Closing strong: Going direct-to-consumer with Episerver

Checkout. It’s the moment that turns a potential customer into a buyer and makes all of your hard work pay off. But just because it’s the finish line, it doesn’t mean that it can be ignored–because there really is no such thing as a finish line. Giving control of the purchasing process to a third-party retailer creates unnecessary risks. Direct-to-consumer with Episerver puts the customer experience back in your hands.

Buyer relationship

When it comes to your customers, every interaction they have with you is a chance to develop a relationship, one that goes well beyond simply getting them to complete a transaction. The experience of “checking out” is another opportunity to strengthen your brand, further impress your customer, and help set the stage for the next interaction you may have with them.

Image from Robbert Noordzij, found on Flickr, source link:

People have more knowledge and more options at their fingertips now than at any point in history. They research, they compare, and they get outside opinions before they even start looking for products or services.If you’ve beaten out thousands of companies to earn someone’s business, don’t give them an extra chance to change their mind.

The burden of choice

Shopping habits are constantly changing, and while it’s imperative to be at the forefront of people’s minds, it’s also true that brand loyalty is less important than it used to be. People have no qualms about switching to someone who caters to their needs better. And that means that every time you give people a reason to leave, someone will take it.

These moments exist throughout the process, and there are more of them than ever. One of the most crucial is at the very end, when someone goes to checkout. After someone has spent time on your website, researched your products, and decided on what they want to buy from you, kicking them to a third-party retailer risks undoing all of that work. Suddenly, you’ve introduced a whole number of variables, including:

  • Inconveniencing the customer
  • Long load times
  • Weakening brand influence
  • Error on the retailer’s end
  • Bringing up biases that the customer might have

Most importantly, it’s a missed chance to further tailor the experience to your customer. Even though people are switching brands with regularity, there is still significant value in acquiring repeat customers. While there’s no way to guarantee a repeat customer, there are a lot of ways of ensuring that you don’t get one.

The power of purchase

While it is convenient to have someone else handle this (for a fee that comes out of the sale you just made), it comes at the cost of control. If the checkout experience was great, how much credit is the third party going to get? Selling through Amazon might be convenient, but the value is limited by the type of transaction. A simple B2C purchase may be fine within that infrastructure, but if the customer has doubts or a desire to do further research, they’ll be forced to look elsewhere.

There’s also the risk of losing name recognition, especially when a transaction goes through a giant like Amazon. Yet, if something goes wrong, that blame could fall a lot more heavily on your shoulders. The best case scenario is a dependent relationship; the worst case is lost business.

The solution is selling direct-to-consumer. This puts the process back in your control, cutting down on unexpected variables. By the time someone is ready to buy, they’ve formed some sort of relationship with your brand. This is one more opportunity to build on it. Winning the final moment of the transaction builds on all the “wins” you needed to get there in the first place. In the landscape of empowered consumers, your customer experience has to go above and beyond.

Because the end of the sales process is of low priority in the grand scheme of things, it can be easy to overlook. Thankfully, it’s a problem with a simple solution. While there are fancier ways of doing it, direct-to-consumer with Episerver allows for the convenience of a third-party retailer with the advantages of selling directly.

The D2C experience

Integrating a direct-to-consumer platform allows for a more personalized purchasing experience. Tying search capabilities to the buying process reduces the friction between the steps and helps increase conversion rate. By building a browser experience around a direct purchasing channel, direct-to-consumer with EPiServer makes life easier for the customer. That ease-of-use reflects well on your business.

You alone have the ability to forge relationships with your customers. You’re the one who understands them best. Episerver allows you to use that knowledge to create the best customer experience from start to finish.

If you’re interested in learning more about how direct-to-consumer with Episerver can create a better user experience for your business, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.