E-commerce is big and it’s here to stay. Who would have thought that online shopping would become a trillion-dollar market from the humble beginnings of the early 1990s? In today’s day and age, we are never too far from the digital ecosystem. Rapid advances in mobile technology and devices have enabled us to enjoy the expanded benefits and convenience offered by online retailers.
However, the dominance of traditional retailers still holds sway over the market, and E-commerce transactions still hold less than 12% of the overall retail market share. Customers and markets are evolving, and E-commerce businesses have to understand and implement changes based on the transitioning landscape to guarantee success. Focusing on the changing needs of customers together with technology evolution, E-commerce businesses must pay attention to the following major market trends and be prepared for the future.
Big Data Analytics
Effectively utilizing customer data to improve marketing campaigns and being that one step closer to understanding what your customers want will empower online businesses to greatly increase conversion rates. Your historical customer data is one of the most valuable assets in your arsenal for improving customer engagement and sales metrics. Integrating predictive analytics systems with your E-commerce and digital platforms will give you valuable insight into your customer’s preferences and habits.
Social media platforms have long been planning to reap the benefits of having such a humungous user base. With close to 3 billion users, social media platforms are now poised to take the next step towards digital convergence. Facebook and Instagram have been steadily increasing their total share of advertising revenue but are now collaborating with brands to enable direct transactions. This presents a huge opportunity for E-commerce retailers to leverage the power of social media and reach even more potential customers. Taking advantage of the highly customized design flows and marketing tools of these social media platforms, E-commerce retailers can vastly improve customer engagement and profits.
Catering to varied customer groups can be challenging, especially when it comes to the huge anomalies between available purchasing power and spending preferences. The huge chunk of younger customer profiles would much rather invest in experiences than big-ticket items. There is a growing proclivity towards offering products and services where quality trumps desirability and value proposition scores big. Offering a monthly subscription that offers much more than just a one-time binge, allows E-commerce retailers to improve overall customer loyalty. Subscription customers love the exclusivity and also appreciate the better deals they get whilst saving time and money.
With the advent of smartphones and relative ease of technological functionality, digital payment transactions are booming. Cashless transactions and contactless payment options provided by E-commerce retailers greatly improve the customer’s online shopping experience. Getting your website integrated with security and customer-friendly digital payment options is another step in the digital innovation cycle. Banking institutions and countries are ushering in the digital revolution by overhauling their existing infrastructure and getting them ready for digital commerce. As digital transactions increase, E-commerce brands will need to adapt and provide innovative payment solutions to improve brand loyalty and recognition.
Bridging the Channels
Multiple channels bring forth multiple challenges. E-commerce businesses often fail to understand the relative disparity between marketing dollars spent and channel integration. Cohesiveness between your various channels is more important than managing customer expectations on every channel. Right from the time customers are exposed to your marketing and retail channels to the time they are ready to make a final purchase, the sole focus has to be on the quality of the delivery. Successfully integrating online and offline platforms with service-oriented systems contribute towards improved ROI. Every step of the customer’s journey in the digital commerce cycle is important, and interoperability is vital towards building your brand.