Business Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Friday, Oct 30, 2009
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E-Commerce & E-Business
Marketing - Customer Relationship Management
Did the sale click?
“In the future, there will not be any significant websites that do not contain the ‘call me now’ capability. The question is: How significant do you want your website to be?”
Bill Gates at the ETRA Conference, Belgium
In the Rs 9,200 crore ecommerce market in India, a typical transaction involves online research, recommendations from friends and family, negotiations and, finally, the actual sale. What’s crucial here is timely information and guidance to help customers decide. Currently, a large number of online customers abandon their virtual shopping cart midway through, and only 2.3 per cent complete the transaction.
A new ‘click to call’ tool promises to increase this to 10 per cent. The system works this way: Online businesses have to plug a code on their Web site. When visitors arrive on a page and look for the price, features, model, delivery and other product information, they just have to type the landline or mobile phone number provided on the site and hit the ‘click to call’ button. The application connects the customer to a Web site support agent within seconds. The agent can then answer the user’s queries and help complete the sale.
Although many sites provide a toll-free number, not many use it. That’s where a ‘click to call’ button can make a difference. Instead of transferring to an automated voice response system that puts callers on long hold, it connects to agents instantly. The service is free for users and they can even schedule a call at their convenience. As many customers research online before buying, a facility that connects to customers will help Web site owners conclude sales online or direct them to offline stores.
The ‘call to click’ service will suit small businesses such as the online florist, mobile phone retailer, real-estate dealer, online travel agent and so on. It would cost a merchant about Rs 4,000 to install it and each call costs about Rs 2 per minute, both for domestic calls as well as calls originating from the US and Canada. The charge varies for the other countries.
The service generates qualified leads for businesses by capturing the name, place and phone numbers of those visiting their Website. This would prove useful for follow-up action.
Besides ecommerce sites, the service can also be installed in email campaigns, pdf downloads, newsletters and paid online campaigns.
An AC Nielsen survey in 2008 showed that 54 per cent of online shoppers went back to the same site for purchases, conveying a high loyalty to sites. That should prove reason enough for online businesses to enrich customer satisfaction and create positive virtual shopping experiences.
The author is Director, Social Media Marketing at www.easycallnow.com, a click to call service powered by Impiger Technologies.
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