By Michael Bates, Lead Project Manager
When it comes time to launch your shiny new eCommerce site, you’ll likely be focused entirely on making sure the customer experience and integration are seamless. While the site itself is crucial, you should also be considering something equally vital:
Why should my customers order on this new site? How do I get them there?
Many of your customers might be wondering what advantage eCommerce offers. Some may even have an aversion to using eCommerce from a bad experience in the past. Some may be unfamiliar with online purchasing, especially in a B2B eCommerce environment. And some may be concerned that ordering online means their favorite salesperson won’t receive commission on their web orders. A few might even just prefer their trusty old fax machine or a chance to say hello on the phone.
As a result, you’re going to have to entice as many current customers as possible to order online. You can achieve this through many different methodologies, varying from promotions to penalties. However, the best way is to simply pass the confidence you have in your eCommerce site onto your customers. If your customers know you love your new site, they’ll grow to love it too.
Whether you are launching a full fledged boutique retail store or B2B only web portal, Nomad erpCommerce clients have used a variety of methods to encourage strong customer adoption of eCommerce storefronts.
Many Nomad clients have utilized services like MailChimp and ConstantContact to send emails to lists of current customers from their ERP database. Typically, these emails contain authorization codes, which when used in the sign-up process, automatically associate the user with their existing ERP customer record, syncing addresses and terms accounts. As Nomad integrates our clients’ eCommerce storefront directly with their ERP software (such as Exact Macola, Syspro, Microsoft Dynamics GP and more) the direct integration means that each customer can view custom information such as individual pricing, discounts, account information, inventory status and shipping status.
When email addresses are not available for every customer, some Nomad clients have opted to send analog mail via USPS to each customer containing their individual authorization codes.
These forms of bulk communication provide an excellent opportunity to showcase your new site to your potential customers, encouraging strong order volumes upon launch.
Many Nomad clients offer promotions using Nomad’s powerful discount manger right after they launch their new eCommerce site. These promotions can range from 10% off of a first order to free ground shipping on all orders placed within the first week of the site launch. These types of promotions help entice customers to order with you, even if they might be unfamiliar or hesitant to place a transaction online after you first launch.
When customers order online, it creates a win-win situation wherein the customer is able to access valuable, relevant account information quickly and easily without having to pick up the phone, and the retailer spends less time researching and answering basic inquiries and more time providing valuable customer services.
Nomad erpCommerce users have found great cost savings in reduced order processing time, and many have passed these savings onto their customers by offering flat discounts on some or all items that are bought online. Even just a single percentage point discount compared to a non-online price can entice customers to order online instead of calling their favorite salesperson!
Processing Fees on Non-Online Orders
Another technique to encourage online orders is to implement fees on fax or phone orders that don’t apply to web orders. While this form of ‘penalty’ can encourage eCommerce adoption, many eCommerce retailers find positive reinforcement to be equally–if not more–effective.
More eCommerce Motivators
Nomad clients can get creative in the ways in which they encourage customers to utilize their new eCommerce site, including using eCommerce motivators such as offering a ‘free gift’ or ‘free two-day shipping’ for ordering online. Others, such as Nomad client Wastequip, successfully converted previously non-tech-savvy customers into delighted eCommerce users through brief training sessions, highlighting the ease-of-use and benefits of the Nomad eCommerce platform.
As you can see, there are many ways to entice your customers to use your new eCommerce website. These are just some of the creative and effective ways our customers have increased web adoption, but there certainly are others. Nomad is designed to be easy-to-use and highly customizable so that our users can brainstorm and design many different promotion and discount programs to encourage eCommerce adoption, analyze the results, and do more of what works and less of what doesn’t.
Michael Bates is the Lead Project Manager at Sniperdyne.
For more tips on optimizing your eCommerce website and creating a positive customer experience, visit the Nomad Product News and eCommerce and ERP Best Practices sections of our blog. And to read more about our customers’ success with Nomad erpCommerce, visit the customer page of our website.
For more information about Nomad erpCommerce, visit www.NomadeCommerce.com.