eDesk logo

Here’s Why an eCommerce Helpdesk is Vital For Your Business

May 18, 2021 5 min read

Share this article

eCommerce businesses live and die by Transaction Intelligence, the data they hold on the customer’s path to purchase. Using helpdesk software like eDesk is a powerful, secure and streamlined way to translate that data into action.

Are you still on the fence about investing in eCommerce helpdesk software for your business? Consider the following, it might just turn out to be the most important Transaction Intelligence tool in your arsenal.

What is eCommerce helpdesk software?

What do we mean when we talk about a helpdesk for eCommerce? In short, it’s a digital dashboard which collects all of your interactions with customers and puts them in one clear place.

It helps teams collaborate by standardizing the way they communicate. It helps managers track performance by collecting data on customer service metrics. And it helps you as a business owner analyze trends and spot opportunities, backed by evidence.

A good eCommerce helpdesk will be specialized to tackle the nature of your industry and the unique needs of your business. But how do those customized features contribute to your business goals?

Feature Focus: Smart Inbox

Traditional retail is falling behind

Let’s look at the big picture first. Helpdesk software for eCommerce is geared towards digital-first or digital-only businesses. If the bulk of your sales are still coming from bricks-and-mortar retail outlets, consider how much longer this is going to be the case.

In 2009, eCommerce accounted for 5.6% of the US retail market. In 2019 that figure was 15.8%. In 2020 it was 21.3% (for reasons we’ll get to soon). The ability to gather and leverage data to improve business outcomes is simply greater in the digital space than it is in the physical.

For businesses like yours, helpdesks are an easy, efficient route to accessing that data power and enjoying the same advantage. They help you compete against much larger incumbents with their own market research departments.

The resilience of eCommerce makes helpdesks particularly wise long-term investments. After all, something might happen to force your business to go fully online.

The Covid-19 effect

The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic pushed eCommerce to new heights. Some industries saw modest gains over traditional retail, others enjoyed enormous surges.

From a customer service perspective, it was (and still is) a time to offer assurance and confidence to consumers. A consistent customer service experience helped newer eCommerce businesses win their share of the tide of new trade. In the UK, 46% of people bought something online that they’d only bought in a store before.

Helpdesks are a cornerstone of providing that great experience and building a more robust business.

Smart Inbox

Focus on the whole customer journey

So, given that customer service is the bedrock of eCommerce success, how do helpdesks let you nurture that experience? In practice, interaction with buyers can begin at any number of points before a sale is made. Pre-sale customer service is a vital step in the process where you answer questions to put the customer’s mind at ease.

The right eCommerce helpdesk will let you track all your interactions with a customer. From initial enquiries through to returns and replacements, your customer service team can step into the conversation at any point and know what’s going on.

Feedback is more visible than ever

Social media lets anyone share their thoughts, good and bad, about the companies they buy from. Women tell an average of 10 people when they’ve had a bad experience, men tell 21. Given that it takes an average of 12 positive experiences to make up for one bad one, you need to get it right the first time.

Consider what we’ve discussed so far. More people than ever are turning to eCommerce, meaning more customers. That translates to more opportunities to provide a good experience and get positive feedback out there… or more chances to drop the ball.

A helpdesk is going to let you handle both the influx of new customers and provide quality interactions to each one.

Your competition is already using helpdesks

Before we move on from talking about the wider context surrounding eCommerce, we’ve got to talk about the competition. If you’re not investing in tools to help navigate the environment, they definitely are.

Without a helpdesk, think of the time you spend crunching through spreadsheets to analyze data and chasing emails from multiple sources. That’s time other businesses are spending putting insights into action.

It’s possible you could save money by not using an eCommerce helpdesk and still provide a decent customer experience. But that approach isn’t going to scale or prepare you for developments within the industry.

eDesk Helpdesk

eCommerce is becoming more complex

Even within its own internal universe, eCommerce gives you a lot to keep track of. A helpdesk provides the Transaction Intelligence to spot emerging trends and adjust your strategy proactively.

Without one, you’ll struggle to navigate a fast-changing industry. You’ll lose out on fast access to analytics and reporting, remaining one step behind evolving customer behaviors.

More channels, more opportunities

Helpdesks for eCommerce businesses make it easy to sell on multiple channels, which is becoming more and more important. From the perspective of your customer service team, it doesn’t matter much whether you sell on two channels or eight when they’ve got one clear dashboard for all customer interactions.

Scaling, always a priority for eCommerce businesses, becomes easier when you can add (or even drop) a channel without disrupting your team’s workflow.

Time is of the essence

No matter how many customers you have, each expects to be treated like the only one. As business picks up, eCommerce helpdesks give you all sorts of features which can add up to save huge amounts of time.

Saving responses to common questions as templates, coupled with AI assistance, put time back on the side of your team. They save time answering everyday inquiries, which frees them up to apply their knowledge to more complex ones.

Selling worldwide has never been easier

As our world becomes ever more interconnected, old barriers to trade begin to disappear. It’s now very straightforward to start selling in new countries. This opens you up to whole new markets of potentially millions of customers overnight.

eCommerce helpdesks offer auto-translation options for customer emails, as well as a host of little features which make a big difference. Does selling across time zones place different demands on your team’s working hours? With a helpdesk, you can find things like that out easily.

Final thoughts

Investing in an eCommerce helpdesk like eDesk gives your business the edge in Transaction Intelligence. It unlocks the potential in your team to go above and beyond, delivering the kind of experiences that turn customers into vocal advocates.

As the future of eCommerce begins to look more complex, and more lucrative, the real question is whether you can afford not to invest in a helpdesk?

Looking for more great content like this one? We’ve curated a list of related resources for you down below