Online shopping can be tough, especially if you are unfamiliar with technology and spent most of your time up to now shopping at a brick-and-mortar business. So, how do you adapt? Many businesses use a variety of tools to empower their customers as a way of gaining more customer loyalty, but if you don’t know where to look then it can be frustrating. Online buyers typically feel more empowered when they have more control in the buying process from the point they click “Add to Cart” to the moment the product arrives.
The following concepts will help you feel empowered as an online customer:
Utilize Self-Service Tools
Any business worth its salt needs to have solid customer service, but the best businesses have tools in place to answer customer questions before they call or try to contact. If you are shopping on a site that has an FAQ page, make sure that you visit that before you make your order. Not every question will apply to your purchase, but you’ll find the latest news on product issues, common shipping complaints, or return policies on that page. Sometimes five minutes spent reading can save you 30 minutes talking to an agent or waiting on hold. Other businesses have advanced tracking tools (like a proof of delivery app) for package deliveries that can empower you to know when your package arrives and protect it from porch pirates.
Follow Businesses on Social Media Platforms
Many social media networks play a crucial role in driving trends in customer empowerment. They work by connecting various customers from different parts of the world, drive discussion around the product, and offer alternative methods of reading and submitting customer feedback. These digital platforms also allow the participants to post pictures and create and exchange information through the comment section. When there is a circling buzz about any product or service, you will easily realize it through the responses posted on various social media platforms. Social media is the preferred consumer tool that allows conversations that share experiences and recommendations on what other potential buyers need to know. You can take advantage of the experience of other consumers to inform your purchasing.
Do Thorough Research
Apart from social media, another way to feel more empowered as an online customer is to utilize testimonials and customer reviews across multiple platforms. Pay attention to the number of reviews a product has overall before being impressed with a 5-star rating. A 5-star rating with 2 reviews and no written testimonial is not as accurate as an item with a 4.7-star rating with 200 reviews with written customer testimonials.
Customer descriptions of the assembly process or real user photos are better tools than the professional marketing images and box-art on a product’s sale page, too. If you realize that a certain product has a consistent negative reputation, consider an alternative product. Researching the products or services you need prior to buying can save you a lot of grief dealing with warranties or product returns. These principles apply to the vast majority of products and services online.
The age of online shopping won’t end after COVID-19 is gone. Feeling empowered as an online customer helps you save money and increases your knowledge. By focusing on the tips here you can help yourself be a more comfortable online shopper.
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