Historians will have a multitude of social phenomena to evaluate as they reflect on the COVID-19 epidemic in the coming years. The effect of prolonged lockdowns on mental health. The change of workplace spaces as a result of more remote working. The significance of social media in the spread of conspiracy theories, as well as the difficult balancing act of public health vs economic reality.
Then there’s eCommerce, which enjoyed tremendous growth in the blink of an eye while the bulk of the world’s consumers was stuck at home.
The rise of eCommerce
To say that online shopping has exploded throughout the epidemic is an understatement. According to the United Nations, the worldwide eCommerce market increased to $26.7 trillion as a result of COVID-19, with consumers in emerging nations leading the way. As stated in UNCTAD’s COVID-19 and E-Commerce: A Global Review reports, as well as eTrade:
- Mercado Libre, Latin America’s online marketplace, sold twice as many things per day in the second quarter of 2020 than it did in the same period in 2019.
- Jumia, an African eCommerce site, claimed a 50% increase in transactions over the first six months of 2020.
- Between August 2019 and August 2020, China’s online retail sales share increased from 19.4 percent to 24.6 percent.
- In Kazakhstan, the internet percentage of retail sales climbed from 5% in 2019 to 9.4% in 2020; and
- Thailand witnessed downloads of retail applications surge 60 percent in only one week during March 2020.
While such growth has no doubt been welcomed by individual operators, it has also presented them with fresh challenges. Cybersecurity demands, the need for more bandwidth, and supply chain disruptions are among issues that have reared their heads, not to mention the intense pressure such demand has put on one of the most crucial facets of any eCommerce operation – customer support.
Customer service is important
The finest eCommerce firms have a specific plan for giving their consumers the care and support they deserve, whether through contact centers, live chat, or other means. A devoted customer base is the backbone of every successful business and necessitates more than just providing a high-quality product. Organizations that invest in customer service put themselves ahead of their competition, and in a world of limited resources, it has never been more critical to be strategic in how that investment is made.
More consumers imply more customer service — and more personnel to provide it. The expense of recruiting such staff domestically is proving to be a hardship for both large and small eCommerce operators, which is why a growing number are turning to customer support outsourcing companies. Hiring a third party to manage inquiries, respond to concerns, and establish positive ongoing connections may relieve a lot of stress, especially for new eCommerce businesses on a tight budget.
Why does customer service outsourcing work?
Unfortunately, many eCommerce businesses put off outsourcing their customer support needs until it is too late. Having attempted to preserve the status quo despite increased order numbers, they are now trying to keep up with questions, requests, and follow-ups, and are soon dealing with an increasing number of dissatisfied clients. Smart business owners understand that taking a proactive approach to outsourcing may provide various benefits, including:
- Best Service: While customers may eventually forget about a product or its specific features, the majority will always remember the help they got, and outsourcing providers are significantly involved in providing such exceptional service. Online customers are always looking for information and answers to their problems, and eCommerce firms that respond to such inquiries swiftly and properly will be remembered for the right reasons. Quality customer service should not be left to chance, and outsourcing companies make it their number one focus.
- 24 Hours Service: One of eCommerce’s most appealing characteristics is the option for customers to purchase whenever they want, with 58 percent of consumers preferring to shop online rather than in-store since they can do so 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This demand extends to having access to customer service, and outsourcing allows firms to react to simple inquiries after hours and on weekends without having to pay exorbitant penalty fees. Nothing beats serving clients’ needs and desires even when you’re sleeping.
- Minimizing issues: Even the world’s most competent companies face angry clients on occasion. The important is how they handle them. Excellent customer service is all about mitigating the consequences of such issues, with consumers who feel their views were heard not only less likely to create more trouble but also more likely to become champions for the eCommerce firm. Working with the correct outsourced eCommerce solutions provider will help you keep your customers satisfied and reduce the need for issue resolution.
- Best use of resources: Responding to client inquiries is a necessary part of doing business, but it should never be the main emphasis of an eCommerce entrepreneur’s firm. Outsourcing customer service helps executives and in-house employees to focus on essential company operations such as product development and sales strategy. By outsourcing less monotonous and time-consuming activities to specialized third-party suppliers, companies may devote more work and resources to actually expanding their businesses.
- Scale to meet demand: As the COVID-inspired surge has demonstrated, eCommerce enterprises must be nimble enough to adapt to market pressures. As sales have increased, so has the need for greater customer service, and addressing that need locally might entail massive upfront expenses for things like recruiting, office space, and IT equipment. Similarly, a rapid decline might raise concerns about what to do with so many resources that are no longer required. Outsourcing eliminates this burden by offering a cost-effective and efficient platform for scaling up and down customer support employees as needed.
eCommerce solutions that are outsourced
One of the reasons eCommerce outsourcing succeeds is that there is no one-size-fits-all policy. When it comes to customer service, suppliers can either enable complete units that operate under the supervision of a Team Leader or find specific positions that would assist a business to achieve its own needs.
From Helpdesk and Technical Support personnel to Inbound (customer inquiries, feedback, and complaints) and Outbound Services (contacting customers with promotions, bill reminders, and satisfaction surveys), outsourced eCommerce solution providers are playing an important role in putting more smiles on the faces of customers – and, by extension, those of business owners.
Discover the eCommerce trends that are emerging as millions of people adopt new online purchasing behaviors and habits as COVID-19 becomes an ongoing part of our life.