The Ecommerce industry is ever-changing, and every year brings in several new trends with itself. However, last year has considerably accelerated the digital transformation process, accompanied by significant online consumer behaviour changes. In the time ahead, we can only expect consumers to engage more and more in online shopping. Hence, businesses must realise that their pre-pandemic E-commerce strategies will not suffice to tackle this new change.
In order to adapt to the new reality, brands will need to develop new online capabilities to win the digital shelf and ensure a positive customer experience, including fulfilment, avoiding out-of-stocks and delivery delays, managing digital advertising, etc. Here are five do’s that you can action to grow your E-commerce business and emerge as market leaders.
Revamp Supply chain processes
Supply chains face many challenges like return items, unpredictable demand, small orders, etc. To meet consumers’ rising expectations within a proper time-period, businesses should redefine their supply chain networks to optimise them into lesser, but larger operations. Demand forecasting will find critical use here. A higher number of third-party logistics providers should be brought into the picture to ensure minimum cost and maximum utilisation of stock when it comes to transportation, last-mile delivery, inventory management, and so on. Storage warehouses should be reorganised for optimal product placements, and high-grade analytics should be adopted for greater flexibility and productive online behaviour of the consumers. Alternative solutions like ‘click-and-collect’ can be considered so that consumers have higher autonomy in choosing their way of product-delivery. Constant communication and coordination should be ensured as this will help in making the whole process economically profitable.
Shift retail shelves online
Due to social distancing and home-isolation during the pandemic, consumers could not visit stores physically to buy products, which is why they had to resort to online methods for every requirement of theirs. The online purchase of food and beverages during the time shot up by a whopping 285% and grocery as a category spiked like anything in e-commerce. With this upward trend, businesses should include more categories of products on their online websites, such as – a full assortment of grocery items, long-term shelf-stable products, basic hygiene and medical-scale items, etc. They should also put a spotlight on their ‘feature’ items and deals to attract a higher number of consumers. Apart from this, the regular brick and mortar stores should have tailored purchase options to address the meteoric rise in online demand.
Ameliorate visibility on social media
Data suggests that one in four purchases are being made via social media platforms, and about 17% of consumers prefer social apps for shopping. The reign of influencers was quite a rage during the pandemic as well, which automatically makes influencer marketing an important strategy. Businesses should collaborate with social media influencers, and focus on having a strong presence across every possible social media platform to create brand awareness, have a greater reach and boost sales figures. As per a survey, 74% of consumers visit social media pages before going ahead with a purchase decision, and 82% of consumers say they get information about products or brands mostly through social media marketing. Since social media engages consumers effortlessly, businesses should ensure their visibility in that space.
Adopt immersive and connected ads
There will be tough competitions between brands when it comes to digital advertising. Everything will depend on how one’s approach is better than the other and how widespread these approaches are. Businesses should take advantage of listing their products on Google shopping for free as it will help them directly redirect consumers to their websites. Strong emphasis should be put on email reminders, subscriptions, coupons, etc. Businesses should also diversify their advertising channels to reach potential consumers in every corner of the world. They should further make more use of 3D and CGI in their advertisements to increase click-through rates (CTR) and drive website traffic.
Improve digital payment trends
Research data tells us that consumers make around 10-30% of purchases on an average in the online domain. Though the digital payment trend was being led by the millennials and the Gen Z, the pandemic cornered other consumers into adopting these digital techniques. It is anticipated that shoppers aged 45 and above will switch to online purchasing trends, thereby creating a brand new segment of e-commerce users. To make this switch even more convenient, businesses should try and incorporate more online payment methods like NFC (Near Field Communication) and EMV (Europay, Mastercard, and Visa) for contactless payments. They should also tap into ‘Buy now, pay later’ apps as these methods are set to gain more prominence in the coming years. LazyPay and Simpl are some excellent examples. Other options like BOPIS (Buy online Pick-up in-store) should also be considered.
Needless to say, the above-mentioned strategies will surely help businesses to go that extra mile and deliver better and wholesome experiences to their consumers. Implementing them will ensure that your methods are streamlined and structured, and as long as you are up to speed with the consumers’ changing requirements, you will definitely have a long-lasting impact on them.
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