Monday, October 08, 2007

Building Customer Loyalty In E-Commerce

One of the distractions to customer loyalty is the availability of alternative places to buy the same products or services at the same or even slightly higher prices. With an internet business, thousands of other similar companies offer the same items at about the same price and without the loyalty of your customers there is no way to survive.

Web surfers may simply type in a keyword for a product or service in a search engine and when the different sites appear, clicking on a few sites will usually give them an idea of the price range of products. They can then choose what they see as the lowest cost for the same merchandise and make a purchase with little regard to the company from which they are buying. It will typically take a bad experience during some part of the transaction for them to become discouraged, making it important that every e commerce business has their best foot forward on each transaction to build customer loyalty to their site.

There are so many others to choose from, customers have the luxury of picking and choosing with whom they do business and they will choose the company that offers the best service or the best product at the best price. With internet commerce it is not possible for a business to get to know their competition as they can in a brick and mortar world. They can see the products as well as the prices but the hidden assets of service and delivery can only be seen if business is actually conducted.

It would be good for every online business owner to make a purchase from their own site occasionally to determine their ordering and delivery system is working correctly. If a customer has a problem making a purchase, they will not be back to waste their time. If the information provided on the merchandise is inadequate, they will not be making a purchase. If the shipping cost is excessive or the time they have to wait for delivery, again they will not be making a purchase.

Knowing what it will take to drive customers away is how a company can begin to build customer loyalty. You know what turns them away and fixing those issues on your ecommerce site will keep them coming back. Additionally, the best and cheapest methods of advertising on the internet is word of mouth. Making a customer happy that they did business with you can provide their recommendation to friends and relatives, giving you more business that costs nothing to obtain.

By focusing on the customers experience with your online business, their satisfaction can lead to their loyalty which is one of the most important aspect of doing business online.

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Obinna Heche: Los Angeles- California

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