Working in ecommerce is an exhilarating and rewarding experience. In addition to the opportunity to be your own boss, you put smiles on the faces of people every day they order from your website.
Of course, there are good days and bad days. Perhaps you have to deal with an especially difficult customer today, or maybe sales performed a little less than expected yesterday. In most cases they do pass. However, if you’re seeing a continual pattern of bad days, take a closer look.
Here are a few red flags that should worry ecommerce vendors and what you can do to remedy them.
Abnormally-High Return Rates
Research shows ecommerce sites experience a higher rate of returns (roughly 30 percent) compared to brick-and-mortar retailers (nine percent). This is somewhat unavoidable, as shoppers can’t touch, examine or try on products in the same way as a physical shop. However, if your returns are exceeding 30 percent, you could be losing money to the expensive process of accepting and processing returns.
Are you experiencing extremely high return rates? Don’t sweat it. There are plenty of steps you can take to remedy this, including:
- Featuring a sizing guide for clothing items.
- Offering a customer service or FAQ page to answer consumer questions before they complete their orders.
- Posting a troubling shooting guide or video for commonly experienced issues, such as repairs or cleaning.
- Crafting a stricter return policy.
- Improving the quality of your merchandise.
- Featuring a customer feedback section to answer questions you may not have anticipated.
The key is to understand whether returns are attributed to low customer satisfaction, or the limitations of e-stores in general. The former can be solved by re-evaluating your offerings, while the latter means you’ll need to spend more time providing valuable info to your customers.
Out-of-Control Bounce Rate
For those who don’t know, bounce rate is defined as the percentage of visitors to your website that leave the store after viewing only one page.
There are a few reasons an e-store might suffer a high bounce rate (which is roughly defined as 50 percent or greater). If your website design is ugly or off putting, you could be losing customers quicker than you can say “website redesign.” E-stores can also be plagued by slow page load times and clunky user interfaces which also sends consumers packing.
Luckily, it’s easy to fix an ugly or cumbersome website through cloud-based ecommerce solutions. Unlike building your own e-store, these platforms provide you a customizable layout, complete with the functionalities you need to succeed, including payment processing, scalability, usability and more.
Excessive Complaints on Social Media
Social media is a godsend to ecommerce SMBs. It is cheap/free to leverage, it has an enormous pre-existing audience and it even allows vendors to drill down into various demographics to find new prospective buyers.
Then again, social media also affords disgruntled customers a forum to air their grievances to the web. And, while every business gets its fair share of bad buzz, excessive complaints on social media will reflect negatively on your brand. This is a problem that needs to be tackled in two ways — preemptive and reactive.
The preemptive strategy relies on anticipating customer complaints and addressing them before they become an issue. A prime example would be letting shoppers know that the handcrafted dress they are buying might have some color variation compared to the product image. Another option is to include a customer service chatbox on your ecommerce platform so consumers can ask questions privately, rather they display their dirty laundry for all to see.
The reactive strategy to ‘bad buzz’ relies on finding customer complaints on social media and addressing them in a calm and helpful manner. For instance, if a shopper is publically complaining about the time it took to get their homemade bunt cake, message them publically apologizing for the delay, but pointing out that it is a busy season and your description page did say it would ship in 2-3 weeks.
Resist the urge to get in a flame war on social media. This will only harm your brand and make you look foolish.
By tackling these red flags head on, you can avoid spiraling out of control.
Identity Magazine is all about guiding women to discover their powers of Self-Acceptance, Appreciation, and Personal Achievement. We ask that every contributor and expert answer the Identity 5 questions in keeping with our theme. Their answers can be random and in the moment or they can be aligned with the current article they have written. In that way, and as a team, we hope to encourage and motivate each other, thus inspiring you to Get All A’s.
1. What have you accepted within your life, physically and/or mentally? Additionally, what are you still working on accepting? Now, we’re talking about resignation, rather stepping into, embraced, and owned.
The challenging life of Entrepreneurship
2. What have you learned to appreciate about yourself and/or within your life, physically and mentally? On the other hand OR in contrast, are there elements of who you are that you’re still working on appreciating?
I appreciate my work and the opportunity to collaborate with others.
3. What is one of your most rewarding achievements in life? Tell us not only what makes YOU most proud but also share the goals and dreams that you still have.
Building my own career.
4. Of course, we all have imperfections, or so we think. In truth, we are all perfectly imperfect. What are your not-so-perfect ways? Likewise, what imperfections and quirks create who you are–your Identity?
My laugh is one of a kind.
5. “I Love My…” is an outlet for you to appreciate and express all the positive traits that make you…well…YOU! In fact, sharing what you love about yourself will make you smile, feel empowered, and uplift your spirit and soul. (We assure you!) Therefore, Identity challenges you to complete the phrase “I Love My…?”
I love my career and my life.