Why a Good Customer Support Matters on Marketplaces

Why a Good Customer Support Matters on Marketplaces

Building an e-commerce business involves different layers, with one crucial aspect often overlooked: Customer Service.
A good Customer Service isn’t just important; it’s mandatory. Whether you have your own online webshop or sell products on online marketplaces, it’s necessary to have a robust system in place. As your brand expands online, customers will have more questions or request returns, no matter how good your product or product information is.
No matter what the issue is, providing a uniform customer experience across all sales channels is key, and will yield both short-term and long-term benefits for your e-commerce business.

Why not use marketplace fulfilment services instead?

One of the initial choices you face when selling on online marketplaces, is whether to use the Fulfillment Program provided by marketplaces. In layman’s terms, this means online marketplaces can handle most of your logistics and, in most cases, customer support.
When you only sell on one channel, this is often a good choice. You won’t need to hire staff for customer service, negotiate carrier rates, manage warehouse space, or purchase shipping materials. Managing a well-oiled e-business is hard, and these fulfilment programs make it way easier for you to set up your business and start selling.
However, when you aim to sell across multiple channels, or have a well-established brand, the drawbacks of these fulfilment services become apparent:
  • The costs can escalate when scaling up
  • Not all marketplaces offer fulfilment services
  • Loss of control
  • Limited understanding of your products by the marketplace
  • Lack of access to valuable data
  • Reduced control over inventory management
  • Limitations in flexibility regarding stock ceilings, product types, …
  • Difficulties in maintaining a consistent customer experience across all sales channels

Make Customer Service part of your omnichannel strategy.

We strongly recommend making Customer Service a significant part of your e-commerce business, rather than just an afterthought. Good customer service is a key element in selling more on marketplaces, both in the short-term and in the long-term.
  • Centralizing your customer support will provide a consistent experience for your customers and forms the backbone of your omnichannel strategy.
  • The data from customer service is incredibly valuable for your business and will, for example, help you detect issues with product information and/or provide insights on how your customers interact with your products.
  • Mediocre customer service has a huge impact on your account performance and, in the worst case, can lead to your account being closed.
  • A satisfied customer will not necessary leave a good review, but a dissatisfied customer will often leave a bad review. A good review score (both on account & product level) is crucial for selling more.

Gain full control over product returns.

Achieving more control over product returns also offers many benefits. Typically, e-commerce sees high average return rates, sometimes even reaching 50% in specific cases (like specialized fashion marketplaces). Every effort to reduce return rates should be one of your main priorities, as it’s one of the key drivers to increase your margins.

Moreover, it allows you to retain control over whether products are returned, and what actions you can take afterwards. For instance, if the product is unopened and non-faulty, you could resell it. It’s advised to double check whether you can resell the products, however. In fulfillment systems like FBA/LVB, products often get resold despite being faulty, resulting in the same unit being returned repeatedly. If you have a used product in good condition, you could also consider selling it through a second-hand channel.

Choose E-Commerce-as-a-Service.

Don’t want to hire or train staff for customer service? In our ‘E-Commerce as a Service’ plan, we take care of your entire e-commerce business, including customer service. We have a multilingual team that is trained on your brand and available during all working days to answer questions for your customers through online marketplaces or other sales channels.

This means you can grow worry-free on marketplaces. You can read more about our services here, or if you have any additional questions, contact us directly.

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