Business 101: Keep the systems short and snappy
By Ben Bierman
Covid-19 has changed consumer behaviour drastically with many buying groceries, clothes and almost everything else online.
As more companies move online, businesses need to innovate to stand out and keep their online marketplace competitive and relevant.
Here are tips to consider in implementing the changes for potential customers
Online shopping is highly dependent on fast delivery. This is not negotiable. Customers need to feel that their goods will be delivered in the “wink of an eye”.
Personalised communicating is key to the success of any business. Give customers a feeling that their orders are important and update them on the delivery schedule.
Put emphasis on a subscription based model to grow your business and to forecast, plan and retain customers. Many subscription-based e-commerce businesses boomed during the lockdown. Netflix recently announced that more than 1.4 million people subscribe to their service in Africa alone. Showmax, Dish of the day, and a wide variety of cloud-based academic programmes like Udemy and Wolkskool have also seen unsurpassed growth in the past year. Ensure that your subscription based model uses a platform that supports your processes, from client signs-up to recurring billing, payment collection and reconciliation.
Online buyers do not want to pick up the phone to ask questions about the product they are about to purchase and the delivery terms. Use a live chatbot to answer common questions or self-service as a more convenient way to find out what you need to know, instead of waiting for a reply to an email or being forced to listen to elevator music while holding the phone.
The biggest objective of e-commerce is to create a safe, user-friendly, and convenient environment that speaks to the customer’s needs to give value for money in the shortest possible time. Design your platform to think like your customers. Your website or mobile application should be easy to navigate and scan, with a seamless checkout process, with an estimated time of delivery communicated upfront. Have the right processes in place like payment portals, on-demand delivery services, and easy communication channels. If customers are happy with your service and the quality of your products, they will be more likely to return and refer others to your business.
Ben Bierman is a managing director at Business Partners Limited.
*The views expressed here are not necessarily those of IOL or of title sites