As more businesses enter the digital marketplace, it may feel like you’ve missed the boat on e-commerce sales. In reality, e-commerce and online business still have plenty of room for growth and opportunity to compete based on the customer experience alone. According to the latest e-commerce growth forecast from eMarketer, e-commerce sales were projected to increase 23.2 percent during 2017 and account for one-tenth of all total retail sales.
But it takes more than putting a “Buy Now” button on your website to attract the volume of sales you need to create a viable online business. It takes an online platform that caters to your customers’ needs and curating a customer experience to keep them coming back for more. Here’s how to get started.
Use interactive resources
Customers want DIY and self-serve resources to find the information they need and instantaneously empower their shopping decisions. According to customer feedback research collected from Zendesk, the majority of respondents say they would use an online knowledge base if it met their needs. Meanwhile, 67 percent say they preferred self-service over speaking to a company representative. This is your opportunity to step in and deliver an easy, seamless experience for your customers no matter your industry.
Both B2C and B2B models can use the online DIY and self-serve options by giving them interactive resources to make ordering easy. Zazzle lets customers customize their merchandise by size, color and even graphics. In the manufacturing industry, Apple Rubber offers o-ring size charts and tools to narrow down exactly what type of products they need. When your customers can take control of their own shopping experience with ease, businesses win their loyalty.
Provide omnichannel support
Self-serve options are just one form of online support today’s consumers want out of their shopping experience. Omnichannel support is also a must that makes customer interaction seamless from online chat to phone to social media and beyond.
Omnichannel support is crucial to the customer experience and how people perceive your business in the marketplace. In fact, according to Deloitte, more than half of companies view contact centers as a competitive differentiator. That’s why you need a solid support channel like Zipwire that seamlessly integrates your support across multiple platforms to deliver the service your customers want.
Resell on other platforms
Remember, your own online platform isn’t the only way to amplify your business and increase your revenue. Selling on other established platforms is a smart way to reach a broader customer base without losing your own brand identity.
Amazon offers sellers the chance to sell through their Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA) program to list their own products for sale. Their program can also save valuable time and align your brand with a platform that customers are accustomed to shopping on. But FBA isn’t the only way to win big with online platforms. Additionally, their merch program provides a way for designers to upload their designs while Amazon creates and fulfills the products. For handmade sellers, Etsy is also a goldmine to reach customers looking for high-quality products and handmade merchandise.
Selling on online platforms isn’t a “build it and they will come” strategy. At the end of the day, it requires a strategy, exemplary customer service and innovative products to stand out in the marketplace. Start by focusing in on what your business does best and diligently collect customer feedback on how to improve your platform.
About: Steve Conway is a content marketing professional and inbound marketing expert. Previously, Steve worked as a marketing manager for a tech software start-up. He is passionate about discovering new software that will that will advance his already well-honed digital marketing techniques.