Today’s e-commerce is not just an intermediate link in the process of transferring goods from a supplier to a consumer. This is a special system of relations between the seller and the buyer, according to Cisco experts, who this summer presented the results of their study of the online commerce market. Considering that online sales are growing five times faster than in physical stores, building such relationships is important not only for online companies, but also for traditional retailers.
“Leading retailers understand that fulfilling their customers’ desires is an important step in the fight against competitors,” says Mozen Moazami, vice president of IBSG, a consulting group that is part of Cisco. “Our research clearly demonstrates that thoughtful customer interactions in online interactions drive sales growth and the growth of the brick-and-mortar store. By leveraging the power of online retail, the retailer is building a more loyal customer base, and the desire of shoppers to spend more is growing.”
IBSG compared 20 websites of major US retailers and analyzed the journey a shopper takes when shopping online. The study looked at the 10 most popular shopping sites in the United States, the sites of several leading national retailers and discounters, and half a dozen major online merchants. Their work was evaluated based on five main characteristics that an ideal online store should meet: ease of use, personalization, successful content, a polished process of conducting and processing a transaction, as well as an established system of communication and interaction with the consumer. The study separately explored two aspects of e-commerce: fundamental features that a site must have unconditionally, and promising new features that may not be easy to implement, but are very important for improving the quality of service.
The leader of the final rating was, without exaggeration, a dark horse – a specialized online store Cabela’s. What helped this resource to become a leader in online customer service? The company itself gives four basic rules for its work, which allow site visitors to make purchases with pleasure.
Know your customer. Cabela’s positions itself as the world leader in the sale of fishing and hunting products, and its cabelas.com website is designed to satisfy all the desires of buyers. The store location search system allows site visitors not only to find the desired address, but also provides GPS coordinates. In addition, the site has links to local hunting, fishing and camping sites, as well as a schedule of hunting, fishing lessons and programs in a particular area.
Rule number 2:
“Perfectly execute the minimum program.” Cabelas.com recognizes the importance of properly organizing the basic elements of e-commerce. The site provides extensive search options, making it easier and faster for visitors to find the exact fishing tackle or hunting gear they need. Buyers are informed about each stage of the delivery process, and when the goods are delivered to the addressee, he receives, along with the order, a thank you letter personally signed by the store employee who packed the ordered item. Need to make a return? It’s very easy thanks to the shipping information sticker and step-by-step instructions included with the shipping documents.
Rule number 3:
“Attract buyers with interesting content.” Cabelas.com is always up to date with the latest hunting and fishing news, as well as links to government fishing and conservation websites. Before buying anything, shoppers can watch product videos, compare product descriptions, features and prices, and read performance test information. Thus, when placing an order, the visitor does not feel uncomfortable ignorance about the product and does not risk buying a “pig in a poke”.
Rule number 4:
“Create a community of buyers and serve it.” Cabelas.com connects shoppers by allowing them to share information about the products they have purchased. In addition, Cabelas.com promotes interaction between consumers through the presence of forums where consumers share their opinions and ideas about their hobby. The Frequently Asked Questions section contains answers to visitors’ questions, thereby ensuring that the information provided on the site meets the requirements of buyers.