Category Archives: Career

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

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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

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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

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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.