Are you having the same problem? I purchased shoes online from an international store, but they weren’t the right size for me. I had to return them. The size I needed was not available in stock. I had no other choice but to return my money.
The entire process took three weeks. There were five days between placing an order and receiving the product at my door. I also had to spend two days trying on the products and returning them. It took five days to return the product to the seller. Six days later, I received a refund. It was an international online store. It was unpleasant.
Personally, I shop at a variety of e-commerce websites both in my home country and abroad. I was strengthened by the shoe incident and believe that Finnish retailers are capable of competing internationally if they have their omnichannel services in place. With a strong brand, targeted marketing and the right selection, right price, and an omnichannel service model that is well-thought out, it’s possible to stand against global competition.
Many things are involved in an omnichannel service. This article will concentrate on the ease of post-sales transactions, and how to build a competitive advantage. Customers will shop online as well as in brick-and-mortar stores more easily.
Omnichannel service model checklist
Before you can even talk about competitive advantage, make sure that these are in order. To see how many areas you business is proficient in, use the following list:
- Customers can pick up online orders from a retail outlet.. Online purchases should be possible at your nearest store. Many stores offer this service. Many deliveries are made from a central warehouse or a major supplier. They can be delivered directly to the customer or to an outlet.
- Online customers may be able to order the product from a physical store.Online purchases can only be made from one central warehouse. Or are there stock items in stores? Delivery takes 1 to 2 days if the product can be shipped from a local store.
- Customers can reserve items online and pay in cash at a local store.Online banking and credit cards are not for everyone. Your customers should have the option of ordering online and having it delivered to their home at a retail location.
- Customers can return items purchased online to their store.Customers can return online orders to stores for an instant refund. You can also exchange for a different size or product.
- Customers who sign up for loyalty programs return online purchases immediately to get their money back.Customer should immediately return a product via postal service or other carriers. The refund should not be delayed for the product to reach a warehouse. The customer could, for example, inform the company via its online shop about the return.
- The salesperson can sell the product online or at another outlet if the product isn’t available in the local store.A customer shopping in a store that does not stock a product should be able for the salesperson to sell it online or at another outlet.
If you got six/six correct, congratulations! Your competitors are far behind you and you are well on the way to creating a customer-focused service model that includes post-purchase events. Many competitors only manage to tick one or two items off the list.
Sometimes it seems that we are willing to go to great lengths to improve services such as online shopping portal user interfaces. This is all in the name for a great customer experience. While this is a crucial area, it won’t create customer loyalty nor brand advocates who extol your store’s superiority to the rest.
Simple things like the ones described above are key to true competitive advantage. These simple advantages make your customers question why they bought shoes from an overseas online store.
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