Forget about returning customers if an online business is guilty of these


Think of one e-commerce site that you used to shop frequently but stopped returning to. Now, you probably have a few names popping out in your head or none if youíre still living in the dinosaur era. But, if you were to recall every online store that youíve visited in the past, what are the chances of accurately naming all of them? Letís face it, we are spoilt by the choices that we have in the market and itís not even surprising that we stopped returning to some of them.


Perhaps this may have sounded outrageous in the past, but our present and future revolve around technology. The digitally driven generation has greatly contributed to the comfort of our living; everything we need is just a few clicks away. The opportunities are evident to business owners, as the number of e-commerce sites is increasing rapidly. In fact, Malaysia is home to some of the top e-commerce sites with millions of visitors monthly. With many new businesses jumping on the bandwagon, the competition gets stiff; all of which are competing for a place in the market.


Though we are aware of the pace that e-commerce stores are heading to, we are missing out on an important point - how do we ensure that customers return to the same website for their next purchase? What are the traits to be aware of if customers stopped shopping at the website?


Lack of Trust


Disclosing our personal information online definitely does take a lot of trust, especially if it involves money. It takes more than just building a presence online. No doubt some brands do get their names across fast, but it takes deliberate measures to earn trust from consumers and retain them in the long run. An e-commerce site without good cyber security increases the chances of exposing customerís data to hackers. Hence, demotivating customers from returning or even visiting the site.


A reliable site should at least consist of:

  1. Secure and reliable payment gateway
  2. Up to date Internet security
  3. Informative FAQ and support provided

Slow and Costly Delivery


Shopping online can be a dilemma too, especially if waiting is not your cup of tea. Most customers would expect to receive their parcels as fast as possible. Slow or delayed shipping means only one thing - a huge turn off. While we donít expect to have those parcels delivered immediately, companies that go beyond to have the items shipped out within the same day definitely earn the company some brownie points. After all, customers who are happy are most likely to return in the future.


On top of that, costly delivery fees are also a sin for online businesses. As a matter of fact, free shipping has been one of the primary reasons for shoppers to shop. But, businesses can also opt for a minimum order requirement for free shipping.


Unavailable Refund or Return Options


Itís stressful to know that youíve accidentally purchased the wrong item or something that you didnít like. Whatís more painful is knowing that shoppers are not allowed to return the items or receive a refund at the very end. Stores that are rigid with their return policies displease customers and turn them away from their next visit. In contrast, a clear and pain-free return process designed to minimise shoppersí burden makes them feel like they are taken care of and are more likely to shop again.


Lack of Customer Support


While online shopping does save up time and hassle, it definitely comes with risks as well. This is especially true for new visitors who are unfamiliar with the website, as they tend to be more skeptical. It is only fair that businesses provide sufficient support to their customers to alleviate their worries or concerns. Slow and unresponsive feedback will only leave shoppers frustrated and disappointed. Ideally, websites could host a live chat that can address their concerns in a short time. Not only do customers feel appreciated, it also builds trust between you and them. This could in turn encourage repeat purchases in the future.


No rewards or discounts for repurchase


Nowadays itís almost impossible to miss an advertisement on our social media channels. We are bombarded with different ads every day and it makes it even more challenging for businesses to retain their customers. Unless the product is spectacular, chances are shoppers are going to forget if they arenít introduced to any reward systems or loyalty programs. Consider something as straightforward as offering a 10% discount on their next purchase or reward them with points to encourage frequent visits.


Conclusion


The online market is growing at an unexpectedly fast pace. Looking at the contemporary lifestyle, it doesnít look like itís going to slow down anytime soon. E-commerce has definitely played an integral role in peopleís lives as it has shaped our shopping habits. While it is not possible to convert every shopper into a regular customer, it is necessary for businesses to evaluate their current practices to ensure that the fundamental tools are provided on a website. A good start would involve having a trusted payment gateway to earn shoppersí confidence. Itís never too late to explore iPay88 Ė ASEANís leading provider of online payment solutions, and enquire about the list of comprehensive payment options available.