I do the majority of my shopping online. I enjoy the convenience, appreciate that sizes for my 6’ tall frame are available as online exclusives, and I love that I am not continuously bothered by pushy sales associates. As a partner at OpenCart Addons, I am always up talking ecommerce, but I recently found myself eating my words when a major Canadian retailer dropped the ball and I was left with a disappointing email noting that my beloved dress was not on its way.
I was bummed out about this mistake, but I always try to see the silver lining in everything. In the case of my dress, I am able to warn ecommerce entrepreneurs on how to avoid an unnecessary mistake that will cost them customers. In the case of my dress, I received an email from the company two days after my order informing me that when they went to ship it, they realized that they no longer had any inventory. The most difficult part of the sales cycle is convincing a customer to pull the trigger and purchase from you, and there is no coming back from making this error.
This post will hopefully be very conspicuous to you; inputting accurate information should be an obvious step to OpenCart success. Sadly however, it isn’t. A while ago, a client was launching a new product line, and they input 999 as the product quantity. Did they have 999 of the item? Absolutely not; they had around 150. So what exactly is the big deal about product quantity, and why should you ensure accuracy?
We’ve all heard at one point or another that bad news travels fast, and this statement could not be more true. If you convince a customer to purchase from your store, you have beat the odds and succeeded in what you set out to do. When I received the email from the retailer, I was expecting it to be a shipping confirmation email, so the bad news was even more crushing! Even though I understand that mistakes happen, I honestly do not anticipate ever ordering from this store again. What’s even worse is that friends and family, the exact people I try and convince to move to order online will not be ordering from them, either.
Convincing a customer to purchase from an online store can be a feat in and of itself. Once you have closed the sale, the very last thing you want to do is inform the customer; the exact person you spent time convincing to order from your store that you don’t have the item in stock. You will look unprofessional, unorganized, and most importantly, your mistake will affect many more customers and potential sales that you could ever anticipate.