E-Commerce Outpacing Brick and Mortar Stores: eConsumerServices Spotlights E-Commerce Growth and Trends, and the Evolving Role of Dispute Mitigation with 5 Tips

A new report issued by the National Retail Federation (NRF) projects that online and other non-store sales will grow 7% to 10% this year, outpacing the estimated 4.1% growth for the retail industry as a whole (1). According to Gary Cardone, CEO of transaction dispute firm eConsumerServices, emerging e-commerce trends are changing the way merchants and consumers do business and helping to drive future growth. However, an increase in online sales can mean a corresponding increase in credit card chargebacks—and subsequent trickle-down costs—unless merchants and customers work together to avoid and resolve credit card disputes.
Cardone notes there are five key e-commerce trends that online merchants can capitalize on to benefit consumers, improve customer satisfaction and encourage repeat business. Here, eConsumerServices analyzes those trends and the role of dispute mitigation in shaping the future of online shopping:
1. Enhance the User Experience. Consumers now have the ability to compare products, prices and reviews from dozens of businesses with a single search; so companies need to deliver a superior customer service experience to be able to compete. Research firm Harris Interactive found that 50% of consumers stopped doing business with a company that didn’t respond to questions within one week, and 89% of consumers began doing business with a competitor following a poor customer service experience (2). By proactively addressing customers’ needs and promptly resolving any issues—whether through in-house customer service representatives or a dispute mediation service—companies can turn a negative experience into a positive one while minimizing costly chargebacks.
2. Personalize the Shopping Experience. Purchase behavior data has the potential to benefit customers and retailers alike, provided merchants handle that information wisely. A study by Accenture found that 73% of consumers prefer to do business with companies that use customer data to make their experience more efficient from one step to the next, 75% appreciate companies that customize messaging and offers to be relevant to them, and 88% want the flexibility to control how their personal information is used to tailor their experience (3). Giving consumers a say in how their data is used and leveraging that information to deliver a more efficient and relevant shopping experience can help boost customer satisfaction and brand loyalty.
3. Make Mobile a Priority. The latest online shopping data shows that mobile has captured an increasing share of both traffic and sales. According to IBM benchmarks for the 2014 holiday season, mobile devices accounted for 45% of online traffic and nearly 23% of online sales—representing an increase of more than 25% year-over-year (4). By making it easier for consumers to find products, compare prices and place orders while on the go, retailers can capture a greater share of the mobile market while enabling customers to enjoy instant shopping gratification.
4. Leverage the Power of Social Media. Accenture’s survey revealed that 92% of respondents are more inclined to purchase from a company that uses social media channels (3). Harrison Interactive found that 26% of consumers posted negative comments on social media after a poor customer service experience, and only 21% of them received a response to their complaint. But among those who did, more than half had a positive reaction to the company: 46% said they were pleased by the company’s response, and 22% subsequently posted a positive comment (2). By acting quickly to address consumer concerns posted on social media, merchants can build goodwill. Those that don’t have the time or resources to immediately investigate a complaint can refer customers to a transaction dispute service.
5. Accelerate Delivery. With e-commerce giants offering same-day delivery in certain markets, it’s redefining consumer expectations for speedy delivery. Business Insider estimated that $100 million worth of merchandise would be delivered via same-day fulfillment in 2014; however, 92% of consumers are still willing to wait four days or longer for their e-commerce packages to arrive (5). The lesson here is that the faster retailers are able to process and ship orders, the sooner their merchandise is in customers’ hands.
“These e-commerce trends are creating a better and faster online shopping experience for consumers, while allowing savvy online merchants to increase their market share,” said Cardone. “But between rising online sales volumes and elevated consumer expectations, retailers need to be prepared to respond quickly to customer concerns and complaints. A lengthy delay can lead disgruntled customers to file a chargeback, resulting in higher costs for merchants and trickle-down price increases for consumers. Our experience has shown that credit card dispute mediation is a better solution for both parties; it provides faster resolution, reduces costly chargebacks and fosters better relationships between e-commerce merchants and customers. It has the potential to be a true game-changer in the future of online shopping.”
For more information on eConsumerServices and its transaction mediation services, visit http://www.econsumerservices.com.
About Global Risk Technologies and eConsumerServices:
Global Risk Technologies is most known for its role in payment processing solutions that cater to each side of the value chain: Chargebacks911.com and eConsumerServices.com. The firm is headquartered in Tampa Bay, Florida, with offices in Ireland and Atlanta. They have approximately 350 employees worldwide, and currently manage over 150MM in transactions each month, with clients located in the U.S. and Europe.
eConsumerServices focuses on the cardholder or consumer in order to encourage transactional resolution before it progresses to a chargeback. The company caters to the B2C (business-to-consumer) sector of Global’s initiative, in working to realize greater standardization and increased efficiency within the payments industry. eConsumerServices is an online mediation service that works to effectively and efficiently resolve transaction issues between merchants, consumers and banks. For more information, visit http://www.eConsumerServices.com.
1. “Economic Outlook: Stronger Growth in 2014 Sets the Stage for 2015”; nrf.com/news/economic-outlook-stronger-growth-2014-sets-the-stage-2015
2. 2011 Customer Experience Impact Report; 2012. oracle.com/us/corporate/acquisitions/rightnow/seven-power-lessons-wp-1502937.pdf
3. Today’s Shopper Preferences: Channels, Social Media, Privacy and the Personalized Experience; accenture.com/SiteCollectionDocuments/PDF/Accenture-Interactive-Exec-Summary-Survey-Results-Nov-2012-2.pdf
4. “Holiday Benchmark Data Alert: Overall Holiday Online Sales Up 13.9 for the 2014 Season”; www-01.ibm.com/software/marketing-solutions/benchmark-hub/alert.html
5. “Same-Day Delivery: E-Commerce Giants Are Battling to Own the ‘Last Mile’”; Business Insider; businessinsider.com/e-commerce-and-same-day-delivery-2014-9