According to Emarketer, global ecommerce sales have reached close to $2 trillion and will continue to rise to $4 trillion within 2020. These are impressive numbers for ecommerce business owners, and you will want to make your mark in this race. But this is not going to be a walk in the park.
What will push you ahead of the curve in 2017? What ‘one-of-a-kind’ experience do you plan to offer to your customers? Follow these 6 strategies for the best chance of success in this competitive field.
Focus on your users
Where the B2B market remains focused on its users, the B2C market is still carving out new ways to do that, as its customers have different mindsets and diverse demands. Reaching out to each of them in a personal way is no easy task. We then have a third market segment, which can be termed C2C (consumer to consumer), for example when we buy used products via auction websites like Amazon and eBay.
Whichever market you’re in, the chief goal is to understand your customers’ needs. To do this, you need smarter user communication systems. The digital marketing world has marched ahead from sending fuzzy emails, cold calling and other old school communication techniques. We are now in the connected age. So what are the current standards?
Statistically, tools like live voice chat, live text-based chat and live video chat are the buzzing trends of live communication. Web services like Tagove have designed an array of brilliant communication tools, and they are turning heads.
Where customer satisfaction is concerned, live chat is the best option for ecommerce ecosystems. User comfort starts with smart communication, and that’s how you start focusing on your website visitors.
- Consumer expectations and behaviour
- Usage tracking
- Customer usage data analytics
- Social exposure
M-commerce will continue to rise
The World Wide Web never sleeps, and this is true for every ecommerce player out there. Your business has to stay alive on the web round the clock. But it’s not enough.
Let’s not forget the biggest factor: m-commerce (mobile ecommerce). Nowadays, people like to interact with the web from their smart handhelds. On top of that, smartphones have moulded themselves into little wish boxes. As analysed by Deviceatlas, there are now 2.6 billion smartphone users across the world, and 37% of global website visits come from mobile phones. Now it’s colossal. We must also consider the growth rate of this market, which is the fastest of all.
Optimising your ecommerce website for mobile will get you halfway. So how do you get the rest of the way? A mobile application is one of the best options. Design your ecommerce mobile application for every app store out there and serve more happy customers.
- Mobile optimised website
- Correct product showcasing on different devices
- Optimised functionality on every platform, like Android, Windows and Apple
- Website optimisation for glitch-less appearance on different sized displays
Be versatile with alternative payment systems
Recently, India has witnessed the effect of demonetization. Common people were burdened with money withdrawal limits and outdated currency exchange. Indians are facing this issue with a smiling face for the greater good, but initially, the unavailability of currency was so acute that many businesses had to temporarily close their doors.
Alternative payment systems have the potential to make your ecommerce business more acceptable and versatile. Electronic money transfer and the ballooning of smartphone applications led to a number of alternative payment systems, like PayPal, Google Wallet, Square, Bitcoin and others. With the growth of technology, user trends are evolving too, and at the same time, user expectations are getting higher. So to stay on the cutting edge, your ecommerce business will have to evolve, especially in its design, functionality and the quality of service it offers.
- Versatility in payment systems
- Integrate with most popular alternative payment systems
- Track and analyse KPIs in your payment systems and maintain a smooth flow
- Multi-channel payment systems usage tracking
Invest in a better and faster delivery system
Amazon proudly delivers their products within a day in most cities. This has been their major USP for long period of time. Admittedly, timely product delivery is one of the linchpins behind an ecommerce business success. Fast and timely delivery adds a high brand value for your ecommerce business.
Moreover, user trust is the biggest issue here. Stats say that it’s better to achieve and retain satisfied customers, as for ecommerce, word of mouth marketing is important. One satisfied customer has the potential to bring in new customers by motivating them with his good experience of your ecommerce business.
- Brand value
- Word of mouth marketing
- User trust
- Customer retention capability
Popular social media platforms are the best place for showcasing your ecommerce business. Social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram have a wide user reach and high user penetration levels. According to ReadyCloud, Facebook sends 60% of its entire social traffic to ecommerce websites, whereas Polyvore and Pinterest are at 20% and 15% respectively. Added to that, 71% of social users set their perception towards a brand based on seeing the brand’s replies to social reviews.
These stats are really intriguing for budding ecommerce players. The other reason for making the most of social media platforms is your brand awareness.
- Social reach/exposure
- Brand awareness
- Organic social traffic
- Social user reviews
SEO (search engine optimisation) is a bottom line requirement for every kind of online business. A good overall SEO score ensures a high position on SERPs. Statistically, it’s true that users research products online before deciding to buy that product. So how will you get found by these users? What is your search engine ranking? What are the popular keywords that your ecommerce website ranks for?
A good SEO standard answers all these important questions. Search engine exposure is indispensable for ecommerce websites, as the whole ecommerce world is driven by users.
- Search engine visibility
- Brand awareness
- User trust
- Increased user engagement
All of these strategies are proven and successful techniques in the ecommerce world. It is by no means complete, as there are more ways to hit the ball out of the park. Still, these techniques will help you to understand the current trends of ecommerce consumers and to predict the possible remedies you seek in 2017.
This article was a guest post submitted by Sawaram Suthar from thenextscoop.com.