As the internet has developed into a legitimate destination for almost every type of commerce, the rise of the savvy e-shopper has become more apparent. Aside from a more convenient shopping experience, online shopping can also result in a positive seller to buyer relationship that can pay off in unexpected ways.
First Off, What Makes For A Good e-Shopper?
A good e-shopper has several traits that are unmistakable:
- They find good deals
- They only shop at sites with trusted security credentials, SSL certificates etc
- They use credit cards instead of debit cards
- They make sure to keep a copy of receipts and shipping information for their records
- Good e-shoppers also participate in email lists and groups to spot the best deals and customer loyalty rewards
It should also be noted that a good e-shopper will usually do enough research before they make a purchase in order to minimize the number of returns and refunds they request. All of the time spent finding good deals and waiting for products to be shipped is wasted if you are constantly sending items back and waiting for refunds to be processed.
How Good e-Shoppers Benefit The Seller
There are obvious reasons, and less obvious reasons for why a good e-shopper benefits a seller. The more obvious one is that a good e-shopper is going help power their business by actually buying items and not returning them on a regular basis. The cost of shipping and restocking returned items can quickly undo any existing profit margin, even on items that were not returned.
The less obvious way that a good e-shopper benefits a seller is through customer loyalty. Since a good e-shopper knows where to find the best deals and best customer rewards plans, they eventually may work as a type of advertising channel.
The most productive and powerful form of advertising is word of mouth. People trust their friends and family to make a good recommendation on where to spend their money. Advertising and SEO can result in quite a bit of exposure, but they don’t earn trust the way a positive endorsement from a friend or family member does.
It should also be noted that while prices are often lower online, there are still shipping fees, taxes, and the transit time from seller to buyer. A good e-shopper recognizes that buying online has more to do with relationships and the ability to click a button and not think about their purchase until it arrives at their doorstep.
What About Mutual Benefits?
Given the huge number of websites that are currently online in the United States alone, it is conceivable that a positive seller-buyer relationship can lead to a business opportunity in the future.
Buyers who have their own websites may discuss their buying experience with their audience. While not quite the same as getting a personal endorsement form a friend or relative, a blogger with a loyal audience can send a flood of new visitors to a seller with one positive review.
A seller, to encourage this type of activity, may look to begin an affiliate plan where they pay a percentage for every lead or sale made by referring website owners.
Good e-Shopping Is About Relationships
When we walk into our favorite store, we may see the sales and customer service staff, but they don’t remember us, and we don’t usually remember them. Online, even though we may never see a merchant or that of their staff, email lists and great customer service make us feel comfortable. We don’t have to battle crowds, merchants know our customer histories, and every time we shop, it is like the store is there just for us.
@JulianaPayson is an associate at InMotion Hosting, a web hosting company who’s customer base is made up of mostly e-commerce and business websites. What makes InMotion special among business webmasters is the 24/7 US based tech-support, and comprehensive software packages that allow one-click installations of hundreds of CMS and open source platforms.