Why Knowledge Base Is Essential for the E-commerce Industry
Knowledge is everywhere around, as learning theories for the digital age tirelessly argue. And, speaking of the digital age in these terms – isn’t the whole point of smart technology to provide us with the quickest, easiest solution to our everyday problems? Be that as it may, that’s exactly what modern customers expect, at least when it comes to things they can do for themselves. Shopping, for instance, is certainly one of them.
In Pursuit of Quick Answers
According to a recent survey, online shoppers have finally outnumbered those who prefer brick and mortar stores in 2016, even if it was by a single percent. Though ecommerce has been successful for many years now, it’s symptomatic that online shoppers have developed customer behavior of their own, and this can hugely impact our efforts in this field.
That being said, we have to begin by warning you that 55% of adult e-commerce shoppers in the US don’t make a purchase if “they cannot find a quick answer to their question and problem”, as reported by Forrester Research.
In order to provide quick answers, you’ll need the right kind of automation working for your team. And, since knowledge is what customers want, where better to search for help than in knowledge bases?
Here’s why they can make or break ecommerce stores.
Market speaks for it
It is expected that the Australian ecommerce market would expand to $24 billion in 2018. With that much money pooling in, there is definitely a need for better customer support solutions to cater those customers in large numbers.
Some insights about the ecommerce world reveals that the need can turn into a necessity soon:
- By the end of last year, 35% of eCommerce transactions were completed on mobile devices
- Click Frenzy (the third Tuesday of November) is a major shopping day unique to the country
- Ecommerce sales are projected to rise 21% by 2018
- Approximately 69% of Australian digital buyers make cross-border purchases primarily from the U.S., China, and the U.K.
- Credit and debit cards are the most popular digital payment method, with 85% of Australians utilizing them
With such booming statistics and the amount of digital buyers, it is important to offer a system which can be cost effective and cater to mass audiences. A knowledge sounds perfect for such requirement as it is a self service system where customers can find their own answers.
Being Successful Equals Being Customer-Oriented
Similarly to public libraries, knowledge base software systems are centralized repositories for information. Being a savvy entrepreneur yourself, you understand that no business decision should be made without at least a glimpse into customer data. It’s paramount for modern companies, e-commerce ones included, to be customer-oriented in order to succeed in the overly competitive market, which is why knowledge, intelligence, information, data – call it what you will – is the only viable way of staying profitable.
While CRM (customer relationship management) systems are responsible for collecting, storing and analysing data about customer behaviour, knowledge base systems are allocated for providing customers with the information they want to have before making a purchase. Together, they ensure that the ultimate goal of our branding strategies is achieved. To offer the best customer experience means, after all, to beat the competition in the never-ending game of attracting more leads and retaining more regulars.
Luckily, knowledge base software systems are effective at both.
Triple the Knowledge, Tripe the Delight
There are three types of knowledge that knowledge bases can provide.
1. Understanding Customer Behaviour
When connected to CRM systems, first, they arm your sales agents with a complete arsenal for understanding the needs, impulses, preferences, and frustration of your individual customers. Formed according to their purchasing history, the customer profiles that these systems create are paramount for every strategic move you make, from audience targeting to helpdesk solutions.
2. Leveraging Customer Feedback
On the other hand, knowledge bases collect valuable customer feedback that will help you streamline your selling strategies. When based on common pain points and problems that customers experience while shopping, an FAQ section that no e-commerce site can do without is effective enough to reduce the number of tickets by three times.
3. Instant Knowledge for Customers
The main purpose of knowledge bases, however, is the one that, unlike the past two, increases customer delight directly. It’s knowledge offered to shoppers without any involvement of help-desk agents, information about the company, product, purchasing and shipping processes available to them on the site, with a single click, as well as easy answers to whatever other questions they need to ask.
The Trifecta Effect
It goes without saying that all three types of knowledge encompassed by a single private knowledge base software have the same immediate destination, even though their routes differ. So, let’s see how they contribute to the customer delight and consequently to your e-commerce business in practice.
1. Predicting Customer Needs
Once empowered with customer data about every individual shopper, your company has all the information it needs for predicting their future behaviour.
Every dilemma that may result with an abandoned cart can be nipped in the bud, only if you know what triggers hesitation – while you cannot analyse every single customer profile, predict individuals’ problems and offer automatic resolutions to each shopper, you can do all that for certain types of customers, thus providing the same level of personalization that a sales agent in a traditional shop can offer.
Experts expect that products and prices will lose their USP (unique selling point) value by the end of 2020, when customer experience will become the differentiating factor. And, without asking for and listening to customer feedback, without predicting frequent complaints and adjusting your entire online shop to fit the specific needs that each of your audiences has – which is something knowledge bases are made for – a pleasurable customer experience is quite impossible.
2. Optimizing Customer Service
Though not every answer can be provided directly on the site, knowledge bases ensure that customer service agents have all of them prepared the moment they start chatting with an indecisive or frustrated shopper.
Everything they have to know about old purchasing decisions and past complaints is accessible within private knowledge bases, so that they can custom-tailor the service according to the individual customer profile.
Not only that this guarantees easy answers, but it significantly reduces both the waiting time for customers and tickets for agents, not to mention the costs. With a single look into the knowledge base software, an agent knows exactly what kind of solution to offer, and is enabled to do that in real time.
3. Automating Answers & Offering Self-Service
Finally, knowledge bases allow customers to help themselves, if that’s what they prefer. Self-service is the future of the e-commerce industry, and this kind of automation already makes it possible.
Though effective customer service persuades shoppers into staying loyal by solving their issues quickly, most customers actually don’t enjoy the process. Rare are those who make a help-desk call if not extremely frustrated, and it’s most likely that a customer will simply decide that the trouble of calling is simply not worth it and move along to the first competitor.
For that reason, giving them instant answers to questions as soon as they pop in their mind is the best strategy against uncompleted purchases. Ultimately, that’s why knowledge-based FAQs are the essential part of every profitable e-commerce store.
Another e-commerce statistic showcases that 83% of online shoppers consistently need some kind of support. Along with the aforementioned ones, this fact only goes to prove that being successful requires being customer-focused, which again requires comprehensible knowledge about and for those who choose to make a purchase in your store. Knowledge bases can certainly make that possible.
Jason Grills is a writer and a technical support executive currently associated with ProProfs Knowledgebase Software. He enjoys writing about emerging software products, new designs and trends in content marketing. He lives in Los Angeles, California. In his spare time, Jason enjoys pampering his pet dogs, shopping, and doing all things creative.