In today’s tech-savvy consumer age, e-commerce is more of a norm than an exception. Even those organizations who have successful physical stores and setups, still tend to have e-commerce websites. Online stores help businesses or as we call them, ‘sellers’, especially SMEs to access wider markets and customers that are otherwise not easily reachable because of geographical limitations.
However, with the internet flooded with online selling partners, it can be baffling as to which online platform to partner with. It is extremely important to choose the right selling partner to take full advantage of such arrangement.
Here are six factors that can help you to choose the right partner:
Online selling platforms usually target a specific type of consumers and focus on a certain type of products. For example, Flipkart sells anything from books to electronics, FirstCry focuses exclusively on children’s products, and Rolling Nature is dedicated to planting enthusiasts. There are several e-commerce players competing with each other for the same product or category. So, it is important that you choose an online selling partner which aligns with your product better than the others.
Customer Service and Technical Support
An efficient technical and customer service support is of paramount importance for both customers as well as sellers. Customers expect a timely resolution to their concerns related to purchase, payments, delivery, and returns. Similarly, if the e-commerce website hangs frequently, is difficult to navigate, has slow boot time or is simply too complicated for customers, they can feel disappointed with the experience. So, even if your product is good, they will switch to another website. At the same time, if sellers are facing any issues pertaining to customer service or technical aspects, the online selling partner should be quick to address so.
Ease of Becoming a Seller
Usually, online selling partners have a well-defined policy for businesses to become a seller. However, what you need to ensure is that how smooth the on-boarding process is, whether they provide any training to go online and manage the customer queries, and how quick the transactions – between seller and customer as well as the seller and online selling partner, are processed.
Just the way customers search for user reviews before buying the products, you can also do the same before choosing an online selling partner. You can search online or seek feedback fellow business associates who are present on a particular online selling platform. Their experience can give you some very important insights into the functioning and processes of the online selling partner.
It is the online selling partner who would be majorly monitoring and controlling the movement of goods. They should be able to ensure safe and timely deliveries to customers while giving enough time for a seller to pack and hand over the goods to a courier. The better and quicker they shipment/delivery/return policy is, more customers are loyal to them. So, check out how the logistics chain of the online selling partner works, who are its logistic partners, and how it handles logistics grievances of customers.
Now that you have decided to take your business online, you would require a further infusion of funds. While you can avail small business loans from regular sources, did you know that some online selling partners also offer quick business loans? So, it is advisable to tie-up with the one who provides a preferential and easy access to small business loans for sellers associated with them. For instance, Flipkart, Grofers, Wydr and The Secret Label have partnered up with FlexiLoans, an online financing platform, to offer quick business loans to their sellers.
These were some important guidelines when choosing an online selling partner to grow your business. Right from business loans to technical efficiency, each factor is an important consideration.
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