The e-commerce industry has been experiencing steady and promising growth over the past few years, which means that if you want to grow your business, you need to keep pace with the latest developments. For instance, it has been reported that by the year 2021, global e-commerce revenue will amount to $4.88 trillion. This means that we should expect continued growth and more businesses joining the e-commerce marketplace. On the other hand, this increase will also translate into a rise in competition. In this article, we explore the latest trends in e-commerce to help you stay one step ahead of your competitors.
1. Augmented and virtual reality
Even before a customer commits to buying something, they are already wondering how it will look on them, in their home or how best it will fulfil their needs. Augmented and virtual reality is already enabling users to visualise how a certain outfit will look on them, how that new piece of furniture will refresh their home decor, and so on. It is estimated that the augmented and virtual reality market will rise to a whole new level and might play the most significant role in influencing customer decisions when making an online purchase.
2. Multichannel selling
Consumers nowadays are not only using one channel to make their purchases online. To grow your business, you need to make yourself open to almost all channels that your potential clients use. You may want to consider using popular channels like Amazon, Google shopping and eBay, but don’t forget to incorporate social media platforms into that mix too, to accommodate direct sales via Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.
3. Smarter payment processing
The point of payment is the most crucial step in the customer journey and has the chance to make or break the conversion. At this stage, the customer has already made up their mind after going through multiple stages of product research and in-depth consideration to finally settle on buying your product. However, if at the point of purchase the process becomes too difficult, you can be assured of losing that potential sale. In last year alone, almost 75% of online retail orders were abandoned. This can be avoided if you implement a smooth, fast and customer-friendly checkout process with a minimum number of steps (such as one-click processing or being able to check out as a guest). What’s more, if you consolidate all your payments into a single platform, you make it easier to manage payments regardless of currency and platform.
We are living in a digital age, with overwhelming amounts of information available about our customers. Therefore, if you are looking to drive more sales, consider using this data to target core segments of your database. Use their purchase history to understand what they are interested in, the amount they usually pay, and items which others may have bought but which they haven’t yet, in a bid to upsell. Personalised marketing tools such as this are an easy way to improve not only conversions but customer retention too. Other easy ways to personalise content include tailored greetings when they log in as well as bespoke offers and voucher codes specifically designed around their tastes.
The e-commerce revolution isn’t going away anytime soon; in fact, it’s only going from strength to strength. Ensure you’re equipped to handle the demand from customers, and the rise of competition, with these tips and our expert insight. Get in touch today to find out more.