Delight your association’s members with a great e-commerce experience

Your association’s ecommerce experience can go a long way toward delivering a great member experience.  

Read on for six ways to take your ecommerce site to the next level. 

Many factors go into a great member experience: onboarding, engagement, and customer service – just to name a few. Here’s one that might seem small but can make a big difference in how your association engages with members and how your members feel about your association: your association’s e-commerce experience. 

Here are six ways you can provide a great ecommerce site that delights your members and gets them even more involved with your association:

1. Provide a familiar online shopping experience.
First, it’s important to provide an e-commerce site with a modern, mobile-responsive user experience in which members can make purchases and complete transactions in a familiar online shopping experience. Your members have become accustomed to experiences like these in most areas of their lives, and they’ll expect a similar experience with your organization.  

2. Allow members to purchase and do multiple things at one time.
At the heart of a great member portal and ecommerce site is convenience. Be sure to allow members to complete multiple transactions all in one place at one time. For example, they should be able to log in and:

  • Manage their account 
  • Renew their membership 
  • View and purchase merchandise and learning products 
  • Register for events 
  • Make donations

Giving members the ability to complete multiple transactions in one place at one time – and even pay for multiple outstanding orders and balances – gives them a convenient, modern online experience. It also delivers the added benefit of decreasing abandoned shopping carts – if they can complete everything in one location, they’re less likely to become frustrated or distracted and more likely to finish the transaction they started.

3. Provide added value.
One of the great things about a robust, centralized ecommerce website is that it gives you the opportunity to tie in artificial intelligence (AI) to add value while encouraging members to purchase more and complete their purchase. For example, you can do things like:

  • Suggest items that might interest them based on their past activity (“Because you purchased X, you might also be interested in purchasing Y.”)
  • Present members with special offers. For example, when they purchase an item online, offer them a coupon code for a special discount on another related items, such as branded merchandise, or a discount on an upcoming continuing education event.
  • Ask if they have questions about items in their shopping cart. This approach not only gives members a great customer support experience, but also helps ensure they follow through with the purchase.
  • Help members find answers by predicting the answers they’re looking for, and providing that information proactively. For example, using a chatbot, you could proactively field frequently asked questions such as someone looking for how to make a donation.

4. Make the purchase a breeze.
The last thing you want to do is get members excited to make a purchase and then lose the sale because of a clunky payment process. Make the purchase easy by offering convenient payment features, including:

  • Mobile payment options to make it convenient for members to pay from any mobile device.
  • Stored payment options, in which they can add, edit, save, and remove payment methods. Members will thank you when they don’t have to pull out their wallet and re-enter payment details every time they want to make a purchase on your site.
  • Scheduled payment option, so that members can schedule, for example, to pay their membership dues on a date next month when their membership is due to renew.
  • Express payment option, in which anyone can pay any invoice online without needing to log in. With this option, you can generate a unique payment URL for any order with a balance due: membership, donations, event registration, etc. Then, a bill paying page is created for easy payment by the member, their assistant, accounting department, or anyone making the payment on their behalf. 
  • Account updating, in which you automatically update the expiration date for stored payment methods. This way, members won’t be rejected at check-out just because their credit card date expired.

5. Make it secure.
Your members and customers are more likely to make a purchase if they know your site is secure. Be sure to use data security best practices, including two-factor authentication, session timeout thresholds, and the latest authentication and encryption protocol, Transport Layer Security (TLS), for browser encryption. This will leave your members and customers with a positive impression of your association.

6. Put the right technology to work.
Using modern technology is the foundation for providing great member service. Nimble AMS from Community Brands includes e-commerce functionality that supports the approaches in this article and more. You can create an online store that’s customized with your organization’s branding and gives members and customers online access to membership, merchandise, event registrations, certifications, and account information, including a full e-commerce store. 

Learn more.

Learn more about how Nimble AMS can help you provide an online experience that delights your members.

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