Category Archives: customer satisfaction

Sears offers a more flexible shopping experience!

Daniel Posted On - August 28, 2014

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Can you imagine a situation when you can choose to get your orders at the store most convenient to you irrespective of which brand site you place the order with? Sears Holdings Corp. is actually making its buy online, pick up in store options like that so that it offers you maximum possible flexibility to the customers.

If you place an order on Sears.com or Kmart.com it will now provide you an open option to select and pick up the orders at the Sears or Kmart store whichever is most convenient to you. It will not matter at all if it is not the store brand you placed your order with.

Imran Jooma, executive vice president of Sears Holdings said the change is implemented to help consumers shop on their own terms. This enables you to easily place an order with Sears.com and pick it up from in the Kmart store. However it can also just be the reverse.

Jooma also added, that leveraging the breadth of both Sears and Kmart’s online and in-store networks denotes more convenience for members which no doubt  offers an even wider brand-name product selection to the fans of both the stores.

All Sears and Kmart stores across the nation are eligible. Not only that, Sears Holding Corp. is No. 5 in Internet Retailer’s 2014 Top 500 Guide. According to a record of Feb. 1, Sears Holdings Corp. operated 1,135 Kmart discount and superstores in the United States, 768 full-line Sears mall stores and 60 Sears specialty stores, such as Sears Essentials and Sears Auto Centers.

Presently, in this new and flexible scenario you can enjoy the liberty of selecting the store you want to pick up your web order during the ordering process. They will send you a confirmation via e-mail when the order becomes ready for picking up. Customers who elect to pick up their web orders in a store don’t need to pay for shipping. Once the customers arrive at the store, either they can retrieve their orders from a merchandise pickup location or they can also go for the choice when a store employee brings the order to their vehicle.

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Newegg takes a new step by initiating Bitcoin payments!

Steve Burns Posted On - August 20, 2014

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Electronics retailer Newegg has started accepting payments in the Bitcoin virtual currency, to satisfy its tech-savvy customers. No doubt it comes with the dual benefit cost saving that also provides better international sales support.

Soren Mills, chief marketing officer of Newegg, North America said their customers have been asking for Bitcoin as a payment option for a long time and they are happy to open this payment option to them which will possibly cater to a huge number of demands.

Newegg has a partnership with BitPaya Bitcoin transaction processor and currently accepting Bitcoin payments through them.

This could help Bitcoin move towards crypto-incompressible technology with a bit of a checkered past into just another way to buy stuff. At least that is what Expedia, the travel site assumed when they initiated Bitcoin payment in June. It is also expected that Apple’s App Store will reverse a Bitcoin app ban and California will also take an immediate action to legalize alternative currencies this month.

Democratic Assemblyman Roger Dickinson, author of the California bill said, it will be impractical to ignore the growing use of cash alternatives in an era of evolving payment methods, like Amazon Coins to Starbucks Stars.

Initially Bitcoin was not accepted very easily by the consumers as it is not backed by any physical material like gold or by any country’s promise of stability. Additionally, Bitcoin also has a technological novelty which points to extra element of complication.

Bitcoin transactions are logged publicly and verified through a computationally complicated process known as a public ledger. It provides protection against an owner of bitcoins spending the same value more than once and the process of verifying those transactions is called bitcoin mining.

Newegg was already selling computing equipment to bitcoin a miner which is close to the process.

Mills said that their customers are among some of the earliest Bitcoin miners and are enthusiastic proponents of the crypto-currency, so by adopting Bitcoin as a payment method they are responding to their customers’ diverse needs in a different way.

Bitcoin’s value has risen considerably, within a year. In late 2013, a single bitcoin worth less than $100 and now it has a price near $620. Such volatility may give birth to an unpredictable mechanism to store one’s financial worth, but there is a chance that, this unevenness could diminish if Bitcoin becomes a mainstream way to pay for goods and services.

Retailers do not want to take the risk of this volatility of Bitcoin payment. Here comes BitPay. They offer instant services to the Bitcoins customers to convert it into traditional currency while carrying out a transaction, for a service charge.

Newegg in its turn, has announced on their website they take the Bitcoin exchange-rate risk, so that the customers get the best rate on the market, and which also ensures you get a payment you can count on, every time.

Newegg has also described the payment process on its site. It says, if a customer has digital wallet software installed, he or she can complete an order by clicking the “Pay with Bitcoin” button. It is also mentioned that if the customer’s digital wallet is stored in a smartphone, a QR code can be scanned on the Bitcoin Payment page to complete the transaction. And if the customer’s digital wallet is hosted on the web, the customer is supposed to click the “View Address” link to display the digital wallet address and send the amount due through Bitcoin.

Mills also stated that Newegg is also looking at the other advantages in Bitcoin dealing. It costs less than a credit-card transaction, though it was never been the only criterion for taking this step. He did not forget to include bitcoin payment support should help the company spread its business beyond North America. This will definitely boost the global expansion strategy of Newegg and at the same time it will draw attention of Newegg’s new international customers.

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Retailers: How you can know you have hit a great business idea?

Daniel Posted On - August 5, 2014

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With the technological advancements our communication systems have reached a level more than our expectations. And it has resulted into a small world providing wider scope for every business owners. No doubt this has also given birth of more challenging market with sever competitions.

To sustain in this competitive world, all the entrepreneurs are scratching their heads and trying to evolve new business ideas which can easily hit the market and bring success faster. Innovating new business ideas is not a difficult task for many people but whether it will really click in the market and bring profit is not that easy to ascertain. Then what are the key factors that can identify a business concept to be superb which has every possibility to reach the target?

So retailers, how you can know you have hit a great business idea? Here are few common features which can promptly help you to understand if a business concept is good enough to be successful.

First it should be based on the basic concept of solving a problem. According to Wade Gilchrist, startup consultant and host at TechStartRadio.com, there should be a demand in the market for a particular product or service for which you need to provide an effective solution. Shireen Shermak, CEO of venture capital and startup firm Launch Angels also echoed the same thing by saying one needs to solve an easily articulated problem that a large group would like to have solved. She also emphasized creating a solution when there is no problem, can never going to create a big business whatever amount of marketing is done for it.

The second point is, there should be an easily identifiable and measurable potential market for your business as Eka has specified. Greg Isenberg, a 25-year-old award-winning serial entrepreneur, founder of Wall Street Survivor and CEO of mobile video app 5by.com, has added another market related analysis that the idea should be replicated to other markets also.

As per Shermak , the existence of competitors is also a positive sign that you are on the right track and your business concept could be of real worth. But what Gilchrist has said is extremely important if your business idea can withstand free competition it is going to bring you desired result.

In the modern era every thing is moving fast. So your business also needs to keep pace with the changing technological environment which can develop quickly and spread fast.

And last but not the least is, while you conceptualize a new business idea try to workout something which you really love to do. It is difficult to prosper in a business which is not close to your heart.

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Unearth what Customers are Bagging this Festive Season

Steve Burns Posted On - January 8, 2014

Holiday Season Online Shopping
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During the Holiday shopping season, shoppers become more enthusiastic to fill in their wardrobe with the best apparels. And in the quest of stuffing the best, garment seller and apparel merchants are going to benefit a lot. Especially, online sellers are going to score more who provide swift and free door step delivery.

Research says that nearly 69% of the buyers prefer sticking to the same store from where they purchased last year.

Reason behind customer loyalty

  • 70% say toast to good customer service. They like it when they are given top most priority. The traders, who are always available via forums or social networking sites to their customers, build solid customer base. Under promise- over deliver, immediate complain resolving, a free gift or small coupon with the purchase and these type of features play a big part in loyalty-meter.
  • Free shipping service has been able to attract 62% of the shoppers. The cost for convenience has been bothering customers the most. When they are charged hug shipping cost, they develop apathy toward the store and prefer collect their items from the physical outlet. If the shipping service is free of cost, it allures customers the most.
  • Good sales and discount has pulled 58% of shoppers. When interviewed, buyers said, they like to buy from this shop (a particular shop) because they always get attractive discounts and gifts.
  • 55% decide upon the online store convenience. If the shopping process is too complex, they will avoid shopping from there. Interestingly, 50% customers are loyal to their brand since childhood and hence want to stick to it for life time unless they experience something bad.
  • 40% of the buyers stick to their old store because it is closer to their home. Another 23% and 9% slice shows loyalty due to reward points on purchase and layaway availability respectively.

Days of attractive offers

Shoppers believe that winter holiday gives special product and service discounts on special dates. Although, those who are shopaholic have a tendency to buy all throughout the year, but 28% purchases think of strolling around the stores on Black Friday to get best deals. 33% customers bank on shopping on After Thanksgiving. 15% think that Cyber Monday is the best day to shop. And a large 24% does shopping all through the month of December.

Budget allocation on gifts

Giving gifts to your near and dear one during the festive zest is an age old custom. From the survey it has been found out how much dollars do customers plan to spend on buying gifts.

  • $500 to $999 – 25%
  • $250 to $499 – 19%
  • $1000 to $1499 – 15%
  • No budget – 12%
  • $100 to $249 – 11%
  • $1500 to $1999 – 7%
  • Below $100 – 4%
  • $2000 to $2999 – 4%
  • Above $3000 – 3%

Popular retailers’ tactics

More than 75% of the renowned retailers/online retailers follow these tricks to attract customers.

  • Free shipping for limited period
  • 50% price cuts
  • Free gift coupons
  • ‘Only 1 left’ scheme

Whatever the percentage says, experiments and innovations always have rooms during this festival and customers are always ready to welcome better choices.

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Top Products Grabbing the Attention of the Customers this Holiday Season

Steve Burns Posted On - December 27, 2013

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The holiday season is upon us and the need for splurging on necessities and luxuries are acutely felt. But the consumer behaviors during this time of the year depend on a number of correlative verticals. The question of what, why and where naturally spins around the minds of the casual buyer. It is imperative to say that the online space has endowed the buyers with a number of options to make a good purchase.  A major contributor to the fact is that the conversions through mobile devices have risen sharply in the recent years with consumers becoming keener to splurge online. Retailer loyalty is also an important parameter and online buyers show an impressive return on that sphere as well.

The consumer confidence though have suffered a jolt post the inflation and recent financial crisis. The U.S Government shutdown has done nothing to make the situation any rosy. The month of October, significantly saw the consumer confidence level reach its lowest rung over a period of six months. In fact, the index plunged from 80.2 in the month of September, straight to 70.2 in October. The retailers at large were pessimistic about the impact that could have been a result of the meltdown. Along with the retail presence, consumers are also taking into purview the aspect of mobile commerce or in broader sense eCommerce. There are some distinct wares which are more prone to be bought by the consumer.

Footwear

The holiday season quite naturally augments the sale of lifestyle wares and footwear seems to be in the top rung of the “to have” list. Nike has had a very favorable standing in the NYSE with a number of industrial tie ups and new set of creative designs to boot.

Kid’s toys/ accessories

When it comes to buying the holiday necessities, kid’s toys are too potent to be overlooked. The Toys manufacturing Giant Mattel has recently revamped their collection of kid’s toys range with a few new additions. Mattel has been aggressively promoting their wares among the demographic of pre-teens and teenage population. A high conversion increase of almost 28% on some of the popular brands is indicating a good investment.

Digital entertainments

Another major segment that receives increased conversion during the holiday months is digital entertainment objects- DVD’s, games and others. Books (e-books) also show an impressive turnaround during this time of the year and this holiday season does not seem to be any different.

Clothing and gifts

It is that time of the year when the consumers are keener to splurge a little more than their usual budget to acquire clothing wears. Online retailers like Macy’s, J.C. Penny and all are augmenting their online retail presence to brace the year end demand. The factors that are positively affecting conversions are free shipping and year end discounts. Year end gifting is a common trend in the U.S and that necessitates the gift manufacturers to pump up their production at this quarter.

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Getting to Know the Art of Referrals

Steve Burns Posted On - December 27, 2013

Online Shopping
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Business people are a surprising lot in many respects. While their natural panache and flamboyance can win them many battles, they are surprisingly shy on many regards. Asking for referral is one such phenomenon. This common fallacy can be easily overturned, given one takes care of the following pointers.

  1. Self belief- it does matter: To ask for referrals one must believe in the service or product they are asking referral. Without being really pushy or needy one can ask someone for referral. How? Well, the secret lies in selling the business idea with passion and thrust. The experts refer to it as a part of the business psychology- of one believes his service or product is too lucrative to turn down, they are more likely to earn a referral.
  2. Providing a reason to refer: This is a tried and tested path to earning some brownie points with fellow businessmen and clients. If referring your business helps them in any way, it will certainly initiate them to help your cause. Providing others with enough reasons to like your offerings will eventually help you get the word around.
  3. Say no to the fear of asking: This is the most common aspect that a business owner may face. What the business owners need to understand is asking for referral is not pushy. If the business is providing a viable solution, it is more likely to benefit the end user. That way, one is actually bereaving another from the benefit by not spreading the word around. The important factor in this regard is to keep a balance between aggressive and passive referrals. The best way is to take a mindset of helping others- the referral will follow.
  4. Timing it right: Timing is of essence in any business .When one is providing value, one should also time it right. It is good to get the word out when there is a need for it. If one looks it from the viewpoint of social media, the most viral contents are the ones which provide some value to the end user. The concept is more or less similar in the case of referrals.
  5. Building trust: Trust is the de-facto impact maker in any business. Engaging in trust building conversations is a major aspect of referral asking. Brands which have a good conversational quotient are more prone to earning referrals from the valid sources. The confidence building practices go a long way in augmenting referrals for the business. The business owners can surely make use of the various tools to engage their target niche. It can be traditional referrals, testimonials or even online recommendations.
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Top 3 ways to Deal with Holiday Returns and Exchanges

Steve Burns Posted On - August 29, 2013

Top 3 ways to Deal with Holiday Returns and Exchanges
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Shopping online has become a craze in this era of high speed internet and bulging pockets. As an e-seller you could not have asked for a better time than this, for the occurrence of the online shopping boom. But all good things come with its share of baggage. The huge demand of customers for exchange and return of products can give sleepless nights to any e-seller. This problem assumes a whole new proportion during the days following the holiday sale. During such a time the management wisdom regarding converting a crisis into an opportunity is probably the last thing that will come to your mind. However, thinking and acting along these lines can help you and your business in a major way. You can view returns and exchanges in a brand new light by following the tips mentioned below.

Returns and Exchanges Gives You a Chance to Impress

Firstly, you should not look at all cases of returns and exchanges as failures. The problem could lie on your end or it could also be due to uncontrollable factors like a change in the customer’s preference. So, it is true that the transaction did not go as it was desired but that does not mean you have lost all scope to impress.

Make the process of return and exchange a hassle-free experience for the customer. This will impress the customer to a great extent and will build their trust. Such a customer is highly likely to come back to you for their shopping requirements in future. So in order to pump up your sales figure and to have repeat sales, do not let go this opportunity. The success ratio of Amazon and eBay is owing to the exclusive support that these top online marketplaces offer to the customers post the purchasing spree.

Returns and Exchanges Can Be Used To Generate Additional Revenue

You can cash in the opportunity by paving a new sales pitch to grab attention of the targeted customers. Interact with your customers when handling a case of return or exchange. Patience is the key. Be nice to your customers who might change their notion about you, making you to win over their confidence, in return.  By providing attractive discounts and offers, you can woo your customer to make additional purchases. This will result in increased revenue for your business.

Returns and Exchanges Can Improve Marketing and Product Selection

Customers are providing you with valuable business insights when they are requesting for an exchange or return for a specific product. Such information can ultimately improve the operational efficiency of your business. So be receptive without being in a quarrelsome mood, as it can harm your online image. There is no point in being curt, but a polite and courteous behaviour where you solve the issues in question can do a lot of good. You might never know when they can become a potential customer!

You need to pay special attention to items that are exchanged and returned very frequently. There could be hidden or unnoticed issues with such a product in terms of description, advertising, photograph, quality and packaging. Thus, you can identify such defects and take remedial measures. This will not only reduce instances of return and exchange of products but will also improve your overall business.

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Top 5 Order Fulfillment Extras to Pamper your Customers

Steve Burns Posted On - August 22, 2013

Top 5 Order Fulfillment Extras to Pamper your Customers
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Customers are the king for the business merchants. Walking that extra mile to satiate them or holding on to them or for expanding the existing client list, order fulfillment plays a huge role. In order to offer a breathtaking ecommerce customer experience, it is important to add that yummy flavor of personalization. Thinking in an innovative way pays off so that the merchandise on the hands of the customers not only makes them to be infused with the feeling that they have got the products that they wanted, but break into a smile while receiving it.


Spicing up the packaging with special boxes

For making a mark on the minds of the customers, let special boxes designed in an edgy way to deliver a strong impression to the customers. It can be colorful bags as an ‘extra’ with your brand logo embossed, some nicely done up packing slips and the like, which ultimately helps you with branding. Let your brand to stand out and you will be amazed to find how it can enable you to have surging sales figures.

Free samples work wonders

Whether you want to re-launch a product after it went into oblivion after a makeover, or push a new product to envelope the market, free samples can do the job for you. ‘Free’ is a big word for both the e-sellers as well as the customers that grabs the attention of the customers. In the shipment process, offering free samples can act on the psyche of the customers for having a higher rate of conversion. A complementary product in the form of a free sample is always set to make a big difference for the e-sellers.

Turning an unhappy customer into a happy one

No matter how much effort you put in to offer an incredible ecommerce customer experience, the way your products and services will be perceived is not completely on your hands. When opinions differ and people’s tastes become subjective, you, as a web merchant, got to know how you can change an unhappy customer to turn into a loyalist who will further recommend you to other customers. Surprising the people on the receiving end of by upgrading the shipping method or throwing in a free sample can definitely help in winning the customers on your stride. For instance, an accessory on the purchase of an iPhone, for instance, an iPhone wallet can add a bigger smile on the face of the customers. A simple note with good wishes or with a smiley drawn or a letter of apology for a day’s delay can do a lot in terms embossing a brand in the minds of the people.

Increase the chances of cross selling with flyers

Some flyers or brochures that you include in your shipment can fetch you additional business benefits, without making you to cough up higher shipping costs. The attractively designed brochures with the wide array of products and services catalogued makes all the difference in terms of nabbing the attention of the interested buyers and sealing the deal as cross selling. The personal touch can also be added in the flyers that reflect a wide arch of products in line with the buying behavior of the shoppers to whom the order is being delivered.

Coddling your customers with shipping deals and coupons

Free shipping is one the effective business strategies that the web merchants are relying on. However, an e-seller needs to be judicious in the way they offer the shipping deals and the coupon codes. The customers’ profile, their buying behavior, the past record of the buyers should act as the deciding factors in terms of justifying their business decision of offering the shipping deals and money-saving coupons.

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How Daily Deal can offer that Extra Edge to a Business?

Steve Burns Posted On - July 4, 2013

How Daily Deals can offer that Extra Edge to a Business
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The gloomy face of the global climate online has made many people to spell out their urge to save while buying online. The nature of the e-shoppers to save while using their spending power, comparing prices, checking out the various offers and money-saving deals, has led to the increased popularity of the sites like Groupon, LivingSocial and the like. The daily deal sites are very popular among the e-shoppers as it helps in upping the desire among the people to indulge in a shopping spree.

Some of the recent surveys conducted by the top project consultancy firm shows that the consumers will spend $5.5 billion in 2016 on the daily deals, flash sales and the like. The online deals market has observed a phenomenal growth in 2012 and the deal conversion rate has also been stupendously higher. However, it can also be a sign of near saturation in the market. It is also opined that the big retailers would be at a more advantageous position that the small business owners in term of maximizing their profit margin with the strong weapon of daily deals.

The Local Businesses can benefit a Lot

The importance of daily deals is that the businesses bank on higher sales by pronouncing the cheapest deals and the lucrative offers. The daily deals are one of the biggest sources for the local businesses to generate higher revenue. The local businesses can successfully list with the reputed deal sites so that the customers in the hunt for local businesses like restaurants, theaters, salons and the like, get to enjoy the first rate customer experience. It is especially during the weekends, festivities, holidays and the like that the customers are in a mood to splurge and the business owners need to settle on their marketing strategies and sales pitch, accordingly. The daily deals offer the impetus to increase the basket size for the shoppers.

Amazon also Scores out Here

Amazon with its buzzing presence in the online domain launched its daily deals a year ago. Amazon belted out a Deals Preference tool, which empower the e-shoppers on an offer page or in an account settings page to act based on their own discretion and ‘like’, ‘dislike’, or be ‘neutral’ after getting to know about the various offers in the different categories. LivingSocial Inc. is a name to reckon with in the arena of daily deals and Amazon owns a 29% stake in the daily-deal operator of repute, with the stake worth $298 million.

Daily Deals E-Mail Alerts Observing Higher Conversion Rate

E-mail marketing has the potential to bring in more customers for the businesses. When the customers receive daily deal e-mail alerts, it has been observed that such e-mail marketing campaigns have paid off in making the recipients to act firmly and take the buying decision. The conversion has been overwhelmingly impressive. There is no denying the fact that e-mail marketing campaigns help in generating an impressive portion of the retailer’s revenue.

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10 Effective Measures to Encourage Customer Reviews

Steve Burns Posted On - April 19, 2013

10 Effective Measures to Encourage Customer Reviews
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The three R’s: Recommendations, Reviews and Ratings are the key elements that play a significant part in convincing the customers about the credibility of an e-commerce merchant. Consumer-driven reviews chip in with their crucial role of pulling steady traffic to an e-shop and also ensure higher conversion. Surveys reveal that more than 90% of the potential customers rely on recommendations of friends, relatives and acquaintances in social media and word-of-mouth is one of the strongest mode of advertising. In this age where promoting a business needs to be carried out effectively, the ways to stand out from the pack is via how you engage your customers, make use of the mental glues, the sales pitch and generate good vibes that can create a buzz about your online business.

Impact of Social Media

The phenomenon of social engagement has helped different brands to make their web presence felt and spread awareness among the different segments of the audience. Social sales is definitely gaining speed but at a slower pace while the reviews and recommendations shared and exchanged in the different social networking platforms is aiding in building the brand image of the e-commerce merchants. Reviews and ratings are not only the potent guides for the prospective customers, making them to take a sagacious buying decision. These help in driving away insecurities from the minds of the customers, offering them the needed nudge to take the buying action. Social media acts as the platform where customers can come up with different views, express their opinions abut products, recommend products that have appeased them or left them dissatisfied. Interaction on a higher level can take place between retailers, customers, groups and communities which together build trust and expand the list of loyalists for the e-commerce merchants.

The 10 Best Ways to persuade Customers to write Reviews:

  • Deriving inspiration in the way Amazon, the giant online retailer, integrates the valuable feedback of the customers, can help. Such a format can work for your site too. Get inspired, bring in your own tweaks ad creativity to make it more unique and appealing to your target audience
  • By incorporating Facebook’s Open Graph, the customers are empowered with the ability to share reviews on this social networking site
  • When choosing the product review solutions, ensure that the process of leaving reviews on your website proves to be a hassle-free process. The features enabling customers to offer reviews and ratings in a seamless way needs to be deftly incorporated in an e-commerce website
  • Do not try to be a good boy always. You do not need to filter all out all the negative reviews as a subtle blend of both good reviews and some containing suggestions for improvement or some of the minor points where you need to brush things up, enable in fostering trust and credibility. Nothing is perfect, so strike a balance of not being too good to be true or overtly flawed!
  • Reading the mind of the target audience or their behavioral pattern is the key to your business success. You should be preparing your sales pitch and offering customer service in such a way that customers cannot help but leave a review on your site.
  • Do not lure the customers with free gifts, free product samples or any discount coupons for encouraging them to write reviews. It is not about doing a favor in exchange of a gift. Some contests or any innovative ways that encourage customer participation should be used so that the customers willingly write reviews
  • Effective use of email or the post-purchase marketing email campaigns is the perfect method where asking for submitting a review from the customers can fructify
  • The impact of video marketing in this era of business promotion is crucial. So a good compilation of the product reviews capsuled in the form of an interesting video can grab the attention of the target audience in a greater way
  • Swearing by the norm of sharing of the links of the product reviews, important tips, suggestions can pay off in a big way for the e-commerce merchants
  • Carry confidence in your arms and offer only top-quality products and immaculate services so that the willingness to leave a review increases manifold among the customers
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Top 12 Strategies for Increasing Customer Retention Rate

Steve Burns Posted On - April 16, 2013

Top 12 Strategies for Increasing Customer Retention Rates
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It is an established fact that for any business, customer is the King. Retaining the customers that an e-seller has acquired after putting in the best marketing efforts, great deal of strategical planning and proficient services, is crucial. Making the loyalists to stay for long is the key to business success.

Some of the Glaring Facts and Statistics for Customer Retention:

  • It is the well-drafted loyalty programs and rewards, which offer an impetus to the customers to come back to a web store for repeat purchase
  • Robust sales support and customized offers after purchase makes the e-shoppers happy
  • It is matchless customer service which helps in building customer loyalty
  • It takes a lot of effort almost five times more to add new valuable customers than to satiate and hold on to an existing customer
  • It is owing to the poor customer service that above 70% of the consumers have terminated the relationship with a known online retailer
  • When tracing out the probability of selling a product to an existing customer, it is around 60-70%. However, irrespective of the product quality and immaculate customer service, reaching out and convincing the new customers to complete the e-shopping process becomes very challenging with only 5 -20% agreeing to it.

Make the Delivery System more Robust

The delivery system of the products purchased should be a smooth one, providing the customers the ability to track the delivery process, offering higher customer satisfaction.

Getting the Packaging Right

That little extra effort that brings in a smile on the face of a customer on receiving the products is the eye-grabbing packaging that they shop online. Packaging, with its higher visually stunning quotient, is one of the best marketing efforts that the e-sellers can resort to.

Faster Delivery Options

The “want it now” factor looms larger on the mind of the customers. So speedier the delivery process you offer after they buy online, higher will be the chances of hooking the customers. The customers will come back to a site when they find that their orders have reached the desired destination in the shortest possible time. That is why Google is also trying out its Google Shopping Express.

Multiple Payment Options
For offering satisfaction at the checkout system so that a customer uses his spending power, a number of payment options is necessary to catapult the sales figure of a business merchant.

Making Things Easier for Repeat Purchases

Online shopping has gained popularity because of its time-saving and convenience factor. It is the custom-made offers, successful e-mail marketing campaigns, which makes the customers to come back to a web store and make repeat purchases.

Offering Great Support Post Purchase

After the completion of an online business transaction, it is not only the delivery of the products in the allotted destination which concludes the job of an e-commerce merchant. In terms of exchange or return of the products purchased, a good retailer should be co-operative, offering the same level of assistance to the e-shoppers.

Surpassing Customer Expectations

Customers would always love to be pampered and if an e-commerce merchant is able to offer more that overwhelms its existing customers, nothing can be better than that! It is an established fact that the potential buyers never fail to praise you when they are satisfied with good reviews capped in your website.

Personalized Offers
The web merchants in order to be successful online businessmen need to read the psychology of the buyers well so that depending on their preference and choice of categories and products that they seldom buy, attractive tailor-made offers can be given to them.

Attractive Offers and Hot Deals
The global economic climate reveals a very dull picture and people would love to save while engaging in the buying mode. It is the spate of attractive offers, handsome discounts and lucrative money-saving deals which make the e-shoppers to take the impulsive buying decision.

Spreading the Social Media Virus

Social media is about social engagement and the e-commerce merchants are going about spreading brand awareness. Though social sales is yet to pick up pace, the coming together of social media and e-commerce is definitely offering value to an e-merchant’s business and the customers. If customers are offered rewards like coupons, discounts for making their social presence more vibrant and favoring brands of their choice and being vocal in the social platform, spreading the social media virus is no big deal.

Great Customer Care Support

Many web stores flaunt they are available to take calls and help customers 24 x 7. Once they say, the web merchants should abide by it. Good customer care support is required to solve the queries of the potential customers so that they complete the e-shopping journey successfully.

Having a Commendable Customer Service Team

It is crucial for the web merchants to keep a well-informed and educated customer service team so that they can clear the doubts cropping up in the minds of the e-shoppers. This helps in reducing the number of cases of shopping cart abandonment, making an e-shopper to complete an online buying process.

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Customer is the King for the Online Retailers

Steve Burns Posted On - March 11, 2013

Customer is the King for the Online Retailers
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The e-sellers want their wide variety of goods and services to grab the eyeballs of the key audiences. All the marketing plans are hatched with a realistic, achievable and time-bound approach where customer reign supreme. The e-commerce merchants want to appease the existing customers and make way for increasing their client base by offering top-quality products, proficient services that can win over the potential purchasers on their stride. In order to retain the loyalists of the brand, the customers need to be pampered from time to time. Since there are loads of options that the buyers possess, the chances of shifting brand loyalties is also soaring higher. An e-seller needs to put his best foot forward to play a long innings in the e-commerce landscape.

Customer is the Core Focus of all Decision-Making

The managerial leaders of a brand along with their team of expertise opt for strategical planning about product quality, designing, distribution and marketing, with the customers always being considered as the pivot. Beginning from scanning the existing business environment so that penetrating a market is not a very difficult one, paying attention to the product process development are prior concerns before the release of a product. Post product launch it is monitoring customer satisfaction, reviewing its performance in the market zone, which help an e-seller to figure out the exact consumer needs and shape their business in the right way. Customers are always right and it is about catering to their buying needs, understanding their purchasing behavior which can help a e-business owner to solidify his position in the operating domain.

Products Do not Sell for themselves

Building a harmonious relationship between the customer and the business merchant is crucial to effective sales. Products or services of any brand need to persuade the customers to indulge in a buying spree. The brand image in an operating domain matters and the customers seeking for a better value, that is higher benefits by spending less, want to rest their trust on reliable hands. It is the brand names that has earned reputation and goodwill which make the products to go off from the shelves in quick time. The virtual buying environment of the e-retailers should reflect safety and security to woo the customers to go for online shopping. For instance, like Amazon, Ebay the top players in the US online marketplace enabling the e-sellers to list their products has a brand value, enabling its sales figure in every quarter to hop and jump!

How the E-Sellers can Enrich the Customer Experience

  • Impressive customer experience can chip in with the crucial role of enhancing a brand’s bottom line. Since customers are undoubtedly the invincible king, it is about catering to their demands in an apt way which can make a business to flourish
  • Do away with the internal struggle among stuffs and other associated people of an e-business. Investment in offering staff training can help in putting to effective use change management plans, for doing away with the mental blocks of the stuffs, customer care executives and the like.
  • It is the polite, courteous and the ready-to-help attitude of the customer care executives offering a pleasurable call center experience which counts. Lucid communication is the key to hold onto the customers
  • Coming up with innovative plans of offering more to the customers to keep them hooked for long and not to shift their loyalties
  • Living up to the customer expectations by meeting their demands and pronouncing of the exciting offers, money-saving deals and the like act as mental glues for the customers
  • Do not be a pushy marketeer or a bragger pledging to be too good, offering top-notch products at cheap prices. Set realistic business objectives that are attainable providing cent percent customer satisfaction
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Building Online Consumer Trust is Crucial for the Web Merchants

Steve Burns Posted On - March 4, 2013

Building Online Consumer Trust is Crucial for the Web Merchants
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The online shopping environment needs to be infused with a positive vibe that make the prospective buyers to feel comfortable and do away with their mental blocks. Offering of the personal details, financial information is very sensitive and the e-sellers need to project their brand image in such a way that it reassures the trust factor. Trust is the pivotal element which must act as the backbone for making a potential customer to walk down the path to the shopping cart, complete the checkout process systematically, leading to a sale. If an e-seller is not able to make the purchasers to take the big leap of faith, then observing higher sales count or substantial growth in the customer count cannot be observed.

The Customers want to be Informed and Educated

It is the smart buyers who are hooked online to check out the products, verify their utility, keep a tab on the prices and engage in a comparative study before buying. The customers want to know more about the products of their choice. It is the informed purchase decision, which need to be reinforced by the e-shop merchants so that the customers do not regret buying a product in the post-purchasing phase. When as an online seller you offer the accurate product details and description, manage your inventory with deftness, it helps in building trust. The educated online shoppers in need of making the best buy by picking up the best quality product at affordable prices, want to bank on a notable e-seller who is doing business in a specific industry for long.

Reassure your Customers about the Privacy and Security Issues

The e-shoppers can have some inhibitions when it comes to sharing of personal details that are required to seal an online business deal. The congenial web-based shopping environment that an e-commerce merchant creates enhances the whole shopping process of the customers. The purchasers must be made aware of the exact information about the cost of purchase, about the safety and security policies where an e-seller pledges to keep the financial information of a customer confidential, respecting his need for privacy. When an individual armed with the purchasing power goes forward and shops, it is because an e-seller is able to make the customer belief in his business and carry out the business transaction.

Focus on Trust Building Tools

Trust which is one of the coveted intangible assets for any bond or business to sustain, needs to be nurtured and build upon with care. It is the customer reviews, testimonials, ratings about an e-business which work wonders in instilling higher degree of confidence in the minds of the online buyers. With social engagement becoming the norm, recommendations from social media is given due importance by the interested online shoppers. Individuals browse through the reviews, check the ratings before taking the buying action.

How your in-house Team can Inspire Trust

If the in-house team of an online business endorses its products, chipping in with short bios, testimonials raving about the products, the target customers can relate to the products in a better way. The buying guidance penned down by the in-house staffs offer more confidence to the prospective buyers that they are moving in the right direction by believing in the online retailers and completing the online transaction.

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Continuing constant dialogue with buyers and potential online buyers

Steve Burns Posted On - December 28, 2012

Continuing constant dialog with buyers and potential online buyers
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On busy days, keeping in constant touch with your customers – real or potential is a chore. There are millions of things to be done, and at the same time, you have a bunch of customers asking you about a particular variant of a product or information about shipping. Sometimes it is weeks since the day I have caught up with all the mails I have to respond to. But I guess that is symptomatic of the times we live in. It is the information age and just keeping up with the intensity and volume of correspondence both personal and commercial.

But I have learnt with experience that if I follow through on Amazon’s guidelines for customer communication, there are seldom any repeat communication from the same one – except a thank you note in some cases – something that is always welcome on a busy day.

I follow three mantras while keeping in touch with customers.

1.    Attend to their requests promptly.

2.    Be accurate in your replies – answer their questions and queries in full.


3.    Have a helpful attitude- it translates into customer goodwill.

These might sound simple, but when you are rushed with a million and one things that demand your immediate attention, then it takes intense focus and patience to prompt, accurate and helpful in your correspondence with clients.

Happy Selling!

ChannelSale.com– a platform that empowers online retailers to distribute product feed to as many as 200 different shopping channels such as  marketplaces, comparison shopping engines and affiliate networks. It provides incisive analytics and is a success enabler for online merchants. To view a demo of ChannelSale and its possibilities, call 1-866-709-9495 or email info@channelsale.com or for more information click ChannelSale.com

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Choose the right packaging to improve customer satisfaction

Steve Burns Posted On - December 13, 2012

Choosing the right packaging to improve customer satisfaction
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Buyers expect to receive their consignments in top condition when they order online. This is one of the most important aspects of the customer experience. All your investments and efforts in attracting the buyer, convincing him to order etc will be wasted if the customer has problems with the packaging while the product is being delivered.

To ensure that the customer experience is always delightful, follow the following caveats while packing products for shipment to the customer:

•    Select the right box:

If you ship your products yourself (i.e. you are not using Fulfillment by Amazon) ensure that you pack your products in strong corrugated cardboard boxes. Check the bottom of the box to ascertain the weight limit. Avoid having an outer covering because it will get torn in transit and will lend the packaging a sorry appearance. Torn off outer wrapping can also cause your consignment to be delayed or lost in transit.

•     Invest in the right packaging materials

Use packing peanuts, and bubble cushioning, especially if you are sending something that is fragile in nature. Wrap the items with double cushioning if required.

•     Have special packaging for high value items

Ship expensive jewellery, watches and other items in a special manner befitting their order value. For small items choose a box no more than 7 by 4 by 2 inches. Use a signature confirmation service to confirm receipt of the material. Nobody wants to have an expensive item shipped and never arrived! Also, avoid revealing the value of the item shipped by attaching anything outside the box.

Good packaging and shipping practices are an important aspect of the overall buyer’s experience and demands enough attention to detail.

——–
Happy Selling!

This blog is brought to you by ChannelSale.com– a platform that empowers you to distribute your product feed to as many as 200 different shopping channels such as marketplaces, comparison shopping engines and affiliate networks. It provides incisive analytics and is a success enabler for online merchants. To view a demo of ChannelSale and its possibilities, call 1-866-709-9495 or email info@channelsale.com or for more information click

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