A few things that sour an e-commerce sale

Running an e-commerce business can be tricky. Here are a few tips to avoid things that sour an e-commerce sale to keep your business running smoothly.

Running your own e-commerce store can be exciting and fulfilling. It can also be stress inducing. If a business really starts to take off and there is a high volume of orders, it can be tough to take care of everything. When you drop the ball, you run the risk of losing customers and losing money. Here are a few tips to avoid things that sour an e-commerce sale to keep your business running smoothly.

Keep things timely, or suffer the consequences

Sending out orders too late without letting your customers know is bound to cause some issues. If you do have a sudden increase in orders and you don’t know if you’ll be able to handle it then you’ve got two options: get help or pause orders.

Letting people know that no more orders can be processed at the time may bother some consumers, but others will understand that they can return to your e-commerce store at a later date to place an order. That’s a better option than taking orders you can’t possibly get to and having paying customers waiting patiently (or impatiently) for their goods.

If you have the ability to expand and can hire people to help you. That’s the best option as you can continue taking orders and processing them. The reality is that once you take an order, you are expected to deal with it in a reasonable time frame, and while you can always reach out to customers personally and explain a situation, it’s best to avoid doing that unless you have to.

Don’t ignore your shoppers, be responsive and easy to reach

Cloud e-commerce stores need to have clear contact information displayed for people to get in touch. At brick-and-mortar stores, there are sales associates on the floor to help with questions and assist customers with their purchases. An e-commerce store won’t necessarily have that sort of immediate response unless you’ve got a live chat function or a phone number.

Most of the communication you’ll have with your customers will be via messages and emails but that doesn’t mean you can answer them whenever you feel like it. Make your contact info easy to find and respond to your customers questions or orders as soon as you can. Nothing turns people off faster than feeling like they’re being ignored.

Double check everything to avoid mistakes

Let’s say you’ve got everything chugging along on a wonderfully tight timetable. Your response rate is excellent but you mixed up two orders and sent the wrong orders to the wrong addresses. While it’s not an impossible mistake to fix, you’ll probably find yourself giving an angry buyer free items and apologising profusely to ensure you don’t lose them as a customer.

Instead of facing that scenario, double check every single piece of information that comes your way. Make sure the order goes out correct the first time and arrives where it’s supposed to in order to save yourself stress and headaches, not to mention money.

Only sell what you actually offer

If a customer is looking for something you don’t have then it’s better just to let them know and point them in the right direction. Promising to deliver on a product or service you don’t offer can become a messy fast so it’s best to keep things simple. If you have it, sell it. If you don’t, decline.

If you think you can make a specialty item for a specific customer without too much trouble, then let them know that it’s not a typical order and may take extra time. If you don’t think you can get them what they want, then simply tell them that.

Even better if you know of another e-commerce store to direct them towards. Remember that it’s not your job to make anything outside of what you’re offering and it’s better to keep your focus on what you’re actually doing rather than stressing yourself out on specialty items.

There are lots of ways to sour a sale but there’s also lots of ways to keep customers happy or fix any mistakes that have happened. Most people respond well to discounts and small tokens of apology when something goes wrong but better yet is to keep everything running smoothly and on time.

You don’t just want to provide a great product; you want to provide excellent customer service so that you’ll have satisfied customers returning time and again.

Owen Gough

Owen Gough

Owen Gough is a reporter for SmallBusiness.co.uk. He has a background in small business marketing strategies and is responsible for writing content on subjects ranging from small business finance to technology...

Related Topics

Tech Jobs & Careers