Ecommerce Customer Service 101

In the competitive world of ecommerce, the products you sell are no longer enough to make your store stand out. Online retailers need to create a seamless shopping experience to drive conversions and keep customers coming back for more. One often overlooked aspect of this experience is your ecommerce customer service. It has the power to make or break a sale, and can be the deciding factor in whether a disgruntled customer leaves for a competitor – permanently.  

Just look at ecommerce shoe retailer, Zappos. Besides footwear, the brand is known for its customer-first ethos. This customer-obsessed culture has paid off; 75% of Zappos’s sales are from returning shoppers. And, in 2009, the shoe retailer was acquired by Amazon in a $1.2 billion deal

By focusing on customer support, Zappos became one of the top ecommerce retailers in the U.S. in a relatively short period. This seemingly simple concept was novel to the world of online retail when Zappos pioneered it, and has since become a case study at top business schools.

The good news is, you don’t need an MBA to create a memorable customer experience. This primer to ecommerce customer service will set you on the right track with FAQs and a list of the tools you need to meet – and exceed – shoppers’ needs.

Ecommerce customer service FAQs

Why is customer service important to the ecommerce experience?

Imagine walking into a brick-and-mortar store with a specific product in mind. You search the aisles and can’t find what you need, so you look for an associate to help you. The only associate you can find is working the cash register, so you have to wait in a long line to get your question answered. Feeling frustrated, you decide to look for the product at a different store. 

Just like customer service affects the shopping experience at a brick-and-mortar store, it can also bolster or ruin a digital shopping experience. If customers have to wait on hold on the phone for hours to get simple questions answered, or are unable to get assistance altogether, they likely won’t make a purchase and may write off your store.

What does an intuitive shopping experience have to do with customer service?

When you give shoppers everything they need to take action on your website, they’re less likely to reach out to your ecommerce customer service team for help. Cover your bases by:

  • Creating intuitive website search and navigation features to help customers find what they’re looking for.
  • Sharing shipping, returns, and payment information on an FAQs page.
  • Creating comprehensive product pages that include multiple photos, detailed product descriptions, composition information, measurements, and reviews.

Reduce the need for shoppers to reach out to your customer service team by making it easy for them to find everything they need.

How can I optimize my “no results found” page?

If left blank, your “no results found” page can be a digital dead end that leads customers to bounce. When optimized, this page can keep shoppers on your site, connect them to useful resources, and boost sales.

Include ecommerce customer service contact information on your “no results found” page, as well as links to other useful pages to help customers get back on track. 

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