In 2009, Jones & Leionard presented a research and concluded there was emerging e-commerce trend– customer-to-customer e-commerce (C2C). (The paper was released in 2009 yet its points and views are not outdated)The study also claims the traditional business-to-customer marketing is slightly different from the new trend. Sellers who intend to participate may want to pay extra attention here.
The study found that the key to the success of the C2C e-commerce heavily relies on consumer’s satisfaction. Nowadays customer does not simply satisfy with a good website and product, instead requires extra complementary service along the product. More specifically, the level of satisfaction depends on the quality of service provided, the ease of use, usefulness of information and responsiveness for instance. In this sense, the nature of social media is an advantage in commencing online business. Now, for those (potential) sellers, I’m going to give you few suggestions on how to use this key.
#1 Be precise
According to the investigation, customers tend to trust on sellers who provide details. Information of product or service including size, model needs to be readily available. That will help customer in understanding the product and proceed to check out sooner. Nice and clear photos should be ready too. Customer is not able to physically touch and judge the product, photo provided is one of the trusted source and for that matter, customer is sensitive to the visual image provided.
#2 Yet keep it simple
The first thing to know about customers – they are always impatient. A seller will need to have a well designed page, logo and of course, product information. Remember I just said about message needs to be very precise, but the meaning of being precise refers to give critical and significant information which customer is interested. Try to keep the important bit but use as least words as you can.
Online customer loves to have more controls over the decision-making experience. Sellers may offer variety of choices as well as possible payment methods. Sellers should conduct a survey regularly to ensure the variety does address customer’s needs.
Build up a trust relationship with customers is critical in online marketing. Seller may provide assurances that the online purchase is correct, but make sure the correct item has been delivered in agreed period of time. The time takes to deliver product on buyer’s hand is not always predictable (unless seller chooses EPS or express mail), seller should not simply promise to deliver in a period of time. When customer is not satisfied with the actual product or delivery as seller promised, customer loses faith in you and possibly spread negative word-of-mouth.
In C2C e-commerce, customer favors two-way communication. Customer expects the voice will be heard and responded. Responsiveness to the needs, questions and concerns of the buyer is a fairly important element satisfying customer. Seller should also ensure there is an easily accessible way for customer to give feedback and comment. Remember to respect others’ opinion and make sure you respond politely.
Jones, K. (2009). Consumer-to-Consumer Electronic Commerce: An Emerging Stream of Research. In M. Khosrow-Pour (Ed.), Consumer Behavior, Organizational Development, and Electronic Commerce: Emerging Issues for Advancing Modern Socioeconomies (pp. 1-17). Hershey, PA: Information Science