7 things to avoid while selling online- tips for running a successful omnichannel retail store

The pandemic has shown businesses the importance of having an online presence. During the lockdown, e-commerce website Flipkart witnessed a new user growth rate by 50%. New eCommerce brands like Medikabazar, Udaan saw a growth rate of 100% to 300%. Businesses that were already selling online per-COVID are now looking to expand to other countries and engage in cross border transactions. Meanwhile, organizations that didn’t have an online sales channel are now actively looking to optimise this particular sales avenue. Whether your business falls in the former or latter category, you must know what to avoid when selling online. Here are 7 important tips that will help you run a successful omnichannel retail store.

Know where you are selling and how to reach your audience.

Very often, brands sell their products on third party e-commerce platforms. It is important to know about the kind of products already available on the website, whether or not the website’s user interface is easy to navigate and whether or not your audience is active on said platform. If your specific target audience doesn’t really visit the platform, there is no point being listed on a third party e-commerce website.

Selling overseas but not adapting your website according to overseas languages, currency and taxes

Brands that wish to sell overseas must ensure that their website is adaptable. This means if a customer from France accesses your website, they should be able to view the product description in both French and English. They should also be able to choose the currency - in this case, Euros - so that they will be able to know about the product’s price as per the exchange rate. For example - some e-commerce brands like Amazon are known to ship products worldwide - you need to visit the dedicated country website to know details of a product in that country’s currency. However, some businesses will ask you to select the currency of your choice (also indicating where they ship) to allow you a seamless shopping experience. Similarly, your customer should be made aware of shipping charges, any applicable tax liabilities, custom duty etc from the get-go. This will ensure fewer abandoned carts on your website.

Complex navigation and poor UX

Very often, customers tend to bounce off websites because of complex navigation and poor user interface and user experience design. If a website is complicated and it is difficult to reach the desired products, the customer might drop the idea of shopping on your website - even competitive pricing might not work in your favour in such a scenario. Therefore, maintaining easy navigation throughout the purchase experience is critical to ensure that the customer returns for a repeat purchase.

Complicated check out process

One of the most critical parts of the purchase process is checking out. Studies have shown that a significant amount of customers will abandon their online carts when they reach checkout because of unwelcome surprises like high shipping costs, lengthy delivery time, custom duty and taxes etc. A study says the top 23 sites, all grossing over $1 billion per year, have a 44% worse checkout user experience.

It is important for a business to maintain transparency with the customer from the first step of the purchase journey. Integrating cross border transaction software into your website will help iron out this process. Your customer will have the right information at the right time and will be able to make the right decision.

Having a poorly trained customer service team

The purchase process doesn’t end when the customer purchases a product. Any problems arising with delivery of the product or the product itself will need assistance from customer service. Having a poor customer service team that hasn’t been trained to handle dissatisfied customers can leave a negative mark on your business's reputation. It is important to ensure that a highly trained team deal with disgruntled customers and work toward resolving their issues quickly and efficiently.

Lengthy delivery timelines

In a time when customers want everything to be instant - your business cannot afford lengthy delivery times and take weeks or months to reach a customer. This challenge can be overcome by setting up a robust shipping and logistics system or by partnering with supply chain vendors in different countries. Having supply chain hubs in different countries can help your business deliver their products faster.

Not being mobile optimised

Customers no longer go to a business. The business must be accessible to the customer wherever, whenever. So if your business has not optimised its website to be mobile friendly - it is likely to be facing a huge problem. Ensuring your presence through a mobile friendly platform will guarantee better visibility and thereby increase your sales. 

Selling online is not difficult. Yet some businesses seem to be doing very well and some are in dire need of improvement. While it is essential to know what to do, it is equally crucial to know what not to do or avoid. Your business needs to avoid making the mistakes mentioned earlier to succeed online. Only then, will they truly be on the path to a successful retail store that delivers an omnichannel experience to their customers.

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