(recorded January 26, 2021) - 55 minutes
Listener Mail: Email from Megan in AZ: "The roadblock I've talked about with [my employer] about listing inventory to our website, is that our inventory is constantly changing. Are there suggestions or work-arounds with this problem you could shed some light on? We do so well with our custom orders for clients, that is our most profitable category. "
- Upload directly from your POS
- Manage the inventory in a spread sheet and bulk upload as a CSV
- We do not suggest virtual inventory.
Small Steps for improving your ecommerce
1. Embrace live chat
We've all moved to live chat in favor of the telephone and even sending an email. Although a local business still invites phone calls, we're all inundated with too many spam calls and we have suspicions of every call that comes in. People have become used to chatting on their phones.
According to Kayako, makers of help desk and chat software, they say that 41% of consumers prefer live chat, 32% prefer telephone, 23% prefer email, and only 3% would use social media.
Meanwhile, businesses think customers still prefer the telephone. 42% of businesses think consumers prefer phone, 35% think they prefer live chat, 14% think they prefer email, and 8% think consumers prefer social media.
With regard to social media, if you spend the time to really build your audience there and engage with them daily, you will naturally have consumers engaging with your there.
If you're not using chat on your website then you're losing a lot of potential customers. 41% is a lot to ignore.
All of the messenger apps have created a familiarity with the technology that no one is really afraid of it any more.
We use PureChat on our own website. It's cost effective for our needs.
There are many others. Podium seems to be the most popular amongst jewelers, although they are expensive because they offer a lot more than just website chat.
You can also use Facebook Messenger on your website for free. If you're looking for a simple free solution you can check that out.
Shopify has their own chat system.
Regardless what you use, the customer experience on chat leaves people wanting. Think about how you have used chat in the past. Did you feel like you were not going to get a real answer? Did you feel like you were forced to use chat because you could not get through to a telephone number? Did you get frustrated by the non personalized experience and seemingly robotic responses in the chat?
29% of customers feel that scripted responses are frustrating.
24% of consumers are frustrated by long wait times from the time they initialize the chat to the time someone replies. What can you do about this? Have the app on a phone? Make sure to set popup notifications? Hand the phone off to another employee if you are working with someone else? Have a company phone in the store that can be passed around?
95% of consumers said they would prefer slower support if they knew they were getting higher quality responses in chat. If you have to take a moment to look something up, tell them that. If you're not done after a moment, then tell them that again. You don't want a customer to feel like they are forgotten about.
2. Improve the logistics of your sales
Specifically how shipping options appear on your website. Amazon is the gold standard in how they show the day an item will arrive at your doorstep if you order within the next X hours and X minutes
This is possible on your own website, but it takes a lot of programming. Something that we're proud to have in GlitterPaw.
You should have different shipping options. Some people will prefer the Post Office, some not. Some places can only be reached by the post office. Consumers expect a free shipping option after a certain level of spending. Although Amazon Prime offers free shipping, that's really a subscription service that is paid for every year. Amazon has managed to sweeten the Prime service by also including free movies.
According to Narvar, https://corp.narvar.com/, they provide a shipping/tracking/returns platform, 41% of consumers switched their loyalty to a different brand during the pandemic because they had faster shipping options. That's greater than the 33% that said they switched because of better product selection.
3. Improve the returns policy, and create a bracketing policy
Narvar says that sizing options are important for your website. What can you do to insure the accuracy of sizing?
Bracketing is the process of buying multiple sizes of an item so the consumer can try them on at home and return the unwanted sizes.
Navar says that 62% of consumers will now bracket their purchases. 29% said they will bracket their purchases when sizing options and product descriptions are not clear.
What really interesting is that Navar saw an increase in bracketing in the luxury shoppers, where 71% were willing to bracket their purchases. Splitting out the demographics they show that 70% of those under 30 are willing to bracket, and 66% with house hold income over $100,000
What can a jeweler do to overcome this issue of potentially selling the wrong size?
• Printable sizing directions from the website? Offering free ring sizers to ship to customers. Jewelers can buy inexpensive ring sizers from Gesswein.com and FireMountainGems.com
• Make the returns process easier
• Offer base metal sample ring for the customers to look at
4. Invite feedback
Sometimes you'll never discover what you are doing right or wrong without asking.
Send an email to customers after they've had enough time to evaluate what they purchased.
You probably have heard many marketing people tell you to send emails to ask for product reviews, and Google or Facebook reviews (this is what Podium does), but there's also value in just asking the customer for honest feedback of what they thought about the entire customer journey. Ask them how to improve, what they liked or didn't like. What was frustrating. After you get their feedback, you can then give them a link to write a review.