One of the most prominent ways in which the Internet has transformed business is the exponential growth of eCommerce and convenience of shopping online. It has changed the pace and tune of transactional commerce and retail in particular.
The global eCommerce industry is expected to surpass a $2 trillion annual haul in 2017 alone as per one Forbes report. Around 71% of consumers are looking online to find the best deal – a process now known as ‘showrooming’ and ‘web rooming’. It is a fact that mobile and social media have a huge role to play in eCommerce. And newer technology such as AI, chatbots, and VR are changing the rules of the game before many can master them. Competition in eCommerce is ruthless: you don’t just pick on your own size. You are fighting in the global marketplace.
Factors For Long-Term eCommerce Success
Customer Experience Is The Defining Factor
The importance of customer feedback and experience can’t be stressed enough. You need to build an eCommerce website that understands customer pain points and improves their journey continually. Reviews have become one of the main factors in research and the ensuing decision making process. Third party validation is an important aspect that nudges visitors to become buyers.
Due to the dynamic nature of web technology and information overkill, customer mindsets are very difficult to understand and predict. This means optimizing your eCommerce web estate is a never-ending process. You must make it incredibly easy for customers to get in touch, enquire, call or leave feedback.
Enterprise Customer Experience (CX) software company Medallia Digital has gathered interesting insights in its resource “The Digital Customer Journey”:
Some primary touchpoints in customer journey are sign up, checkout, points where the customer deliberates to make a purchase and the point of conversion.
Focus On Increasing Web Conversions
Poor UX, heavy websites, slow loading pages can turn customers away very quickly. Your eCommerce website is at the heart of your digital web estate. Shoppers have infinite options to shop from and not enough patience. So, make the first impression matter and design a journey that leads to conversions.
From the quality of images, to the design of the CTA buttons, ease of navigation, usability, and search-ability – these are just a few of the factors that make a big difference. Try retargeting platforms like Adroll, Facebook and Criteo, which enable you to show ads of products that people have seen and not yet purchased. The reminder system eggs them on to make the final move.
Look for ways to constantly optimize your eCommerce website find ways to design a user journey focused on conversion. Rope in eCommerce consultants and look at successful examples in your domain to see what they are doing right or better.
SEO is technically where the journey begins so a well-planned strategy is the key to being found in the vast digital ocean of eCommerce.
One Step Ahead Of The Game
Be it product selection, inventory planning or competitive pricing, innovation is the name of the game. Fashion eCommerce player ASOS has recently added a search by photo function to its eCommerce app. This allows customers to upload photos of garments or accessories that are similar to what they are looking for.
But you don’t necessarily need to have drones, droids, AI or cutting-edge technology to innovate. Tackling customer challenges creatively, identifying and eliminating customer pain points – could very well be your innovation strategy. Customer personalization and a considerate shipping and returns policy, shorter delivery cycles, transparent pricing – these are just some of the factors that can transform your customer journey from average to excellent. Digital coupon cutting, multi-channel strategy, voice search, there are now many pieces to the jigsaw puzzle that is eCommerce technology.
Growing an eCommerce business in the age of Amazon, Alibaba and eBay is no mean feat. While there is no simple formula for success, you do need an excellent CMS solution that supports your marketing, SEO and innovation goals. It is important to create a long-term roadmap for growth and be in touch with customer lifecycle touchpoints to ensure that you leave no opportunity untapped.