The online marketplace has bolstered the SME market, providing direct access to an excessive number of customers that traditionally only larger corporates could reach. To effectively compete at this level, the expected quality of delivery is fundamental to success.
But what happens when your online sales channel fails? An Amex survey found that 78% of consumers have abandoned or not completed a transaction due to poor service. And roughly 25% of consumers will not do business with a company again following a bad service experience.
Long-term technology impact
Technology has become an integral part of today’s world. Many shoppers now turn to their computers or mobile devices to purchase a range of goods from gifts, technology and clothes, to the weekly grocery shop.
The digital world has supported the consumer aspiration for an easy life. This has created a healthy growth in competition, from traditional retailers adopting online platforms, to start-ups only having a digital presence.
In fact, the UK eCommerce sector was worth £133 billion in 2016 according to Capgemini’s eRetail Sales Index. This buoyant marketplace has survived significant turmoil from recession and uncertainty around Brexit and is widely recognised as aiding UK stability and growth in recent years.
The opportunity for SMEs is evident and most are happily reaping the rewards. Yet a word of warning: technology has provided many advances, but lack of safeguarding those critical business systems can have a significant detrimental impact on your customers.
Investment in servers and vital systems is part of the process in setting up an eCommerce shop. Most will have even thought about safeguarding those systems and installed back-up servers to insure operations.
However, that is not enough. As your front door to your customers, the operational ability of your digital transactions is critical. How do you know if servers are failing? A solution that monitors transactions to ensure transparency 24/7 is vital for an eCommerce business.
Many businesses do not know that a single server has failed until all servers go down. At this point all online operations halt and you can no longer serve customers.
Businesses should strive to identify issues so they are quickly solved before sales are lost or customers are even aware. If a customer calls to complain about a transaction not going through due to system failure, that is one customer of many. The other customers have already gone to your competitors.
Low loyalty increases experience importance
In this digital world, loyalty is low. Customers are fickle and will go to whoever is offering the best deal. To reduce customer churn, your service must be easy, hassle free and effective. Frustration is responsible for the biggest loss of customers and with more digital options than ever before, the power is in the hands of the consumer.
Not only are businesses facing pressure from customers turning to competitors, the news of bad experience spreads. Businesses’ reputations are on the line as people are twice as likely to tell friends and family about a bad experience than a good one.
This spread of news has been exacerbated in the last decade by the rise of social media. For instance, digital forums have emerged for people to publically share opinions to a much wider group of people than ever before.
Safeguard your technology
Losing customers to competition or dealing with negative reputations can be avoided by ensuring that your most vital asset, your online shop, is actively monitored. By ensuring the visibility of systems, your online sales channel can enhance the customer experience and encourage revenue growth.
Colin Noden is the sales and marketing director at 360 Assure.
+44 (0)1489 660 410