The COVID-19 pandemic has gotten many of us shifting from meeting in person to having virtual meetings and video calls. With this shift due to the health protocols in place, the retail industry has also been trying to adapt. From a traditional retail setup, many stores have shifted and opted for e-commerce since the onslaught of the pandemic. This has allowed them to continue their services despite the quarantine restrictions put in place.
Almost everything has shifted to online means. E-commerce has been around even before the beginning of the pandemic, but it has since gained a good reputation because of the health protocols we need to observe.
Starting an e-commerce business is a good idea during this time because there is a growing demand for this service. What are the essentials of a good e-commerce business venture?
Essentials of e-commerce
Like in any business, when venturing into the e-commerce industry, you should first familiarize yourself with the essentials. What do you need to know before starting an e-commerce venture?
You have to prioritize your customers first. Your business will not succeed if not for the loyalty of your customers and the interest of potential buyers. Take care of their concerns such as inquiries and returns policies which are very important nowadays because of the potential difficulty in communication and coordination via online means. Consider getting an e-commerce returns management system to help you manage customers and their brand loyalty. This will greatly benefit your business as you will start to build a good reputation as a brand with good customer service.
In line with upgrading customer service, you need to try to optimize your customers’ journeys. You can do so by regularly checking up if they have received their purchased item on time or if they have any concerns regarding delivery and the overall transaction. Providing a personal touch to your customer service can be just what you need to get an edge against your competition.
To get the word around on your new business venture, make sure you use social media as a marketing tool. Create quality content beforehand and be aggressive with your posting schedule to keep your brand name on your customers’ newsfeeds. This will help with brand recall, and in the long run, you might just become a household name if you are lucky.
Also, in showing your products and services online, make sure your platform is mobile-friendly. Everyone is on their smartphones nowadays, so there is a great need to be accessible on mobile all the time.
These are some e-commerce business protocols you need to keep in mind before starting your new venture. This is apart from the quarantine protocols that should be followed in every step of your business transactions.
How COVID-19 Has Shaped e-commerce
With the shift from traditional retail to e-commerce, many changes had to be done to adapt to the shifting environment. The big shift has forced physical stores to transfer or adapt online means of selling. Depending on the company’s management, this may or may not be a difficult adjustment period. ;
One challenge included in this shift is the change in customer expectations. People expect a faster service when it comes to online transactions. Slow service or a not very user-friendly interface may cause several abandoned shopping carts online. Venturing into this new business means you will have to discover these challenges and be creative with how you will deal with them.
As there is an increase in demand in online businesses, there have also been more options for consumers to pay for their goods. Cashless transactions have become the norm during these times, promoting convenience as well as safety for both the consumer and the business owner.
Due to the big shift, business owners from all over the globe have needed to take a step back from their office to see the bigger picture. These owners gradually learn the value of good customer service during this difficult time, when everyone is struggling to simply survive every day.
Encouraging Customers to Shift to Online Shopping
Given the changes brought by this pandemic, how can business owners brighten the landscape of the e-commerce industry?
Encourage customers to be loyal to your brand by providing great customer service. As mentioned, great customer service can go a long way in creating a good reputation for your business. You can eventually benefit from word-of-mouth marketing if you happen to have excellent customer service. Improve your customer service by considering personalizing your service for each customer. Adding a personal touch can add an emotional element to your brand, and this could lead your customers to make that purchase.
Creating a community of loyal customers is important in maintaining good business even for e-commerce. It may even be more essential for online businesses to have a thriving and healthy community of customers because word-of-mouth marketing and having good reviews tend to have considerable weight in terms of brand building.
Today may be the time for you to start your e-commerce venture. Familiarize yourself with the essentials, and you will be on your way to providing good service to customers and the community.