VoiceChannelOur shopping experience has fundamentally changed. What used to happen in stores is now happening globally on shopping platforms and online marketplaces, where orders can be completed with just a few clicks and goods delivered to the doorstep. It is no surprise e-commerce has conquered the consumer market and is expected to reach five trillion dollars in sales this year. Its growth engine is the uncomplicated, secure shopping at any time of the day or night: a service that the customer has come to appreciate and now expects.

But the new world of shopping also brings new challenges for providers. If you run an online marketplace or want to offer your customers an end-to-end delivery experience, you need to stay connected to the customer through all phases of the purchase. Not to mention that today’s customers expect you to be represented on all communication channels.

Voice communication can be used in a variety of innovative ways to improve your customer service, gain valuable information, and strengthen your platform. But rest assured that in a world where you can buy anything, anywhere, instantly, you need the right tools to stay ahead in the global e-commerce. That is why many innovative e-commerce companies rely on communication APIs to make their customer interactions fast, smooth, scalable, and cheaper. These APIs are flexible building blocks with which any communication path can be easily integrated into the customer journey.

The following examples will give you some insights on how you can use voice solutions to stay connected to e-commerce customers – from order to delivery. Even though every company and customer journey are different, the following scenarios have proven to be effective in acquiring customers more effectively, make order processes more customer-friendly and efficient, and build customer trust.

  • For a smooth transaction, buyers and sellers need to be able to speak to one another. But without control mechanisms, there is a risk that they will contact you outside of your platform or process the transaction without you. Such transactions not only endanger the customer's privacy but also reduce sales. Companies that establish contact between buyers, sellers and suppliers can now protect those on the call by replacing real phone numbers with virtual ones.

  • Call tracking is essential for e-commerce marketplaces and online retailers to collect call metadata and gain valuable insights for the growth of the platform. A unique virtual telephone number is assigned to all advertisements or sellers on the marketplace. The call metadata can then be used to optimize marketing campaigns and generate better leads that can attract more vendors to the platform.

  • In critical situations, if an error occurred, or a complex inquiry needs to be answered in more detail, it is best to avoid delays by making a simple phone call directly from a web application or mobile app.  It is a faster and smoother way to communicate that prevents misunderstandings compared to emails and messages going back and forth.

  • With programmable voice solutions, e-commerce companies have practically unlimited possibilities to create a differentiated and efficient customer experience by setting up interfaces to third-party providers, such as voice bots based on artificial intelligence.

  • Conversation recordings are useful but time-consuming to analyze. With transcriptions, phone calls can be checked and analyzed for keywords in a fraction of the time. This allows companies to get to know customers better, train agents, and improve the quality of interactions between buyers and sellers.

  • With so many potential points of break within the ecommerce experience, there must be a way to reach the customer when it really matters. A ringing phone is difficult to ignore; hence, an automated call increases the chance that important messages such as transaction reports or a changed delivery date will be noticed.

Clearly, consumers expect brands and platforms they shop from to be accessible on a variety of channels – from SMS to WhatsApp to video chat. Keep your ears open to find out from customers which communication channels besides voice can be used for an excellent customer journey - regardless of whether it is a seamless shopping experience, bringing together buyers and sellers or efficiently delivering your goods all over the world.

By Daniela La Marca