source: marketing digest
eCommerce is increasingly more popular than brick and mortar retail. Studies show that mobile device sales increased by 55 percent in 2018 alone. Going further, by 2022, smartphones are predicted to account for $175.4bn in eCommerce retail sales. What does this mean for retail businesses? Either you get in and get smart about eCommerce, or you risk tanking.More and more highly recognized brick and mortar stores are filing for bankruptcy or closing their doors. Toys ‘R’ Us is no more, 126-year-old Sears filed for bankruptcy, Macy’s is shuttering more and more stores, and Barnes & Noble is quickly buckling under the might of Amazon.Consumers are simply less interested in physically going to stores, and more interested in shopping online either from the comfort of their home or while on the go. eCommerce makes shopping easy, fun, and often more interactive and personalized.
But the eCommerce competition is stiff, especially with the likes of Amazon around. The eCommerce giant came onto the digital scene in the 90s and quickly began to shake things up. They took on big-box retail locations and gobbled up smaller eCommerce stores, like the notorious case of Diapers.com. Amazon’s founder Jeff Bezos is a force to be reckoned with, but with the right tools and plan of attack, any eCommerce store can create a market and a name for themselves.
If an eCommerce store hopes to compete in 2019, they need to think ahead, adjust to the ever-changing market and consumer expectations, and continually evolve their game plan.What does your eCommerce store need to know to survive in 2019?
1. eCommerce is a conversation
If you hope to succeed, you need to realize that eCommerce consumers are a different breed entirely from brick and mortar customers. They have wildly different expectations and want a different experience.
When you start analyzing your sales funnel, start at the beginning with consumers’ first interaction with your brand. Is it a conversation? It should be. The entire top of your sales funnel is everything the consumer learns about your brand before they purchase your product. For increased conversion, you need to treat every interaction like a conversation.Engage the customer. Talk to them about your brand and your product and why it’s superior and then tailor the rest of their engagement with your brand around the first interactions. For your existing customers, follow up with them quickly and gather micro-feedback that you can use to enhance their future communications.
2. Chatbots as customer service reps
More and more companies are taking advantage of the opportunities chatbot AI opens for their company. If you can’t keep up with the customer service messages coming in, chatbots can handle the influx and give your customers a consistently positive experience.The AI is advancing at a rapid pace, and eCommerce stores in 2019 need to utilize chatbots to free-up employees and focus their time in more productive ways. Chatbots even provide your business with feedback on what questions are asked most often, which you can then utilize in creating better user experiences.
3. Utilize video content
Including videos on your eCommerce site can bring in more conversion than pictures alone. Nielsen reports that U.S. adults spend nearly 6 hours per day watching videos. In a different study, 73% of online consumers indicated they are more likely to buy a product after viewing video content that explains how it works and another 44% say they are likely to purchase more products from an eCommerce site that features product videos.
Social media sites are in the know, increasing optimization for video content on their platforms. If your eCommerce site doesn’t include product videos, you’re behind the times
4. Personalization for better engagement
eCommerce consumers expect more customization than at brick and mortar stores. In one study, 63 percent of consumers said they were interested in personalized recommendations and are willing to share data in exchange for benefits like coupons, loyalty points, and special offers.Your 2019 personalization efforts need to go beyond knowing their name and birthday. Far fewer consumers care about a brand that addresses them by their first name or sends a birthday email than brands who reach out with specific and personalized offers.You need to enter your eCommerce market with the understanding that consumers expect personalization of your site, emails, and advertisements.
Your 2019 eCommerce decisions need to be based around what the customers want and what they expect. Cater to their wishes and watch your conversion rates flourish. Even though the eCommerce competition can be tight if you utilize the right trends and stay continually updated your business can succeed.