Working with a customer in person can be beneficial because you can identify the customer such as generation, age, gender, etc. Online is another level. There is anonymity and you will have to be ready to change your approach to the customer. However, you can get the gist of your customer if you already have a niche or a target. In this blog, we will cover three areas: demographics, accessibility, and services.
According to optinmonster.com, the majority of online shoppers are women. However, men do shop online as well – depending on what. In 2018, most men shop for travel accommodations, household goods, ticketed events, movies, and computers/technologies. Women on the other hand shopped for food/groceries, clothes and sporting goods, books/magazines, and medicine. Depending on which industry you’re going for, know who is looking for it. Millennials are the largest online shoppers. Generation Z is expected to outpace millennials on online shopping. It’s likely your customer will be a millennial or generation Z. Keep in mind that it can be of any age. Building a niche will give you a broad demographic of your customers.
You want to make sure that your customer can shop, check out, and get confirmation/tracking numbers seamlessly. 49% of goods purchased by using mobile phones, which is why it’s crucial that your website must be mobile-friendly. You don’t want to lose that 49%. It is projected that by 2021, that percentage will increase to 54%. I will not be surprised if that number has already reached by the end of this year due to COVID-19.
I live by the philosophy of “keeping everything idiot-proof”. It’s blunt but it doesn’t mean all customers are idiots. It simply means that when you navigate through the website, you want to make it as simple as possible. Any problems in the navigation could cost you. Customers will explore elsewhere or will not waste time by reaching out to you to address the issues. I have chatbots on the website ready to assist at any time and it’s a good idea to have one because 60% of millennial customers prefer to use chatbot as a communication. I also noticed that millennials also like to conduct business on Facebook direct messages and Instagram messages. Check your website to make sure there aren’t any roadblocks. Consider what you are doing to keep a communication channel open directly to you as a customer service.
What customers look for in your business is a seamless return and exchange. You will need to develop logistics and a plan for any returns and exchanges. From my experience, this doesn’t happen very often. As long as you have a good system in place, you should be okay. If not, understands why? If customers contacted you to return because of the wrong sizes, do you have the size chart on your website? If a product arrives broken, is the packaging a problem? If a customer receives the wrong product, is the fulfillment doing its job? Always check the root of the problem because every problem comes back to you, it costs you money.
When you’re ready to go for a bigger fish, sometimes it’s a good idea to provide a sample or a free item to allow consumers to see for themselves. Use your judgment to determine if it’s worth it or not. I’ve had a big name client that wanted a bunch of things. I mailed the samples. This client ordered a small quantity but never ordered a large quantity as promised. The cost of sending samples and the work I invested in it outweighed the order a client placed. It was poor judgment on my end. I’ve had a customer that wanted a large order of masks, I mailed a sample overnight and was able to secure an order. Despite $50 overnight shipping, a large order can pay off itself. Again, use your best judgment and do not be afraid to take a risk.
At the end, every once in a while, you have to ask yourself, “If I was a customer, what would I want? Do I feel valued? Was the approach appropriate?” What can be done differently to enhance the customer’s experience with your ecommerce retail?
TIP: All expenses you made for a customer can be written off as a promotion in the accounting. Please consult with your accountant.