Even a small change in a business trend is based on needs of consumers. It's all about virtual clusters and customer behavior. If the customers accept the changes, entrepreneurs do or have to. Let's discuss a few e-commerce trends that rule the online business this year.
One saying that is timeless: Customer is your God. Technology grows, market needs keep changing, but consumer emotion is the same. Click or brick, what customer expects from you is 'Best Customer Service'. An online customer is restricted to photographs and descriptions. They ought to be persuasive and should entice a customer to want to purchase the item. The more the restrictions, the lower the customer-loyalty. It's very hard to earn. Work and social atmosphere of online customers are different and difficult to guess most of the times even. Measuring their emotional and cognitive response to an online store is not an easy task. Converting a visitor into a customer doesn't happen out of magic. The very first few seconds of their visit on a website are more crucial. It's more important to attract them in seconds, help them believe that they can trust your business, and stay for next few minutes to look at your products.
Modern times are hard to judge; you should make a fast buck wherever and however you can. Providing an appealing, enjoyable, and believable experience to a customer is the howling success of any e-commerce business. On a par with the growth of technology, online consumer expectations are growing sky-high as well. The best user experience once created, will elicit unquestioning emotional and cognitive belief from the customers.
As the world shrunk to a size of a village, customers have shifted from their widescreen of computers to shrunken screens of their modern gadgets. They are mobile-savvy. They mobile-shop. They are in a hurry. Everything is an on-the-go trend now. Shopping for services and physical goods using mobile phone is not so new, as customers have been into the practice for a few years now. Wide ranges of brands, different screen sizes, and emerging technologies will be challenging to the marketers and no doubt mobile-commerce leaves the e-retailers to roll-up their sleeves to see success. Now it's of great importance to take the business to all screen sizes.
Mobile software has evolved enough to assure the users secured shopping experience. If a store's app takes place on the mobile screen of a user, the business now speaks directly to the consumer. More like a company gives a personal attention to a customer. A customer downloads an e-tailers app and signals that he has given his approval indicating that he is happy. He no longer uses Google to help him find what he wants, he doesn't wish to waste a minute on the address bar. If your app is on his screen, you already have a foot in the door. Work on to get a foothold, be in the customer's goodbooks, and you are already on the path to guaranteed success.
Social Media Influence
The businesses see customers who share each and everything, no matter most or least important, on social media websites. If they buy from a store, the store name is on their Facebook wall. They pass judgmental comments. Customers share their opinions and talk about their experiences whether they are criticizing or complimenting. Word of mouth is one of the best forms of advertisement. Moreover, their friends, relatives, family members and other members in their list, see a store name being discussed by a person close to them. Advertisement is one-to-many here. Give an unparallel user experience. Possibly a satisfied customer is converting all their friends and family members into customers for you free of cost. Mess up with a single minor thing, it spreads like wildfire as well. Social media influences large size audience connected to a business directly or indirectly; hard to dispute that.
The mobile commerce introduces most informed customers. They come with clear and clean shopping decisions. First-step to success in mobile commerce starts with proving a place in the pre-sale activities of the customers. They search, compare, question, and decide whether or not to buy from a store. Mobile commerce demands responsive website, retina ready content, privacy, secure payment experience, free delivery, super-fast shipping, and extremely easy returns.
Most significant shopping trend that came into practice lately is Holiday sales. Every business looks up the list of holidays. Dive into the competition well in advance, cover the customers before your competitors do. Holiday lists get bigger and bigger every year. It's important to remember all holidays worldwide. As businesses have become global, it is better to celebrate all holidays and special days on your website.
Free and Fast Shipping
Free Shipping: One of the primary concerns of an e-retailer is Shipping. A customer moves the shopping cart almost to the last step of his buying process, but he may abandon the cart after seeing the shipping options. If there is a charge quoted, if a customer's cognitive response is positive, it is a sign that the store has set an acceptable shipping charge. However, with providing free shipping, a store influences emotional response of customers. No customer settles for an unacceptable shipping charge. It's most important to learn the tactics of the shipping game to win over the competitors.
Fast Shipping: Sticking to the traditional way of shipping is not a wise idea to achieve success. The faster the shipment is made, the better the conversions are. Product delivery is the only area that can't be compared with that of a brick and mortar business. If a business has convinced a customer in all possible ways virtually, but failed to meet the final requirement of getting the product shipped in timely manner, it would be a shame. Two-day Delivery, Same day delivery, express delivery, and more are the terms being added to e-commerce dictionary in the recent days. Choosing a logistic platform that helps cut delivery time is crucial to any business. The faster, the better!
Free and Easy Returns
The story hasn't ended yet. The business is till at customer's hand. He opens the package to examine the quality of the product. It is likely that he may end his business there. An unhappy customer may ruin your reputation on the all-the-time-hungry-for-status-updates social media platforms. A negative review goes more viral than you expect it to. It's high time a business learns to hide its disappointment, smile a big, and say ''You don't like it? We'll take it back''. Businesses that offer free and easy returns please more customers than others. They show that they value customers. Also, it works as well. The customers come back to the same store to spend more time and money happily. Be an eager beaver to expect all possible best and worst to find a foothold in this business.
In-store Pick up
Though it has been in practice for quite some time, it's another trending area of e-commerce. There are customers who are ready to order online for what they want, but prefer a store pick up. It saves time, and it is one of the most preferred ways of shopping among majority of customers. It's more like same day delivery. A click and brick businesses have to address the store pickup shopping method as effectively as possible, as it is becoming increasingly popular lately. Embracing omnichannel strategy would help the retailers to connect their in-store customers with their e-commerce shopping platforms.
Need of the hour
Traditional engagement strategies won't work anymore. Old ideas are lucky tickets to failure. Seamless paths to shopping experiences and post shopping services offered to customers help a business retain customer relationship. Every business needs a cross-functional workforce to update their space with emerging technologies. Accept changes, welcome new technologies, live up to customers' needs and expectations; you are going to see your business in smooth waters very soon. Best wishes!