Three lessons from three years in eCommerce

Today marks my third year of working in the eCommerce industry, beginning with customer support and vendor relations with Lazymeal and now working with the eCommerce business team at Best Buy.

The things I list below are the top three lessons I learned over the last three years in eCommerce that I believe can be applied to other industries as well.

#1 Test everything


Whether it’s a coupon code or a link to a banner linking to a product page, everything should be tested. Clicking on links to make sure they’re not broken is critical, and it doesn’t hurt to take screenshots.

Anticipating everything that a customer might or might not do, may notice or miss is a great way to ensure that a customer adds to cart and completes a purchase, instead of bouncing and buying from a competitor.

#2 80/20: not everything can be a priority


You can come up with a list of everything you want to do, but at the end of the day, you have to prioritize. Put it this way: what must get done versus what’s nice to have.

The 80/20 rule is a good way of organizing a to-do list. The 80/20 rule, also known as Pareto’s law, states that 80% of results typically come from 20% of the effort exerted. Based on this rule, you should seek to deliver the critical 80% of your product in 20% of the time. Focusing on what’s truly important eliminates work that may be nice to have, but in the end, won’t have a significant impact on the customer experience.

#3 Ask for help


During one rainy Sunday night, Lazymeal received an unusually large amount of orders. This was compounded by the fact that we didn’t have enough drivers to deliver orders as well. That meant that I, as the only customer support person on duty at the time, was receiving a higher number of vendor phone calls, customer inquiries, and escalations at the time.

While speaking to a customer on the phone, I was also chatting with a customer over Slaask, and at the same time, receiving customer inquiries by e-mail asking about the status of their orders. It was a nightmare.

I didn’t ask for help until about an hour later.

The lesson from this particular lesson was simple: ask for help. No one can talk to three customers about three different topics all at the same time. Getting help means getting things done quicker – it doesn’t matter how many people do it, as long as it gets done.

Google MyBusiness: what you need to know

Google MyBusiness is critical if you want to be found on Google, especially if you’re a small business starting out. Speaking as an eCommerce professional, having a Google MyBusiness listing is just as important as having a phone number.

Google MyBusiness is extremely important for SEO purposes as Google is now giving priority to localized results.

Google MyBusiness example

An example of what a Google MyBusiness listing would look like in a Google Search

What is Google MyBusiness?

Google MyBusiness is the equivalent of being listed in the Yellow Pages back in the day. By being listed on Google, your business will appear when people are searching for your business or businesses similar to yours on Google Search or Google Maps.

You can update your listing to include your address, phone number, website, and business hours. By being listed, customers can also provide your business with reviews and rank the quality of your products or services.

The best thing about Google MyBusiness: it’s free!

Do you control your account?

If your business has existed for a few years already, chances are that you may already be listed in Google MyBusiness. If this is the case, act quickly to take control of your account; otherwise, not-so-well-meaning competitors may end up taking over your listing.

In order to take control of your listing, you’ll need to apply for a verification code, which will be sent to you by postcard.

Keep your listing up to date

Did your business change its phone number? Is your business closed because you’re on vacation? If so, make sure that your listing is up to date. Nothing ruins a customer experience more than when they Google you, show up at your business only to find out that your business is actually closed when your listing said that you’re open.

Make sure that you add relevant and up-to-date photos to your listing. Photos of your storefront are ideal to enable customers looking you up on Google Maps to identify you when they’re trying to find directions. Photos are also a great way of not just keeping your listing up to date, but optimizing your listing as well.

Customer reviews

Ask your customers to provide you with reviews and rank you on your listing. You can easily provide your customers with a link that will enable to them to do this.

One thing about customer reviews is that they can be positive or negative. Google does not let you delete negative reviews; however, customer reviews that violate Google policies can be removed. In order to do this, you’ll need to flag the offending review.

Black Friday 2017

6am PST at the Black Friday command centre #bby #blackfriday

A post shared by Josh (@joshuasunga) on

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are two of the most important days in North American retail. With this event done, I looked for and found several interesting nuggets regarding this year’s Black Friday shopping event:

Preparing for Black Friday this year was long, arduous, but definitely exciting, and it was amazing to see the results the day after. Definitely looking forward to the next big ecommerce event: Boxing Day.