Only one in four e-shop operators plan new service features
Availability via e-mail takes precedence over online consulting
Customers are compelled to send queries
Online customers buy from sources offering smooth shopping facilities. But online retailers are investing more in after-sales than in simple purchasing processes. Half of all shop operators have plans for additional expenses in 2010 for e-mail and telephone consulting in an attempt to respond to queries even faster-while only one in four retailers are investing in new service functions. For example, online retailers could inform customers of product availability up front and let customers specify their own delivery dates at a click of the mouse. This would save customers the trouble of submitting queries. These are the results of an e-shop study performed by novomind in which 200 decision makers representing the e-commerce sector were surveyed.
Integrating more customer service in the purchasing process
By focusing on processing standard queries, e-commerce companies are directing investments into the wrong channels. In the age of chat rooms, online forums and Twitter, even waiting for a response by e-mail takes too long for many customers, who would prefer more immediate information and functions offering them improved support when purchasing. E-shops are not sufficiently exploiting what’s technically possible when it comes to avoiding queries. "A customer who is able to specify his preferred delivery date at a click of the mouse no longer needs to ask a contact centre employee when his package is going to arrive. This also relieves capacities in the area of customer service", explains novomind CEO, Peter Wiedekamm.
Shopping experiences gain in importance
Even in the form of product presentation and by using faster channels, retailers can already do so much more to inspire customers and save the odd query or two. Videos and 3-D presentations provide online buyers with even more detailed impressions of the respective products. This facilitates opinions as to whether the product complies with the customer’s wishes. At the same time, consulting chats with real sellers allow immediate clarification while improving sales opportunities. On the other hand, only 24 per cent of online retailers want to offer their customers more in terms of visuals. Accordingly, the majority of shopping platforms are still a long way away from offering shopping as an experience.
The "Technical and economic evolution of e-shops" study is based on a CATI survey (Computer-Assisted Telephone Interview). On behalf of novomind AG, a total of 200 IT decision makers in an online shop were surveyed in November 2009 and the functions used or planned in e-shops analysed. In addition, 15 German-language e-shops were examined as examples whose shop systems had been subject to a relaunch over the past twelve months.
Since 1999, Hamburg company novomind has been developing innovative e-business solutions for the modern Internet world in four e-business disciplines: e-commerce (e-shops and zoom server), ePDM (electronic product management), e-marketplace (marketplace integration) and e-communication (solutions for contact and service centres).
novomind is a European technology leader in every service segment and covers the whole digital value-adding chain in retail and electronic customer communication. The Hamburg-based software house is the fastest growing company in the fields of electronic customer communication and mail management.
novomind also provides comprehensive consultancy services for people choosing a suitable IT system for e-commerce. Established licence software like IBM WebSphere Commerce Server and INTERSHOP ENFINITY is considered, as are custom-made novomind solutions based on novomind iSHOP.
novomind AG is currently assisting more than 80 companies including Citibank, Der Club Bertelsmann, Deutsche Rentenversicherung Bund, Ernsting’s family, EnBW, gebrüder götz, OTTO and QVC.