Being able to run a business online has provided so many entrepreneurs with opportunities like never before. You can start an online retail business from the comfort of your own home if you so wish and with a lot of hard work, almost anyone can make a success from e-commerce. That said there are pitfalls that every retail business can fall foul off. Pitfalls that will negatively affect your sales, growth, and overall business success. So to be sure your online store does not become a victim of avoidable mistakes ensure you are mindful of these common errors.
Common Mistakes Every Retail Business Should Avoid
Poor customer service.
Customer service can go a long way in retail, good customer service can put right almost any faulty product sold or unforeseen issue. Equally, bad customer service can be fatal, no matter how brilliant the product on offer is. In order to ensure your customer service is top-notch consider these points:
- Ensure you are contactable at all times, be it by email, phone, instant message, or live chat. Customers today expect instant gratification and want to be able to reach out when it suits them, and they expect a response.
- Be polite, when you are contacted ensure your communication is professional and polite at all times. Ensure all customer services personnel are well trained and able to keep cool under pressure. They also need impeccable written communication skills.
- Issue refunds where possible, denying refunds where they are justified or entitled will always result in a negative customer experience. Don’t forget, if customers are due a refund and you deny it to them they are able to contact their credit card company to issue a chargeback. If your company is found to be subject to too many chargebacks it will be placed on a TMF list, which will ultimately make it much harder to run your business.
Insufficient online marketing
While the expansion of the internet has resulted in increased opportunities for online retailers it has also led to a saturated market. If you want your business to even be noticed, let alone stand out from the rest then you have to invest in online marketing. Online marketing can take many forms and there are many professional agencies and freelancers on hand to help. So if you do not know your SEO from your social media marketing outlaying a little in digital marketing could be the difference between the success and failure of your e-commerce store.
Inadequate shipping options
Customers do not like to pay for shipping costs, it is as simple as that. It may well be that you factor the cost of shipping into the product, just do not ask customers to pay an additional sum for delivery. They won’t want to do it and they will look elsewhere for free shipping options. Customers can even be persuaded to spend more if it means benefitting from free shipping, so maximize on that and set a minimum spend limit to have access to free shipping.
Not using customer data
When it comes to data your e-commerce store can collect a lot of relevant and useful data. Email addresses are a prime example of the type of data you want to collect. Having access to someone’s inbox will allow you to reach them directly, to advise them of any sales, products, or even items left in their virtual shopping cart.