These days, winning in business means offering a stellar customer experience — one that encourages your customers to shop again and tell their friends to shop with you, too. Having an ecommerce business adds an extra layer of difficulty here. After all, prospective customers are unable to see, touch and/or try your products in person.
Instead, they rely on your product listings, customer reviews, seller ratings, and other offerings when making a purchase decision. As such, you want to make sure all of these components are of the highest standards so you gain the customer’s trust and win both repeat and referral business. With that, here are 5 ways to improve your customer experience:
1. Post Accurate & Descriptive Product Listings
While selling online has many advantages, there are a couple of downsides — one being that a customer is ultimately buying a product without seeing it in person. As a marketplace seller, it’s your job to bring products to life through your listings. That means providing detailed and accurate information as well as multiple high-resolution images and videos. If this sounds like a lot of work, don’t worry — there are tools to help streamline your product listing management so you can easily and quickly set up your inventory, launch new product lines, and more.
Doing all of this will ensure that your customers are buying confidently, reducing the number of complaints you receive.
2. Offer Fast, Free Shipping
Speaking of reducing complaints, don’t make your customers wait a long time to get their purchases. With the rise of marketplace services like Amazon Prime, online shoppers expect fast, free shipping and are likely to turn away from a listing with shipping fees or long delivery periods. Offering free shipping can be hard for SMBs, that’s why we’ve put together information on how to make free shipping reality.
To improve shipping — and your entire fulfillment process for that matter — check out ecommerce shipping software, which speeds up delivery time by letting you pick, process, and ship all your online orders from one central location. No matter how many marketplaces you sell on, you’ll be able to get products out the door faster so you can focus on growing your business.
3. Know the Rules & Optimize Your Seller Rating
Being an ecommerce seller comes with its share of guidelines — all of which are enforced by their respective marketplaces to make sure you’re running a legitimate business and not out to defraud online shoppers. At the end of the day, seller guidelines are put in place to ensure your customers have a positive shopping experience. Not only that, how well you do — or don’t — follow the guidelines affects your overall seller rating.
Your seller rating is one of the first indications of how well a customer can trust buying from you, so it’s vital that you keep a high score. To do this, study the seller guidelines for each marketplace you use and learn how their seller ratings work. Then identify (and fix) any areas that may need improvement so you can get the highest rating possible.
4. Engage Customers & Solicit Feedback
It’s hard to create a personalized shopping experience online, but you can and should engage with your customers after they’ve made a purchase. You can do this a number of different ways, including:
- Add a personalized note to the order confirmation and/or shipment notification emails, addressing the customer by name and acknowledging what they’ve ordered
- Include a note in the shipment itself that has your contact information in case they have questions about their order, and/or or a discount code to use on future orders
- Once you know they’ve received their order, send a follow-up email asking for feedback on their item(s)
On this last one point, one of the best ways to improve the customer experience is to ask your customers for their feedback. Sure, you want them to review your products (hopefully with 5 stars!), but you should also know where you might be falling short. To set up a communications stream that will get you this information, look into a third-party tool that specializes in customer service/engagement for marketplace sellers — there are several solutions out there that aim to improve your customer feedback collection and rating.
5. Prevent Running Out of Stock with Daily Access to Cash
Running out of stock is one way to ruin your customer experience. To prevent this from happening, you need access to a reliable source of cash — one you can use to replenish inventory when you need it. But as a marketplace seller, you’re likely familiar with payment delays and, as a result, cash flow gaps.
Thankfully, you can now put an end to those cash flow gaps, buy inventory more quickly and never run out of stock. Payability, a financing company for marketplace sellers, makes daily cash flow a reality by paying you your income as you earn it — either in daily payment installments or as one lump sum of cash. Here’s how Payability works:
- Daily Payments: If you want to get paid daily, Payability’s Instant Access solution is for you. With Instant Access, Payability will pay you 80% of your earnings one business day after making a sale — so if your balance is $500 on Monday, you’ll get $400 of it on Tuesday (the rest is kept on reserve to cover any necessary returns or chargebacks and is then paid out according to each marketplace’s payment schedule).
- One Lump Sum of Cash: If you’d rather have a large lump sum of cash to access on a daily basis, consider Payability’s Instant Advance option. With Instant Advance, Payability will buy a certain amount of your future receivables from you at a discount. For example, they would purchase $5,000 of your future sales for $4,000.
Having a daily source of cash — either through daily payments or a large deposit — could solve many customer experience issues you might be facing, not to mention allows you to improve other areas of your business that need attention.
Since 2016, more than 2,000 marketplace sellers have used Payability to improve and grow their businesses, and it’s paid off for them. In fact, Payability’s customers grow 2.5x faster than their competitors. Hear from one marketplace seller who has tripled her Amazon business with Payability, then visit the site to see how you can have similar success. Sellers referred by Ecomdash will receive a $200 sign on bonus for trying Payability.
About the Author: Victoria Sullivan is a Marketing Manager at Payability. She has over eight years of social media, copywriting and marketing experience. Prior to joining the Payability team, Victoria developed social media content and strategies for top technology brands such as Skype and Samsung. She holds a degree in Advertising from Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. She can often be found in a yoga class or working on her fashion blog.