This was an entry for our scholarship competition this year.
La Vang: Consumer expectations for Ecommerce
Ecommerce has come a long way in business. Companies thrive on providing products or services and company information via online. We can all agree that the Internet has contributed to the success of many companies through the improvements of marketing, innovations, and public relations. The Internet is unique in a sense that it provides a platform for businesses as well as the consumers to engage in conversations they wouldn’t otherwise have. Regardless of what kind of business industry you take part in, ecommerce is flexible enough to work with you for your benefit. Ecommerce has the potential of being more than just offering an exchange for Here are some great ways ecommerce benefits businesses:
- Engaging in ecommerce all of a sudden opens many new doors for growth within a company. You are given the opportunity to really listen to those who consume your products or services. These conversations and feedback is how we reflect and find ways to improve our business. It offers us the chance to work on our weaknesses and be open to new ideas for innovations with one group of people who matter the most: your
- Ecommerce allows you to communicate information that would not be as easy to communicate face-to-face due to time constraints. It’s flexible enough to cater to all of your target markets. This transfer of information can consists of anything the business finds relevant, whether it is the business history, mission and values, what the company is currently working on, community engagements, financials, etc. These opportunities of open communications create trust, honesty, and credibility within It’s one of the best ways to build a strong business brand.
- The Internet expands your professional network with your consumers and other businesses. Others will discover your business through electronic word-of-mouth. You get to decide how you will use this advantage. Will you take this opportunity to reach out and work with other businesses on a certain project? Or will you take this opportunity to potentially learn from each other? With this said, we can see that ecommerce can do a lot of good for a business. It’s your decision on how you plan to utilize it. As people in this age become more comfortable with ecommerce and seek online transactions, there comes expectations that businesses must meet in order to fully take advantage of what ecommerce has to offer. Consumer expectations on ecommerce websites:
- No matter what age group we are looking at, people generally agree that simplicity is one of the most important expectations that need to be met. Consumers do not want to see a web page with a bunch of unnecessary information. Consumers crave something simple and something that gets to the point. Irrelevant information should not find its way on a web page. There is no need to over complicate and overwhelm your consumers. That is not how you want to represent the brand of your business. 2. Visual Contents 3. Online 24/7 Customer Service and Care 4. Privacy and trust
- One of the best ways to take advantage of ecommerce is to fully utilize the multi-dimensional platform the Internet offers. Web pages are meant to present more than just words. It’s important that businesses realize this and continue to include pictures, PDF files, videos, relevant attachments, etc. There is more than one way to communicate your message and it doesn’t hurt to have a mixture. This is an excellent way to expand your brand. It’s a way to show your consumers and the world what you do, what you stand for, and what you believe in. It goes to show what makes you different and what sets you apart from other businesses within your industry.
- It’s just as important to provide 24/7 customer service and care through your website as ecommerce is a place that is essentially opened all the time. Individuals can browse at their convenience and often times this is out of the normal business hours of 9 AM to 5 PM. This isn’t a terrible thing. Rather it is one of the true beauties of ecommerce. As a business, you have the ability to reach out to people at their own convenience. Customer care is just as important online as it would be if the customer were actually present in your business.
- As consumers increasingly engage in online transactions, it becomes part of your job to make sure they feel safe with providing contact, shipping, and payment information. No business is exempt from data breaches as we have seen in the past couple of years, but it goes to further show that businesses have to do all they can to make sure their consumers feel safe with providing such information. I believe this is one of the most important expectations businesses would have to meet in order to do well with ecommerce. If a consumer doubts for a second whether the site can protect their personal information, they would never engage in an online transaction, which would hurt your business in many ways. That is why the ability to create trust, credibility, and privacy should be the top concern for businesses. 5. Updates/Upgrades
- Businesses have to stay current with business, economic, social, and consumer trends. It’s necessary to keep your online services updated constantly and to be consistent about it. That’s how you build a true representation of your business brand. As we have seen in many businesses throughout the last decades, businesses who do not keep up with trends and continually upgrade tend to fall behind and do not well as consumers soon forget about them. I truly believe that ecommerce has and will continue to influence the way we conduct business. If used correctly, it can lead your business down a successful path as it offers the flexibility and open communication with others that you would not find elsewhere.