eCommerce is quickly becoming one of the most profitable industries with sales estimated to reach $4.135 trillion for the year ending 2020.
But, eCommerce is a highly competitive industry with an increasingly demanding consumer base. It is not enough to simply throw up an online store. You must stay educated on popular trends in order to stay competitive.
Throughout this brief blog, we will discuss current eCommerce trends and how your business can implement them so that you can dominate your market.
1. Augmented Reality (AR) Enhancing the Reality of Online Shopping
Augmented Reality (AR) is quickly changing the eCommerce landscape by reducing customer uncertainty in ordering goods online. Helping shoppers visualize the product of interest through advanced technology allows for higher consumer confidence, increased brand loyalty, and customer retention.
22% of shoppers say they would be less likely to visit a brick-and-mortar store if AR was available via their favourite eCommerce store.
2. On-site Personalizations for an Individualized Experience
Consumers value experience. By tailoring characteristics of your site to the individual consumer you greatly increase the chance that the consumer will remain on your site continuously browsing products. Recent data shows that personalization efforts can reduce bounce rates by 45%.
Implementing personalized experiences on-site or in marketing efforts has been shown to have a strong effect on revenue, with one study finding it had a 25% revenue lift.
While this implementational strategy is not an easy one we promise you that your bottom line will thank you. In order to implement this strategy you must:
Ensure you have the right technology in place. Some examples of valuable technology are
Content personalization that automatically aligns your customer profile with personalized content displayed to them on site.
Recommendations auto-generated specific to the given customer's profile for maximum efficiency in up sales.
Gather as much customer data as possible. This is important because it allows you to create an accurate customer persona that can be leveraged in order to accurately personalize web/app displays and recommendations based on the data you have collected about their habits, behaviours, and interests.
Utilize this data to implement personalization love across channels. Some common examples are email, social media, web, and third-party ads.
Impact every stage of the digital consumer journey. From the time the customer lands on your website, to purchasing a product, to receiving the thank you email, and more.
3. Chatbots Improve Customer Experiences
Chatbots have a seriously positive impact on your customer's shopping experience. Acting as a cheery greeter or salesperson, they allow for stores to communicate with thousands of customers in a manner that reflects customer importance.
Shane Barker, Founder, and CEO of eCommerce thought leadership blog states:
“Chatbots are all the rage today for customer support. However, I think they’ll drastically change the way people shop online. They’ll become one of the most important marketing tools. In the retail space, self-checkout kiosks will probably become the norm and in-store marketing will increase.”
Customers appreciate the feeling of being cared for. When utilizing the chatbot make sure there is an option to escalate the conversation to a human. This feature goes a long way in a consumer's mind.
It is important not to rely solely on the chatbot as your medium of communication with the customer. Customers expect multiple channels of communication maintained with timeliness and efficiency. Some of these channels include, but, are not limited to Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Email, and Phone. Further, customers expect first response times of:
24 hours or less for email
6 hours or less for Facebook
2 minutes or less for live chat and,
3 minutes or less for phone
Often, the best way to maintain these channels and not take away from your business's resources is by hiring an experienced call center team that functions as an extension of your business maintaining channels of communication and ensuring customer satisfaction.
eCommerce is a lucrative industry that is rapidly expanding and changing. Ensure your business's success by adapting to these changes and understanding the significance placed on customer satisfaction.
The above-mentioned trends are some of the most popular upcoming changes in the eCommerce environment that will have a net positive result on your business.
As you start to implement these changes and see the rapid rise in traffic coming to your site you MUST ensure that you have the proper customer infrastructure in place to deliver an experience parallel to the one that you offer on your site. It is highly recommended that you outsource your inbound communications to a professional customer relationship management team in order to deliver the best possible customer experience.