eCommerce, or electronic commerce, is defined as buying, selling, and marketing products and services through the internet. A technique that has existed since the beginning of the internet, companies have used eCommerce to distribute their products or services by combining it with their physical sale. Today, many businesses exist that only sell online.
Increase your customer base thanks to eCommerce
Nowadays, all businesses have some presence on the internet. They usually start by creating a website to promote and sell their products, either using social media or their website.
However, although businesses are aware of the internet’s benefits, customers still have some doubts when making online purchases. Customer concerns are typically due to concerns with website security.
Due to online safety concerns when making purchases, many people have still never made a purchase online. Many potential customers lack confidence and trust in the company. In other words, a customer is more likely to be loyal when they make purchases in person. Sellers need to communicate with a real person, see the physical product, and make connections beyond the internet. If customers can physically see the transaction in real-time, then there is no need for distrust. There is usually a fear of not receiving the item with the internet, receiving the wrong item, or having bank information stolen.
However, thanks to new technology and tools developed by the telecommunications sector, these issues can rest. For example, you can now make credit card payments safely over the phone that allows you to speak with an AI system that contacts the bank directly, requiring no human interaction when reading out your credit card number. Customers can now safely purchase products online over the internet. Besides, being able to sell online allows businesses to save a tremendous amount of money by not worrying about the costs of having a physical location.
Because of this, many companies prefer to sell online without a physical store. However, if your company decides to operate online, there are still some important aspects to consider.
Ecommerce offers a large variety to both the sellers and the buyers. To get to this point without any fear, we must consider the tools and tips that allow us to make safe transactions online:
Taking care of the website
Information found on your website should always be up-to-date.
Therefore, updating the website is an activity that needs to occur whenever there is a change.
Creating new blog articles, modifying the catalog, creating new categories to shop for, and adding offers are all things you can periodically change. Content must be continuously updated so that your users know that this website is active and real.
Additionally, continually updating your website can be done with little effort. Website administrators should make changes quickly, without needing to ask the web developer each time they need to make a small change. Otherwise, you would be looking at a much more expensive process.
Your website content should be attractive and engaging, fit your company’s aesthetic, and incorporate logos, color schemes, etc.
The purchase process, on the other hand, should be simple and easy to follow. Your users should be able to ask for information about your products and receive answers throughout your website. Finding this information should be easy. You can create buttons on your homepage that allow your customers to search by category and easily find p.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
As you may already know, having your website listed first in search results is the ultimate goal. Top ranking allows your website to gain traffic and get ahead of your competitors.
Most businesses online fight to be first in search engines such as Google or Bing.
Your business website positioned at the top of search engine results based on specific keywords is like having your business located on the central street downtown. If you are not positioning at all, your website will never be noticed, just like having a store located in a dark back alleyway.
That’s why it’s essential to focus on your website’s SEO. Keep track of how your website ranks for specific keywords, and keep your site simple and updated. Try to get people to talk about your website through external links, sharing your blog content, and more.
Another option to increase traffic is by using Google Ads. Advertising on Google also lets users know that your website exists.
Although Google Ads costs money, it can help generate more sales on your online store since you will be getting more exposure.
If you still feel that you are not an expert in this field, you should consider the option of contracting agencies specialized in SEO and online marketing. Agencies can be handy when you first create your website. If you poorly carry out your marketing strategy, it can waste a lot of energy, money, and time.
eCommerce also has disadvantages, such as a lack of face-to-face interactions between the company and the client. Maintaining excellent customer service is key to a successful eCommerce site. Because many customers may be making a purchase on your website for the first time, it is essential questions or concerns are answered online. Online businesses need to offer customer service.
There are several options to keep in touch with your customers. If you want to provide a complete customer service experience for your users, then you should have the following on your website:
- An email address
The most significant perks of having a contact email address listed on your website are that you don’t have to make any payments to use it. Email is entirely free, and you can create as many accounts as you’d like. Segmentation allows you to divide your emails based on the topic that a user may be concerned about or divide based on the email’s language. You can have one account for general questions, one for returns, one for customer support, and more. However, using email as your only form of contact information isn’t enough. Although email is suitable for quick, simple questions or general inquiries, it is a rather slow communication system and causes having fluid conversations to become more difficult.
- Online Chat
The online chat popup box has become a recent trend in customer service. There are two possibilities: chatbot and live chat. A chatbot is a technology that uses artificial intelligence to respond to customers automatically. Chatbots can be extremely useful because they answer simple questions without wasting time for your employees. However, if the items are more complex, the chat will notify a real customer service agent so that the customer can instantly chat with a human employee.
- Telephone Communication
Many customers would rather speak to a representative over the phone instead of a chat, email, or text. Sometimes, it’s easier to explain things to a customer over the phone as well. One solution is to create a call center that allows you to make and receive calls from any location in the world. That way, customers can reach agents at any time from any location, even if they work from home.
Virtual reality and 3D
Thanks to technological advances such as virtual reality, you can now visualize products in a much more realistic way over the internet. There has been an increase in using new technology to access the internet and make purchases online.
Although 3D and virtual reality is not an option on all devices or eCommerce sites, it is a future reality. Implementing virtual reality on your website can be expensive today, but it is just the beginning of what eCommerce will look like in 10 years. People will be able to see items up close as if they were physically near the product without going to the store.
This new system of visualization of products in three dimensions in the world of eCommerce will bring:
- Differentiation and added value concerning the competition
Companies that incorporate virtual reality simulators or 3D designs in their online catalogs will learn from their competitors faster. Also, they will easily capture the user’s attention and influence the improvement of their reputation and image.
One example was the Lego augmented reality catalog, which allowed users to see its different app toys in 3D. You scanned the QR code with your smartphone’s camera and could then see the toy in a 3D animated image.
- Personalized products
These new technologies will allow the consumer to personalize products, choosing beforehand the color, size, or shape of an item and then buying it.
Although product customization has been available for some time now, it has become more familiar with augmented reality.
Some companies, such as hairdressers, now allow you to see what hair color or hairstyle may suit you best by trying it online or through an app. Furniture stores now let you add furniture to 3D depictions of your house to see how they may fit.
- Offer a better shopping experience.
Like the previous point made, visualizing products in 3D and interacting with them in realistic scenarios allows the user to picture owning the product before making the purchase.
Ikea, for example, has been a pioneer in this field. Customers can try their products in their own time.
- Improved evaluation of customer behavior
Heat maps and virtual reality allow brands to check which places and areas of the online store the user moves and interacts with, which products are most in-demand, and more. Thus, businesses can create more efficient marketing campaigns with more knowledge about what the customer wants.
Also, it may be interesting to combine online stores with social networks, such as Instagram or Facebook. You can target your audience using a platform that they likely see daily.
The combination of all the technological advances will lead your eCommerce to success. You can enjoy all the benefits that an online business has to offer while your customers receive a closer treatment from your company while obtaining the best possible customer service.
Emma Smith is a PR and content manager at Fonvirtual. I’m interested in digital marketing, technology, and international logistics. I enjoy writing for blogs where I spread the word of telecom services in international business.
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