In the previous article, we discussed 3 key reasons the EU’s top retailers have found success by optimizing customer interactions in ways that drive engagement and increase sales. In this article, we’ll cover features that retailers offer their customers that develop trust and increase the likelihood that a potential customer will make a purchase.
4. Top EU Retailers are Responsive and Engage Across Multiple Social Channels
Responsiveness and cross-channel flexibility is critically important in retail. As customers become increasingly diffused across social media, retailers like Matalan, Screwfix, and Empik have taken up residence in an average of 6 social channels including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, and Pinterest. For retailers that can synergize well with social media, that is ideal; however, industry statistics indicate that the average top retailer engages its customers through 4-5 channels, which include email, phone, and web forms in addition to social media.
Speaking to responsiveness, industry statistics indicate that customer requests by email take 1-2 business days to resolve on average. In contrast, requests by phone will take up to an hour, and requests through social media are resolved on average in 30 minutes.
While we can’t help you respond to customer requests, we’re prepared to assist you in setting up streamlined web and social media channels. A streamlined channel will increase the effectiveness of your marketing and customer-facing teams.
5. Top EU Retailers Optimize Their Online User Experience Through Localization
The EU’s 28 member states and 24 official languages presents retailers with a unique localization challenge. What is the optimum number of languages and localizations? Retail giant IKEA offers their shopping experience in 28 languages, tailored to the data they collect in the extensive market research they perform prior to opening a new store.
EU fashion retailers La Redoute, H&M, and Zara also perform strongly in the localization department, allowing customers to shop in up to 20 languages, and pay in up to 10 currencies.
These large companies are trendsetters, but they don’t represent the majority of EU retailers. On average, online EU retailers only localize their websites to 4 languages, accept 3-4 currencies, and optimize their communication channels to 2 locales. Average retailers prioritize the UK, France, and Germany in their localization efforts.
Most retailers choose to primarily communicate domestically, with the amount of localization and number of languages matching that of their country of origin. Working with a good e-commerce developer can help you bridge that gap. We understand the importance of good localization and a strong user experience. You can trust us to design you a solution that will meet your customer’s needs no matter where they live or what language they speak.
6. Top EU Retailers Offer Social Sharing and Flexible Returns
The top retailers do more than just engage with their customers (see Part 1). Being able to share information about products is important to retail sales, as direct referrals from trusted sources are far more influential than standard marketing.
Of all of the EU’s top retailers, 40% allow customers to share items on social media directly from their mobile app or website. This is in contrast to the roughly 25% of retailers who offer customers star ratings or product reviews through their social media posts. Allowing users to share the product page appears to be more valuable as a marketing tool than the ability to share the ratings or reviews.
In addition to social media sharing, EU retailers offer their customers a flexible return policy. 80% of them allow returns by post, and a further 43% offer the option to return items to a physical location. The average refund policy covers the first 28 calendar days after purchase, and the average refund takes approximately 14 calendar days to process. These are achievable targets for even the smallest retailers.
At Foridev, we can help you by offering customized social and returns options for your e-commerce website. Whether you need a special social media button with customized capabilities, or a website plugin that allows you to more easily track and handle returns, we can help take care of you.
In our next article, we’ll discuss the kinds of streamlined e-commerce solutions that Top EU Retailers have used to ensure the highest levels of customer satisfaction and the lowest sales funnel loss rates. The goal for these retailers isn’t to make the sale – but rather to make that sale over and over again.