More success in e-commerce: Present yourself as an expert

by Hermann Bach, 26.03.13

As an online merchant, you are probably very familiar with the products you offer. Take advantage of this and present yourself as an expert. Give your customers good advice and increase loyalty. 

Many consumers have only a vague idea of what they really want. They could most likely be in need of your friendly advice to help them find the right product. As the shop owner you are the product expert, so ensure to make great use of this opportunity and consult their needs. You want to persuade the customers in choosing your shop – and no one else’s. So what exactly should you do?


Make yourself visible

Just take a look yourself at how impersonal many online shops are. While many owners of brick & mortar shops maintain personal client relationships, some online retailers are a phantom to their customers. Common mistakes range from the lack of personal information about the merchant, to deeply hidden contact details often imbedded well within the imprint.

The customer wants to know to whom he is giving his money to. This is one of the reasons why so many customers search online first but then proceed to purchase their goods in a local store afterwards. Convey to your customers and give them the feeling of trust by showing them your face. This is meant literally: Upload a picture of yourself and (if applicable) your team. A photo speaks a thousand words and this will give them a small but significant glimpse of behind the scenes and indicate that you personally stand answerable to your online shop.


Attach a map

If you have a brick & mortar shop in addition to your online shop, you should implement a map on your website to exactly show where you are located. To do so, simply navigate to your shop’s back office administration area, then to Content / Categories >> Content preview. Click specifically in the area where you would like to insert the map and click on App in the upper menu. Choose Map, select a provider (such as Google Maps) then type-in your shops’ physical address location. Click Apply, then Save. The map will now appear in your online shop.


Answer frequently asked questions

You have an idea about the things you sell? Of course you do, so you should present yourself as an expert and answer your customers’ questions. Especially loved websites are those composed with pre-specified answers to those frequently asked questions (FAQ). There are certainly common questions raised about your products or services that you should openly showcase in your own FAQ page. Perhaps you sell records? Then mention how your customers can recognise a good record player – and maybe a suggestion where to buy one. Or you specialise in fine shoes? Then give your customers tips on how to treat and keep the leather in tip top condition. Using your FAQ in this manner, regardless of your shop type and products, you demonstrate to your clients that you are technically familiar with the subject.


Be accessible

Show your customers that they can always contact you. Don’t restrict your consulting opportunities to e-mail only, instead give them the chance to call you directly. Answer their questions quickly in person and help them to find the right product in your online shop. In terms of choosing what the best method of contact is, it is clear e-mail is good, but being reachable by telephone is even better –and a mixture of both is most optimal. Also remember to clearly display the opening hours and do not forget to use an answering machine for out of office times or if your line is engaged. Key here, is to not lose a potential sale.

About the author

is an editor at ePages since 2012, taking care of our PR and writing blog articles mainly about technology partnerships, events and commerce trends.

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