- Takeaway 1. The shift to digital in 2020 has led to a $400B eCommerce logjam, with 1 in 6 online purchases generating a customer support ticket compared to 1 in 8 in 2019.
- Takeaway 2. Consumer expectations have led many eCommerce sellers to proactively adopt purpose-built tools to ensure the exceptional customer service that fosters customer loyalty.
- Takeaway 3. eCommerce retailers are embracing AI to make informed decisions about business operations and maintain share of wallet in uncertain market climates.
The internet has transformed how we shop, with lower prices, more choice and almost unlimited availability, all from the convenience of our homes and our phones. But the challenges of 2020 have forced changes upon the eCommerce community that have been embraced by both buyers and vendors at a speed which technologists could not have predicted.
Necessity has changed the way we shop and driven new customers online – regular shoppers are comfortably buying more, while those less experienced online are broadening their horizons and buying in categories they would otherwise have visited bricks and mortar stores for.
IBM reports that the eCommerce industry has seen the same amount of revenues achieved in 2020 as in the previous five years combined.
The shift to digital in 2020 has enabled many eCommerce retailers to expand their share of a market valued at $2.5 trillion in 2021 by Statista. This shift to online and boom in eCommerce has been accompanied by a surge in customer enquiries, with 1 in 6 purchases generating an eDesk customer support ticket compared to 1 in 8 in 2019.
Globally, this is leading to a logjam with $400 billion worth of goods on which customers need help. For all the ease and convenience of buying online, this is the Achilles heel of eCommerce.
Just as brick and mortar-based retail survivors like Marks and Spencer, KaDeWe and Macy’s earned their places in the hearts of their loyal customers with customer-centric service, so too must the brands of today’s digital marketplaces.
“…keeping customers sticky is crucial in such a competitive market. Statistics reveal that 56% of customers feel more loyal to brands who understand their needs and expectations… Providing customers with detailed information to meet their every command and query will ensure a new type of customer loyalty…” David Grimes, CEO, Sorted
Part of the eCommerce learning curve has been to appreciate the important role helpdesk agents take in maintaining a positive brand reputation. Overcoming this Achilles heel of eCommerce and meeting the high expectations of an evolving, mobile audience has led many eCommerce sellers to re-evaluate the reactive way they have been managing their customers’ experiences with existing resources and instead take a proactive approach, adopting purpose-built tools and cloud-based technologies to deliver exceptional customer service and foster loyalty.
Sellers are enabling their teams with tools that allow them to perform smarter, not harder, centralising customer and product information from multiple channels into real time dashboard views so that they can consistently work in a collaborative fashion and always have the information they need to assist customers at their fingertips.
Advancements in Artificial Intelligence (AI) are anticipating global shoppers’ needs, streamlining workflows and automating replies and translations, helping support operatives to stay organised and focussed on delivering customer satisfaction.
Retailers are also using AI to gain a clear overview of how their eCommerce channels and customer support teams are performing, gain better understanding of usage patterns and allow business stakeholders to make informed decisions about products and business operations.
“A satisfied customer is the best business strategy of all.” Michael LeBoeuf, Author of How to Win Customers and Keep Them for Life
Being available and effective is only part of the battle. Reviews matter hugely online, and the people most likely to give bad reviews are those getting bad service. Most people who have an issue ask for help first – but fail to help them and your brand will get bad reviews.
As eCommerce marketplace search results increasingly prioritise sellers with glowing customer references over competitors with a reputation for not giving great service, sellers are investing in automated, proactive measures to avoid the damage poorly perceived customer service can do to a brand’s reputation. By capturing the Voice of the Customer (VoC) and using sentiment analysis to identify satisfied customers, digital sellers can encourage positive feedback to ensure eCommerce algorithms work in their favour.
The richness of transaction data enables enormous innovation in the way that retailers can understand and manage their businesses. At eDesk, we envisage a world in which customer issues are preempted and their queries answered even quicker, ensuring their delight and enabling retailers to dedicate more time to creating and selling products.
As consumers embrace online services like never before, digitally forward retailers are doing the same, consolidating all their customer enquiries into one place and streamlining their support to ensure the loyalty fundamental to maintaining share of wallet in uncertain market climates.
At eDesk, we want to remove the eCommerce logjam from the tail-end of the shopping experience and make online sales as smooth as possible. eCommerce brands can learn how to overcome the challenges associated with unprecedented growth by optimising digital experiences to turn adversity into advantage.