Entering a new market can entail challenges for online merchants. As part of a successful cross-border operation, businesses not only need to take into account logistical procedures and preferred local payment methods, but they must also consider cultural differences that have a significant impact on consumers’ behavior and what customers expect from merchants in different countries.
In order to help merchants selling in Brazil to navigate the market and its consumers’ needs, we have prepared some guidelines for providing excellent sales and customer support services.
Brazilian Consumers’ Profile
Before diving into the measures merchants can implement to adapt their customer support service to the Brazilian market, let’s briefly look into consumers’ profile in the country. Overall, Brazilian buyers are well familiarized with purchasing goods and services online. They are also a demanding audience who are always looking for the best bargains and services, in addition to the most convenient payment methods. At the same time, they have some concerns before purchasing online, especially due to the high fraud rates in Brazil. These are the most frequent ones:
- Can I trust this store?
- Is the purchase process secure?
- Will my personal details be protected?
Because of these questions, prior to completing a purchase, Brazilian consumers always search on the internet for information regarding the company: website, contact information, physical address, as well as social media profiles such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, which are common sources of information. Complaints, praises and testimonials from other buyers are the typical information they look for. In this scenario, customer protection websites play an important role. Reclame Aqui is the most popular one in Brazil. Consumers use it to post their complaints about the companies and provide feedback on their products or services. Businesses can use the website space to reply to consumers so as to avoid a bad reputation on Reclame Aqui, which can impact businesses negatively.
What are merchants expected to provide?
Once the research is finished and they feel secure about a website, Brazilian buyers expect a few things from the online store, such as:
- Easy payment flow.
- Clear information about products, payment methods, price, installments.
- Clear shipping information (delivery time, taxes).
- Stable website.
- Security information during the checkout process (e.g. verification from a certified security service, https protocol).
- Easy access to customer care contacts: e-mail address, contact form, online chat, phone number, Facebook page and even WhasApp contact.
- Short (same-day) response time of customer inquiries.
- Instant confirmation after the order is placed (approved or not).
- E-mail confirmation stating that the payment has been processed, along with the order number, product information and website URL.
- E-mail confirmation with the tracking number and URL for checking the delivery status.
- Online chat support to solve quick questions and to certify that the website is legitimate.
- Phone number: Brazilians are keen on speaking over the phone with online shops representatives. They feel more secure and confident to complete a purchase after speaking to someone.
In order to fulfill the expectations of Brazilian consumers, merchants should also provide a wide range of local payment methods, such as installment payments and boleto bancário, competent answer in Brazilian Portuguese – preferably by phone and definitely by e-mail, as well as fast and straight answers. Lack of response is unacceptable and slow responses are bound to generate more e-mails.
So as to avoid complaints and a bad online reputation, online businesses should make sure to offer all the information consumers might need. The main reasons for complaints are:
- Difficulty in finding stores’ contact details.
- Lack of information about delivery.
- Packages unable to be tracked.
- Buyers do not recall what they have purchased (unfortunately, it happens quite often).
- Buyers forget the name of the store they have purchased from.
Indeed, Brazil offers a great e-commerce opportunity for online merchants but Brazilian consumers require attention. The best way to avoid gaining a bad online reputation and even facing high chargeback rates in the country is to provide all relevant information from the beginning. By following these guidelines, merchants can create a loyal customers base that will spread a good word about their purchase experience and will most certainly purchase from the online store again.