Whether you’re strictly eCommerce or more of a bricks-and-clicks retailer, you’ve probably noticed that times are a-changin’.
People find you in altogether different ways than just a few years ago, their wants are much different and the idea of omnichannel is omnipresent. Your order fulfillment has to be top-notch, ready to ship a T-shirt from the warehouse in one state to a customer in another, while also rerouting a delivery around some really nasty weather in yet a third.
It’s a challenging time to be a retailer of any sort, but if you better understand how your customers buy from you right now, you’ll at least have a leg up when it comes to making more sales.
Shoppers are Everywhere and Using the Web and Mobile to Buy Everything
Your customers are fickle folks, but they’ve made one thing very clear: they love buying things online and they’re only going to do more of it. This means you’ve got to get ahead of them and make sure you’re continuing to meet their needs, even as those are changing with the latest trends.
These are just three ways that your customers are currently using the web and mobile to buy from you:
They’re using more payment types. Smartphones make it easy for customers to pop into your shop and pay with their devices, never touching a card or card reader. If you’re a bricks-and-clicks retailer, consider upgrading your credit card readers to accept contactless payments like Google Wallet, Apple Pay and Paypal.
Your eCommerce store has a much easier task when it comes to adding payment types, you don’t need new hardware, just a few software upgrades and accounts with the various entities that allow customers to check out without entering their credit card information into your system.
But they’re picky about branded apps. Branded apps are usually either big winners or big losers, so play this strategy carefully. The best branded apps do more than just allow your customers to look at your catalog and check out, they may help track loyalty programs, help a customer locate an item that’s in a physical store or even give them an option to order something that’s out of stock in store, but available from the warehouse. Your app can be a huge boon to your marketing and sales efforts, but only if you add extra value to it and make it easy to use.
And they love online chat assistance. While not strictly a buying effort, online chat assistance is the next thing in customer service. Not only do today’s shoppers have a chance to ask the questions they really need answered right now in real time, instead of waiting for an email or being left on hold, you both can keep a record of the conversation in case there are questions later.
Your shoppers are savvy and they’re right on top of the newest trends in online and offline shopping. You can be, too, just take care to watch how your customers are using the tools you provide them and ask for feedback often. They’ll love you for it.