The retail industry has been drastically transformed in the last few years to incorporate the new technologies of electronic commerce in the social, mobile and at the user experience level. The new challenge that marketing and sales managers face is to detect digital trends to stay ahead of competition while boosting sales and providing customers with the best shopping experiences. While there are a lot of factors that will define the future of electronic commerce, here are 6 trends that one must not fail to consider to have a successful eCommerce business:
1. Presence on mobile devices
The adoption of mobile devices around the world continues to grow. In the coming years; that means that more people will access the Internet from other than a desktop. Therefore, the growth of commerce, or m-commerce (mobile commerce) will increase exponentially in the coming years; it’s even expected that it will be higher than sales done through desktop computers. It is for this reason that any person or company who decides to sell their products or services online should focus much of its efforts on having an e-commerce site available on all types of devices. Similarly, the shopping experience must be excellent on all available platforms. Just as the introduction of smartphones and tablets is changing the consumption behavior of users, the new wave of portable devices will have the same effect. Creativity to implement sales strategies in the new pieces of hardware, such as lenses, smart watches and bracelets, will be crucial for companies wishing to beat the competition.
2. Personalized shopping experience
In order to provide an adequate experience for each person, the most important thing is to know what their preferences are. This is more difficult when there is no direct interaction with the customer. The owner of the online store cannot ignore if the user who is on the other side of the screen is male or female, or whether it’s a teenager or elderly person. Site owners must be aware of who the user is, their specific needs and wants and be able to serve up content that is specifically targeted to them. The only way to know the customer better is through information. With social media data now available and people sharing all kind of personal information online, gathering data is getting easier. Therefore, companies must integrate social media information and tailor their “marketing efforts” to their target market in a more precise way than before.
3. The importance of offline sales
Many people believe that the growth of electronic commerce will put an end to physical stores. This is not entirely true. While digital stores offer many advantages over physical stores; one of the most important is the convenience of not having to travel to a shopping center or facility to purchase a product. In most cases this is very convenient, but it is important to remember that many people still enjoy the “physical shopping” experience and enjoy trying or testing the product before buying it as well as look for that personalized help from another human being. That will not disappear, only the purchase dynamics will change. The online experience can be used as a determinant factor to make a purchase (for example sending an email announcing their biggest sale of the year and offering a coupon with extra discounts) or as a post-buy experience, for example after a purchase in the physical store to offer a coupon redeemable online store. The relationship between online and offline channels is very important and will certainly be in the future. Experts predict that future stores will operate more like exhibition spaces, better known as showrooms, where customers can try out products in person, experiment and carry out subsequent purchase online and receive it at your door.
4. Service and social networks
Some people think that price is the most important thing, others consider that promotion is the key, but in the end, the secret for creating brand loyalty and increasing sales continues to be the quality of service. It doesn’t matter if the company sells groceries or technology. Great service drives brand loyalty. Social networking has gained strength in recent years. The amount of information shared on Facebook and Twitter is vast and traveling at high speed, and is growing astronomically. Both positive and negative reviews spread exponentially. Therefore, it is important to have a strong presence in social networks, as well as to promote products and to meet difficult situations and provide excellent customer service.
5. The challenge of SEO
Search engine optimization (SEO for short) is one of the largest sources of traffic for online stores. Constantly, Google updates its search algorithm in order to show the most relevant content for your users. The same way that Marketing techniques evolve, SEO tactics do too. To be competitive in e-commerce, it is important to have attractive and quality content that helps the company stay current in the results of Google. Keywords are no longer enough. Efforts should focus on developing useful content and tailored to the target market. For example, creating blogs, videos and other media that are focused on a lifestyle, and encourage people to share and make them relevant.
As ecommerce grows, fulfillment will play a bigger role in who wins customers. Getting a client to buy on line is a huge challenge, but ultimately, you have to deliver. If you can’t pick/pack/ship an order accurately, quickly and at a competitive price, you’ll lose customers in the long-run.
Here at Dare Marketing, we know eCommerce fulfillment and can help you fulfill your orders quickly, accurately and at a competitive price. We have delivery networks across Canada and the United States for small package fulfillment. Ask us about our Ship to USA Consolidation program. We consolidate orders to the USA and deliver them to U.S. Postal Service, allowing you to save on customs while taking advantage of low USPS rates.