Despite having humble beginnings, eCommerce has grown to become a $4 trillion global industry. As a result, businesses operating in this space need to develop sustainable communication strategies to retain a loyal customer base.
While this seems obvious, the results of customer frustration surveys indicate that most eCommerce buyers continue to grow frustrated with eCommerce retailers.
Importance of eCommerce Communication
Surveys indicate that most customers are frustrated due to a lack of answers to basic questions. So instead of recoiling and pretending that everything is normal, eCommerce retailers should view this as an opportunity to outshine their competition.
Doing business online means the retailer lacks the opportunity to interact with their clientele, making it important for the business to have efficient communication strategies. It’s important to answer customer questions while getting to communicate the following:
- Your unique selling propositions
- Production information
- Brand story
Providing customers with enough information increases your chances of making them return clients. Failure to provide answers to the queries raised by your clients will drive them to your competition. Such clients may also complain or badmouth the brand.
eCommerce retailers need to use a blend of components to communicate successfully online. The ingredients required for efficient communication include:
How to Successfully Communicate with eCommerce Customers
eCommerce retailers need to look into the different channels present in the store and to the customers to help in enhancing communication. Some of the eCommerce communication channels available to stores today include:
The eCommerce web copy and marketplace listings are the channels you’ll use when communicating with a client for the first time. You can use this information to engage and quickly persuade a potential client to convert into a paying customer.
If handled expertly, the business won’t need to engage in any other pre-sale communication. To reduce acts of cart abandonment, confirm that the web content is:
- Easy to read—use bullet points and properly distributed headings to make it seamless
- Helpful—Go through it to ensure it has all the relevant information. Include internal links where necessary.
- Relevant—Use natural language and a simple explanation of complex terms when making your sales pitch.
Although emails tend to get a bad reputation due to high click-through rates, open rates, and bounce rates, they’re still the most effective communication channels. This is because they’re popular with most customers and are considered adaptive for sending personalized content.
eCommerce store owners can overcome the challenges associated with emails, e.g., high click-through rates and low open rates, by using attention-grabbing headlines. Other ways to improve email communication includes using white hat practices and ensuring the content is engaging.
eCommerce clients love the communication freedom offered by 24/7 live chat. It allows them to get immediate answers to pressing product and service queries. Stores can use live chat to initiate conversations with clients, showing that they’re ready to address all their concerns.
Although running a 24/7 live chat function may come with a set of difficulties, you can rely on readily available AI chatbots to minimize your business expenses. For example, chatbots will serve you well if you don’t budget customer service personnel.
As far as communication channels go, SMS tops the list of the best eCommerce communication channels among millennials. Most recipients read the messages within three minutes of receiving them.
Sellers can use SMS to foster connections with potential customers while ensuring that the target audience will receive and read their message. Another reason why it’s loved is that it helps to take away the mayhem associated with using social media and email inboxes.
Its primary drawback is that sellers only have 160 characters to provide information, engage the potential clients, and make a call to action.
Tons of conversations happen on social networking channels throughout the day, helping to make it a great medium for engaging potential clients. Additionally, social media allows eCommerce store owners to take part in two-way conversations.
They can use it to inform shoppers of the latest offerings, share customer reviews, and run production competitions. Additionally, customers can comment on the store’s posts, tag the store in comments and photos, and send inquiry messages.
Social media is, however, a public forum. Your clients and followers will get to see all comments posted by past clients—both good and bad—regarding your brand. Therefore, store owners using Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook to reach out to clients need to be proactive.
They have to address negative feedback, respond to comments, and post new content regularly. Without this, customers will assume your brand isn’t responsive enough, which may hurt its prospects.
Every eCommerce store needs to have a communication strategy in place. An ideal strategy will assist it to assess its communication needs before settling on the channels it thinks are the most effective.
The channels to use will depend on the business and its target audience. First, consider the channels mentioned above to see which will work best for your business.
Author Bio: This article was written by Seamus Dunne of Conversation Piece. Conversation Piece is a leading player in telecommunications, providing unified communications systems nationwide to large and small-scale businesses.