Not just another e-commerce store: How ePETstore is perfecting the fine art of customer care

In a world of endless online shopping options, how is one South African e-commerce pet store enjoying sustained growth and the continued support of a loyal and passionate customer base?

The answer is nothing newfangled or trendy. According to e-commerce manager Emma Savadier, the key to ePETstore’s popularity is a timeless trifecta: high quality products, credibility, and a good-old-fashioned commitment to providing a phenomenal customer experience. “We offer a very high-touch, personal service,” says Savadier. “Whether you need a particular product or just want to have a quick chat because you’re concerned about your little fur ball, we’re there for you.”

ePETstore’s customer-centric attitude and unerring attention to detail injects a warm and gratifying bedside manner into the online shopping experience and, needless to say, pet owners countrywide are here for it.

Veterinarian-backed credibility in a world of online fluff

ePETstore’s commitment to credibility is fortified by its close partnerships with South African vets, which inform everything from the articles and blogs published on their website to the products they choose to stock. “We saw how difficult it was to get an online experience that was a quality, credible, pet-centric one,” says Savadier. “Anything you find on ePETstore is credible. We’re not the type of store that will go with whatever the latest trend is regardless. If a product or article is not scientifically-backed, or if we have any concerns about its safety, we won’t sell it or publish it.”

ePETstore’s head of customer care, Melanie Hunter, worked in a veterinary practice for a number of years. As such, Hunter ensures that her customer care team always gives pet owners appropriate advice and recommendations. In addition, ePETstore has an in-house vet who is available to provide expertise and guidance when necessary. It’s a small detail that translates into priceless peace of mind for customers looking for reliable solutions. “When clients approach us via our online chat service, WhatsApp, or email, the person on the other end is giving them really good advice, because they have that background knowledge,” says Hunter.

Personalisation and attention to detail across every touchpoint

While credible advice and premium products are already powerful drawcards, it’s surely ePETstore’s super-personalised and heartfelt customer care that keeps their customers coming back for more. “Every touchpoint we have with our clients, everything our customer care team does, is extremely personalised,” says marketing manager Megan Nieuwoudt. “We honestly put a huge amount of consideration into meeting our customers’ needs through every touchpoint that we have with them.”

What does that kind of personalised attention to detail look like in practice? For ePETstore, it’s attentive, helpful, human service accessible through a range of channels. It’s dropping everything to have a long chat with a customer who’s brought their pet in to visit the store’s showroom in Northriding, JHB. It means making sure that every single order is dispatched with a hand-written postcard specifically addressed to the customer’s pet.

While the pets may be oblivious to it all, their human counterparts certainly aren’t. “Our customers love it. We have customers who put the postcards on their fridge and send us photos or share them on Instagram,” says Savadier. “It’s lovely.”

Offering customers more ways to pay

Savadier says that having an array of payment options to choose from has become increasingly important to ePETstore’s customers. To meet this need, the brand partnered with online payment solution Adumo Online in April this year. Part of South Africa’s largest independent payment processing conglomerate, the Adumo Group, Adumo Online supports multiple payment types across all ecommerce channels.

“Adumo Online offers so many different payment options,” Savadier says. Now, ePETstore’s customers are able to pay via credit card, MasterPass, Zapper, and Instant EFT, with more options to be added in the near future. “We’ve been thrilled with the service we’ve received,” adds Savadier. “And the pricing is competitive.”

In July, ePETstore ran a week-long, site-wide discount promotion, a first for the seven-year-old brand. The campaign was a great success, thanks in part to the reliable payment functionality and swift customer support provided by Adumo Online. “It tested the capabilities of the payment gateway,” says Savadier. “And we had absolutely no problems. It was completely smooth sailing.”

Hope that you got something useful from other entrepreneurs’ business story and apply it to your own business some day.

Wrapping up

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