Topic(s): Customer Centricity Customer Engagement CX & Business Strategy Customer Retention

E-commerce is booming, but what if your revenue is not?

E-commerce heavily accelerated in 2020 due to the pandemic. Not only did this increase the customer expectations of ordering online, but it also ramped up the competition for online sales. If you were the only one in your market capitalizing on e-commerce, that first-mover advantage didn’t last.

With digital retail moving into the spotlight, your customers are now won and lost in your online store. There are many metrics you can rely on. But as opposed to face-to-face contact, you don't get the see the customer reactions to your products and services.

So what if you're not selling online as much as you expected? What if your new service isn't adopted as much as you had hoped? Seeing your revenue drop is enough to break a cold sweat, but now is not the time for panic. As long as you cannot pinpoint the cause, many of your actions could potentially make things worse.

Here are 2 reasons why taking action without insights is a losing game:

  1. Wasted budget: Not to throw salt in the wound but next to dropping revenue there's also the acquisition cost to take into account. Marketeers alone waste 26% of their yearly budgets. You are probably advertising to lead people to your website, but if you’re not converting, you lose the acquisition cost as well.
  2. Losing precious time: 32% of customers will walk away from a brand they love after a bad experience. Online, it happens in just a click. Assume all your competitors are focusing on e-commerce too. If you blindly take action purely based on the revenue numbers, you could be working on the wrong issue. Another waste of budget and especially a waste of time.

How to halt decreasing e-commerce sales

Start using customer feedback to your advantage. Ask for open, candid customer feedback before and after a conversion takes place. There's no point in ramping up the marketing efforts and optimizing the check-out flow if your product is the reason why sales are dropping. Listen to your customers, pay attention to their needs, and act effectively.

There are so many ways where you can get the feedback you need. There are multiple questions and metrics. Why no use CSAT (Customer Satisfaction) and CES (Customer Effort Score) instead of the good old NPS score? Those targeted scales in combination with open feedback will put you on the right track towards a solution. Also, play with timings. A survey right after the delivery will have lots of feedback on your processes, while a survey 3 months after purchase (“hey, are you still enjoying that new coffeemaker?”) will tell you much more about your product. There’s a great mix to be made with different scales, timings, and by combining online and offline feedback.

So to wrap up:

Using customer feedback will enable you to pivot your strategy faster, make small changes that spark customer delight, and more importantly, you will know what to fix first. Feedback also helps you discover the new needs of your customers. If you can meet them with new products or services, you'll always be one step ahead of the competition. There’s no time to waste in e-commerce, so listen to your customers and act accordingly.