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A user-friendly digital space grows your customer base

July 31, 2020 By    
Photo: metamorworks/iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Photo: metamorworks/iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

From bouquets sent to loved ones to groceries delivered to your door, e-commerce has flourished in recent months.

Some companies were ready to meet digital demands, including those in the propane industry, and it’s brought them new customers. John Vrabel, CEO and president of Energy Engine, says that he’s seen this firsthand through one of the companies to which his firm provides services.

That company saw a 69 percent increase over the previous year in customer registrations this March. According to other dealers in the industry to whom Vrabel spoke, the new customers they were attracting had previously gotten their supply from other businesses in the industry. However, they wanted fuel quickly and chose the company that had an easy-to-use e-commerce platform.

That success story is not just about having a website that’s prepared to conduct e-commerce, though, says Vrabel. It’s about both appealing to customers’ needs and making it easy for them to communicate with your company.

“E-commerce today is very much an interactive, bidirectional exchange of information between buyers and sellers,” Vrabel says.

Companies can and should be targeting their ideal audience through digital advertising while maintaining an e-commerce portal that makes it easy for customers to get exactly what they need. Vrabel says it’s especially important to consider the needs of on-demand customers.

Transparency about pricing, fees and information your company needs from a customer in order to conduct business should be at the forefront of your portal’s design. Just as you would want to guide customers in person or over the phone in conducting business, your e-commerce portal should do the same.

These days, Vrabel says, customers are often expecting interactive forms where they can provide precise information about their needs. They’re also looking for specific information from a company in order to assess whether or not that company will meet their needs.

“You need to be able to answer all [of their] questions,” explains Vrabel. “Otherwise the customer is just going to call, and that defeats the entire purpose. So, [your e-commerce portal] needs to be thorough. It needs to be intuitive. It needs to be interactive.”

Though it’s ideal to have an intuitive portal, your website and social media channels can also house step-by-step instructions on how customers can create an account. Your company’s social media is also a great place to show potential customers how your company goes about delivering product and conducting business.

The more your company is willing to adapt to serving customers the way they desire to be served, the more customers you will attract.

About the Author:

Sarah Peecher is the Digital Media Content Producer for LP Gas. Her experience includes content creation and strategy for both print and digital media, giving her the skills to share stories on websites and social media platforms.

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