E-commerce has seen rapid growth in the wake of COVID-19 with shopping behaviours experiencing significant change, but what do consumers want online and how can a business create long-term customer relationships post-pandemic.
According to eDelivery founder, Carl Popovic, there are five things that consumers want and those businesses who deliver on these will be most successful.
eDelivery is an uber style 24/7 retail delivery service that sees products delivered to customers within two hours of purchase for less than $8. When an order is placed and packed, the eDelivery system matches each order with the appropriate vehicle and crowd-sourced driver, then tracks the delivery securely and safely.
“Make no mistake, consumers are now more astute and careful with where they spend their money online than ever before. Retailers need to weaponise aspects of their business in order to survive and thrive,” Popovic said.
He outlined the five key things consumers want in a COVID and post-pandemic environment:
Consumers are becoming increasingly tech-savvy with many being left with no option other than to shop online, and in turn, they are spending more time comparing prices.
“In order to support your customers’ needs and build a successful, long term e-commerce operation, it is important you too are staying up-to-date with competitors’ prices and value propositions. More than 50% of households have less to spend. This means retailers are competing for less available spend. Pricing needs to be razor-sharp to win the business. Brand loyalty is mostly now a thing of the past,” Popovic said.
More ways to pay
On top of demanding the best price possible, consumers also expect more and better online payment options on mobile and desktop sites.
“With a sharp increase in online fraud and scams during COVID-19, shoppers need to feel safe and be able to pay using a platform they trust. Companies such as PayPal and Apple Pay are widely trusted by consumers on an international scale, enabling a frictionless checkout experience. In addition, large retailers are offering the customers the option to save their payment details for a fast and easy checkout,” Popovic said.
Reviews, reviews and reviews
Consumers need confidence in an online store in order to make a purchase – and they’re not hesitant in doing their research.
“As the online retail space expands, reviews have become not only important – they are essential. For many, independent sites are important reference tools. Reviews are a key tool in establishing credibility and confidence with customers given the rise in scams. Reviews are social proof that make your business appear more trustworthy, as well as boosting SEO rankings and extending the online conversation about your product or services,” Popovic said.
Easy return policy
To maintain a competitive edge in the e-commerce market, an easy return policy is essential.
“Customers return products for a whole range of reasons – change of mind, doesn’t fit, wrong item – so dealing with returns is unavoidable as a business. Whilst some e-commerce sites overlook their returns policies and processes, your returns strategy can become an integral part of differentiating your company. Customers are most likely to make purchases from a site that offers hassle-free, timely returns,” Popovic said.
Fast and cheap delivery
The biggest differentiator in online retail is delivery with customers wanting the fastest delivery possible, and the company that has that wins the business.
“Customers want the fastest, most reliable and the cheapest delivery with tracking capability. Speed of delivery is the new ‘compete’ weapon. Weaponise this and you’ll annihilate your competition,” Popovic said.