Thirty years ago, if someone said they are opening a business, it was natural to assume that they will either purchase or rent a space, set up phone service, rent some computers, and work on attracting customers. The internet changed all that, though, and now one doesn’t even have to leave their couch to start a business. Also, if one has an office space, an online presence is much essential nowadays as that makes it easy for customers to get information about the business or place orders.
However, just having an e-commerce platform isn’t enough anymore. Nowadays, it is imperative for companies to double-down on digital transformation & focus on new customer experiences. Talking about e-commerce in India, the country has the second-largest Internet base, with the number of Internet users exceeding 450 million. Of these, around 70 million people are estimated to have online experience currently, which makes them comfortable with engaging in e-commerce. As more people join the Internet economy, the E-commerce market size is predicted to surpass 200 billion USD by 2022.
Digital transformation is changing the way a business interacts with its customers and how they provide their customers with a consistent experience whenever and wherever they need it. Let’s look at some of the e-commerce trends:
- As consumers are digitally engaging with brands more and more, this will bring a different set of expectations & opportunities to build trust and relevance.
- AI tools such as recommendation engines & hyper-personalisation to visual search will be used to generate leads on e-commerce sites.
- Consumers will turn to marketplaces for purchases as they offer an attractive assortment, competitive & ease of purchasing through a trusted facilitator.
Beyond technology, digital transformation revolves around the customers; how a brand reaches them, speaks to them and finally, how a brand makes customers lives more manageable as one thing is quite clear that customers are in the driver seat. Let’s see how a brand can transform itself to take the customer experience to a whole another level:
With digital transformation, consumers have come to expect access to just about any kind of information at any time. Not only that, but they’ve become very visual. Using exceptional product visualisation allows brands to quickly and effortlessly show off their products so consumers can look at the details without necessarily having to read about them. Brands should leverage tools that allow people to zoom in, spin the product for a 360° view in order to boost customer experience.
Automate with Chatbots
Chatbots may be the first point of contact that can make or break the customer experience. These friendly little bots make it easy to communicate with customers in a very human manner and, in turn, offer a personalised experience that can significantly influence purchases. Brands can use chatbots to provide a customised experience that can substantially influence purchase while providing instant up-selling options.
Elevate the experience with Mobile-friendly applications
Google found out that 73% of consumers will leave an unfriendly mobile site to use a site designed for mobile use. Brands should design mobile-friendly applications so that customers can easily scroll, read, and purchase via website.
Nothing sells a product better than a satisfied customer. User-generated content provides hands-on experience from past customers who are living in and using the brand’s products. Brands should promote user-generated content that showcases hands-on experience in the form of testimonials & reviews.
Retargeting is crucial to the success of any e-commerce site. It allows brands to follow customers while they are online and keep them aware of the brand’s products and services. Once they visit a brand’s site, the ads can show them what they are missing with a quick link back to where they can purchase the items.
Recover Cart Abandonment
Cart abandonment is most likely to occur when a customer gets to check out and finds the delivery options do not suit their needs. One of the most effective ways to address cart abandonment is to introduce an email recovery strategy. When someone abandons a cart, brands can send a series of emails encouraging customers to complete their transactions.
Keeping up with the pace of technological advancement is a challenge for companies to be it of any size. Although technology creates a plethora of business opportunities, it also creates skills gaps. So how can employers combat this skills gap while retaining their current workforce? Let’s look at it:
Bridging the skill gap with upskilling or reskilling
- One of the critical cornerstones of the upskilling and reskilling process is to keep up with the pace of digital transformation and stay ahead of the curve.
- Converting ‘panic into productive & proactive’. For instance, we at #ARM Worldwide took the opportunity of lockdown to adapt to the normal by upskilling with over 400 certifications across modules.
- Brands should prepare themselves and their employees for the future by providing innovation-driven solutions through learnings from Amazon AMS, IBM Design Thinking, Google AdWords & Analytics certifications.
- Redesign the brand’s thinking & strategies at a user-centric level to match the changing consumer behaviour. Keep in mind that learning and self-improvement is a continuous process and must be followed on a daily basis.
Lastly remember, clarity of purpose is essential. Before diving into a digital e-commerce transformation, analyse the business and take into account priorities and vision for the future. Only by having a deep understanding of the business’s needs, one can successfully implement their goals within a reasonable timeframe and budget.