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Tuesday 17 October 2017
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Investing in Online Retail

Just by speaking with your friends, family, or even considering your own spending habits, it’s clear that the world of online shopping is well and truly taking over. However, just like all investments, its returns aren’t guaranteed. If you are looking for a way to mitigate your losses and invest wisely – consider the customer experience.

The key to the booming success of online shopping comes in the form customer trust. To learn if your intended investment can not only gain, but maintain this, look at the following.

Product Marketing

Gone are the days where a catalog filled with airbrushed photos of products in situations they will never be used in appeases consumers. In the world of online shopping, customers want to see exactly what they are going to receive – flaws and all. While it may mean a missed sale, the successful sales which do occur result in return visits. Look through any marketing policies to determine the type of advertising which will be used.

Customer Sided Policies

Traditional retail policies are written with the company in mind. Where if a customer changes their mind, no options are made available. However, when a customer can’t see the items they are purchasing, free returns and refunds are vital.

This point works on two levels.

  1. If a customer receives an item, changes their mind, then returns it, the ease of the transaction will determine their return business.
  2. If a customer is confident that their purchase, correct or not, comes with zero liability, they are more likely to make the initial purchase.

Payment Methods

Online companies who see the biggest success offer a wide range of payment options. While credit companies may advertise their service as being ‘customer preferred,’ this market is also fluid and. Customers are increasingly moving towards payment services such as PayPal, Bitcoin, and third party payment merchants. If the retailer you intend on investing in isn’t adaptable to new and evolving payment methods, customer dollars will move to those who are.

Embrace Customer Trends

Alongside in-house marketing, there are a number of third party providers who offer their own marketing platform which retailers can utilize. Coupons are a great example of a customer trend. The Groupon Coupon page for Blinds.com offers a range of vouchers available. By embracing this trend and taking advantage of established third party providers, a traditionally brick-and-mortar store now has appeal in an online shopping environment.

Just because the market is booming, and without a doubt, moving in the direction of domination, it in no way guarantees a return on your investment.

If you are considering this type of investment, look to the above, and always put yourself in the position of the consumer. If you wouldn’t buy from the retailer, why should you invest in them?