponentially.
Use a mystery shopper
Mystery shopping services aren’t just for physical retailers. They’ll also provide an insight into the customer experience of those visiting your online store. Mystery shopper reports are impartial, as they’re conducted by people with no stake in your company and its future prosperity. You can therefore be sure of useful feedback that’s uncoloured by the internal goings-on of your company.
Perform a retail audit
By the same token, a retail audit will provide your business with some outside perspective. A retail audit functions much like a financial audit: a team of outside professionals will come in and examine your store, identify areas of weakness and recommend changes. While it’s possible to conduct such an examination yourself, your perspective will undoubtedly be clouded and biased. It’s better to instead draft in an outside organisation like Tactical Solutions.
Optimise for all devices
It seems almost trite to point out that not everyone who visits your site will do so from a desktop computer. Consequently, you’ll want to ensure that it’s properly optimised for mobile and tablet devices if you’re to present your customers with the best experience. If those visiting your website arrive from the Google search window to find a site that’s poorly optimised, then the chances are that they’ll immediately turn tail and bounce out of there. Younger audiences are more likely to access the internet via their phones, and so it’s worth paying attention to their habits if you’re selling things principally to younger people. Even if your customer-base is older, however, you’ll still want to ensure that everything looks the part on every possible device.business current events