Selling on shopping channels and online marketplaces can be a powerful way to expand your brand’s exposure – but they can also pose a challenge to ensuring the customer experience you desire.
On your own brand website, you have control over every aspect of your customer’s experience. That’s not true on marketplaces and shopping channels. That just means it’s incredibly important to focus on the elements you can control to leave a positive lasting impression.
Below are the top 3 things you can do on top shopping channels to improve customer experience with your brand.
Use “behavioral” emails.
In some form or another, many online shopping channels and marketplaces allow you to send personalized messages to people who have already purchased a product from you. How can you use this capability to improve your customers’ experience?
The formula is relatively simple, but that doesn’t mean it is easy:
1. Respond to specific actions they have taken.
For example, “We’re so happy you decided to order from us. Our worker bees are racing to get your shipment in the mail right now, so stay on the lookout!” Or haven’t taken, such as: “Hi John, Are your dogs getting hungry? You’ve been buying dog food for them once a month, but it’s been a bit longer than usual this time. If you forgot, don’t worry – we have fast shipping!”
2. Craft a personality.
People know that businesses send these types of emails. They aren’t impressed anymore to simply get an email that reflects awareness of their actions. To get their attention and associate your brand with positive feelings, make sure these types of behavioral emails aimed specifically at customers are warm, personable, and imbued with your company’s particular sensibilities.
3. Don’t abuse the ability.
Just because you can send daily emails does not mean that you should. Be targeted, be specific, and be respectful.
When you have your products on multiple shopping channels and marketplaces, it is all too easy to let the ball drop somewhere – but it can be avoided.
4. Set up a system to provide necessary order information.
Once an order ships, you want to update customers as soon as possible.
5. Set up a system to monitor messages across all of your shopping channels.
It’s likely you check and answer customer inquiries on your main website efficiently – but how often are you checking in on messages on other shopping channels? Don’t force customers to come to your site to get a question answered – take the customer service experience to them in their preferred platform. When possible, include your logo, contact information, and website in each reply to connect this purchase and positive experience with your brand.
6. Provide a robust Help or FAQ area when possible.
ot all shopping channels allow it, but it’s crucial for those that do. This allows people to solve many of their own problems as possible. Not only will this cut down on your own ongoing customer service costs, studies have shown that most people actually prefer to fix issues on their own.
Avoid retail arbitrage.
No brand owner wants someone to buy up their products and resell them to people at an inflated price. It creates a negative image of the brand itself, and may lead to customers looking for other options.
Marketplaces won’t exactly discourage this process, but there are ways to protect yourself.
7. Keep high percentage sales to a minimum.
If you sell something for more than 30% off MSRP, data says you’re more likely to encounter retail arbitrage problems. Consider that before making a sale.
8. Protect against bulk buying during sales.
A high percentage sale where it is possible to buy a large number of a specific item is like reseller heaven. Essentially, they can buy cheap and sell high, and if you have already sold most of your inventory to them, potential customers won’t have other options if they want your product. Stop this from happening by putting limitations on promo codes.
9. Create appropriate pricing documentation.
In some cases, shopping channels will assist brands in removing unauthorized resellers. But in order to get this help, you will need to create clear documentation with clauses preventing resales.
10. Maintain good brand-supplier relationships.
The best way to keep prices under control is to work closely with your distributors and wholesalers and implement an “everybody-wins” strategy that protects your brand and their profits.
Follow these tips and online shoppers will soon be brand ambassadors – and you’ll reap the rewards! What are some ways that you have found to bolster your brand on shopping channels? What doesn’t work?