If you run an e-commerce store, you already understand the importance of concepts like SEO for your business. But is that all there is to e-commerce? As it turns out, if you want to take your business to the next level, you’ll also need to adjust to your clients’ changing expectations.
To give you a head start here, we’re going to go through the most important trends for e-commerce going forward. At the end of this post, you’ll see a succinct infographic on the topic. In this post, we’re going to highlight the four most important sections of the infographic and expand on them.
Are you ready to learn how to catapult your e-commerce store into the future? Let’s get started then.
Sure, you’re sending clients emails and correspondence with their names on them. That’s only a small part of what we’re talking about here, though. Using your client’s name is something that is easy to do. It’s also something that most companies are doing, so it won’t distance you from the competition.
The next level of the personal experience is to put the right offers in front of your clients. In other words, offers that they’ll consider relevant. This takes a little bit more work. It means segmenting your client list into different categories.
These could be based on basic demographics, like age, sex, etc. but the key is to find something that that group of clients has in common and target your marketing communications according to what will interest that group most.
Say, for example, that you’ve identified a group of single women aged 17–23 among your list of subscribers. What are they likely to want from your store? This group of women might be more interested in building their careers than starting a family at the moment, just as an example. As a result, they probably aren’t the best group to sell a toddler’s walking ring to.
Say you can’t segment your market by demographics, then what? Why not segment it according to prior purchases. Let’s take our group of young professional women again. It’s likely that they’ll buy things like makeup or hair products, for example.
Now, you could work out a rough idea of how long a bottle of shampoo should last. You could then send out an offer to coincide with the time that the shampoo is almost empty. Alternatively, if you see that they’ve just bought shampoo, why not send them an offer on a related product, like conditioner or a hair treatment?
It’s more effort to do things this way, but there are two primary reasons to do so. First off, you can create a perfectly targeted email for each group. Second, your clients won’t receive a bunch of emails that they have no interest in, so they’re more likely to pay attention when they do get one from you.
This is something that can be implemented for very little cost but that offers a good return on investment. Instead of thinking of it as an added expense, consider the downside of not offering some kind of automated customer service.
The society that we live in today is pretty impatient. Ten years ago, if you were looking at a site at 10 p.m. on a Saturday night and had a query about a product, you would have sent in an email and patiently waited for a reply. Why? Because you had no other option.
Back then, inquiries had to be dealt with by a human working at the relevant firm, and how quickly a query would be answered depended on whether or not someone was in the office at the time.
Things have moved on a lot since then, in large part as a result of the advancement of artificial intelligence. People are getting used to having a quick and easy way to get their questions answered, and they want answers immediately.
By not offering an automated option, you’re putting your business at a distinct disadvantage. Say, for example, that someone is on your site and wants to know if you have a certain pair of sneakers in blue. If you have an automated instant chat option, they can find that out pretty quickly.
Now, let’s say that you don’t. What are they more likely to do, try and get an answer from you or move on to another website? And even if they do decide to email you, by the time you get around to the answer, they may not even be interested anymore.
There are many options when it comes to automation. It’s very easy to get a simple chatbot custom built for your business or to use CRM software that has one built into it. You really don’t have an excuse not to anymore.
This one could be harder to pull off, so if you can’t offer same-day delivery, at least look into expedited delivery options instead. One of the big factors when it comes to ordering online is that you have to wait to get your items.
Now, if it means saving a substantial amount of money, it might be worth the wait for some clients. Others, however, will be willing to pay more if it means getting the item sooner. Take advantage of that, and also improve customer service by giving the client the option of choosing expedited delivery. That way, if they want it faster, they can pay for the faster delivery option.
Traditional business models are being replaced by business models that offer greater convenience to your clients. Let’s go back to our group of young, professional women again, for example. We’ve already established that they’re likely to want to use makeup and hair products.
What about offering a subscription model that sends out their choice of shampoo and conditioner every six to eight weeks? Alternatively, why not set up a deal where they get a selection of new products curated by you on a monthly basis.
Why would these models be valuable to a client? The automatic replenishment of products, for example, means that there is one less thing this group needs to remember to buy. The convenience could be worth paying for when you’re really busy.
The curated subscription box could also be valuable because it allows them to try out products that they might not otherwise have thought of. Now, obviously, you do have to offer great value with this kind of a model, but it has a lot of benefits for you and your clients.
You can buy batches of products in bulk and get a better discount. You know that the products are going to move because you’ll send them out in the box. Your client gets the convenience of having the box delivered to her door, a surprise to look forward to, and a range of curated products at better prices than she could have bought them for individually.
Wrapping Things Up
That’s it—the four most important sections of the IG explained in detail. We’ve chosen these based on the ease of implementation—all these options can be implemented fairly simply, and without too much expense.
Choose one that will work the best for your business to start off with, and then consider adding the others one at a time. When you’ve finished with this lot, you can work your way through the rest of the infographic and send your sales into the stratosphere.