Just like a traditional bricks-and-mortar shop, an ecommerce website requires a lot of careful planning to make sure your shop operations run smoothly. Giving your customers an amazing online shopping experience will keep them coming back again and again.
Last time we looked at two major considerations when setting up an online store – the importance of a well-organised, intuitive catalogue, and an easy, secure payment gateway. Today, we continue with Part Two of our ecommerce website checklist, looking at shipping and customer service.
There are a mind-boggling array of options for shipping, from default choices built in to WooCommerce, to Australia Post and private courier companies. Which option you decide to go with will depend on various factors, including the location from which you will be posting goods, whether you will be offering free shipping, and your desired order turnaround.
We usually recommend Australia Post as the main shipping option for our ecommerce websites. They offer a range of postage options, such as registered and express post and airmail, and you can send out all your orders from your local post office. The shipping settings on your site are directly linked to the Australia Post database, meaning that your backend is always up to date with the latest shipping fees.
If you want to use a private courier service as part of your shipping, make sure to do some research on the fees and other factors involved. You want to make sure that your shipping rates are reasonable so as not to deter customers from buying, and if you choose to offer free postage, you do not want shipping costs eating into your profits.
Customer service is arguably the most important thing for happy customers. Think back to when you last went into a shop. If you could not find any sales assistants or if it was difficult to return unwanted items, chances are you left frustrated and vowed never to set foot in there again.
Just because your customer service will be conducted primarily via email, as opposed to face to face in a traditional retail store, does not make prompt and polite service any less important. Respond to enquiries within a couple of hours if possible, and no longer than a day. Outline reasonable delivery estimates and make sure to meet or exceed them, and have a clear and fair refund policy which is easily accessible.
Word of mouth is the best advertising there is – if your customers have a positive experience shopping in your online store, hopefully they will tell their friends and more and more people will come flocking to your ecommerce website!
By keeping these things in mind and thinking through the processes you will be implementing into your ecommerce website, you’re well on your way to running a successful online store.
To start selling online, check out some of our ecommerce packages and previous clients, or give us a call on 1300 16 16 44 to discuss your ecommerce needs.