Orders: Points of E-Commerce Interest
: Address Order Management Right Now :
Consumers (online shoppers) will see rather important shifts in the Internet retail landscape happening in the coming years, and merchants will need to be prepared. But prepared for what? What experience is it that buyers are looking for? Well, the "perfect" order management experience, of course!
Every Internet retailer (even those online sellers providing non-physical goods) should address, monitor and optimize order management. Improvements to the entire virtual ordering process can result in significant and dramatic improvement to the bottom line. If the aim is to ensure customer satisfaction and optimize after-sale care, there is no better way than for merchants to focus on end-to-end order management capabilities, as it is the fastest and arguably best way to move the digital needle in the right direction.
Let the following ideas act as inspiration when developing a new e-commerce presence or recreating the one you have. There are two ways to do this, from creating customer-centric order policies to getting better (much better) at communicating.
The Policy Approach: The first way to optimize the order management process is simply to make it better for the user, weighting it in the online shoppers favor. If improving the "experience" (using internal business policies set forth by management) is more appealing to your enterprise, there are several options to consider such as the use of extended return periods, online order tracking, in-store pickup or providing complimentary shipping returns. Keep in mind that making policy changes to improve order management requires careful business analysis to determine long-term impact.
The Communication Approach: Another approach merchants can take, if making policy changes are out of the question, is to optimize the communication experience. Providing customer service and support in whatever channel your audience is using - from the Web, to phone, email and even social - is the perfect start. Emails remain the most traditional means by which you can make a good impression and reduce order management headaches. In the least, merchants should provide order confirmation emails and an email that confirms products were shipped. Take it a step further by following up these emails with another that requests either a review of the product they've purchased or offering a discount on a future purchase. For those Internet retailers will an audience that trends younger in age, the use of text updates (of the same information) should also be a consideration.