Top 3 Solutions to the Barriers Affecting Online Consumers
Buying products online has become second nature to us all. Gone are the days when we are restricted by opening hours, parking fees, congestion and having to be in crowded shopping centres. The online world of consuming has opened the world as a shopping marketplace, but with this newly discovered shopping landscape, new levels of frustrations and restrictions that were previously unheard of have been created. Here are 3 top online customer grievances, and the solutions you can provide for your business.
1. When will it be delivered?
With the digital age, people want things immediately, and at a time that suits them. You need to have a very clear message of when your customers can expect their goods to be delivered. It is essential that you use reliable courier companies to deliver your goods, and that you are in close contact with your suppliers so that you are up-to-date with their lead times. This is especially important around key calendar dates that may be relevant to your products such as Christmas, Valentine’s Day or even school holiday dates.
Solution: prominently display your last order cut-off date for guaranteed delivery for a certain date. Never make promises to customers that you can’t keep – honesty is the best policy.
2. Is the website safe and company genuine?
Online fraud and security breaches make big news. The data that companies can potentially mine from their customers is vast. You need to take every step you can to reassure your customers that you are legitimate. If your website is regularly crashing and unavailable to consumers, you will not be instilling the customers with a great deal of trust for your company. Your IT needs to support you in being able to deliver to your customers what you say you can, you may be a start-up or a young enterprise, but that does not mean that you can’t have the IT infrastructure of larger corporations.
Solution: clearly display on your website your company’s contact details for your customers to get in touch with you – a landline number is a great sign of authenticity!
3. What if the product isn’t what I wanted?
Consumers shy away from buying online if they feel that returning the goods is going to be a hassle. People inherently want an easy life, and returning goods, either because they are unsuitable, damaged or faulty, can feel like a mission. A solid returns policy will reassure concerned consumers that they can easily return goods to you, and at no cost to themselves. Obviously, some products such as intimate products or those sold as clearance cannot be returned, but as long as you have a very clear policy, consumers will be placated.
Solution: you must spend time clearly describing the products that you are selling. If you give a product description that accurately portrays the product (measurements, colours, best use for, etc.) and include images where appropriate, you will reduce the number of returns that occur.