Wanna know how to keep customers loyal to your e-commerce Web site? Well, NFO Interactive might have the answers you're looking for. According to NFO, consumers yearn for an online shopping experience similar to the brick-and-mortar retail environment that they're accustomed to.
As part of the research for "Online Retail Monitor: Branding, Segmentation & Web Sites," NFO recently asked consumers what would entice them to shop at particular e-tail Web sites. Current online buyers revealed that the top five reasons they shop regularly on a particular Web site are:
trust that the e-tailer would keep personal information private
that the Web site has secure purchasing features
that the Web site is technically reliable
that the content is up-to-date
that products ordered are delivered on time.
Consumers who browse online, but who had not purchased items online, revealed that they would be attracted to purchase items from an e-tailer who:
assured them that their privacy would be protected
offered larger price discounts than offline shops
enabled them to return products to offline shops.
NFO suggested that e-tailers could better approximate the offline consumer experience by expanding customer service offerings to include online "chat" with retail representatives. Their research revealed that 20% of online shoppers would purchase online more often if such services - mimicking the offline shopping experience - were offered. It appears that privacy issues still seem to be the name of the online loyalty game, despite the fact that consumers are increasingly trying online shopping. Keeping them coming back to your e-tail site will be a challenge even if you manage to gain trust. Top-notch customer service will set you apart from the competition. Personalized promotions may help to bring them back as well, provided that you aren't filling their in-box too often with offers. Knowing when to draw the line on promotions also will help to secure consumers' trust about revealing personal information.