Due to COVID-19, many e-commerce retailers and platforms have seen a massive increase in their sales due to consumers not being able to leave their homes and carry out their usual daily chores. Online retailers have had to keep up with the pent up demand of customers. Below we list 6 top tips for online retailers to keep their businesses growing.
1. Keep your inventory updated and replenished
You must keep your inventory updated and replenished at all times.
If a customer visits your online store and sees it is sold out or unavailable, you will most likely lose that customer unless they cannot find it anywhere else.
However, with the number of online retailers, they most likely will — this includes fast-moving consumer goods such as electronic cigarettes, like the Geek Bar.
2. Respond to customer inquiries as quickly as possible
It is essential to respond to customer queries and questions they have as soon as possible.
In this day and age, consumers want a response as soon as possible. It’s important to have a designated customer service person or team to handle all enquiries.
Make sure you make it clear how customers can get in contact, whether you have a chatbot or a telephone or email address in the sight of a customer.
If you are slow in your response times, it doesn’t reflect well on the business, and you will most likely lose that customer for transactions in the future or that particular purchase.
3. Offer a variety of shipping options for customers that want to shop online during the pandemic
Shipping is a huge factor when customers are shopping online.
During the pandemic, shoppers who would typically buy necessities such as bottled water and bread from local stores now purchase these goods online. They want it quickly without any extortionate prices.
Some shoppers are happy to wait a few days for their goods as they shop in advance.
However, some shoppers need orders as soon as possible, so it is good to have a variety of shipping options to cater to everyone.
4. Be transparent with pricing, including any additional fees such as expedited shipping or customs charges
It is essential to be as transparent as possible with any additional fees a customer may incur when purchasing goods.
If a customer needs goods shipped to Europe or worldwide, they must know the total shipping fees, including any custom or tax charges they will need to pay.
A customer knowing this information beforehand will save your business a lot of time on the customer service.
It is also important to let the customer know the fees they will incur early on in their user experience to give them extra confidence when they want to purchase a product on your site.
5. Prioritise customer service over everything else because it will be challenging to find help in person during this time.
Customer service is the most critical part of any business and even more so online as there is no face to face interaction.
During COVID-19, many shops had to close down.
Customers could not go into a shop and ask for advice; for example, if someone wanted to stop smoking, they would not ask the difference between a cigarette and a disposable vape. Or the difference between one lawnmower to another.
It is vital to provide as much information as possible to the consumer.
Doing this will instill confidence in the customer, which will most likely result in conversions compared to a poorly handled customer service enquiry or team.
6. Make sure you have adequate supplies on hand, so you don’t run out of products when demand is high, and delivery services are limited due to the pandemic (e.g. food, water)
It is essential to have enough supplies.
In these unprecedented times with COVID-19 and even Brexit, delivery companies fail to fulfil demands from parts of the world.
So you must have enough supplies and even a plan B if you cannot get certain products such as Poultry, beverages or gadgets.
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