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Customer Loyalty For eCommerce: The Profit Hub Not to Ignore

It’s safe to say that eCommerce is a growing trend that is here to stay. According to Shopify, over 2 billion people will purchase goods or services online in 2022. This is great news for eCommerce brands and shows just how much opportunity there is. 

Speaking of opportunity, we’re uncovering more ways for eCommerce brands to continue bringing in revenue. Most store owners tend to assume the work ends at the point of purchase but that’s precisely where the real work starts. After a customer makes a purchase there is immense opportunity to turn that customer into a loyal one and increase profits. Don’t forget, the customer directly equates to money on the table. 

Today, it’s vital for brands to understand the importance of customer service before, during, and after a purchase. Customer service is not just a business function, it truly is a profit hub.

Paying close attention to returning customers’ data will help you find buyers already making repeat purchases from your store. Gaining more repeat customers leads to additional revenue. As you increase your repeat customer rate, you won’t have to spend as much on customer acquisition. The importance of repeat customers is highlighted by its many benefits. Let’s dive into everything you need to know about how to maximize profits through exceptional customer service programs.

Wow Your Customers

There are many ways to delight customers today and set your store apart from the competition. It starts from within – it needs to be a company-wide obsession. Let’s look at some trends in eCommerce today.

1. Fast Customer Service: Did you know that 75% of customers expect help within 5 minutes of being on your site – McKinsey. So how can you provide such exceptional customer service? By maintaining 24/7 customer support. This can be attained by providing self service on many facets during the purchasing lifecycle such as reordering, returns, and order history. Another way to provide exceptional customer service is to provide a chatbot powered by a knowledgebase or FAQs. Then your customer service team can handle more complex situations as they arise.

2. Returns & Refunds: Easy returns are key to repeat customers. A UPS survey found that 44% of U.S. consumers have returned an item they bought online. Many customers won’t buy from your online store again if they have a bad experience with eCommerce returns. This trend is most pronounced among millennials: more than half of them will shun your site if you hassle them about a return.

3. Enhanced Customer Experience: Implement a layer of personalization into your website. According to Epsilon, when brands provide customers with personalized experiences, 80% of customers are more likely to make a purchase. These personalizations can be done through product filters, site search capabilities, and knowledgeable customer support agents. Personalization in eCommerce can be the difference between customers choosing your brand vs the competition. So why is this important? This enhanced customer experience can lead to better sales conversions, improved brand engagement, and competitive advantage.

4. Exceptional Fulfillment: Your order fulfillment process is responsible for all picking, packing, shipping, storage, and product return operations. A reliable order fulfillment service is the catalyst to the success of your business. Fast and accurate order fulfillment services are crucial to your eCommerce company’s success. Every mis-pack or mis-shipment is money out of your pocket in the short term and possible damage to your company’s reputation in the long term.

    Invest in Technology

    So how do you actually make this all happen? One of the easiest ways to start improving your customer support is to invest in technologies that automate these processes. Let’s dive in:

    1. Fast Customer Service: The idea is to give customers the chance to find quick answers to their questions before escalating to a live agent. When they do need a live agent, automate as much as you can with technology.

    2. Returns & Refunds: The goal is to make returns and refunds a pleasurable experience for both customers and the business. Businesses generally look at these as a loss but there is an opportunity to win over the customer with a smooth process and being able to offer similar products based on the ones being returned. 

    3. Enhanced Customer Experience: “Personalization is still an underutilized tool. More personalized experiences are still the holy grail of an optimized digital experience.”- The Lead. Personalization starts internally with an organized product data repository. Brands must establish a single source of truth for their product data. Once this is established, eCommerce teams can make this data work for them to enhance their digital storefronts and provide a memorable shopping experience for their customers. The product data drives the customization options and allows for robust filters, intuitive search capabilities, and detailed product descriptions such as technical features, sizing, materials, and more.

    • Our top pick is PLM Software for Product Information such as Backbone PLM

    4. Exceptional Fulfillment: An online shopping cart and catalog is only the first step in eCommerce retail success. Once the customer buys, you need to get them their items quickly and efficiently. That’s where fulfillment services come in.

    It’s too often that businesses miss the hidden revenue within their existing customer base by focusing solely on winning new ones. But with a few strategies in place, eCommerce store owners can set themselves up to reap the benefits that come with growing and nurturing a repeat customer base. In the end, nurturing and retaining your existing customers is more effective than finding new ones. 

      Interested in improving your product development process? Schedule a free demo of Backbone today and get a 14-day free trial!