Online retail is a 335-billion dollar industry. Sure, you can easily get a slice of the pie, but you're competing with thousands of other retailers. So, how do you gain an edge? Simple: customer service.
Improvements in customer experience can lead to big results. Here are some suggestions:
1. Own the product.
Don’t rely too much on third parties to carry out the integral parts of your process. If you're selling bespoke apparel, invest in tools and manpower to create the products yourself. Buy shipping software and organize your own delivery fleet. Hire an in-house marketing team to focus on business growth. These upgrades may not be cheap or doable overnight, but the advantages are long-term, and it shows your customers and competitors that you're in it for the long run.
2. Treat your website as a shop front.
Retail stores take time and effort to lay out their stores in a way that will encourage customers to buy. Your website should be no different. Make sure pages are always up, navigation is easy, and the checkout button is prominent. Upgrade your bandwidth so that your site can accommodate more than your average traffic.
3. Open all lines of communication.
How do customers get a hold of you? Make sure they can call, email, message, or even connect to you over social media. The easier to contact your company is, the more likely people will choose you. Ensure the people on the front lines of these communication channels exude the kind of personality your brand is aiming for.
Thanks to the internet, there's a market for whatever you're selling. You can tap into a customer base even if the competition is fierce. Success doesn't always mean "reinventing the wheel." Sometimes, you just have to go back to basics, that is to focus on the people.