While it’s true that there’s no concrete formula to improve a company’s online visibility and success, it’s beneficial to have an overview of where the eCommerce industry is moving after the coronavirus and see what possibilities your business can take advantage of. The space is constantly changing and being aware of new innovations is the key to success. Jose Duarte, an entrepreneur and eCommerce specialist from Costa Rica, offers some of the latest trends to come to the eCommerce ecosystem.
Artificial intelligence and chatbots are grabbing hold. The shift to online sales channels brings with it large amounts of data. Given the myriad of them, it is almost impossible to manage and apply them manually. The solution? Artificial intelligence, one of the biggest trends in online shopping. “With the help of sophisticated algorithms, you can provide your customer with offers and product recommendations widely tailored to their needs,” explains Duarte.
Advancing voice search is adding new possibilities. The number of voice assistants such as Siri, Google Home, and Alexa is an indicator of how our online search and shopping behavior has changed. We are leaving behind the phase of adopting this search technique and making it commonplace when ordering online or in a store with voice technology.
Interactive and personal attention is winning. 64% of consumers consider that the customer experience weighs more than the price when shopping online. In this case, the customer experience is everything that surrounds the relationship between your company and your consumer. For example, customer support or user experience (UX) on your website and essential issues such as payment procedure, shipping and all the tracking of the logistics part. Now, even you as a consumer have hesitated to press the “order now” button. The factors that cause that little moment of doubt probably have to do with the quality of the product and the reliability of the online store.
With new technologies, such as virtual reality, 3D images, augmented reality or 360° videos, you can enhance the user experience. In addition, in 2021 customers expect web stores to offer a personalized experience using data such as purchase history, location and previous searches to personalize the consumer’s journey to the last detail. “The most important lesson,” adds Duarte, “is that each person is unique. Using that data and applying it to help your customers will take you one step ahead of companies that don’t. Consumers are engaged, they feel involved and your business grows because of it.
Security and privacy are also being given more attention. As consumers demand more and more interaction and personalization during their purchases, we must not underestimate the importance of taking care of the privacy of their data. It’s critical to find the right balance between “hyper-personalization” and building and maintaining your customers’ trust. Whereas, years ago, buying and paying online was considered an unsafe business, today, not having bought anything online is considered a huge exception. Digital wallets allow transactions to be carried out securely, smoothly and quickly. The use of payment services such as Apple Pay and Android Pay is, therefore, on the rise, both being widely used in the world of eCommerce.
Global warming can no longer be denied, and as an eCommerce platform, you’re likely to have more influence on it than you think. Many brands, especially clothing brands, have begun to promote sustainably produced collections. It seems to play a more important and prominent role in the preferences of our consumers. Logistics and services must be reviewed, looking for a greener approach.
Without a responsive website that allows customers to access an e-store via mobile, the business will go nowhere. Given this fact, there is no denying the importance of taking into account tablets and smartphones when diving into an eCommerce strategy. Today, 82% of millennials check their device first thing in the morning, and 73% of them go to sleep with their smartphone or tablet. “In most cases, websites are built to be visited on a computer and then optimized to be responsive. However, you can get ahead of this by starting by developing your mobile website and then turning it into a desktop site,” asserts Duarte.
The two most important frustrations a consumer experiences in a physical store are a long wait time at the checkout and the scarcity of a product. Two things that, luckily, do not bother you in the same way when you decide to buy online. Giving your customers a choice between shopping online, in-store or through social media is a big step towards an optimal approach to business.
Customer buying behavior is evolving rapidly and will only increase in a world that is increasingly moving towards digital. So, opt for a well-thought-out eCommerce strategy and secure the future of your business.