Today’s post comes courtesy of Jack Harding of e-commerce platform Wish.co.uk
E-commerce – the buying and selling of products and services over the Internet – has enjoyed a huge surge in popularity during the last decade. More people than ever before are taking to the World Wide Web to buy everything from groceries to gifts.
The More Things Change, The More They Stay the Same
Despite the fact that commerce has shifted from bricks-and-mortar stores into the digital online world of e-commerce sites, consumers’ basic needs and desires have not changed. People still expect to be treated as valued customers and have their consumer rights respected. They still seek out bargains and remain loyal to brands that they perceive to offer good value for money.
In addition, many consumers regard shopping from their laptop as just as much of a leisure activity as visiting the mall on a Saturday used to be. They are drawn to sites that offer a fun and enjoyable browsing and purchasing experience.
Common E-Commerce Pitfalls to Steer Clear Of
The mistake that many online retailers make is to forget that the service they provide must put the customers’ needs first. The lack of face-to-face interaction in online marketing and selling means that it is easy to ignore disgruntled customers and fail to connect with one’s potential market. Online shoppers want to use e-commerce sites that offer a pleasant shopping experience, not just good deals, and quickly become put off by sites that are frustratingly slow or simply not user-friendly. The diversity of retail opportunities on the Internet means that entry into the world of e-commerce is easy for new retailers, but also means that it is easy for customers to go elsewhere if they do not like the service that a particular site offers them.
One site that has attracted particularly heavy criticism during recent years is the notorious discount site Groupon. Groupon offers its customers the opportunity to bag some truly incredibly bargains, but in spite of this attraction it has fallen out of favor in the eyes of many of its customers. Some of the deals offered by Groupon turned out to be less good than customers expected, which damaged the company’s reputation.
Groupon’s business model is to list a small range of product options that are heavily discounted, but only for a short period of time. The idea behind this approach is that the time limit will pressure customers into buying, but it often leads to customers feeling frustrated when they learn that they have missed out on a good deal. Fostering these disgruntled feelings surely cannot be good for the business in the long run.
Back to Basics With Wish.co.uk
Wish.co.uk is a modern, exciting company that sells vouchers for activities as diverse as jet pack sessions, tank driving, and riot training; it even gives customers the chance to play their very own part in a zombie apocalypse. These fun experience days are quirky and unusual, but the company is very traditional in its approach to customer service. Instead of a small range of heavily discounted products that change every week, Wish.co.uk has built an attractive website to promote a larger range of high-quality experience days that are sold at consistently low prices.
Because Wish.co.uk focuses heavily on the gift market, encouraging people to purchase experience day vouchers for their friends and family members, presentation matters. While other experience day retailers require customers to print out a voucher and wrap it themselves, Wish.co.uk sends a packaged ticket that is ready to be presented as a gift. Free delivery and superior customer service (Wish.co.uk provides a live chat service on the website for shoppers to ask questions) are some of the reasons why this e-commerce start-up is enjoying such great success. [Editor's note: Please note that views of the author are their own and we do not necessarily endorse personal recommendations of the author]
Put the Customer First
No matter how much the world of retail changes, the principle of putting the customer first will always apply. By following the example of Wish.co.uk and providing an enjoyable shopping experience backed up by excellent customer support, e-commerce businesses can ensure their own path to success.
About the Author
Jack Harding has been running his own e-commerce business for almost a decade now with great success. In his free time, he likes to write about the world of ecommerce in order to help other business owners succeed online. Visit Wish.co.uk to see how their e-commerce platform works.