What customer service processes do you have in place for your business? It doesn’t matter how efficient your fulfilment procedures are, things will go wrong from time to time, and how you deal with these incidents will either put customers off for life or make them more loyal.
If you are selling online in the UK, you should already be aware of the Distance Selling Regulations – the legislation that covers anything bought via online shopping, mail order, over the telephone or a TV shopping channel.
You may have noticed that some businesses seem to like the idea of bypassing the need for a website altogether, using Facebook instead. You type their website address into you browser and you are taken straight to their Facebook page. Brilliant! You don’t need to worry about having to keep a website up to date, there’s no web hosting fee to factor in, and everyone loves Facebook….don’t they? And that’s where we find the first flaw in this master plan.
Recently, the news has been full of stories about this so-called Heartbleed bug. It’s one of the worst internet flaws ever uncovered, and it got millions of people shaking in their virtual boots. What is the Heartbleed bug?
I was having a conversation with a friend of mine recently who has his own one-man business. He told me that he should really get a Facebook business page set up, but he has no interest in Facebook at all. I told him what I tell many of my clients who come to me to get started on social media marketing – you may not want to be on Facebook, but there are around 1.5 billion other people who are…and that’s a lot of potential customers! I’ve heard people say that they simply refuse to have anything to do with Facebook because they don’t agree with it. The simple message is, “Don’t ignore Facebook!”
You may not know what Generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs) are, but you’ll have seen plenty of them. They’re the .com, .net, etc. website addresses that you see. They are also the latest way to personalise your business’ domain name. There is an almost overwhelming number of domain endings to choose from; over 1000 have been released, some which may be directly related to the products or services you offer. Examples of these include, .photographer, .construction, .kitchen and .plumbing.
When you’re shopping online it doesn’t matter what the size of your purchase is, chances are you’ll find yourself drawn to read the product reviews left by previous customers. They can help you make a more informed decision as to whether the product is right for you and how good the retailer is. Depending on which source you look at, the increase in sales that a website can potentially see varies, but the general consensus of opinion is that including reviews on your online shop increases customer confidence and ultimately converts more sales. Still not convinced? Take a look around at the major players in ecommerce and you’ll be hard pushed to find one that does not include gathering and displaying customer reviews.
Selling online solely via your own web shop is becoming less of the norm. Whilst having your own online shop is still vital, multi-channel selling is becoming easier and more popular for the smaller retailer. Amazon and eBay sell practically everything under the sun, and for many online retailers they are the main competition. They already command a hefty market share and they’re out for more of it. However, instead of trying to beat them, why not join them?
Love them or loathe them, there’s no denying that Google offers an incredible array of tools, especially for anyone who has a website. Yes, a number of them are available from other providers, but the convenience of having them all available under one roof makes them hard to resist…even more so when you take the zero price tag into consideration. Here’s a quick run through of just a few of Google’s offerings.
A word that has been very much in the news of late is “hacking”. Away from the seedy world of unscrupulous journalists breaking into celebrity voicemail accounts, hacking is an everyday occurrence on the web. Some big names have been hit over the last year. Adobe recently had to inform no less than 38 million of its active users that account usernames and passwords had been stolen from their systems. Others who have been infiltrated include Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, the New York Times, and the US broadcaster NBC.