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The Four Point Consumer Connection in Ecommerce

Aug 25, 2008
Ecommerce is essentially the art of meaningful connection. When online businesses perceive their role as merely seller they are liable to find themselves in a 'disconnect' with their customers.

Connection # 1 - Know Your Customer

The best step in connecting with your prospects is to learn what they want. This generally involves research and being willing to ask questions. There will be those that are captured by an idea and launch it without gaining an understanding as to the marketability of the product. This first point of connection is essentially the first building block needed for ultimate client connection.

Connection # 2 - Content is King

Once you establish a product or service that is in concert with the expectations of the consumer, you need to establish a trustworthy website that provides information that allows the dots to connect for your visitor. Far too often websites simply provide a photo of the product and a brief description in the 'store' section of the site.

In brick and mortar stores consumers are able to visit with a store clerk to determine the value of a product. With a website, you must find ways to answer their questions. Often this function is of greater importance than a simple FAQ section.

Connection # 3 - Provide Firsthand Knowledge

If your customers have questions not addressed in your information-based website you should provide reasonable access to you for further clarification. Your availability may be the most potent form of connection.

Connection # 4 - Don't Sever Connections at the Point of Sale

Once a transaction has been made you should provide a means of connecting with your customer to let them know you appreciate their business. This is often accomplished through the use of autoresponders, but may be enhanced with a series of available informational articles specifically designed for those who actually make a purchase. You may also have an ecourse that you can make available. Some online businesses make evaluation forms available on their site. Customers are then invited back to the site to provide feedback. Discounts on new purchases are often a gift that can be given for taking the time to fill in a questionnaire.

Even in cyberspace your customers want a connection, but the connection seems to be increasingly dictated by the consumer. Online business is responding by making their customer connections worthwhile and knowledge-based. Those who do not provide this type of connection are often finding a downturn in new customer sales as well as a lack of enthusiasm from existing customers.
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