Record ecommerce competition has been fuelled by both established retailers and new businesses that launched during the pandemic. The new competition comes from products in categories that are not traditionally purchased online but in store. The pandemic has seen businesses switching from bricks and mortar to online retail so they can continue to sell their products, keep their business afloat and survive when selling from their physical stores wasn’t an option.
Although the majority of businesses quickly adapted to sell online, many weren’t equipped with the right skills to compete in this new and busy market successfully, often falling short with customer experience – a top differentiator for many businesses online.
Customer experience is essential!
Today, customers expect an easy-to-use website and intuitive digital experience. With fierce competition in the ecommerce industry, there’s no room for websites that aren’t mobile-responsive or have poor navigation. Now’s the time to bring your A-game and meet customer expectations to see profitable returns on your online activities and efforts.
What does the future look like for ecommerce?
Here are a few trends to look out for in 2021 and beyond:
Have you checked your Google Analytics recently to see how much traffic is coming from mobile users? The chances are that the majority of your traffic is from mobile. Ever-increasing mobile traffic means that if your site isn’t optimised for mobile users, you’ll be missing out on those all important sales. Mobile shopping allows customers to shop from anywhere on their mobile devices, which has been a saviour for many during the pandemic. In 2019, Statista estimated that by the end of 2021, 73% of ecommerce sales would take place on a mobile device.
On-site personalisation allows customers to have unique, custom shopping experiences. With even more ways to collect data, the opportunities to create personalised experiences for customers is easier now more than ever. Data allows your ecommerce website to dynamically serve the right content and product recommendations to the right audience, based on customers’ recent search history and abandoned checkouts.
Subscriptions are the newest trend in the ecommerce industry. With almost anything available via subscription, it means that we now don’t even have to leave our homes or make choices in what we buy, as it’s all set and delivered directly to our doors. There are subscriptions for almost anything these days, from toilet roll, deodorant, underwear, food to even tea towels. Why are they so attractive for consumers? They’re convenient. For companies, subscription services create a way to plan for inventory and sales that are already locked in and help with future business planning.
Sustainability is important
Both consumers and businesses are now becoming more aware of the environment and the impact the way we do business has on the planet. Consumers are conscious and aware of the impact their shopping behaviour – how and where they shop – has on the environment. Businesses are finding ways to be more eco-friendly by going paperless, using biodegradable packaging, and using recyclable materials.
Optimise your digital strategy for conversion
Getting potential customers to your site is one task, but getting them to convert is another. One solution to improving conversion rates on your website is to optimise your product pages. Additional imagery, in-depth product specifications and descriptions, and customer reviews can help persuade customers to convert. Multi-channel selling is also a great way to get conversions through social advertising or shopping ads on Google
Finding what works for you and your business
- Get feedback from your customers to see what they think of your website and products
- Take note of up-to-date industry research and trend reports, as these will help you to future-proof your website and business
- Make the most of digital tools like Google Analytics to assess and review your customers’ behaviour and make changes accordingly
- Keep track of industry influencers and publications to find out what’s new in your industry
- Keep an eye on competitors to see what they are doing
So, there’s a lot of new things happening in ecommerce. Technology and consumers are forever evolving, so it’s always a good move to be looking to the future and seeing what changes and additions you can implement to strengthen your website and customer experience online. One thing we know for sure is that it’s never too late to get started. If you’re already in the ecommerce industry, don’t be afraid to try something new on your website and evaluate if it’s right for your business.
But what’s the secret to success? Well… that’s your customers. Find out what they want, what they like and always stay true to your brand.
At the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, 10 years of ecommerce growth happened in just 90 days