E-commerce Customer Care Playbook: Are you ready for tomorrow’s customers?

March 29, 2022 by
Frank Calviño
Photo by Arlington Research for Unsplash

E-commerce customer care is nowadays, perhaps the most important aspect of an online shopping experience. Due to the Covid pandemic, e-commerce global adoption skyrocketed in 2020, pushing many people that never before had bought online, to place their first e-commerce orders. 

This, in turn, has created two separate - but deeply dependent on one another - e-commerce revolutions: the change in people's behavior patterns and the change in the average online customer expectations.  

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Today we want to explore this new era of E-commerce customer care with the help of our partners and friends from Salesupply, who recently presented an Ecommerce Customer Care Guide 2022 that compiles reports and research done by some of the key players in the e-commerce world. Let us dive into this quick Customer Care Playbook! 

Higher demand for c-commerce customer care

According to an eMarketer research, by 2025, retail e-commerce worldwide sales will total $7.385 trillion, making up a 24.5% share of all retail sales in the world. This shows a clear trend: e-commerce will continue to grow exponentially and it is, indeed, the evolution of traditional commerce. 

In that sense, the demand for human interaction will also grow on par. After all, commerce is an activity done between humans - at least so far - and that means that questions, doubts, and requests are all part of the deal. 

The mobile channels are the preferred choice

This is increased demand for e-commerce customer care is perfectly reflected in the Salesupply Customer Care Guide 2022 which presents a considerable increase in the need for contact. This need increased in all channels during the past year, and compared to 2020, the ticket volume increase per channel in 2021 was:

  • +370% for Whatsapp
  • +28% for SMS
  • +24% for phone
  • +20% for social media
  • +17% for chats
  • +10% for email

As we can see by quickly perusing these numbers, it is pretty clear that people prefer the most “mobile channels”. Whatsapp and SMS - channels used almost exclusively by smartphones - are the ones with the biggest increase. Being WhatsApp the king of the contact channels for e-commerce. 

Localized customer care

Another key component of the new e-commerce customer care scenario is the confirmation that the majority of customers prefer to be served in their native language. 

This is a key concept for any e-commerce that wishes to sell globally. So much so, that a recent report by Common Sense Advisory claims that over 40% will never buy from websites in other languages. The report is aptly named Can’t Read, Won’t Buy

Local-language support is then essential for sustainable cross-border e-commerce success, as it creates stickier customer relationships. Three out of four international online shoppers say that they’re more likely to purchase from the same seller again if customer care is in their mother language. 

The Can’t Read, Won’t Buy report also showcases the following data: 

  • 65% prefer content in their native language.
  • 73% want reviews of products in their language.
  • 65% prefer content in their language — even if it’s of poor quality.

Obviously, this points toward the present - and future - need of any e-commerce that wishes to be successful on cross-border, to develop a customer care team that is native for the market in which it operates. Something that can be done in-house, with a considerable amount of resources - both economic and human - or could be outsourced to professional companies that are already providing this kind of support in multiple languages and for multiple markets, like Salesupply. 

Photo by Alex Kotliarskyi on Unsplash

Self-service solutions?

Another interesting trend is the fact that people are pushing toward “self-service solutions”. This means that every day more and more people search for tutorials, FAQs, chatbots, and voice bots that could guide them to directly and immediately fix any kind of issue or doubt with the product they bought. 

Salesuply Customer Care Guide 2022 shows that 41% of all customers who have a problem or question are choosing digital self-service options, such as Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) sections, video tutorials, chatbots, and/or voice bots. That number is even higher when it comes to e-commerce.

People want solutions and they want them now. This clearly confirms why WhatsApp and SMS are the preferred choices for fast, on-the-go, direct contact with any brand or company. 

Fashion remains king, and demands customized care

Finally, the overall current trends for global e-commerce confirm that, once again, fashion remains the biggest of all retail e-commerce categories, and the one expected to grow the most, with an annual average of 11.35% by 2025. 

Global online fashion revenue is projected to reach over a trillion US dollars for the first time in 2022. The problem is that brand loyalty is scarce in the volatile fashion business. Especially for online-only retailers and brands, and that's why customer interaction becomes the best way to build trust and intimacy.

Customer care, done by professionals in the native language of the market, and with self-service solution options aimed at mobile channels, seem to be the winning combination for any fashion e-commerce that wishes to be successful. 

This, and many other niche-specific solutions, are provided by our partner Salesupply, and you can contact them here!  

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