E-commerce - 4 Jan 2023
Understanding the Value of Consumer Feedback for Your Ecommerce Business (and Tips on How to Get It)
It pays to pay attention to your audience.
Customer feedback has long been one of the most essential – if not the most important – tool available to businesses looking to improve customer satisfaction, hone product offerings, narrow down audiences, and ultimately, boost sales.
By asking the right questions, you can easily:
• Learn what products are most in-demand (and which it may be time to let go of)
• Understand the pain points your customers are experiencing
• Show off your brand’s human side
• Collect user reviews
In traditional retail outlets, businesses have many opportunities to communicate with their customers before, during, and after a sale. However, gaining that valuable customer feedback can be a little more challenging for e-commerce sellers who lack the face-to-face opportunities open to brick and motor retailers.
But there are ways e-commerce retailers can access this treasure trove of shopper data, and this blog will explore some of the most rewarding.
Employ Customer Surveys
Customer feedback surveys are nothing new, but they remain one of the best ways to gain insights into how your products, marketing, branding, and website, are resonating you’re your target consumers. Customer surveys come in several forms, from multiple choice customer satisfaction questions (How satisfied were you with your purchase?) and promotional digging (How likely would you be to recommend our services to a friend?) to open-ended questions like “How can we do better?”.
Online and email surveys are the easiest ways for e-commerce businesses to reach their customers. The data collected can show quite clearly which aspects of your business model are succeeding and where you may need to make changes. However, the quality of your data will depend entirely on getting enough users to participate in your survey which is something that’s often easier said than done.
A recent survey by SurveyMonkey found that over two-thirds of people complete at least half the survey requests they receive. Ensure your survey lands in the respond category by following these five survey principles:
• Ask questions at the right time. Post-purchase surveys are a great way to get feedback on how satisfied customers are with their purchases and overall experience.
• Be concise. If there is a specific area you are looking for feedback on, focus your questions there. The longer your survey is, the less likely people will be to respond to all your questions. It’s also wise to limit the number of open-ended questions.
• Offer incentives. If you need help getting customers to reply to your questionnaire, try offering an incentive such as a coupon code or free subscription.
• Follow up. People who take the time to give company feedback like to know that their voices are being heard. Send a follow-up email to express your gratitude as customers will appreciate it, and it’s a great way to continue building customer relationships.
Ask For Reviews
Asking for reviews is a great way to show your appreciation to customers while getting real-time feedback on their experience with your brand and products. After a purchase, reach out to your buyers with a review email asking about their recent purchase. The review request should touch on three areas:
• Thanking your customer for their purchase
• Asking the buyer to leave a review
• Offing an incentive or reward for their feedback (like a coupon code to be used towards a future purchase)
There are several benefits to gathering as many customer reviews as possible. Reviews allow your e-commerce business to:
• Enhance brand credibility in the eyes of prospective consumers
• Boost online rankings
• Show appreciation and build brand loyalty
• Encourage repeat buyers
• Increase customer lifetime value (Customer lifetime value = Customer value x Average customer lifespan)
• Increase revenues
Social Media Listening
Social media mentions are far too valuable to ignore. Research shows that 1 in 3 people use social media channels to discover new products, and 76% have purchased something they’ve seen in a social media post.
Few e-commerce businesses have the time to monitor all social media posts on their own and instead employ social media listening tools to help them out. These social media listening tools enable businesses of all sizes to keep their ear to the ground, learning first-hand what people think about your brand, your products, and even how you compare to the competition by collecting and analyzing what’s being said about your company on various social media platforms in real-time.
Social media posts are also the perfect opportunity to engage with past and prospective buyers by thanking customers for their positive feedback and genuinely addressing any negative comments.
Create a Community
Along the same lines as social media monitoring, a brand community page is another convenient outlet to engage with and collect feedback from users.
Like real-life communities, brand communities come in many shapes and forms; they can be created using popular social media channels or be brand-hosted platforms where interested users come together to share a common interest. Lego, Sephora, and Salesforce have all created hugely popular branded communities, while Pelton has thrived with a 400,000-plus strong Official Pelton Member Page on Facebook.
Since users are quite active in engaging with each other in these online communities, they provide an excellent opportunity for e-commerce businesses to observe real-time feedback and insight into their operations. However, to succeed with a dedicated online community, you must be prepared to invest time and money to make them worthwhile for community members. This includes:
• Regularly posting high-quality content
• Actively responding to customer feedback
• Moderating discussions
• Initiating engaging conversations
In a competitive e-commerce market, consumer feedback is one variable you simply can’t afford to ignore. After all, who better to tell you how you’re doing than the audience you’re trying to capture?
Combined with other analytical tools, direct consumer feedback can help give you all the information you need to gain a competitive advantage and boost sales by helping you improve your product offerings, attract more followers, reduce custom acquisition costs, and enhance overall user experience.