The 7 Best E-commerce Strategies to Grow Your Brands Customer Base
“I’ve been in this business for many years and I’ve seen a lot of businesses come and go,” says founder, and now CEO, of the home goods company.“One thing that has never changed is that the more you put into your customer experience, the more you get out of it,” he says. The company’s recent success is evidence of the fact that customer service is still a vital cornerstone in business, even with the rise in e-commerce.
The importance of customer service
Hawk & Chick’s customers are looking for a bit of a grown-up experience, something that might not exist at their local toy shop. They’re looking to connect with a brand that offers quality and convenience—the type of qualities that are increasingly important to shoppers. In addition to a place to buy practical, attractive, and high-quality goods, both young and old, the company has expanded into a subscription service that will send its customers new products every three to six months for an annual fee. While a subscription service might seem like an odd addition to a toy store, it’s very much in line with what Hawk & Chick is selling. “The subscription service provides the customer with options,” says Mark White, head of customer service and fulfillment.
What is customer service?
The simplest definition of customer service is the ability to provide a specific service to a person or group of people. But how do you build customer service into your online business? There are many methods, but the simplest of these is to keep a customer complaint hot on your radar and to take the time to see things from their point of view. For instance, many customers return products because they don’t fit. Even the most professional store staff should be able to arrange return shipping if the size does not fit. If it turns out to be something with the product, then that person should offer to exchange it for another size, even if that will affect the price.
What does customer service mean for e-commerce?
It means you want to hear from your customers. Why? Because if your customer service is great, they will come back. They will buy from you again and again. “It’s not about just answering the questions. It’s about really digging into and understanding the needs of the customer,” says Thorn. “Because once you understand what the customer needs, you can come up with a solution.” It doesn’t matter whether you are building a website, app, or some other type of digital platform. In all cases, the customer service has to be first class. You have to really understand what your customers are saying. If you don’t, you will have no chance to earn their business. So what are some of the essential elements of great customer service that Thorn recommends? 1. You have to go the extra mile.
7 Best e-commerce strategies
To achieve success, says Caruso, has been less about pushing more products onto the site and more about putting the customer in the center of the business. That means things like free shipping when a customer orders over $25 and 50-percent discounts for returning customers, for example. Related: The 8 Highest-Earning Websites in the World In the future, Caruso would like to expand his brand to different products like home decor, including furniture. To maintain the same low prices while competing against other websites, he uses a service like Amazon Warehouse, where a portion of his sales are shipped to another warehouse and sold at a higher price.
Smart companies are all embracing this new reality, with some seriously dedicated initiatives in place, ensuring their companies have a positive and engaging customer experience. The same can be said for organizations of all shapes and sizes, whether they’re large, medium, or small. The key, it seems, is to balance the marketing and sales focus with a well thought out customer experience strategy that takes care of both parties involved.