Much has been written about adding value to customers. But so few have really grasp what is to be done to do that! And those that understood what it takes to add value to their customers have taken their ecommerce business to a whole new level. While many, for some reason or another are languishing in in-action, or perhaps hopelessness!
Why is it Important to Add Value To Your Customers?
Added value is fundamental to any business. The value of a product or services to customer is what drives every transaction. It has been proven for a long time that customers are willing to pay more for a finished product than raw materials because a business has added value to the raw materials. Below is a comment made by a customer who just bought a computer and offer insight to his choice.
…just bought a new computer. I shopped around for the machine I wanted and found a couple deals at similar prices, but I went with the highest priced option I found. I bought from Costco because I value their customer service and return policies more than the lower price others can offer. That differentiation allows Costco to charge a customer like me higher than market price for the same physical product.
This comment aptly describe what adding value to customers meant.
The Aim of Adding Value To Your Customers
The aim of adding value is to generate sales without cutting your margin of profit. Retailers should think of innovative ways on how else they can offer value to their customers. A sure-fire way that retailers can do this is to provide a service that shoppers cannot get elsewhere and are willing to pay a premium for.
How Can Ecommerce Retailers Add Value to Their Customers:
#1. Offer Better Experience Than Your Competitors
Truth of the matter is that online shoppers are much more likely to shop with you again and become loyal customers if you offer a better experience than your competitors. If customers think they receive more value shopping with you, they are most likely to buy from you again.
Train your new and old staff to deliver a customer service that is better than your competition.
Retailers can effectively reward the loyalty of frequent shoppers and encourage repeat purchases through inviting shoppers to join a loyalty program. Some of the ways you can reward your customers is to “Offer click-and-collect and pre-purchasing”. Things like these can often make the difference between whether a consumer shops with your or a competitor. Give away free items with multiple purchases. Buy one, get one free is a tried and tested method of encouraging short-term repeat sales. Don’t overuse this tactic, though, or people might start to question the quality and value of the goods.
#2. Represent Your Expertise
One of the best way to representing your expertise is to produce contents that shoppers may be searching for and will find useful, such as such as how to guides and step-by-step video tutorials. Publishing contents in relevant to your niche provides an excellent opportunity for you to reach people on a wider scale.
Providing a way for customers and visitors to seek your expertise right in your website is another innovation that you can do to represent your brand. Provide expert advice to shoppers through interactive customer support via multiple channel. Social media channels has become a really good venue for consumers who will often look to source opinion before making a purchase.
Shoppers prefer to buy from real people rather than faceless companies.
The rise of social media and the internet have only made this truer. Customers really value it when retailers offer them expert advice. For instance, a fashion retailer could offer customers free appointments with personal stylists to help them pick out garments that flatter their figure and are within their budget.
#3. Cultivate Exclusivity Atmosphere
eRetailers can use exclusivity to reward loyal shoppers by offering them first refusal on new products before they are made available for the public to buy. This can simply be done by organizing a special shopping events in-store or giving online shoppers exclusive access to special products or deals online. Or a limited offer for an up-coming for members-only event.
Many shoppers are willing to pay a premium for items that they can’t buy elsewhere. This offers stores an opportunity to attract customers by offering limited edition products, such as a pair of shoes designed by a local designer or a signed copy of a book. Exclusivity is an excellent way to add value to customers.
#4. Make Shopping With You A Convenient One
Have you ever wonder why convenience stores are sprouting just about everywhere overnight? We all know that convenience stores charge a little more than other stores, but people are willing to pay the difference. Why is that? Convenience! Because in people’s mind, going to a convenient store means that they can get a hand on a product faster. Same is true with online shoppers!
People want to have an easy-access-as-they-can to a product on your website!
Online retailers must consider how they can make the shopping experience as convenient as possible. For instance, offering free or next-day delivery options or in-store pickup service, gives shoppers the convenience to decide how they would like orders to be delivered and by when. Equally, making a wide range of payment methods available can give shoppers more flexibility when making purchases and can put to rest any concerns that shoppers may have about entering their bank details on the web.
#5. Ask For Honest Feedback To Identify Areas of Improvement
Consumers are let down by the experience that online retailers deliver, all too often. The color is not the same, quality is questionable, shipping took so long, etc. And most of the time, something as simple as a product being out of stock, a mobile website not working, or a store being in disrepair can take some of the shine off the consumer’s experience.
To avoid disappointing shoppers and potentially losing a sale – or worse a customer. It is absolutely vital that retailers pay close attention to the experience that they offer across all channels. Ask for customer’s honest opinion to better identify areas of improvement. If aiming to exceed expectations is unrealistic, at least fulfill up to par of the expectation. Retailers can adopt this approach to benchmark the experience that they offer to their customers by acting as secret shoppers themselves to assess the level of service offered by their competitors and identify areas for improvement.
Delivering customer service that is better than your competition. Rewarding loyal shoppers by offering them first refusal on new products before they are made available for the public. Providing a way for customers and visitors to seek your expertise. Making sure the shopping experience is as convenient as possible. And asking for honest opinion on how to be better. These are legit added values that your customer will want to benefit and may just be the springboard that launches you into an ecommerce success.