In this day and age, developing an online presence is critical for success, no matter what industry your business is in. However, to properly compete in the digital world, an e-commerce website is fast becoming a necessity. As the market continues to grow, what was once a small subsection of the online community has quickly prospered and flourished into an integral part of any retail business.
If you want to push your business to the next level, then you need to be aware of the future of e-commerce, and what trends will win over your customers – rather than push them away.
1. User Experience to the Forefront
Gone are the days of the traditional one-size-fits-all model that e-commerce platforms have relied on - personalisation and enhanced user experience are key in creating an environment that encourages browsers to become buyers.
To be successful, online businesses need to understand what motivates their customers. Developing a hyper-personalised shopping experience using real-time data allows your business to craft more targeted ad-campaigns.
This ensures customers feel as though a specific ad or suggestion was put in place ‘just for them’. In anticipating their needs, you can expect to see more purchases made, and a higher percentage of multiple item purchases within that increase!
For instance, if a potential customer is browsing for camping chairs online, a ‘frequently bought together’ pop up, with a suggestion for camping cutlery, will offer them a better user experience, and may offer you an extra sale. This will build customer loyalty – which is critical in the ever-increasing world of online retailers.
2. Master Administration through Integrating Systems
When it comes to e-commerce, it is important to remember that different businesses have different needs, products and systems – and these must be melded seamlessly together to create an enjoyable experience for your customers. Whilst it’s incredibly easy to label yourself an e-shopping site, there is far more to a successful online retailer than a simple payment portal.
Your online catalogue must be accurate; your pricing and availability must be correct; you need to check credit and debit card information – and that’s just to name a few!
For a smooth experience for your customers and a hassle-free website for yourself, automated integration systems are a critical addition to your platform. Systems such as Magento are used to synchronise the varied aspects of your online store (such as accounting and inventory). These backend systems integrate the supporting functions your website, treating each channel with equal effect and efficiency.
3. Marketing Automation and Communications
Have you ever gone to a website, selected items and added them to your cart, yet left before you’ve made a purchase? This can happen for a number of reasons – all of which are bad news for the retailer.
Whether the potential customer has realised they were meant to leave the house five minutes ago or the ‘confirm and pay’ button wasn’t clearly marked, as a business you should consider the avenues you can take to recapture these lost customers.
In this situation, an excellent tool to bring into your repertoire is Mail Chimp (and other online newsletter software systems). Any e-shopping cart should prompt potential customers to enter their emails. If they then leave before making a purchase, the address can be automatically entered into a specific database, and an email can be sent reminding them of the items they left behind.
If you’re a new business, or you’re experiencing a high proportion of visitors leaving without making a purchase, consider asking (within an email) what made them leave. With a quick one or two question survey, you can learn more about your site’s usability, and make the necessary changes to create a better experience for shoppers.
A successful e-commerce shopping platform is a must for any business who wants to thrive in today’s hyper-competitive business world. Our customers are no longer relying on traditional bricks and mortar stores, and are instead turning to the online world at a rapid pace to buy everything from clothing to fine foods.
Get in touch with the team at Zeemo to find out how your brand can benefit from our e-commerce solutions today - call 1300 881 594 today!