As the masses are quickly moving towards online shopping, it is becoming even more difficult to sustain the competition and keeping up with the ever growing customer needs is becoming next to impossible.
Some may feel that the customers are becoming too demanding with the rise of the internet but if we have a look at it from the customers point of view, all they need is good customer service, reliability & trust, decent pricing and / or discounts, less time consumption, ease of payment & delivery process and to be honest its quite fair to ask for these things.
And if we look at the broader picture, all that is happening is the internet industry is becoming more organized more sophisticated, more legit & most importantly more customer-centric; which in actuality should be the primary factors of any business. Now isn’t that good for everyone?
Here is a list of some of most important requirements of the customers that shall help you better understand your customers and will lead to a successful business model!
- Quick Search
When we say quick search we don’t just mean creating a website with a few basic details, you need a lot more to get customer response. It is more like creating a virtual setup for your business with more crisp details along with up to date social media accounts.
Now the best thing with having online presence is that the internet never sleeps and you never know which customer might order or check you out at what time! Unlike a physical store, you don’t have that many costs plus you don’t have that many restrictions too, so your store can stay open 24/7 with bare minimal costs of maintenance.
And the fact remains that having an online presence is becoming extremely important too! As per reports from Google, ninety-seven percent consumers search for local businesses on the internet. To add-on to that, seventy-three percent of the mobile searches generate additional action and conversion whereas fifty-five percent of the purchases happen within one hour of the initial search.
- Quick Connect
Now when it comes to providing good customer service, speed is your best friend which will provide you the competitive edge and the consumer would not mind paying extra for that too! It is very clear that whatever the customer wants, they want it fast and now! Now some would think, how did the customers become so impatient? Well, it has happened over the years in an attempt to cut the competition, many online portals and sites came up with options like online chat, FAQ’s, same day or next day delivery, etc and hence, now be it sales or service or support customers want it instantly. They seriously don’t even mind paying extra for it too.
Did you know?
68% of the customers consider for another option due to poor and slow customer service, 41% of the customers look forward to a reply within six hours and most importantly a mere 5% growth in your customer retention can increase your business by approximately 125%.
- Quick View
Literally, in today’s world no one has the time to listen or read everything. Now in such a situation whatever you have to say “you gotta be quick & quirky!” This is where quick view also known as quick look is the best solution! It lets the visitors have a quick look at the details of the product – its picture, price, main features, etc! The benefit of having a quick view feature is that it changes a multi-step process to a simple and quick one.
And it shouldn’t be of worry to the sellers because even though they are not taking a complete view of the product, they are definitely and equally engaged to it and as a matter of fact, by FY14 the transaction through e-commerce is expected to cross 1-trillion dollars, which itself proves the same.
- Quick Payment
When someone shops online, they expect a quick payment process and frankly if the process is slow then doubts start to enter their mind leading to abandoning of the purchase. And the more consumers are buying products, the more frustrating it is becoming for them to go through the same payment process, over-&-over again.
Now many new options such as payments through credit & debit cards, online banking, PayPal, etc. are coming up to ease this process. Cash on delivery and e-Wallets remain the customer favorite. As a matter of fact, Apple Pay has initiated a new option wherein a payment can be made through just one step of Touch ID fingerprint confirmation.
- Quick Delivery
In a survey done by UPS and ComScore amongst more than three thousand consumers; Shipments arriving on time and easy return policy were one of the most important factors driving the customers to purchasing it. In that survey, 41% of the consumers said that they received the shipment on time and proactive communication regarding delivery time led them to recommend the retailer to their friends.
For Sixty percent of them, an approximate or confirmed delivery date was of utmost importance. According to their report 48% of the customers are not comfortable waiting for more than 5 days and tend to abandon that purchase.
According to a separate survey done by Toluna survey tool, a massive 50% customers leave the sale at the point when they are dissatisfied with the delivery options that are provided along with that a fixed-date was the most popular choice amongst thirty-one percent consumers whereas twenty-four percent consumers opted for next day delivery.
Thus, going by the figures mentioned above we don’t have to say much as to how important quick delivery is.
- Quick Refund
When we say a quick refund it does not mean that every customer would want to return their product. But just like the retailers are worried that they may loose on the sale similarly the consumers are often worried about the product not meeting their expectations too.
A lenient and easy to understand refund policy helps in referrals and retention of the customers. The retailers must understand that almost 40% of the users abandon the sale only because of the unsecure pricing and by offering a lenient and easy-to-understand refund policy you get an edge over your competitor by gaining a loyal customer.
- Quick App
For those who do not know, 80% of the customers make use of their cell phones to research about their shopping items. Hence, it is of utmost importance to have a mobile presence as well. This makes it a thing of utmost importance that online, as well as offline service providers pay required attention on getting a well built app available for customers to access via iTunes, Google Play and other App stores. After all an amount of USD 5-billion spent on purchase through mobile phones is not less enough to leave a share from.
All-in-All, the more customers are becoming tech-savvy, the more it is becoming important for the retailers to keep up with the technology. This need to keep up with the pace is also becoming one of the major reasons behind innovations, establishment of more businesses and a greater number of failing startups.
Here are the stories of 8 Indians who believed that they had something unique to sell, something great to achieve, and go from inspired to inspiring. How did they crack Digital India?
Armed with self-conviction and the yearning to do something great, Aarti Goel went past societal opposition to follow her passion. She knew that she had the talent and desire to do more than being a good home maker. Starting off in the by lanes of Chandni Chowk, Aarti is now the owner of a thriving business today. An inspiration to every housewife, her mantra to success was to pursue her passion without bowing down to anyone’s expectations. She made firm decisions after another, never slowing down. On having crafted her own identity, she says, “I was somebody’s mom, somebody’s daughter, somebody’s wife, now, I am what I am.”
Result: Aarti is now a multi-platform online seller on Snapdeal, she also owns a designer home furnishing brand which offers products like cushions, cups, and laptop skins, with a run rate of over 800 units per day.
A testament to human ambition and innovation, Gaurav Goel wanted to take his successful Kolkata-based multi-branch electronics business online. He realised that true potential in expanding his business lied in bringing his product offering online. However, he had no prior knowledge of the e-commerce space. With the help of Snapdeal Advisors, who guided him with the fundamentals and nuances alike of online selling, he realised that not only was he able to easily navigate the online space, he could actually utilise that space to take his business to a whole new high! Gaurav’s advice for his fellow sellers is that people should be open minded to change and embrace online selling with open arms.
Result: From being unsure about how exactly e-commerce works, Gaurav now confidently heads an entire team that manages his online business. According to Gaurav, his online business has grown by 100% in one year!
Hailing from a family of saree manufacturers, Balaji was a successful IT professional. He was well aware that selling sarees online would be a mammoth task since women like to explore numerous options before choosing a favourite. That’s when stepping on to Snapdeal sounded like the best direction to give to his offline business. Balaji was introduced to professional photographers who helped him make the transition to the web seamless. They also guided him about creating product catalogues and capturing aesthetically attractive product shots which would any day be more likely to catch interest of a customer. Today, he credits his success not only to good cataloguing but also to the great support he got from Snapdeal Advisors throughout the transition.
Result: Balaji’s operations have grown multi-fold and today he has a team of four aiding him in pushing online sales. Now, Balaji comes out with a new catalogue every 3 months, keeping in mind upcoming trends which are recommended by Snapdeal as well. He has also extended his product line to include kids wear.
Rajkot’s Golden Boy, Darshan always knew that the way to have an edge over the others would be by create novel & innovative products from scratch. A school drop-out and self-taught Design expert, he researched extensively and created new designs himself, inspired by upcoming trends. Snapdeal’s seller rating system allowed him to focus on quality and creativity to be rewarded by grateful customers who loved his product. He firmly believes that the only way to success is through constant innovation and ensuring highest quality.
Result: After joining Snapdeal, Darshan’s turnover doubled within a year. He never faces delays with respect to payment cycles. He brings out 15 odd products every three months and has plans to increase the count further.
Many sellers experience unprecedented growth on e-commerce portals. However, they sometimes struggle to expand their business beyond a certain extent, owing to the lack of capital required for investment. Pravidhi however, was able to grow her business multi-fold with the help of Snapdeal’s Capital Assist program, which provides business loans at low interest rates, minus collateral. Pravidhi Lakhotia sums it up in four words, saying, “There is no limit!”
Result: Since joining Snapdeal in 2012, Pravidhi has grown her business consistently year-on-year. She has also expanded her product line to include a wide range of offerings. Today, she aspires to take her business to unprecedented heights and is hopeful that Snapdeal’s growing strength will help her achieve the same.
V S Chandira Kumar
V S Chandira Kumar was a pioneer when it came to exploring new technologies and channels. His core strength was that he had a grip on the pulse of online selling. He started adding as many as 10 a week to ensure his customers got the best choices from him first. He says, “It is critical to know what users are buying and what they don’t like. This will help you differentiate yourself from the competition.”
Result:Today, Chandira has set up an independent 32-member team only dedicated towards online selling. He introduced processes (and necessary software interventions) to make the best of selling on Snapdeal. He also adds products frequently to set himself apart from competitors.
Ramanuja Chary advises sellers to remember that “Customer is King” and that they only deserve the best. He believes customers should always be given a wide range of high quality products, at the right prices. Once his electronics business started picking up pace on Snapdeal, he invested money in more stocks and expanded his brand portfolio from 5 brands to 8 brands, all the while maintaining the highest possible level of quality.
Result:His online business turnover doubled over one year and now, Ramanuja is working with more brands than he initially was. The sheer quantum of customer orders made Ramanuja to increase his warehousing space over a year of online operations.
For Anshu Aggarwal of Ajmer, the dream of doing something of her own was always one worth pursuing. Anshu always focused on ensuring that each of her products was unique. When she started selling on Snapdeal, she faced a lot of flak from numerous naysayers, but the overnight success that came her way was enough to help her sail through, undeterred.
Result:Anshu joined Snapdeal in 2013, and currently has more than 100 designs on the site. She now owns her own warehousing space and is greatly encouraged by the responses she has received from customers.
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