Online eCommerce Tips: Caveat emptor – Online Vendors Be Aware (Part 3)


Last Updated on March 2, 2021 by That Company Staging

Online eCommerce Tips | Hands Coming Out Making Purchases

This post is part three of my online shopping experiences this year. As I pointed out in parts one and two of this series, I do not do much shopping online. However, in the past two years, I have expanded my horizons. For the most part, have been let down at every turn.

This post is part three that outlines my experiences and provides information and online eCommerce tips to online consumers and inform online storefront vendors of the online shopping experiences that some of their eCommerce shopping cart platforms, customer service centers, and delivery logistics providers provide to their customers and potential new customers.

As I posted in parts one and two we have to have a general understanding of the terms of these experiences. Below is a list of some of the general industry jargon definitions.

Online eCommerce Tips: What is B2C eCommerce?

Consider this definition a key online eCommerce tip. In the world of web-based commerce (eCommerce), B2C (aka, business to consumer) is the exchange of products and/or services from businesses to end-user consumers.

Another Online eCommerce Tip What is B2B eCommerce?

And consider this the second key online eCommerce tip. In the world of online eCommerce, B2B (aka, business to business) is the exchange of products, services, and/or information between businesses.

What is an Online eCommerce Storefront?

eCommerce storefronts (aka, eCommerce platforms, eCommerce shopping carts, or eCommerce software) let you sell your products or services online. Then they also allow you to manage marketing tasks like sending email announcements, newsletter subscriptions, order confirmation, and tracking information.

There are a host of eCommerce storefront solutions (aka, eCommerce shopping carts) available such as TrueCommerce Nexternal, Shopify, BigCommerce, Magento, 3dcart, Netsuite, etc…

What is an Online eCommerce Credit Card Merchant?

Unlike retail merchants, who can always accept cash or paper checks, you must be able to accept credit and debit cards (and possibly eCheck (ACH) payments as well). Traditionally, the only way to accept these types of payments was through a merchant account, which is simply an account that processes your customers’ payments and transfers the funds to you, the merchant.

A good online eCommerce tip is to know that online eCommerce merchants have the choice of using a payment service provider (PSP), which performs the same basic functions as a merchant account but does not come with a confusing assortment of fees and complicated processing rates. Square and PayPal are popular examples of payment service providers.

If this all sounds complicated, well it’s because it is. Properly running an online eCommerce store can be hard. Luckily, you don’t have to do it alone. You should consider using our white label services for help with your eCommerce store.

Failed Experiences & Online eCommerce Tips of What Not to Do

Online eCommerce Tips: What Not to Do | Frustrated Woman Pulling Shirt Over Face

For the most part, I am not going to call out vendors by name except where warranted.

Experience No. 3: HomeImprovementBigBoxRetailerNo1.com and Industry Leading Parcel Delivery Company. You would expect that one of the largest home improvement big-box retailers would get the online experience correct but they didn’t. Click To Tweet

I needed a specific tool to complete a yard clean up project. Eventually, I found what I needed at HomeImprovementBigBoxRetailerNo1.com and also found a perfect gift for a member of my family. I placed both items in my shopping cart and checked. Then, I promptly received a confirmation of my order and in less than twenty-four hours I received a tracking notice.

At this point, I am thinking that finally, I might have a satisfactory online shopping experience.

Sometimes doing things properly requires experience before success. Luckily, we already have a lot of that. If interested, you should consider reading up on what you need to know about the white label and potentially allow us to work with you.

Well Maybe not…

Well Maybe Not | Robot Holding Heart That Broke Into Two Pieces

Sadly, I was wrong. And I guess there wouldn’t be as many online eCommerce tips to read about if I was right. Several days later I received the gift item but not the yard cleanup tool which prompted me to make a call to ensure that my order was indeed processed.

To make things even more challenging is that I live in a rural area and the United States Postal Service will not make deliveries to my home. My property is surrounded by fencing and my front gate remains closed so both FedEx and UPS will not enter my property. Typically, they leave all delivery items at the front gate (how they do so is a whole other matter). My front gate is 100 yards from my front door and hidden from view by a stand of trees.

The second item arrived several days later, on a Friday, after I had already returned home from work for the week. It, like many orders, was left at the front gate and I had no knowledge that it was there. There were severe storm warnings for my area for this particular Friday night. Everyone in the area knew it and one would have that that big brown would have known it as well.d

More of What Not To Do

Most packages that they leave at the front gate are wrapped in moisture protection (plastic bag, etc…). This one was not and it rained all night long and into the morning. When I went out to run my Saturday errands I found my package, or more like, what was left of my package at the front gate. It was so soggy that the box fell apart when I lifted it into the bed of my truck. I called the big-box retailer’s customer service and they instructed me to take this destroyed package to their nearest brick and mortar store and that they would process a return and re-order my product.

Well, to this I say, if I have to go through the hassle of visiting the retailer’s brick and mortar store to enact a return then I could have just gone to their brick and mortar store and bought the product in the first place and avoided the headache caused by shopping online. Needless to say, the replacement order was delivered the next Friday, and again, left at my front gate after I had returned home from work for the week.

History Tends to Repeat itself…

History Repeating Itself | Man Staring Into Mirror Over & Over

Again, it was left unprotected and again it rained for most of the night. As with the previous week, I found this destroyed product at my front gate when I went out to run my Saturday errands. Again, I had to make a trip to the retailer’s nearest brick and mortar location, which is about two miles outside of my normal route of travel, and return the item.

I did not re-order this item, so this big box home improvement store retailer lost several hundred dollars in revenue.

What Went Right And What Went Wrong? What Online eCommerce Tips can We Takeaway From This?

Did this vendor get everything wrong? Not really.

Mistakes committed:

  • Failure to notify that the order would be split shipped prompting the need to make an unnecessary customer service call
  • Choosing a parcel delivery company that takes no care in protecting the quality of their customers’ orders

What they got right:

  • Finding the right product easily in their online eCommerce system platform
  • Ease of ordering
  • Providing a no question asked return procedure even though I had to go out of my way to do so

Outcome?

  • I have changed my shipping address to my office to avoid any packages being left out in the weather.
  • I will continue to do business with this retailer only at their brick and mortar location on an absolutely as-needed basis only

In my next post, I will continue to provide an accounting of seven additional instances of unsatisfactory eCommerce vendor service. But for now, feel free to read up on how to be creative with your online marketing. Being creative will most certainly help in both marketing and eCommerce, so be sure to read up.

About That Company

Founded in 2007, That Company is one of the largest agencies, by staff size, in the United States dedicated to specializing in digital marketing: search engine optimization campaign management, pay per click advertising campaign management, social media marketing advertising campaign management, online reputation management campaign management and organic campaign management, white label search engine optimization campaign management, white label pay per click campaign management and white label social media marketing campaign management.

About the Author: Mark B. Gray

Mark has been with That! Company since the day that we opened the doors in May 2007, starting as a commission only, subcontracted website salesman providing website development and hosting services to SMB’s (small to medium-sized businesses). As the company neared its first 6 months in business a fourth employee was added, and Mark became the fifth full-time employee. Aside from the company’s CEO, Mark was the first employee to manage PPC campaigns.

As the business’ Search Engine Optimization client base grew, Mark added Search Engine Optimization content curation and on-page optimization implementation and testing to his resume. As the company neared its first year in existence, Mark became a Search Engine Optimization consultant with a full load of clients to manage. Mark’s strengths include On-page Search Engine Optimization implementation and testing, internal link structure discovery and implementation, backlink disavowal discovery and data evaluation, Google Search Console use and data evaluation, Google Analytics use and data evaluation, client communication, reliability, accountability, and Search Engine Optimization content curation on an ‘as needed’ basis.

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