The Amazon ship has fully landed in Australia last December!
The eCommerce giant generates as much revenue as Australia’s supermarket duopoly of Coles and Woolsworth combined. Morgan Stanley estimates Amazon will generate $12 billion of Australian sales by 2026.
Is it time for smaller retailers to start waving the white flag? Not quite.
Yes, Amazon boasts sheer economies of scale and an unparalleled delivery network.
But don’t worry, we outline in this post how to keep customers at the heart of your business despite having Amazon in your backyard.
#1: Customer Experience Is King
Not long after it made its much lauded entry, Amazon is already under fire from a unsatisfied customer.
Amazon Australia cancelled a customer’s order of baby nappies and wipes after the prices were allegedly listed wrongly on their site. The products were removed from Amazon shortly after.
“The customer said he was used to a first-rate service from Australian retailers. According to him, most retailers would have honoured the listed price or sent him another item for free.”
Whether or not this was legally correct, we have a valuable lesson here.
Every interaction with the customer matters.
Every. Single. One.
Negative customer experiences can cost you their business and the business of many more. By contrast, excellent customer service turns upset customers into loyal customers.
Image Source: HelpScout
Take the time to address unhappy customers and ensure their complaints are resolved. While you can’t control whether customers leave, you can turn upset customers into loyal ones.
The Disney Institute employs a Disney 5 step H.E.A.R.D framework for customer service recovery.
- Hear: Let the customer tell their complete, uninterrupted story
- Empathise: Convey that you understand and validate the customer’s feelings
- Apologise: Take ownership of the mistake and apologise. The power of a sincere apology should never be underestimated
- Resolve: Ensure your staff are empowered to resolve the situation, and do it quickly
- Diagnose: Find out why the mistake happened and amend the process to prevent future happenings.
With a whooping 81% of consumers willing to spend more with organisations that provide a better customer experience, providing extraordinary customer experience is paramount.
#2: Offer A Seamless Omni-Channel Experience For Your Customers
As we described in our analysis of 2018 eCommerce trends, the once-separate worlds of offline and online shopping are colliding.
Consumers spend more time online researching products and services before even heading to a store.
They look at your website, your competitor’s website and experiences or opinions of other shoppers. They may make a purchase online or go into a physical store to complete a purchase.
They may also look around in a physical store before completing a purchase online.
Your customers want to start their shopping experience in one channel and continue seamlessly to another. Customers aren’t sticking to a single channel anymore. They want the freedom to be able to shop anywhere, anytime.
Stores that provide a seamless retail experience will thrive.
If you’re not providing a omni-channel experience, now is the time to start.
Get started with:
- Ensuring the same items in your inventory are available both online and offline
- Providing the same benefits and rewards (for example, loyalty points, return policy) both online and offline
- Ensuring customers can make an order online and pick up the item in-store within the same day
#3: Delight Your Customers In The After-Sales Experience
So your customer has completed a order. Awesome!
But wait, don’t start rejoicing yet.
There’s still one more hurdle to cross. Have you thought about how your customer is going to receive their order?
40% of an eCommerce company’s feedback stems from the circumstances surrounding the product delivery. Customers are also likely to switch to a competitor if the order experience is ruined by poor delivery.
Hence, constant communication with your customers is critical to get over this last hurdle.
Your customers want to know where their orders are.
They are worried and frustrated.
They may have tight deadlines and constraints to meet.
By proactively notifying them as their order is processed, you can ease their worries and frustrations.
Key Takeaway: Keep Customers At The Heart Of Your Store
Amazon’s entry into Australia poses new challenges for eCommerce merchants.
But, with the right mindset, you can keep customer experience at the heart of your store and ensure your store continues not just to exist, but thrive – even with Amazon in your backyard.
Joshua is the Marketing Manager at Parcel Perform. He loves technology and a good book. Outside of e-commerce and Parcel Perform, you can find him in the kitchen, gym or yoga studio.