Across the world, eCommerce businesses are leaving their mark on local and global economies. After all, it is the eCommerce giant Amazon that has made Jeff Bezos the richest man in modern history, and turned Jack Ma from a struggling entrepreneur that couldn’t get a job at KFC, to one of th world’s most influential businessmen.
This is an industry which is constantly evolving, and it is due to the vision and creativity of these two entrepreneurs that allowed their businesses to thrive. As technology continues to enhance the eCommerce industry, it will be the responsibility of today’s visionaries to make use of this new technology before it becomes the next big thing, just as Bezos envisioned Amazon before the
To get a better understanding of what the future holds, and the ingenious ways modern technology is already transforming our eCommerce experiences, we spoke with Vit Endler the Co-owner of Virtooal.com, a startup that provides advanced tools for eCommerce sites.
What steps can an eCommerce business take to reduce returned items?
This is a complicated question with no simple answer. Traditionally, the best method of action would be to have the best possible photos along with a detailed description of the product. However, in today’s modern world of eCommerce, many online stores are using video along with models to show off their products. We can expect this trend to continue as augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) become more prevalent in our online shopping experiences.
Using this technology, a customer can try the product on themselves without physically going to the store. For example, a handful of eCommerce businesses are using virtual mirrors which, thanks to AR, allows the product to be displayed on the customer’s face immediately. This includes items such as glasses, makeup, and even jewelry. We work with a number of businesses, such as Zeelool, Robin Look, and Dermacol, to enhance their customers’ eCommerce experiences using modern technology.
In summary, the presentation of the product is the key to reducing returns, so the customer can clearly imagine how the product will look and how it can be used. The clearer this is conveyed, the less likely it is that an item will be returned.
How can a business avoid chargeback claims?
Most eCommerce complaints come from poor product quality. Therefore, the eCommerce business must closely monitor the number of product complaints, thus identifying the poor quality products, which should ultimately be removed. However, the strategy of the eCommerce business should be taken into account. If a high margin on an item covers the cost of complaints and has an overall positive impact on the eCommerce business, then selling it is justifiable.
What advice do you have for businesses that want to increase sales conversions through website features?
There are no clear answers, however, there are a number of steps that can be taken for an eCommerce business to enhance sale conversions. Firstly, product presentation, it is important to display the most realistic representation of the product and its description, ideally using AR or VR, when possible. Secondly, product availability and delivery speed. If the product is immediately available and delivered quickly, you will increase your conversions.
In addition to the points above, payment methods adapted to the local market are also very important, along with the cost of shipping and if other pickup points are available, instead of standard home delivery.
How can innovation improve customer satisfaction and the likelihood of future sales?
Fair pricing, great service, fast delivery, and a simple reclamation process. This has been working for thousands of years and will continue to work in the future. All technology and innovation should be centered around enhancing these services, and this will ultimately lead to loyal, satisfied customers.
Following on from the above, can you give examples of companies that have innovated to improve customer satisfaction, resulting in a lot of success?
eobuwie.pl, a European shoe retailer from Poland, created its service esize.me, to help client select shoes online. The customer adds information to their profile and the online service offers items which are relevant to the customer. Therefore, the service can be considered very similar to using virtual mirrors or virtual changing cabins.
eCommerce businesses are clearly on the rise, with recording figures being hit for revenue. As the industry grows, do you foresee issues surrounding returns and chargeback claims getting worse, or improving alongside the technology used in this industry?
The eCommerce business is constantly innovating and improving its processes. Working in an eCommerce business is about continually improving and finding new ways to make shopping for clients more attractive. Reverse processes are becoming more costly for eCommerce players, and it is, therefore, necessary to innovate this part of the business.
The best way is not to outplay the return process, but to reduce the total return rate. Here, the technology of virtual mirrors and virtual fitting rooms help to reduce the percentage of returns significantly.
Disclosure: This article includes a client of an Espacio portfolio company