sexta-feira, 11 de janeiro de 2008
E-Commerce - Sales Increase Strategy
I am such an online shopping addict. So is a large amount of the Internet users.
An online shopping addict buys everything he needs online: from electronics to food. So do I. What are the main advantages of buying online?
1. It's practical.
You can just go to the webpage, click on the product you want, insert your credit card number and...voilà! The product is sent to you.
Another point is that it's easier to find the product you want. The sections are usually organised by a practical search criteria, which is much better than digging through dusty shelves in a physical shop.
2. It's cheaper.
This is the point where people disagree with me. They ask themselves: "If I pay for the product and the freight, how can it be cheaper?". This is simple. Although the customer is the one who affords the freight, online shops haven't got to spend money on a fancy physical structure nor on hiring many employees. So, with a small structure, you can sell a large amount of products, spending little on operational costs and being able to sell more for less.
That's the main point of this post. What can probably go wrong?
These last days, I bought several products online. Some were better than expected and some a lot worse. I will list the problems I had below:
1. Delivery time.
I bought from two different shops a book and a notebook computer.
This book is imported from the USA, and they promised to deliver in two weeks, which is a long deadline considering online buying. It's been one month since the purchase confirmation and I still haven't received the book. They send weekly status of the order to my e-mail, giving the same excuse: availability.
A rule of any kind of commerce, including e-commerce, is that, to keep your customer satisfied, you have to comply with deadlines. I was a regular buyer from this online bookstore, and I will no longer be buying books from them, considering they have no conditions to supply them on time. As in Brazil importers do not pay any import taxes for books, they should have shipped it through mail (which would take around a week to get here) or even through courier (which takes around 2, 3 days), if they wanted to keep the customer. The amount they would lose with these services is far below the money they could make with a regular customer.
The notebook computer was bought in another online shop. They informed the delivery date in one business day, and I bought it on a Friday, expecting to receive it the following Monday. Saturday morning, for my surprise, it was delivered! This was so unexpectedly good that, from this day on, I have become a huge fan from this store.
2. Page Complexity.
These past few days I realised something very interesting: Most online shops pages have not got efficient search engines, what takes valuable time to get to the products you want. And after choosing it, you have got to make a long registration and follow endless processes to finally place an order.
This confirms a study I have recently read: 95% of the online buyers give up the order during the ordering process. So, what actions should be taken?
Instead of focusing your page on gorgeous graphics and animations, focus your effort in having a clean, intuitive and simple page, with a very fast purchasing process. You should also give some special attention to your search engine, to make it as accurate, simple and fast as possible. If your customer can get to any product by two or three clicks and no difficulty, you found the yellow brick road to increase your sales.
From today on, due to my lack of time, the posts will be available only in English.