The customer has evolved from internet to mobile in a smooth manner in 2014 and the trend is visible with number of Mobile apps launched. Whether you are looking for a cab or shop or order food or even fix an appointment to your doctor everything has been about downloading and installing and ordering….

So what 2015 is in stored for the customer or shall I say what the organization would need to do to bring customers to their smartphone or their desktops.

Social Quotient of Shopping

The big ticket item would be Social Shopping. !!

We have shopped on the street, in the mall, at a flea market, from your desktop and then finally using your mobile. But most of these have been through either direct shops or direct portals or through distribution channels like Amazon, Ebay and others. But have we thought that we can shop through Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin or even Pinterest. Yes, I am sure the thought must have come and I understand Facebook, twitter & Pinterest is already working towards that and should be launching it in the next 6-12months time.

Very soon Flipkart, Amazon & Snapdeal would be fighting with Social platforms because social shopping is in and we are going to browse through a nice image of mobile on Pinterest and you would have an icon saying “Buy”. So which organization is ready for Social Selling?

The product team at these shopping sites needs to become innovative and start looking at new ways of selling not just having a site with product variation will not help. Shopping will happen on Phone, Desktop, Store or Social, anytime of the day, hour, week or Month. Are you ready?

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Is, you’re App efficient for shopping or it is a quickly made up just to be in the competition. Last week I wanted to order a pizza and I downloaded the app of a leading pizza company and was shell shocked to see the state of the App. It was one of the worst made App that too coming from a Multinational Company. Guess what they lost a customer as I downloaded the app of the competitor and within 5mins I could order my pizza. Just have a Customer care for orders will not work, you need to have an App but make sure it’s not some APP made by school going kid. Give customers the option and feel which you give while doing the same online through your PC / Laptop. Just because it is a mobile app doesn’t mean you need to remove features which are available online due to space constraint. Remember, people are buying more and more Phones which are large in size in fact, Apple itself has come up with an iPhone 6+ I am sure keeping in mind all this.

Different Channel – Single Window

If you are a shopping website with multiple channels of communication like a Desktop Version, App & Brick and Mortar(B&M), then please ensure you have a single communication window for the customer. If I am registered as loyal customer then give me a smooth transition from Mobile to Desktop to B&M. One of the leading Fashion chains recently went from B&M to Online to Mobile App and I was amazed at the flawless communication chain in terms of the Order Tracking, Customer Service & of course the whole buying experience. Couple of weeks back, I had seen a very nice Jeans but the size was not available so called up the customer care and checked with them if the particular product code is available in any nearest store. I wasn’t surprised it was available, but the price for an online purchase was different and at the store was different. So I checked whether I can get the same price, what was mentioned online initially she did refuse but after a lot of back and forth, she did come back with a resolution of mentioning a special code to the store I visit and would be getting the same price which is available online. Isn’t that amazing imagine such flawless integration. So you can be having different channels, but a common window is required.

Attitude Change

Most of the online portals are hiring B-school students in a flock; hence I have observed that most of the B-school students don’t have the attitude to serve. When you are in a Customer facing domain one needs to be careful what is the kind of people you hire for customer facing business. I was talking to an online shopping portal Marketing Manager who had been recently hired from a B-school for his Marketing & Product identification skills. I was discussing about how customer service & delivery has to improve because customer are not going to come back to you if you are not going to deliver well. Even though it was not his domain he made a very loose comment stating “The price at what we sell product, customer has to come back to us, so whether we are serving them well or not “. I was absolutely surprised at the attitude as he so sure that customer will come back even if I have lousy customer engagement. Hence the attitude has to change and start hiring people who are ready to work for customer satisfaction. Don’t become over confident with the short term success as it takes minutes for people to change the website as you have competition. Remember what happened to Flipkart after the Billion dollar sale.

Don’t outsource everything …

Please remember you are not a large scale organization that everything needs to be outsourced to vendors. Since the only main area for you is to have a fantastic website with various options for customer what you could do is at least have other areas covered by your in house team. Don’t look at vendors for each and everything.

End to End…

From the 1st time registration to repeat buying understand the customer behavior and keep yourself engaged with the customer. Just sending irritating emails & text message to him will not be the only way to keep him engaged. Once in a while pick up the phone and have a quick chat by inviting him for new launches. Even though Phone call is a lost medium of communication after email and text, but as a Customer he would still feel good to have a call and check with him on his requirement. One of the International portal gave me a call out of a blue one day asking that I have not visited their website for the last 6months and what would be reason for the same. They were checking if my last order was ok and whether anything to do with the last order made me not visit the website again.


Improve your delivery as we are now in the age of 1 day delivery. People don’t have time to wait for ages like 3-4days to deliver. If you are in the game of online shopping ensure that you deliver on time or before time. 1 day delivery is no longer a gimmick, but a necessity for each and every Web site.

Go Local…

This is attached to the above case of 1 day delivery. Can we look at 2hour delivery is it possible? Of course it is possible why you can’t have a local tie-up with local stores in the city. Let us say you are selling a branded Nike Shoes online and the customer wants the delivery in 2hours isn’t it possible if you have tie-up globally with Nike to deliver the shoes from the their local store in the city where the customer is living. If you have local tie-up the local shops will not feel insecure about their business being taken away by Online Portals.

Improved Payment Gateway…

Payment Gateway improvement is critical with Apple phones, giving the faster ways to store the card informs the payment gateway used by some online sites have to improve. I have always faced a problem when buying something using an American Express card. Is it a problem with the Financial Institution or the integration failure at the shopping website end? It might be both, but these are smaller things which need to be improved. Why can’t shopping website has“ My wallet” just like the Cab service provider where one can charge their Shopping account with some money in advance and whenever they want to buy something they don’t need to put the card details all over again just can use the already cash charged account.

All in all Customer Engagement has to improve and if the shopping sites follow the above upcoming trends then once again it is a great sign ahead just like 2014.

Published with permission.

Image courtesy of [arztsamui] at


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