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Without a doubt, there are many tactics that can help your online retail business gain profit. Staying in pace with time, implementing new technology, and optimizing your eCommerce store’s performance is absolutely necessary for running a compatible online business.
This is why in this article, we’ll introduce you to the recent trends in eCommerce that you may consider trying. Moreover, we’ll show you examples of how renowned brands are using them.
1. Virtual Try-Ons
In many spheres of eCommerce, there exists a barrier that lies in the customer’s doubt of buying an item due to the lack of opportunity to physically try it on. This is especially relevant when shopping online for cosmetics, beauty products, different kinds of accessories (like hats, sunglasses, eyeglasses for vision, jewelry), to name a few.
The use of augmented and virtual reality in eCommerce for virtual try-on purposes has become a storming technology. Buyers switch on the camera of their device, and the technology puts the product on them in real-time. This is already trending not only for makeup cases but for selling shoes and furniture too.
Yes, it may be a bit costly to add this technology to your eCommerce website, yet the overall profit and pay-off won’t be long in coming. If you put development and implementation costs on one side of the scale and the money that’s continuously spent on, say, makeup testers, or on losing website visitors who don’t convert into buyers because of doubt on the other, this really starts to make sense.
Take a look at the screenshot that was taken on the official Estée Lauder website. They offer to select between uploading a photo to put on the lipstick or to use their live camera. This technology is especially relevant in this case since there are so many shades to select from, thus, the virtual try-on can assist in making the choice without even applying makeup.
2. Gift Hint & Gift Hunting Functionality
Looking for and choosing gifts for other people can be stressful and frustrating, agree? Therefore, mentioning other ideas that can bring your eCommerce business profit is taking advantage of the gift situation.
By investing in functionality that can help make the process of gift-hunting faster and easier, you can be selling more. Make sure to cover all the steps of the process from consulting buyers on what to get to packing the gift beautifully and shipping it. You can even take it to the next level and help out those who’ll be receiving the gift to give clues about the things they want in an easy and tactful way.
Let’s browse how it’s done on the official Pandora website for a vivid example. There’s an entire section in the mega menu of the website that’s dedicated to gifts. We can see various options to search for the perfect gift based on the price range, the occasion, and the recipient. Not to mention that there’s a smart Gift Finder too! Topping that, on the product pages, there’s a “Send a hint” button that can help a person who’s browsing the site to give someone a clue about which item they’d want to have as a present.
3. Making Product Customization Exciting
In the era when every individual wishes to stand out, providing the opportunity to design the products according to the customer’s taste is a great “move”. Of course, mass-market still plays a very important role and many continue to do shopping off-the-rack. Yet when a brand allows its clients to be creative, this is a great step forward.
Needless to say, this idea is relevant for only those companies who are actually capable of providing products in their customized versions. But mentioning the “creation” of the design on the client’s side, many companies are already using different kinds of customization functionality that includes not only seeing how the item is changing as you go but also zooming in on elements that are being customized and impressive 3D spins of the item.
To give a clearer example of how this is done in eCommerce, here’s Nike by You that uses customization functionality on its official Nike website outstandingly. It allows you to move element by element and choose the colors and materials of the changeable parts of the shoes based on your preferences, and then to order them in this custom design.
4. Displaying User-Generated Content
This idea is applicable for every eCommerce site as UGC is basically free! Social media is extremely powerful and connects the world your customers spend time in. Engaging your customers to interact with you on multiple channels is a great idea in itself. Plus reposting and cross-posting such content is something you should be doing by every means.
Social proof is perhaps the first thing you get by adding user-generated content to your online retail store and your social media accounts. Customer reviews, various feedback, along with posts with videos and photos of your clients using the products that they’ve bought from you helps to gain trust and broaden brand awareness.
Consider encouraging your buyers to give feedback on the things they’ve bought from you (you may, for instance, offer a coupon in return). You can achieve two things at once as you boost customer retention chances since when having a discount or special offer, your customer can come back to buy more. Plus, you get insights from real people on what you do and sell (this builds credibility).
Similarly, you can stimulate your customers to make posts that mention you and, for example, have your special hashtags. This way your brand gets shown in the feeds of many of your customer’s followers and their post can be viewed by so many more people if it’s then shown on your website and account, it’s a win-win!
For instance, this is how the official NYX Cosmetics website displays the posts of their buyers made on their personal social media accounts.
5. Getting Facebook, Instagram & Pinterest Shops
Yes, we’ve mentioned social media in the previous block, but how about using it as an additional ground for selling? This eCommerce idea is probably the one that deserves your attention most as SMM is not about just sharing the latest news and appealing content anymore, it’s about selling right from everyone’s favored channels.
Facebook Shops, Instagram Shops, and even Pinterest Shops allow you to connect your online store’s product catalog with the business account of the social media channel. In the posts you make, you display the prices and details of the item that’s shown using tagging. Meaning you don’t just show your latest collections or new arrivals, you allow buying this item without having to search long for it on your official website. Two clicks and your customer is right on the product page with the checkout at hand.
Below is a screenshot from the official DKNY Instagram account. As you can see, the post has a shopping bag symbol in the bottom left corner, if tapping on it, the user sees every item on the model, the price. Furthermore, importantly, there’s a link to your site.
All in all, experimenting and trying new things to grow your eCommerce business is important, indeed. Which of the mentioned tactics did you like best? Are there any other great ones that you’ve come across or tried? Feel free to share them in the comments section below.
This is a guest post contribution by Alex Husar. Alex is a CTO at Onilab with 8+ years of experience in Magento consulting services and Salesforce. He graduated from the Czech Technical University and obtained a bachelor’s degree in Computer Software Engineering. Alex’s expertise includes both full-stack dev skills and a strong ability to provide project-critical guidance to the whole team.