One common misconception with eCommerce is that online buyers are one-time purchasers. In fact, most online buyers are extremely loyal to the sites they use to make purchases. The way customers interact with brands and businesses online has changed immensely.
Customers want ease, simplicity, and security. Buying online used to have bugs and errors that deterred customers to leverage online shops. As of late, the online retail community is booming!
Read our tips to nurturing the relationship with online customers to increase the likelihood of repeat business:
Make Online Transactions FAST
With all of the new technology that has come out within the last few years, instant gratification has become a cornerstone for buyers. They want to be able to see and purchase exactly what they want with a few clicks of a button.
Some of these potential customers maybe just browsing while others are intending to buy. By making the transaction fast, you can get a sale from both types of consumers because of how easy it is to finish the purchase.
Additionally, the response time from your support team is crucial for keeping a potential customer "on-the-line."
Since customers want a fast and easy buying experience, the best thing you can do is cater to their impatience and increase online transactions' speed.
If you have a secure, fast, and easy way to offer products — the customers will be happy and likely return because they were happy with their experience.
Deliver GREAT Customer Service
As Michael Mack of Max Pawn says, "You should treat your online customers as if they are standing right in front of you in your store."
Customer service has changed immensely in the last few years. With updates and changes come higher expectations from customers. They might have been treated poorly by another store and are looking to spend their money on a business that treats their customers with respect.
On-the-other-hand... customers that are treated better at other stores (and have had a subpar experience at your shop) are much less likely to return —or even worse — tell others that they should avoid your shop.
Don't forget that this ALSO includes how employees interact with online customers!!!
Providing great customer service is a small adjustment to your business that will have a major impact on your shop's success. The first step is to have consistency when training employees. This will ensure that your employees are operating off the same "book" and are more likely to provide a consistent customer experience. Remember to remain friendly and courteous and imagine every online interaction as if you were speaking to them in person.
Offer Incentives for Repeat Business
Buya power seller, TNT Pawn & Jewelry, includes a promotional offer with their packing slip when sending online orders. TNT Pawn & Jewelry focuses on fast shipping and customer satisfaction. While this is an older promotion, it is still a strong tactic to bring customers back after their first encounter with your store.
Consider including coupons that your in-person and online customers can redeem. Coupons are a great way to keep customers coming back after their first initial purchase from your shop. We have seen incredible success through promotional deliverables. Just keep in mind that your customers live online — so offering them something that can be redeemed online will only increase sales during that promotion.
Make Some Promotions "Time Sensitive"
Customers love to get money back on something they are already searching to buy. After you have attracted their attention with a good promotional campaign - it is always a great idea to offer similar items for a discounted price. Discount sales are always attractive to customers but may not drive them to buy at the moment. When you add a "timestamp" or expiration date to the coupon, it is more likely they will make an impulsive decision to purchase. This again furthers the relationship with you and the customer because they feel like they are getting a great deal on a product they already wanted.
Engage With Customers on Social Media and Email
There has been a massive boom in online sales through the use of social media and email campaigns. Companies are relying on social engagement to cater to different types of users. Making regular posts about your brand, products, messages, etc., will show potential customers that you are active and staying with the times.
Customers also find chat support incredibly helpful — especially on social platforms and email. When people use their favorite social media applications, they want to feel like they interact with their favorite brands. Having speedy response times and regular conversations with those who reach out online is an easy way to keep the conversation rolling. And again, as we previously mentioned, this sort of activity creates a trustworthy relationship and makes your business top-of-mind during the purchasing decision.
Thank Your Customers After a Purchase
Engaging with your customers online is a great way to help the buying process, but did you know a simple "thank you" message will increase the likelihood of their return? Spending money can feel like a chore to some consumers. These digital-age shoppers will research numerous options before making a purchase. That is why you want to make the transaction simple, easy, and rewarding.
Thanking your customers after their purchase will further the trust between the customer and your shop. Try using programs to automate the messages so you can avoid utilizing extra manpower. Every customer is valuable - so why not show them how much you appreciate their patronage?! Showing appreciation will go a long way!
With eCommerce continuing to grow in popularity, it is important to make sure you are handling all online transactions and customers with the same level of care as you would if they were standing right in front of you. An idea as simple as including a coupon with the packing slip can help create repeat online customers, which will ultimately expand your customer base and retention – increasing your bottom line!
Bravo's eCommerce integrations (both eBay and Buya) help facilitate real-time communications and transactions between your store and the online customer – giving you the tools to make you a top-rated eCommerce seller in no time!
About the Author:
Tally Mack is a fifth-generation pawnbroker and eCommerce enthusiast. She loves traveling, being outside, and working out.
Before taking the reins as CEO, Tally served as Bravo's Vice President of Business Development, leading the company's sales and marketing organization. She's been instrumental in leading and executing many of the company's strategic shifts, including the acquisition of CompuPawn and the recent launch of UsedGuns.com.
Tally earned her Doctorate of Law (J.D.) from DePaul University College of Law in 2013 after attending the University of Colorado at Boulder, where she earned her B.A. in Communication Studies. She also completed the Key Executives Program from Harvard Business School in 2013.
Tally is a pawnshop lover and eCommerce enthusiast—dedicated to the success of both her employees and customers!