In today’s world, ecommerce sites face a number of challenges. In particular, missed opportunities and receiving negative feedback are areas of concern. These sites are in the business to make money, and seeing site visitors leave empty-handed is less than ideal. Negative reviews are no picnic either, as they can impact brand images and the potential for future business.

So how do online retailers and other ecommerce sites manage these modern challenges? Below is a discussion offering methods for traversing the aforementioned obstacles.

Always Respond

When it comes to negative feedback, responding is a far better tactic than choosing to ignore it altogether. Research suggests that people are likely to move on to a competitor when they have a bad experience, giving companies only one week to make amends. On the other hand, a large percentage of individuals complaining on Twitter reported that they were thrilled when their complaints received responses, as cited by Econsultancy.

Online-ComplaintsThis research suggests the value of responding to negative feedback. Rather than hiding from a complaint and losing a customer, meet it head-on and earn their respect and appreciation. A quick and useful response can mean the difference between continuing a valuable relationship and losing business.

Respond Positively

Rather than ignoring the negative feedback, responding in a positive manner is an opportunity to resolve the issue, and show that you care in the process. Having representatives respond with their real names is a great way to make the conversation seem personal. Also, encouraging the troubled customer to call a manager will take the conversation offline and reduce the damage.

Take the Customer’s Side

As the old saying goes, the customer is always right. This has never been more relevant than in the digital age as complaints and grievances no longer play out behind closed doors. Empathize with the customer and make a visible effort to hear out their issue. This is the easiest way to reduce resistance and to start moving toward a resolution.

Make It Apparent That It Won’t Happen Again

When you respond to the troubled customer it is important to make it clear that the same issue won’t reoccur in the future. Spelling out what steps will be taken to alleviate the current situation and to prevent it in the future can go a long way. Not only will this salvage whatever relationship still exists with the customer in question, it will demonstrate to others the effort you make to meet customers needs.

In terms of decreasing the number of abandoned shopping carts on your site, consider the following tips.

Take Attention Away From the Price

Research suggests the main reason potential customers abandon a shopping cart involves the price, according to an article by Copyblogger. The studies cited in this article advise ecommerce sites to reduce the attention that is given to the price digits people see while they are in the checkout process.

Tactics such as removing the dollar sign from the total and reducing the size of the type help to reduce the shock factor customers experience when they see a price total.

Offer Free Shipping

freeshippingtruckThe cost of shipping proved to be another major deterrent for potential customers at the point of checkout. A shipping price that seems high can prevent a customer from purchasing an item, regardless of the other sales or discounts being offered. Offering free shipping for certain periods of time or making it a permanent policy are proven methods for reducing abandoned shopping carts and increasing business.

Evolve the Testimonial and Review Section

It’s 2014 and if your website doesn’t have some manifestation of a review system, you’re losing out on a lot of potential business. It will increase your bounce rate and tell search engines your products are not satisfying their queries, making you rank lower for the products you sell. But  you’re smart so you don’t have to worry about all that! What you should pay attention to is how to make your review and testimonial system better – how do we make it more authoritative, more trustworthy, and more conversion-driven?

For starters, take a leaf out of this testimonial page by creating a verified reviewer/shopper badge:

verified reviewr example

Not only does this change the perception of “normal” reviewer to “verified” but it creates a more authoritative environment.

Make Registration Painless

If your checkout process requires customers to register on your site, ensure that this process is quick and easy. Reduce the number of necessary forms and change the prompt language from “registration” to “continue” in order to stop visitors from abandoning the process.

If possible, making registration optional is another alternative. Giving the registration option with an explanation of its advantages is a way to reduce failed checkout conversions without sacrificing site registrations.

Ecommerce businesses face challenges in their attempts to convert customers at the point of checkout and in dealing with negative feedback. Consider the aforementioned tips in order to handle these challenges successfully.