By Ruth Richter • January 23, 2018
Imagine your life without online shopping. No Amazon Prime, no eBay buy-it-now. It’s difficult to imagine now, but just 20 years ago, one expert said, “… it is still almost impossible to actually get to buy anything on the Web.” And in 1997 when ROI Consulting was founded, only 25 percent of IT Directors had ever bought anything over the internet. But the problem wasn’t adoption. The public couldn’t wait to use the internet for more. The problem was actually strategy.
Twenty years ago, websites didn’t make it easy to shop online. And while websites and services have drastically improved since then, if your site is not designed to make it easy for your customers to add products to their cart, you could be losing sales. Even in 2018.
So, as ROI Consulting celebrates our 20th anniversary, we wanted to take this opportunity to look back on how online shopping has changed—and which things have stayed the same.
Provide More Than Product Value
Just like back in 1997, you want to ensure your site is offering value to your customer and not just functioning as an advertising placeholder. By design, your website needs to provide true customer value. While online shopping minimizes actual person-to-person interaction, your customers still expect the personalized touch on their order, or you risk losing their return business. Think of your website as an employee: your official online salesperson.
Connect the Shopping Experience
Many of the things online shoppers wanted in 1997 still ring true today. And while your website may be leagues ahead of where it was 20 years ago, you still may want to double-check that it is truly providing the ultimate customer shopping experience.
- Order receipt – Notify customers in a timely fashion that their orders have been received.
- Updates – If an order is delayed for any reason, contact the customer immediately so they can adjust their plans as necessary.
- Shipping notifications – An online shopper’s favorite email is the one announcing their order has shipped. Provide clickable tracking information that allows them to quickly and easily track their order.
All these combined create the perfect communication trio with your customer to keep them engaged and informed about their order. After all, a happy customer will typically be a returning one.
How Do You Link the Virtual Shopping Cart?
The daunting part for you, as the online retailer, may be figuring out what to do on the back end in order to provide the valuable shopping experience on the front end. Integrating your front-end e-commerce with back-end solutions such as Sage 100 and 100c, however, is easier than you think. ROI Consulting’s IN-SYNCH integration solution for Sage 100 provides real-time synchronization and e-commerce automation, eliminating manual data entry to save you time and money.
We can connect information not only from your website’s shopping cart, but the carts of third-party sites that host additional sales, such as Amazon, eBay, and Shopify. Keep your customer order information secure, bidirectional, and fast, delivered in real time.
Move into the Future with IN-SYNCH
The internet has changed drastically in the past 20 years, but the principles of customer service and communication apply to every form of business. Make sure your customers are shopping like it’s 2018.
For more information on IN-SYNCH, visit ROI Consulting or speak with someone at ROI Consulting today. Contact ROI Consulting online or call us at 402-934-2223, ext. 1.