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Make the most of your e-Commerce FAQ page

Screenshot of the Three-brains website FAQ page which says questions and answers to help you raise your game

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Why read this? : We explore how to make the most of your e-Commerce FAQ page. Learn how to engagingly answer the most common questions online shoppers have. Read this to help make your e-Commerce FAQ more FAB for customers.

In an ideal world, every online sale you make runs smoothly. Your e-Commerce martech system handles the whole process.

A product page that shows what you’re selling. A form for the customer to enter their payment and delivery details if they decide to buy. And your back-end systems process their order so they get it as and when promised. Everyone lives happily ever after. 

Easy, right?

Woman holding credit card near a macbook and typing in her details

But if you’ve ever bought or sold anything online, you know that many things can go wrong. The product information on the page doesn’t tell you what you need to know. How the order to delivery system works isn’t clear. Or something unforeseen happens once you’ve placed the order. 

That’s why you need a system to handle questions and problems. You provide active support via your customer service team. You train and empower them to handle customer-specific and more unusual problems and questions.

e-Commerce FAQ - passive customer service

However, you can also help customers by creating an e-Commerce FAQ page to answer common questions. This passive customer support means your team doesn’t have to repeatedly answer the same “standard” questions. Instead, they can focus their attention on more challenging queries. 

It means that customers find answers and solve easier problems themselves. That’s better for you and the customer. They don’t have to call you or wait for you to respond to an email or chat request. For some questions, it’ll be easier and quicker for them to look up the answer.

Woman wearing a grey sweatshirt and looking at her phone in a dark room

e-Commerce FAQ - common questions and problems

To start building your e-Commerce FAQ page, you first have to identify the most common questions and problems.

You usually gather these insights during your website testing and ongoing management of the store.

You find pain points in the e-Commerce journey where customers might have questions or problems.

Let’s look at some typical FAQ topics :-

Neon sign with a question mark inside a square at the end of a dark corridor

e-Commerce FAQ – About Us / Contact

The customer might want to know who operates the store and how to contact them. This is why you usually provide “About Us” and “Contact” details in your e-Commerce FAQ.

About Us tells the customer who you are and why your store exists.

It’s a great place to bring your brand personality to life. You should include a short version of the company’s origin story and purpose here, and write in your brand’s tone of voice.

Customer service headset sitting on a desk next to a laptop

Usually, you already have a contact link in your top menu bar and on relevant content pages. But it’s worth adding more detail in your e-Commerce FAQ. For example, include all the different ways to contact you e.g. phone, email, messenger and physical address. Include your customer service working hours, and what to do if customers need help outside those times.

e-Commerce FAQ - Ordering and Shipping

The Ordering and Shipping section tells customers how your order to delivery system works.

Customers often have many questions in this area, so don’t hold back on being thorough here.

Key areas to cover include :-

  • where you deliver (and won’t deliver) to.
  • the maximum order quantity.
  • the order process.
  • payments.
  • delivery process and costs.
  • customer rights.

Where you deliver (and won’t deliver) to

You should outline where you will deliver to e.g. metro, regional and country areas in Australia only. 

Non-standard, remote or overseas locations are usually more expensive and difficult to deliver to. You should cover if you exclude any of these types of delivery addresses and explain why. 

For example, you might choose not to deliver to a PO Box or Parcel Locker if your products are bulky or perishable. Or you might restrict access to some remote locations (e.g. remote cattle stations, military bases) due to high costs of delivery. For international customers, customs might prevent you from shipping. 

Your e-Commerce FAQs should explain these limitations and why you have them.

Maximum Order Quantity

You may have to limit the number of units per order to manage stock levels. If so, make it clear in your e-Commerce FAQ how much customers can order, and why you limit it. You may also limit the spend per order to reduce fraud risk, and again you should explain this in your e-Commerce FAQ. 

Order Process

Explain briefly how your order to delivery process works. Tell customers what happens when they place an order. For example, how long before the order ships. How long to then deliver it. Tell them what notifications to expect as the order progresses. If you offer order tracking, tell customers how to access that.

Payments

Share which payment types you accept, and any extra costs e.g. credit card fees. In the e-Commerce FAQ, it’s helpful to include payment security details such as the payment gateway encryption level. Also, share any payment protection details from third-party payment services like PayPal or Afterpay.

Delivery process and costs

Tell customers how and when you deliver products. Make sure you include :-

  • post or courier details.
  • how often you ship products.
  • the likely time between orders being placed and delivered. 
  • how much delivery costs
  • details of express delivery options, if relevant. 

Delivery times vary between categories and brands.

Hand holding a small wrapper package marked fragile

For example, in fashion or alcohol delivery windows can be as fast as 2 hours. But some deliveries take up to 5 business days or more. Delivery times are a common customer question. They want to know when they’ll get their order.

You should also outline what happens if the customer isn’t available to accept a delivery e.g. collect it from the post office instead. Plus, make it clear how they can have it delivered to a different address if that’s easier e.g. a work address or when sending a gift.

Customer Rights

Finally, include details and a link to any relevant customer rights or consumer protection laws.

In Australia for example, that would be the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

Example rights include ensuring products are safe, information isn’t misleading and costs aren’t hidden.

Customers can also usually ask for a repair, replacement, refund, cancellation or compensation if there’s a problem.

Small metal statue of lady of justice holding scales

e-Commerce FAQ – Any Other Questions

Every e-Commerce site should cover about us, contact, order and shipping, and customer rights.

However, there will also usually be more category-specific questions, so you’ll need to include an Any Other Questions FAQ section too. 

For example, questions about the product or service e.g. how it’s made, how it works and how long it lasts. Make sure you cover your key benefits and your point of difference. (Usually taken from your e-Commerce positioning).

A subscription model box branded with three-brains on a doorstep

If you sell food or grocery products, you should explain what happens with perishable items or products that are sensitive to extremes in temperature. You should also explain the consequences if the customer gives “permission to leave” the products at the delivery address, and something happens to the order. 

If it’s a regulated category like alcohol, for example, you should explain the legal requirements such as checking for proof of age on delivery. 

Even for more “normal” categories like fashion, you should explain what happens in common problem situations such as if a product doesn’t fit properly, or the customer wants to return it and get a refund.

ChatBots

Some companies now use marketing technology to make it easier to find the right answers in the FAQs.

Companies like Qantas have added chatbots to the customer service interface on their websites and social media platforms. 

Rather than present a list of questions and answers, the chatbot works like an automated conversation.

The customer types in a question. The software recognises key terms. It gives them a choice of possible answers. 

Or even simpler, they click on prompts which take them to the right answer. 

Screengrab of the Quantas chatbot conversation on Facebook messenger - HI I'm the Qantas concierge chatbot

Chatbots improve the customer experience as they remove unnecessary information. They’re a good example of progressive disclosure. (See our design psychology article for more on this). They only reveal information as and when the customer needs it. Plus, even though they’re automated, the customer feels like they’re having an actual conversation.  

Managing the e-Commerce FAQ

Your e-Commerce FAQ page will change over time. So check in regularly with your customer service team to review your FAQs and add any new ones. 

It’s worth adding a “date last reviewed” to your e-Commerce FAQ page so that customers know they’re getting up-to-date answers.

It’s also worth sharing the questions with your brand and agency teams. The types of questions customers ask can often give you insights into how they think, and what they need to know.

You can use this as creative stimulus for your advertising, as ideas for social media posts and to shape and polish other touchpoints in the customer’s journey.

Conclusion - Make the most of your e-Commerce FAQ page

FAQs reassure customers and build trust. 

This is especially important for an e-Commerce FAQ page. Customers are paying you money and sharing their personal details. It’s crucial they feel they can trust you.

Being prepared enough to think of and answer their potential questions helps them feel that you’ll be equally as helpful if something goes wrong with their order. It reduces the level of risk for the customer so that they’re more likely to buy. 

Screenshot of the Three-brains website FAQ page which says questions and answers to help you raise your game

A good e-Commerce FAQ page shows that you have efficient e-Commerce systems and processes to manage orders safely and securely. It also helps your team spend more time on specific or unusual customer questions. It’s a win-win for both you and the customer. 

Check out our e-Commerce customer service guide for more on this. Or contact us if you have any questions about how to make the most of your e-Commerce FAQ page.

Photo Credits

Woman holding credit card near Macbook : Photo by Pickawood on Unsplash

Woman looking at phone in dark room : Photo by Chad Madden on Unsplash 

Question mark sign :  Photo by Emily Morter on Unsplash

Customer service headset near laptop : Photo by Petr Macháček on Unsplash

Small fragile delivery box in hand : Photo by jesse ramirez on Unsplash

Legal scales : Photo by Tingey Injury Law Firm on Unsplash

Doorstep delivery : Photo by MealPro on Unsplash

Three people pointing at laptop : Photo by John Schnobrich on Unsplash

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