"Go the extra mile to surprise the customer"

Sachin Bansal, co-founder and CEO, Flipkart, suggests five ways to ensure customer delight in e-commerce

Listen to your customer: Take feedback at regular intervals and incorporate that into your strategy. Social media, in particular, is a great way of reaching out to your audience. Ensure you have a presence on Facebook and Twitter, have regular conversations with your customers, respond to queries and address concerns on a real-time basis.

Under-promise and over-deliver: A large part of the online shopping experience is dependent on third parties where you may not be able to exercise control. This includes vendors supplying on time, meeting delivery deadlines, etc. So, be cautious — make realistic promises and go the extra mile to surprise the customer. If a product is to be delivered in five days, take that time from the customer — and then see if you can do it in three. 

Have a user-friendly website: Ensure the online shopping experience is as smooth as possible. Have a simple, clutter-free website, easy-to-use search tools, clear product descriptions and above all, multiple payment options. A personalised experience — suggesting products on the site based on a customer’s browsing history, for instance — will up the delight factor. 

Go mobile: Mobile is the future of e-commerce. With increasing smartphone penetration, customers (especially younger ones) are looking to access content on-the-go, and this extends to online shopping as well. E-commerce companies that focus on mobile, creating tailormade apps that make it easier for customers to browse and shop from their phones, will be able to effectively capture consumer attention.

Offer variety: The biggest advantage of online shopping is the convenience of being able to choose from a number of brands and products from a single destination. So, build depth. If you’re selling books, offer the widest range, great prices and superlative service. If you’re selling apparel, stock all brands, sizes and styles so the customer doesn’t look anywhere else. 


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