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With many high-street stores turning to e-commerce sites to sell their products and services it can be argued that customers are favouring to shop online as opposed to visiting shopping centres and independent retailers. So, what it is that e-commerce sites offer that shop assistants don't?
Firstly, there are many pros and cons to visiting a retail environment. Although customer service can be helpful and more personalised, it is an on-going issue that people are restricted for time and are shopping online. It has been argued that the same level of customer service can be achieved on the web through e-commerce sites. Websites selling products and services are able to provide shopping wish-lists, campaigns, and exclusive offers that can entice an online audience, whereas, these promotions are not always available in store.
As e-commerce sites usually ask for log in details, there is a perfect opportunity for your site to create a mailing list in order to distribute newsletters and information, which is something only a number of retail outlets can achieve. When a customer orders you can send them promotional offers with their purchase, to encourage them to shop again. By creating exclusive online offers you are targeting an online audience that is represented as an exclusive club. If a customer receives an offer that is good value they may share their thoughts on the online experience with others.
Another feature of e-commerce sites is that they allow you to read product reviews, the companies blog and also interact via forums. Providing video and audio content can also help to engage your online audience and gives online users the chance to share information on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. This allows the brand to interact with their target audience and ensures that what is said about them can be controlled and monitored.
This post was written by NuBlue; the UK's expert web hosting and digital media agency.