How NOT to Run an eCommerce Website
I'm going to start this blog post by telling a little bit of an eCommerce horror story; or, to put it less dramatically, a story of my own negative experiences when using an eCommerce website. I shan't name any names, but I was planning on attending an event and so I headed to the official website in order to book my tickets. Sadly, the website was rather unclear and I wasn't entirely sure what kind of ticket I needed to buy. I emailed their customer support address and got a short, three word reply; it was a little helpful, but could have been so much more. In the end, I purchased the ticket I believed to be correct (based on the short email and minimal information on the website) and hoped for the best. When I got to the event, the ticket did not cover the one thing I wanted to do, so my going had been a waste of time. When I got home to check their refund policy, I found that they do not offer refunds. Will I be buying anything from them again? You can be sure that I will not!
By telling you this story, I hope that you will all be able to avoid making any of those same mistakes with your own eCommerce websites. The biggest thing to make sure of is that you are clear about your products; make sure the people know for sure what it is that they're going to get if they buy something from you. Minimal information is never useful. If you don't yet have all of the details about your product, then don't list it yet. Sure, in this case they still got my money from that single purchase, so you may think that they've not lost out on anything, but, actually, had I been very satisfied with their service, I might well have bought from then again in future. They've made one sale but lost out on future sales. Be clear, be reliable and offer refunds! People may be disappointed if a product is not quite what they hoped, but they won't mind if they get a refund! A 'no refunds' policy is salt in the wound.
Of course, the other place in which that website failed was with its customer support. I emailed and asked a question and got a mere three word reply. There was no "Hi Adam," at the start and no "Many thanks, Customer Support" at the end, and while they did give me an answer to my question, it was very bare bones and, had they given me a comprehensive answer, I'd have known exactly what to purchase. When you do get emails from customers, be sure to make your reply as helpful and friendly as possible; consider what other things they might need to know and let them know you are always there, should they have any more questions.
So keep my story in mind as an example of how not to run an eCommerce website. I am just one person; how many others were as disappointed as me? How many people have they dissuaded from purchasing from them again? Never forget that your relationship with a customer does not end as soon as they have made a transaction! But if you don't even have any customers yet, because you haven't created your eCommerce website, then sign up to Sellr now! You can make your eCommerce dream into an eCommerce reality for no cost at all.
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