Nowadays, it is common to find that many businesses have decided to sell their products beyond their physical establishments. The emergence of the term e-commerce offers countless advantages not only for the company, which can easily increase its sales, but also for consumers.
The facility of being able to view products from any device and from any place, to buy easily with a single click, or to receive them directly at home, are some of the advantages offered by this type of transaction for users.
However, they also bring with them a fundamental disadvantage: not being able to physically check the characteristics of the products. Thus, it is normal that some doubts arise before buying the product which, if not solved, may prevent consumers from buying the product.
In this sense, it is the company’s responsibility to provide users with different ways of contact to overcome this problem and thus connect with them in a personal and immediate way. But what are they?
In this article we tell you what are the essential communication channels for an ecommerce, those that any online shop should have to be close to its customers. In addition, we tell you the advantages that each of them offers you and how to take advantage of them in the most efficient way.
Although the preferences of today’s consumers have changed and some of them now use other communication channels in their relationship with companies, traditional voice calls are still one of the main forms of contact. Therefore, a telephone number that customers can call to solve their queries is the most basic communication channel that any ecommerce store should have.
Its main advantage is that we are talking about a personal and complete form of communication. Unlike, for example, text messages, in these cases, consumers hear the voice of an agent, perceiving the image of a company that is close to them.
Another advantage of telephone numbers is that they provide a sense of local physical presence as the web user identifies a number in a particular city with the company’s presence in that city.
However, it also has two main disadvantages: on the one hand, the fact that for users, making a voice call means interrupting their activities; and on the other hand, the cost that in most cases must be borne by the customer.
In the first case, the solution is to offer alternative channels, such as WhatsApp, Telegram, or a live chat. In the second case, we can implement a Click to Call button on our ecommerce.
For this, it is necessary to have a virtual PBX solution, because when you click on it, a call will be launched via the Internet from the user’s browser. The agent will receive it on the device from which they manage their communications (computer, mobile or tablet) and they will talk as if it were a traditional phone call. This call does not have any cost, neither for the user nor for the company, and it works worldwide.
Before the pandemic, video calls were already a communication channel used by many. However, after this period, its popularity has increased significantly. This is because it is the most personal and closest form of contact.
Although, as mentioned above, voice calls also convey closeness, video calls not only allow us to hear the person on the other end, but also to see him or her. In addition, the most advanced systems also allow us to share files and documents, offering a more complete communication.
But this is not the only advantage. Among others, we could highlight that video calls allow us to resolve customer queries more quickly. By inserting video call buttons on our ecommerce website, we can guide the customer more easily, and even show them the product visually.
Let’s imagine a company that sells technological devices (mobiles, tablets, computers, headphones…) in its physical shops, but also through an online store. In the case of the shop, it is easy to check the characteristics of the item. However, in the case of an ecommerce, the customer may, for example, want to check the real color of the product, its size… Thus, through the button inserted on the website, it will launch a video call that the agent will receive on his device and will allow him to visually show him the item.
It is a free communication channel for the customer, but as in the case of voice calls, its main disadvantage is that we cannot perform other tasks while we are on the video call.
When users are in the middle of the buying process, they expect their questions to be answered quickly. Although calls and video calls are always a good option, there are many users who prefer being contacted via text messages.
A web chat allows real-time communication between the parties, ensuring that customer issues are solved quickly and efficiently. In addition, advanced solutions with chat integrated with the rest of the ecommerce channels even allow you to switch from chat to call from the browser itself, without having to leave the communication.
WhatsApp and Telegram
We already know that instant messaging applications are the preferred way for many to have a conversation. Unlike the previous ones, these online communication channels are characterized by the convenience they offer for the user, as it is not necessary to dedicate oneself exclusively to the conversation. Moreover, they are immediate and easy to use for anyone.
In this sense, giving your ecommerce customers the possibility of contacting you via WhatsApp or Telegram will encourage them to do so to solve their doubts.
However, we must bear in mind that Facebook provides two versions of the application for companies: WhatsApp Business and WhatsApp API. Having either of them is already a differentiating element, but it is true that the API offers greater functionalities and advantages. For example, it allows integration with other tools to ensure an efficient management of our communications from a single place, without having to switch from one screen to another. In addition, it is possible to use this channel on several devices, since, unlike the Business version, it is not associated with a single device, but with the company’s virtual number.
Although other online communication channels have become more popular in recent years, we cannot deny that email continues to be a great ally of any business, especially for ecommerce.
We can use them not only to answer customers’ questions, but also to send them information about new products, special discounts, satisfaction surveys…
Its main advantage is that it allows reaching a large number of consumers. However, it has a major drawback: it does not guarantee that communication will be immediate or that there will be an answer, as users receive a large number of emails on a daily basis. Thus, they, or even us, are likely to leave messages unread.
On the other hand, it also does not allow integration with the rest of the communication channels, so that we cannot manage it from the same platform as the rest and we will lose time switching from one medium to another, affecting the quality of our customer service.
The main advantage of SMS for ecommerce is that it allows you to provide brief and concise information to customers, such as confirmation that the purchase has been made successfully, the status of their order, etc.
However, this is a communication channel in decline, as nowadays, instant messaging applications also allow this process to be carried out effectively. We all have WhatsApp or Telegram notifications active in our phones, so we can be sure that users will receive and read the message.
Finally, social media, as well as being an excellent way of showing our products, are a good option for maintaining contact with users and solving their queries.
However, their management can be somewhat complex, as users’ preferences for them are constantly changing and they do not allow integration with the rest of the ecommerce channels.
I already have the essential communication channels for my ecommerce… How do I manage them efficiently?
Although all these communication channels are essential in an ecommerce, in order to make the most of all their advantages, it is important that we manage them efficiently.
In this sense, having a platform that allows us to unify them in one place is fundamental.
In Fonvirtual we offer you our omnichannel solution for ecommerce. With it, you can make and receive voice and video calls, as well as respond to messages from your customers, from the same interface. So no matter what channel they choose to communicate with you. You will always be available to them, regardless of your location, because thanks to the WebRTC technology with which our solution works, you will only need a device with an Internet connection.
Do you want to know more about what our solution can offer you? Contact us and we will advise you!