Retail Times has teamed up with e-commerce software supplier, eSellerPro, to launch an e-surgery for online and multi-channel sellers. In the second clinic, Keith Bird, CEO at eSellerPro, tackles questions on customer service
Q: Does opening a direct channel/online channel end up simply cannibalising my own customer sales rather than growing my overall revenues? And, with the cost of the online marketing activity included in my marketing budget, are my net margins only going to reduce?
A:- No, this should not be an issue. Statistics show customers shopping across multiple channels with the same retailer end up spending up to 75% more per annum than single-channel customers, and customers that shop across all three channels with the same retailer spend an additional 120%. This is where engagement is key. The more channels offered, the greater the engagement, and the more options there are available for the customer to purchase when, where and how they want to. As well as providing a more convenient and better customer service, this is likely to increase customer loyalty, as well as additional shopping revenue opportunities.
Q: Multi-channel seems to be the new buzzword lately in retail, but what are the main benefits to my business and customers from moving to multi-channel?
A: Every customer is different and will have their own preferences as to which platforms to shop on, therefore increasing your presence across multiple platforms will attract new customers and ultimately market share. However, every platform has different characteristics, therefore retailers need to manage these differently to ensure excellent customer service across all platforms. This can be difficult and time-consuming without technological support.
Q: The internet now means consumers are able to find the lowest price quickly and easily and, especially in today’s climate, we are finding consumers are opting for the cheapest option. Therefore, it is important our business remains competitive on price – how can we do this in the easiest and most efficient way?
A: By constantly monitoring pricing trends and changes across different marketplaces, an e-commerce system, such as eSellerPro can help provide retailers with the piece of mind their stock will always be listed competitively, regardless of outlet or global region. Competitor prices can be easily viewed and managed all in one place and pricing updates made where necessary to ensure retailers are never falling behind the competition.
Q: Many companies are moving towards m-commerce, but I am yet to see the benefits of doing so for my business. Will any additional revenue gained from developing a separate m-commerce strategy, and will it really be worth the investment?
A: Every retailer that has a multi-channel strategy in place should also be embracing m-commerce. Businesses should see mobile websites as an extension of their existing site and it is important these are optimised to allow a smooth, intuitive user experience. Brands need to invest in m-commerce, even if ROI isn’t there in the short term. If they don’t consider it now, they run the risk of being left behind against competitors that do.