Retail and e-commerce are key engines of economic growth and an increase in the volume of international trade. E-commerce facilitates the access of consumers to the market and improves the supplier-consumer chain as a whole. Further development of e-commerce involves solving many problems that arise in disseminating this type of activity. The communication challenges in the retail and e-commerce industry become a hot debate topic as this step is vital in retailing and could affect the customer’s information perception.
It is essential to communicate with the client. It helps to find out what both sides want. The goal of communication in the retail and e-commerce industry is to generate sales. There are three key functions: informing, persuading, and reminding. First, retailers provide information about the company and the product. Then they convince customers to visit the website and look at the product line. In the last one, it is necessary to remind the client about new product arrivals and possible loyalty programs, and the customer’s privileges.
Amazon is an American company that is considered the world’s largest turnover company selling products and services via the Internet. It is one of the first Internet services aimed at selling real goods of mass demand. Amazon was the first who has used the potential of the Internet. It can appeal to more customers than the usual street store, with more items not limited to what is available in the warehouse. One of the features of an online store’s website is that customers can leave feedback about purchased products and evaluate them. It helps to choose the right item of good quality.
Nowadays, Amazon employs more than 2 million third-party vendors, which collectively generate 40% of the total Amazon sales. 100 thousand sellers make six-figure turnovers a year. Third-party vendors under their brands sell almost everything: from small mobile accessories to large consumer electronics. As a result of the huge assortment, developed logistics, fast delivery, and excellent customer service, Amazon attracted millions of customers. Therefore, the sellers want to place their goods on this Internet service.
Nevertheless, each system has its drawbacks. Amazon is famous for its harsh working conditions. The company uses a system of competition among employees, which forces employees to go beyond their capabilities. Nowadays, many sellers went from direct communication with the client. The task is complicated, and now the retailer needs to interest the client through the computer screen or by phone.
The biggest misconception lies in the fact that if the customer has already paid, no more time is needed to communicate with him. In further cooperation, the client may have questions about the date of delivery of the product and the cost of delivery, properly use the purchased product, and many other questions that expect answers. As an e-commerce business, it is necessary to make every effort to communicate with the client how he is accustomed. For example, if it is more convenient for a client to solve questions by phone, or only by mail, and some clients are using comfortable live chat, in all these cases, the retailer must satisfy the client’s requirements:
- Inconstant communication with clients. It is the most common problem among retailers. Some believe that it is unnecessary to communicate with the client after making his order and paying for it. Nevertheless, the client may have many questions about the product, which requires an answer. The retailer should understand that future cooperation depends on the relationship with the client.
- Uncomfortable communicating with the client. Retailers should make every effort to ensure comfortable communicating with the client. Some people prefer online discussions with the help of chats or emails. However, there are a lot of people who choose a phone conversation instead of the Internet. The seller should meet all the customer’s requirements if he seeks future cooperation.
- Ignoring the request of the client. If the online store is trendy and sellers can not follow all the orders, ignoring the client request can happen due to the heavy workload. It is necessary to check mail constantly and view every request of the client. Let’s have a look at a case with AdvancedWriters. It is an essay writing company offering professional help with academic research papers to students. By the way, they are always on their clients’ lips. You know why? Because they keep in touch with young college learners all the time, not only when those order samples on different topics. Instead, they announce special offers, new content, etc., all the time. The seller can not lose contact with customers and leave letters or calls unanswered. It can lead to poor feedback and termination of cooperation.
- The lack of a client’s interest. It needs to excite the curiosity of the client constantly. Always remind about the loyalty program in the online store and the discounts and privileges that a client can receive. One must bear in mind that it is necessary to notify customers of the new receipt of goods and what is now in the range. One can send online catalogs so that the buyers can see the promotional products by themselves.
- Not notify customers of the location of the goods. Some customers forget to track their orders. For this, one needs to remind about the location of the products constantly. It is desirable to connect autoresponders, electronic mailing services, which automatically send messages to customers depending on the event: the goods are shipped, the goods are delivered, etc. It is also necessary to send polite letters asking to evaluate the goods and work with returns.
Based on listening, one can build a solid and trusting relationship with the client. In turn, customers do not want to part with polite sellers. Listening is the foundation of a culture of working with clients and its strategy based on relationships with them.