How to make your e-commerce business user friendly

In 2020 e-commerce has seen phenomenal and unprecedented growth – businesses have been forced to change their model, learn how to develop their online sales, and to master it on the go. According to new data from IBM’s U.S. Retail Index, the pandemic has accelerated the transition from physical store shopping to online purchasing by approximately five years.

The user-friendly e-commerce model allows to generate more leads, increase customer engagement, grow direct sales and gain customer loyalty.

The following step-by-step guide will help you avoid the mistakes that destroy the e-commerce business.

Handle Customer’s Communications

It seems so basic, though many e-commerce websites continue to send their customers way too many emails after a purchase. “This is our confirmation; this is your order number, this is your paycheque, this is your tracking number from the logistics department, and this is the offer for your next purchase and a newsletter that you didn’t sign up for” – just stop bombarding the client with all these emails. It may seem reasonable from the perspective of a business that has several departments – that you might have different messages to send clients: paid orders, delivery codes, and future promotional campaigns. But it’s not the customer’s problem. Try to manage it internally so that the customer gets just one email containing the confirmation of the purchase, tracking number for delivery, and some promotional code or marketing information for future purchases.

Be honest about delivery

Delivery is a painful issue for newcomers in e-commerce. the process depends on third-party services and plagued by unpredictability. If you mislead your customers with unkept delivery terms, your e-commerce will not last for long. Customers make purchases taking into account the expected delivery terms. Someone may be buying a dress for a certain event or some product as a gift, so then what happens if you deliver it too late? You will have lots of returns. If you offer any product customizations that lead to delays, you have to inform clearly your customers about the realistic terms of delivery. Not to mention those e-commerce businesses that send only the confirmation of the transaction without any details about the delivery… Delivery problems will not only increase your returns but also ruin customer loyalty, your reputation on social media, and customer reviews.

Do not force feed with your promo

Once you’ve got a new client, do not hurry to send a flood of new promo emails. The client already spent some money on your brand and wants to test the experience first, before buying another product from you. Or maybe the product has not even been delivered yet, and the customer is annoyed. Perhaps the product was not as good as the customer expected. Give it some time for the customer to evaluate the e-commerce experience with your brand and your product. Promo emails sent the next day right after the purchase are just pointless.

Manage the returns professionally 

Reimbursements are another sensitive topic, especially for a newly established e-commerce business. One of the main reasons why customers prefer giants like Amazon, Zalando, and YOOX is because these companies make zero problems with returns. The procedure to return purchases is relatively quick and easy. The customer doesn’t have to invent some reason and beg for a reimbursement. Moreover, the back delivery is often paid for by the company. So, if the new e-commerce business wants to grow and gain new loyal customers, the procedure for returning goods should be very transparent, quick, and pretty much automatic. Customers who have faced problems returning the product will be unlikely to buy new items and leave positive reviews.

Be careful with automatic marketing 

Another bug of e-commerce is the automatic email offers and newsletters. It sounds great to automate all your marketing communication. But unfortunately, without elaborated segmentation and targeting, it is usually not effective. If you offer an ample assortment of products sending the same promotional email to all customers, it makes no sense. Even worse things may sometimes happen with offers. Sending a 10% birthday discount to a client, while on the website you have a promotional campaign offering everyone a discount from 30% to 50% is offensive. This kind of promo will bring you zero sales and destroy your reputation. So, before setting the automatic offers and newsletters, think twice about how relevant they actually are.

About Elena Markova

Elena Markova is a Digital Communications Expert with working experience for large multinational groups within several industries: FMCG, automotive, retail, luxury, hospitality. Elena Markova is the founder of SLASH Communications Digital Agency and COMO LAKE Today lifestyle magazine.


Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Unsplash