2020 was a watershed year for e-commerce. Retailers worldwide pivoted to match the way consumers were forced to shop during a global pandemic, as COVID-19 tested the mettle of countless businesses.
Consumers are planning their purchases more carefully, they’re making fewer trips, and over 40% of grocery shoppers are using e-commerce for the first time. More than $5 trillion, or 30%, of annual global retail sales is up for grabs as the market shifts.
To help you stay on top of shifting consumer demands, we’re sharing these top 11 tips for maximizing e-commerce growth in 2021:
There are many reasons why a potential customer abandons the sales process before completing a purchase. A poorly designed sales funnel is most often the cause, specifically complicated checkouts, slow website load times, high shipping costs, lack of trust, and an impersonal experience.
In our current pandemic culture, many consumers are new to the e-commerce experience so you want to make it as flawless as possible. A few tactics to optimize your sales funnel include:
Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools can help you find the tiny cracks of inefficiency in your e-commerce services. AI can help you as a reliable and diligent agent by processing data, finding patterns, and answering customers’ queries – all electronically and at scale.
With AI, you can learn more about your customers, create a personalized shopping environment for them, and offer deals unique to each customer.
AI-powered chatbots can offer a much-needed interface to a customer waiting on a page, product, or service undecided for too long. Chatbots can help give relevant answers to your customers’ general or specific queries. To work correctly, you must provide an extensive set of questions visitors may pose, how to interpret them, and how to look for answers.
Online retailers need to keep pace with customers’ changing preferences and tastes to remain relevant. Continually refining your priorities, behavior, and shaping the customer profile or persona will greatly enhance your brand.
Alternative data mining can gauge customer behaviors by analyzing social media data. Additionally, it can help in customer profiling to create more accurate buyer personas.
Most consumers shop via e-commerce by choice, but 2020 saw an increase in new e-commerce users out of necessity. Older consumers, first-time smartphone users, and many teens are not comfortable typing on mobile device keyboards or even laptops. The use of voice assisted programs like Google Assistant, Alexa, Siri, and Cortana will increase as online transactions continue to flourish.
Many services require that customers visit a brick-and-mortar store to evaluate and select products for purchase. Examples include residential and commercial properties, handmade craft items, clothing, and furniture. The advancements in Augmented Reality (AR) tools and Virtual Reality (VR) have made a lifelike tour possible. Customers can virtually visit rooms to view floor plans, try on garments and jewelry, or take a virtual tour of the properties.
Many services and specialized products require in-person interaction, awareness, and communication to augment the sales process. Leveraging video calls and streaming videos in place of one-on-one interactions can be an effective tool. By using video calls, customer support team members can create a more personal buying experience, resulting in a friendly rapport with shoppers.
Personalization and loyalty offers are increasingly at the center of omnichannel marketing. Customers demand a seamless and integrated experience from start to finish.
Offering online loyalty programs and honoring your offline loyalty points in online transactions can boost your sales. At checkout, present multiple options and apply the best possible offer for your customer.
Use social media channels to share tips, deals, offers, and new launches with your followers, and keep them in the loop with regular updates. Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp now offer specialized business services that allow retailers to analyze customer data and offer them the most relevant products for their unique needs.
A wide range of payment options allows shoppers to choose the one they’ve most comfortable with and trust the most. Integrated digital wallets, online banking, cards, and COD are some popular options to offer at checkout. A secure payment gateway and scalable operations are the bedrock of smooth transaction processing.
Marketing on social media and search engines should go beyond mere images and texts. Your marketing plan could also include videos and 3D or CGI animations. Improvements in animation technology and accessibility often make it easier to edit the final result. Animations can also be more cost-effective and safer than gathering people in close groups for a video shoot.
Use these 11 tips to help your brand adapt, be flexible, communicate better, and increase customer engagement. Implementing at least some of these concepts can increase the chances of repeat customers that will recommend your brand to other potential customers.
By closely following current trends and being proactive in 2021, your e-commerce business can flourish like never before. The retail dollars are out there, but it’s up to you to go out and get them.