Last year, approximately 1.8 billion people around the world purchased products and services online. Moreover, global e-retail sales summed up to $2.8 trillion and online sales are expected to grow to $4.8 trillion by 2021.
So, what does that tell you about eCommerce? Just that it’s as strong as ever. Not only is it evident that more and more consumers are flocking towards e-commerce, but that eCommerce stores are popping up left, right, and center, too.
With the advent of smartphones, it’s now easier than ever to shop online. However, this also means that businesses that choose to sell online need to keep up with the challenges that come with an ever-evolving world. Continuously adapting to new developments in the e-commerce industry is no longer an option; it’s a necessity.
Keeping everything in mind, eCommerce startups, in particular, may find themselves in a tricky position. On the one hand, cutting edge technologies are readily available, so they don’t have to deal with issues previous e-commerce businesses had to deal with. However, on the other hand, it’s crucial for startups to update their business’ infrastructure constantly. There’s no longer room for simple e-commerce sites.
Keeping the current environment in mind, here’s how your e-commerce startup can stand out:
Personalize User Experience
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There’s no way to make a customer more happy than making them feel important, and there’s no better way to do that than by giving them a personalized experience. Some of the simplest forms of personalizing user experience are by using geolocation data to automatically change currency and language setting and sending push notifications to remind customers they left some items in their carts.
Customer data can further be used effectively to improve the user experience. Advancements in many fields, such as machine learning, are leading to hyper-personalization in ways we have already starting to witness, including product suggestions based on what we’ve already viewed.
Using a combination of machine learning and analytics allows eCommerce businesses to send targeted messages to customers based on their history. With the speed at which things are changing, technology will soon be able to predict future purchases based on past trends and activities.
Protect Your Customers
While it’s safe to say that customers are more trustworthy than ever today, the risk of fraud is at an all-time high too. Fraudsters today are coming up with all kinds of ways, the most common being the use of stolen credit card details to buy digital and physical goods. While owners of credit cards usually get compensated due to the chargeback system, merchants, unfortunately, don’t get the same leeway.
Hence, it’s no surprise that the demand for fraud protection is increasing at a fast pace. However, sometimes legitimate transactions get blocked which could potentially result in customers not returning. Such measures, while undoubtedly necessary, still have room to be improved.
One way to do this is by getting fraud protection services onboard so the entire process can be automated, ensuring only the fishy purchases get flagged and real transactions go through quickly.
Don’t Ignore Automation
Even if you have the most impeccable product catalog available, potential customers aren’t just going to rush to you. Successful e-commerce businesses are always accompanied by powerful marketing techniques that help them attract customers and convert them to result in repeated sales.
Due to the substantial amount of customers that companies need to reach out to, it can be challenging to send emails and track their abandoned carts individually. Marketing automation can simplify the process tremendously by sending out customized offers through newsletters and push notifications. The timing for these can be customized too, and you can set up a system where an email will be sent out at a particular time based on when the user is most active, overall leading to better response times.
Apart from marketing efforts, you’d be surprised what else can be automated. You can even automate product image editing and have high-quality pictures of your products available to you in under a minute.
Be Responsive To Your Customers
Perhaps one of the most significant issues customers experience with online shopping is poor customer service. At a brick-and-mortar store, customers can always go up to a sales representative and get any problems with their order resolved. However, the absence of the human element makes this a considerable obstacle.
E-commerce businesses often provide customer support in the form of email and message systems and chat widgets which give customers the chance to convey their problems to a live agent. However, these techniques can sometimes take time and come at the risk of fed up customers.
Companies often deal with large volumes of transactions which need their time to be sorted out. Moreover, sending customers continuous messages can also send them the other way. One way to address customers’ problems is by engineering the process in a way that customers get messages at specific points in time, such as when they abandon their carts.
Remember, time is money, and this isn’t more applicable than it is in eCommerce. You can consider making your e-commerce business even more efficient by looking over a dropshipping guide getting a third party manufacturer on board to ship the products directly to customers, improving customer experience through fast service.
Customers today, especially those shopping online, demand swift service and excellent user experience. By sorting things out in the background, whether you do that by implementing high-end technologies or using a team productivity tool, you can ensure your customers are getting the best experience.
In a world full of millions, even billions, of businesses where everybody is competing at a global level, it’s more crucial than ever to put your best foot forward. By breaking through the clutter and providing the best possible experience, you will have nothing to worry about.
So, how is your e-commerce startup working out for you? Do you have suggestions on how it can stand out? Contact us below to talk or start a project.
Guest Blogger Bio:
Dave Schneider is the marketing manager albacross.com, the free B2B lead generation platform. In 2012 he quit his job to travel the world and has visited over 65 countries. In his spare time, he writes about SaaS and business at DaveSchneider.me