1.How to meet customer expectations?

Customers today have high expectations from brands. Right from the minute they visit your online store to the moment they unbox their delivery. Merchants have to ensure a seamless ordering and shipping experience in order to retain customers in this already saturated market. Studies reveal that 72% of customers switch brands after one bad shopping experience. Today, ecommerce stores need to be on top of their game to keep and deliver an exceptional customer experience, because happy customers will engage in repeat purchases. This means having an up-to-date inventory, quick and cheap shipping options, intuitive website, frictionless checkout, and having a responsive customer support team.

2.How to connect with customers?

When shoppers visit a brick-and-mortar store, there are sales associates to engage and guide them towards a sale. This “in-store experience” is missing when customers visit an online store. If customers aren’t able to reach your business, they can easily switch to a competitor. As ecommerce merchants, you must embrace newer communication channels to ensure customers can connect with your business and get help in the way that is easiest for them – which can be challenging to manage. Ecommerce merchants embrace newer technology that collects and unifies all queries from different channels such as email, phone, live chat or chatbots, and social media such as Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp.

Alternatively, you can also tweak your website to answer all questions that customers may potentially have. For example, when shoppers are looking for clothes online, they often have queries related to size and fit. With this plug-in, you can have this information at the ready. You can also ensure that the FAQ

The COVID-19 global pandemic will likely be the defining event of 2020, one that’s implications will last well into the decade. This period of isolation and uncertainty has led to a significant impact on shopping behaviours, with an increase in online shopping. In fact, Adobe Analytics predicts that online sales this year will surpass the total online sales in 2019 by Oct 5, 2020.

With retailers also pivoting to ecommerce, there is an increase in competition online with all brands competing for the same dollar. Department stores like Macy’s and JCPenney, large chains like Abercrombie & Fitch and Nike, and DTC brands are all closing their physical stores and experiencing losses.

So, even though there is a market online, eCommerce stores are facing new challenges that need to overcome to succeed.

section on your website is easily discoverable and not buried in some obscure corner in your site map.

3.How to replicate the in-store experience online?

This one has been a head-scratcher for eCommerce merchants! Even with the online shopping boom, it would be preposterous to assume that customers have completely ditched the brick-and-mortar shopping experience. In-store shopping allows customers to test or try on products and interact with store sales associates, which gives them more confidence in their purchase decisions. While brands cannot completely bridge this gap, there are ecommerce chatbots that can help you closely simulate the in-store experience.

4.How to retain customers?

Earning and maintaining customer loyalty is one of the biggest challenges for ecommerce stores. There are so many alternatives available to shoppers that they can easily move from one brand to another. The burden is squarely on the shoulders of brands to nurture customer relationships. This can be through exception customer service, a wider product offering, better shipping options or loyalty and membership programs. To cultivate a sense of loyalty, brands can tap into a cognitive bias—reciprocity bias. This bias talks about the tendency of humans to repay another person or brand who provides a favour, small gift, or concession of some kind. For example, when you are dining at a restaurant and you receive a complimentary dessert, you’re likely to tip higher or write a positive review. To build customer loyalty, brands must focus on creating trust through loyalty programs, birthday rewards, and providing superlative customer support experiences.

5.How to minimize returns?

One of the drawbacks of online shopping is that customers are likely to return their purchase. This is particularly true for online clothing brands. Customers are often unsure of their size, which leads to either ordering multiple sizes of the same product, returning the item or exchanging the product for a different size. eCommerce stores can help customers find their perfect match and minimize products by adding this simple plug-in to their website. This way, customers can dynamically view their sizing, whether it is UK, EU, US or Indian sizing and order accordingly, minimizing requests for exchange or return. It is important to note that brands must handle return or refund requests swiftly to maintain customer trust.

6.How to differentiate your brand from the competition?

The eCommerce space is getting more and more crowded and while taking all the above points under consideration will help you differentiate yourself from the competition, there is one more thing to consider—personalization. Brands can leverage customer data such as buying history, interests, and feedback to introduce personalization in not only their marketing campaigns but also their product offerings. This will help eCommerce stores solidify their relationship with their customers.

The pandemic has heightened customers’ expectations of brands—77% of consumers expect brands to be helpful in their “new everyday lives” while being more responsive and proactive in their communications at this time.  To thrive in this new post-COVID ecommerce landscape, brands must go over and beyond to fulfill customer demands. Are you ready?