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In a competitive e-commerce space, it takes more than a previous purchase for a customer to remain loyal to your brand. More products, price points and shopping experiences exist than ever. As a result, consumer preferences shape the market.
Today’s consumers want a simple, secure, pleasant shopping experience. And when something goes wrong, they want it to be addressed quickly. Anything that falls short means the customer probably won’t return.
Already using one of the best e-commerce website builders to create your store? Experiment with the host of different free and paid apps that can enhance your store experience. Here are the five best customer support apps on Shopify.
Facebook Chat by Beeketing
Online consumers are more open to interacting via the internet than having a phone conversation. The Facebook Chat app gives stores the ability to live chat with customers via Messenger right from the Shopify store platform. The app itself installs with no coding and requires minimal resources to run. Customize your chat settings, such as color and chat icon, to raise brand awareness with customers and move them from conversation to purchase. The developer, Beeketing, offers several other apps to grow a store’s customer base.
Zendesk is one of the premier customer support software companies, so it’s no surprise their Shopify app is so popular. Zendesk gives Shopify stores a widget to display on every store page that helps customers get in touch with support directly. The support platform itself makes customer interaction easier, as support team members have clear, customized visibility to relevant customer data. If you’ve yet to implement a successful customer support tool, a tried-and-true solution like Zendesk is bound to fill your need.
30-day free trial
AfterShip Returns Center
E-commerce return rates can exceed 30 percent depending on the product. Even slight mismanagement of the reverse logistics process can mean considerable profit margin loss. AfterShip gives e-commerce stores a branded page to streamline self-service returns and facilitate notifications to customers.
Using an app like AfterShip gives your store credibility and can help impress customers with your return experience, which makes them more likely to buy from you in the future. AfterShip offers language switching, zones and routing rules to be set, as well as the option to export return data to CSV.
5 returns = Free
20 returns = $9/mo
100 returns = $29/mo
Easy Contact Form
To become a prosperous e-commerce merchant, you must gain trust and be transparent with customers. One essential portal that always should be left open is a way for customers to get in touch at any time of day. The Easy Contact Form app isn’t just one tool, but a bundle of over 25 free and paid marketing tools. Integrate social buttons to boost your follower count, integrate custom slide boxes to promote a sale or develop a straightforward ‘Contact Us’ page with a custom background image. ‘Easy’ lives up its name by integrating your social accounts and mailing service to ensure the contacts you collect end up in your marketing touchpoints.
Free tools available
14-day Free Trial for premium tools
If every visitor who added something to a cart or a list ended up purchasing, your e-commerce store would grow like wild roses. But this isn’t reality. The internet can steal shoppers’ attention pretty quickly. And once they leave, there’s no guarantee they’re coming back. That’s where Wishlist Plus offers stores a lot of value. Wishlist+ integrates with any Shopify store theme and offers numerous API customization options to better blend into your shopping experience. Include an ‘add to Wishlist’ button on your site to capture insightful data about your customers, which can then be used to send re-engagement emails and win customers back.
100 wishlist items per/mo = Free
1,000 wishlist items per/mo = $9.99/mo
10,000 wishlist items per/mo = $29.99/mo
50,000 wishlist items per/mo = $59.99/mo
You can’t depend on new customers to fuel your store’s growth. The way to make long-term strides is to build your repeat-customer base. But the only way to do that is to provide stellar experiences. Start with one or more of the five best customer support apps on Shopify when shoring up your store’s customer service, returns process and opportunities for re-engagement.
Shopping is never-ending. You buy something, and yet you wait to buy more. But the best part of shopping is when you get to buy things at lower prices and tend to save some right amount.
Online shopping has become a significant venue for more customers inclined towards it than retail shopping. With more shopping portals covering every need, it’s like you don’t even need to step out.
What all can you buy online?
Practically,everything! Yes, online shopping now offers everything at affordable rates. From apparel to accessories, daily food items to ordering food online, electronics to gadgets; you name it, and you get it.
But one thing that has grabbed my attention while shopping online are some sleep products. You can get these products at really affordable rates. The idea that attracted me more towards these sleep products wasn’t their price, but the ease in selecting the best fit product.
Wherever you go to the market to buy mattresses or other sleep products, finding the best product from so many varieties and brands is the real challenge.
While buying online, you get to view each such variety with its detailed description. This allows making a better-informed choice with ease. Such comfort is not available in the retail market.
Image source Flickr
Guide to buy things at less price
So, now the real thing. How to buy efficiently using the online portal and save money. Well, here I will provide you tips and tricks that you can use to shop online and at best price.
- Compare and buy: now this is critical to understand. Just like you shop to shop, from market to market to inquire about price and then buy, likewise, it is imperative to compare the prices of a product on every portal for the best price. Now you will think how it’s different then. Well, buying online means you don’t have to go out from shop to shop physically, it saves you time, effort and money and helps you obtain at less price.
- Use coupons: there are shopping portals that give you coupons to buy products from their website. While there are sites that provide exclusive coupons that you can redeem for getting things at less price or get a particular benefit.
- Wait for deals and offers: every site has sometime in the month when it gives products on sale. Such sale gives from 20%-80% discounted products. You can take advantage of such deals to buy things at low prices.
- Varieties and brands: the primary benefit of buying online is you get hundreds of names and thousands of types of product to compare and sort the best one for you.
- Referrals: most of the sites now provide you cash points as the reward for referring to friends or family. You can refer and earn such points to redeem them for a cash discount on your purchases. There are points that you receive when your referral also makes purchases from that website.
- End of season sale: The season’s sale time is the best time to buy products you want at very less price. Like season end for winters or summers. You can also avail festive offers on thousands of products as well.
Well, I suppose emergence of e-commerce has opened new ventures for smooth and effortless shopping. You tend to save money all along the way. Like you don’t have to go out, and products are shipped to your location, so it saves your transportation cost, along with other product discounts.
One thing that e-commerce has given to every customer is access to products from different countries without the limitations of geographical boundaries. Access to international market and international products without having to go anywhere is something that has attracted buyers and sellers alike.
Buying for less is not a game or easy thing. You need to be aware of your surroundings and what is being offered to you. In such a case the portals become a natural source of such information. You get latest trends, fashion, and most recent technology, all in one place. And want all you need to get these, well a good internet connection and download shopping apps. Simple, hassle-free and effortless!
Online retail sales have experienced a massive boom in the last few years especially, exceeding £130 billion in the UK in 2016. It is a highly lucrative market with plenty of opportunities for growth, though one that is seemingly dominated by the big names such as Amazon, eBay and more. Any ecommerce website hoping to challenge them or prosper in their own niche needs to avoid the following mistakes.
Image source Flickr
- Slack Security
Problem: Having a secure website is of upmost importance for any ecommerce business. There are two main areas at risk with a security breach; the finances of the business and sensitive data. Information about customers, clients and employees can be accessed if slack security is in place, losing customer confidence and creating a risky environment.
Solution: To best avoid the chances of a network or application attack, Nettitude penetration testing can reduce the risk. This identifies vulnerabilities and provides context around them, so that your ecommerce business can fix any such problems. This means you should have the best security measures in place to prevent any such security breach.
- Poor Presentation
Problem: If an ecommerce site is hard to navigate then it will instantly put off potential customers. Likewise, poor presentation in terms of the layout of text, images and buy buttons will do the same. Small or no product descriptions and poor quality images further add to the problem.
Solution: Look at the competition and see what they are doing well. Think about what you like when you go to buy something online, what makes it an easy process and draws you in to buy products. This could be having plenty of images, descriptive product descriptions and an easy to understand layout.
- Lack of Marketing
Problem: Nobody’s visiting your ecommerce website! This really is a problem, as you need customers to make sales and keep the business ticking over. One of the main reasons for this could be a lack of marketing for your ecommerce business, as potential customers may not be aware of it.
Solution: There are many proven ecommerce marketing strategies, from digital marketing to Google Ads. Some of the simple tasks to improve your online marketing and presence are to create and utilise social media accounts, implement an SEO plan and more.
Avoid these three mistakes and use the solutions to ensure your ecommerce business prospers.
The basic law of economics is supply and demand. When supplies are high and demand is low, so are prices. When supplies are low and demand is high, the price is too. With today’s algorithms it is now possible to determine the nature of the demand for a given item, as well as the potential supply, and set your pricing accordingly. This concept is known as demand pricing.
So, is dynamic pricing right for your ecommerce enterprise?
If you have a product everybody wants and they really can’t get it anywhere else, you can pretty much set your own price. Airlines routinely employ this strategy, which is why two passengers can be sitting side by side in a plane having paid two wildly different fares for their seats. In some cases, depending upon when they bought the ticket, a person enduring the indignities of a middle seat in coach can actually have paid more than someone blissfully sipping champagne in First Class on the exact same flight.
When you’re considering how to create an ecommerce site, dynamic pricing is one of the functionalities you’ll likely want to include. Highly successful retailers like Amazon and WalMart use it. In fact, Amazon’s prices fluctuate approximately every 10 minutes, while WalMart’s change some 50,000 times a month. In so doing, both companies have grown their sales by some 27 percent per annum.
The most commonly employed dynamic pricing strategies include:
While utility companies in particular are known for this, peak pricing can also be employed to take advantage of cultural shifts and events. Merchants can surf demand fluctuations, instituting higher prices when demand is up and lowering prices when demand wanes—or when their competitors have low inventory and raise their prices. When the Cubs won the World Series, demand for Cub-oriented merchandise was high. As the public’s attention shifted, Cubs gear became less popular. Retailers employing peak pricing strategies around these items lowered prices to clear out excess merchandise.
When an item is about to be superseded by a newer one, time-based pricing can be used to get rid of it. This is why the best time to buy a new car is at the end of its model year. When those shiny new 2018s roll out, the 2017s are suddenly less attractive. To get them to move, automakers will slap incentives on them to give consumers a reason to turn their heads away from the 2018s just long enough to clear the remaining stock of 2017s. This strategy can be employed by ecommerce merchants to, say, clear out last year’s flat-screens to make room for the new and improved models coming in this year.
Got an all-new product for which demand has yet to be established? This is good time to employ a penetration pricing strategy to reward early adopters willing to give it a try. Once they’ve bought into it enough to create a buzz, you can then raise the price to whatever level the market will support. Executed well, this strategy can serve to undercut your competition and increase your market share.
Chief among the many advantages of dynamic pricing is the flexibility it gives you in terms of your pricing structure, while simultaneously allowing you to maintain control of the value of a brand. You can set a floor below which the price will never fall. This way, if you have a good with a certain cachet attached to its pricing you can still offer shoppers a deal without cheapening the product. Dynamic pricing also ensures competitors don’t undercut you. All in all, it’s a good way to go. You just have to make sure your platform will support implementation of the strategy.
You’ve decided to sell online. Congratulations. Ecommerce offers opportunities that were previously not available to entrepreneurs. However, competition for online customers is as fierce with more options available to consumers than ever before.
Ensuring that you’re able to meet your customers’ needs and requirements is paramount to standing out from your many competitors and growing your online presence. The platform you choose will play a major role in this, thus the enterprise ecommerce platform-comparison process should not be taken lightly.
Ecommerce has come a long way to meet consumer needs. As consumer needs have changed so have functionality and features of ecommerce websites. For example, you won’t find any successful ecommerce website today that’s not optimized for mobile.
So consider the following when choosing the right platform for your online business.
1. The costs
As a business owner, money will always play an important role in the decisions you make. Make sure you not only go for a platform that you can afford, but one that offers the features you need to grow. What does the pricing structure look like? What are the hosting fees, transaction fees and payment card fees? These small fees may seem inconsequential, but they add up. Shop around and compare what each platform is offering in their pricing structure and then align that to your specific website needs.
2. Setup speed
How long will it take you to go live and start making money? Some ecommerce platforms will have your store up and running in a matter of a few hours. Others may require several months to deploy your website. Development time should be considered as it determines how soon you can begin making money.
3. Level of skill required to administer website
What level of skill do you have and what level is required to administer and manage the website once it is live? If you’re not familiar with web development, choose a platform that is straightforward and easy to use. You will want to spend as little time as possible learning about features and functions in order to manage your website.
4. Speed and scalability
Speed is vital for conversions. Estimations by Fast Company show that a decrease in Amazon’s page-loading speed of one second would result in a $1.6 billion annual loss.
In considering speed, you should note that your business will not always be what it is today. If you play your cards right, your business will grow. Your needs will grow in proportion to your business. You should therefore choose a platform that will allow you to scale up when the need arises.
5. Level and availability of support
One of the benefits of fully hosted ecommerce platforms is the availability of support. However, not all ecommerce platforms offer good support.
Amazon’s Kindle tablet is rumored to cost a mere $250 – including “free” access to Amazon’s Prime film-streaming service
Poor support means that your website is likely to experience extended periods of downtime when there is a problem. This can be very costly. Amazon experienced a two-hour website crash in 2007, resulting in an estimated $3.48 million in losses.
You could lose a lot in revenue if you don’t have the right kind of support. The ecommerce platform you choose should have 24-hour support and monitoring. They should also provide assistance for scaling up to meet growth during seasonal peaks.
6. Integration and customization
What level of customization does the website allow? Can you integrate tools that you consider important for the functioning of your website? A good platform offers a high level of customization. This allows you to determine the image you present to your target audience.
The platform should also allow for integration with the following for greater flexibility: warehouse management systems, inventory, and various payment gateways.
Take your time in considering different ecommerce platforms. Ensure that the solution you choose will meet your specific requirements. Different platforms are available to meet the needs of different types of businesses. Be as thorough as possible up front and you’ll be glad once your business is growing through a platform that complements your offering.