2020-2021 has been riddled with news of Covid-19 and dealing with its effects; adjusting to hybrid work models and re-initiating pre-Covid business practices are now part of today’s focus.
With the rise of eCommerce and moreover, the innovative capabilities of today’s point of sales and eCommerce platforms, there has been a gradual shift in how businesses choose to present their products to end users including a complete shift in how customers shop today.
In the current business environment, it is a necessity for retailers, service providers, product sellers to ensure they have a strong online selling model that allows users safe access to their products while also enabling them to complete a purchase as per their need.
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But what does it really take for marketers and product managers or sellers to ensure they build out a seamless buying experience that can drive more sales and enhance the end-to-end shopping experience for every user?
It helps to keep a few basic eCommerce best practices in mind:
Personalization that Drives Results
Several articles and reports point to how more than 40% of customers are known to spend more when they are exposed to a personalized shopping experience. Better personalized experiences can open more revenue opportunities in eCommerce. Not only do customers want the products they need at the click of a button (read: convenience!), they want personalized shopping experiences that can help them identify products that are best-suited to their need of the moment along with easy and seamless transactional experiences.
This is where AI-powered capabilities that can prompt users to complement their current purchase with add-ons that are of value can come handy. Prompts that also drive buyers to revisit product pages when new products are added to the system (based on their past purchase history) can also help drive more interest and value in the long-term.
Streamlining the end-to-end Customer Experience
A good checkout experience can do more than just help buyers and sellers close a transaction, it can boost the overall customer experience and help boost customer retention ratios. When brands understand what it takes for a set of customers to make a final purchase and what payment models are convenient to them for instance, ensuring a streamline closing process in terms of easy only checkouts can reduce cart abandonment.
With online payment models undergoing a shift and the rise of digital wallets, eCommerce businesses have to understand what kind of checkout processes need to be offered via their platforms and how best they can ensure safety of their customers’ data and sensitive information when putting these models in place.
A seamless checkout and payment process can also hasten the overall purchase decision, driving customers to opt to buy what they need from brands that offer safe, seamless shopping and payment experiences.
Today’s digital innovations and AI-powered tools have made it easier for customers, enabling them to be pickier in a world full of choice. If there’s one thing Amazon’s often-talked-about customer experience model is to go by, it’s the way they ensure a 24/7 assistance at every step of a purchase.
Customers who make online purchases need to have the ability to return products easily if they find that it doesn’t match their need and this is where eCommerce enablers can play a huge role in defining a better return policy. A good return policy should be framed to allow customers to make a repurchase within a shorter time frame; interactive models can be put in place that prompt customers to revisit a product page after a few days or consider reading about a replacement product or new version of the product they returned with the aim of driving a repurchase when possible.
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Enabling Multi-channel Purchases
eCommerce marketers can always use their brand website to drive traffic and purchases but in a world where shoppers and potential customers are always exposed to multiple channels through which to browse products and understand more about them, it is crucial to set up a multichannel experience where shoppers can book a demo or make a purchase and payment directly via sites like Instagram, Facebook and such others. Omnichannel business models in eCommerce entail presenting key products through relevant online platforms besides their own website and using marketing campaigns to boost final buys.
Several studies point to how omnichannel purchase and customer engagement models can drive customer retention for eCommerce businesses. Customers today want to be met where they are and be nurtured through platforms they are most active on, this is where eCommerce marketers need to sift through their customer data to understand customer navigation and buying preferences in order to dovetail the right kind of multichannel purchase experience.
Marketers who take this a step further by understanding the importance of voice search and using platforms like Alexa to drive further eCommerce sales will be at the forefront of future eCommerce trends.
Ensuring Seamless Multi-device Usability
Marketers already know the importance of ensuring responsive online pages that can load well across different kinds of devices – laptops, tabs, mobiles, the sorts. This is where eCommerce marketers can capitalize on what kind of devices are used to make product purchases and ensure their app or website are further optimized to render well across all of them.
As trends progress, eCommerce might just soon become more popularly known as mCommerce, given how the numbers of mobile commerce sales are rising due to the growth of app-based models. Brands like IKEA and many others who already use enhanced models including augmented reality to make mobile buying experiences more innovative are known to have better outcomes because these facilities enable the end user buying experience while also making it far easier for customers to compare products, understand how it would suit them while giving them the right tools they need to make a more informed decision.
It Doesn’t Stop Here!
With newer innovations like Virtual Reality, the rise of voice search and the increasing demand for interactive shopping experiences, eCommerce marketers have to revisit how fast they can adapt to changing customer needs and latest industry trends. Enhancing a shopping app and building a seamless experience is just one part of the game. The other lies in offering shopping capabilities that can help a brand stand out in the crowd and bring the customer back for more!
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