What do Customer’s Look for While Choosing a Product Online?

Estimated online retail sales worldwide are projected to reach $2489 trillion by 2018 which represents a growth from 7.4% in 2016 to 8.8% by next year. With more businesses adopting e-commerce practices, the competition is set to become increasingly aggressive.

Fast, accurate and efficient fulfillment of customer orders is paramount to any company’s success. However, one other important – and sometimes overlooked – ingredient in the success equation is a good post-purchase customer experience that keeps them coming back and turns them into brand advocates who spread positive word-of-mouth.

Customer satisfaction is the name of the game. What do customers want from their online purchasing experiences? While the list is endless, here are some of the most important expectations:

  • Clear detailed information about the product and its delivery: transparency and visibility are vital to winning online business.
    1. Clear product description: when product information is not crisp and clear, potential customers will migrate to a competitor’s website.
    2. Visibility of product delivery status: customers should be able to track the status of their purchases in real-time.
    Remember! In an e-shop, there is no sales person trying to entice the customer. It’s up to your web page to do that job.
  • Quick delivery: customers attach value to quick delivery. In 2017, the order value of same-day delivery of merchandise is estimated to reach $3.35 billion in the US, up from $0.1 billion in 2014. Online customers increasingly expect the nearly instant gratification that shopping at a retail store provides.
  • Product(s) received in good condition with effective, attractive packaging. It adds face value and influences the customer’s next purchase as well as positive word-of-mouth.
  • Product delivery time/schedule is as promised: customers do not care where the product comes from or who is responsible for any delays. Their primary concern is that their order arrives on schedule and in good condition.
  • Proper alerts and follow-ups in case of queries or delays: while the occasional error is inevitable, it’s how you handle it that influences the future of your relationship with the customer. Follow-up, return calls as promised, handle errors or delays with care and address inquiries promptly in order to win customer loyalty.
  • Efficient return policy: Winning the online market is all about winning trust. A candid and easy return policy is essential.

All fulfillment related activities – warehousing, transportation, inventory management and administrative tasks affect the post-purchase customer experience.

The fulfillment process is cumulatively complex. Hence, attention to detail is a must.

Finding the perfect fulfillment partner

Surpassing your customers’ expectations starts with on-time delivery, each time, every time. This means you need a fulfillment partner that helps you set the standards with an efficient operations system and technological support. Make sure your fulfillment partner has flexible order and warehouse management systems. Look into their order accuracy and processing history, whether they can scale, what quality control measures they have in place, whether they provide regular SLA reports, what shipping options they have, etc.

Today’s fulfillment partners should be more than a courier service. The idea is to have a meaningful strategic business partnership with them. Appointing the right fulfillment partner leaves businesses with more time to focus on enhancing customer expectations and satisfaction levels.

With Gartner predicting that 100 million consumers would shop virtually by 2020, it is the right time to begin enhancing your customer experience scores if you want win a sizable portion of that business.

To know more about MAI's expertise in contact center and fulfillment services, please drop in an email now!

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