3 Ways E-Commerce Players Can Succeed in the Pressure-Driven Business Environment
The field of e-commerce is a competitive one, with businesses leaving no stone unturned in meeting customer expectations, regardless of how demanding they are. They understand the simple fact that doing so is crucial to surge ahead of their competitors. While it may seem like an impossible challenge, it is necessary to perceive growing customer demands and expectations as opportunities to transform your business into a customer-oriented commercial entity that delivers value across touchpoints.
Customer is king, and e-commerce retailers from all over the globe are in the race to offer them the best while generating profit. Add technology into the mix, and you will realize that the pressure is mounting on e-commerce businesses to deliver the ideal results and outdo competition simultaneously.
Here are a few strategies to help e-commerce businesses thrive in an incredibly challenging environment.
1. Drive Sophisticated Customer Experiences
In the modern competitive e-commerce scenario, one factor that can make all the difference in attracting new and repeat customers is customer experience (or CX). According to findings,
- 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience.
- 73% of buyers consider customer experience an important factor in purchasing decisions.
The above figures point out that modern e-commerce businesses need to find a way to engender stellar customer experiences. This can be done by leveraging technology to enable omnichannel shopping and fulfillment. Customers expect e-stores to be flexible, i.e., let them purchase online but pick up at the store, order online but return them at the store, and so on.
Fortunately, e-commerce merchants can control CX significantly, which opens up opportunities for them to connect meaningfully with customers across touchpoints. As fulfillment of customers’ needs takes center stage, e-retailers realize how detrimental it can be to make errors in delivering consistent, engaging, helpful, and personalized service as well as navigation.
- 80% of shoppers are more likely to buy from a company that offers personalized experiences.
- On average, 71% of consumers express some degree of frustration when their shopping experience is impersonal.
- 44% of consumers say they will likely become repeat buyers after a personalized shopping experience with a particular company.
The above statistics clearly indicate that providing personal experiences is highly effective in keeping e-commerce businesses competent. Doing this, however, is easier said than done. Monitoring the constantly changing e-commerce landscape can be challenging as technology continually creates innovative ways for shoppers to search for and buy products.
Personalization cannot be overlooked as buyers expect e-stores to remember their preferences and choices and deliver meaningful and customized experiences accordingly. This is where collecting and analyzing customer data comes into the picture. It makes sense to derive insights from past buying behaviors and interests and meet customers’ current demands. These insights will help e-stores fulfill and anticipate their expectations while enabling customers to make quick and easy shopping decisions.
Create Presence across Digital Channels
- 40% of people admit that they have purchased a product online due to seeing it being used by an influencer on social media.
- 74% of shoppers make buying decisions based on social media.
Digital platforms will continue to influence and transform the way customers shop, which is why e-retailers must keep up. Optimizing strategies across digital channels such as social networks, marketplaces, and mobile technologies is imperative to leveraging processes and technologies that instantly adapt to emerging media.
An excellent example of this is mobile-first experiences. With almost everyone owning a smart device, e-retailers can no longer afford to limit their scope to desktops alone. Seamless and efficient mobile-first experiences have become a basic customer expectation.
Being present on multiple channels, including advanced web applications, can engender customized and responsive experiences, which have now become game-changers in e-commerce.
2. Leverage Technology to Outperform Competitors
We live in times when rapidly evolving technology is easily accessible. While this does have its advantages, it also means increased competition as your competitors from all over the world is also leveraging this advanced technology.
Digital is increasingly empowering customers, who play a massive role in how e-commerce businesses operate and compete across channels and locations. The future belongs to the fastest and most efficient in meeting customer expectations.
Explore New Avenues
Despite its various pressures and challenges, one way to thrive in the competitive environment is by exploring new business models and channels. Doing so enables businesses to realize untapped growth opportunities and understand behavioral changes that direct customer expectations in a shopping environment.
E-commerce businesses can also expand their horizons and sustain growth by venturing into new markets to broaden across locations. With globalization, customers expect to buy the best products from all over the world. Brands need to compete by increasing their product reach but include localized customization.
Befriend the Cloud
As mentioned, an increasing number of customers gather customer data to gain insights, differentiating between success and failure. This begs the question: how can all this enormous data be securely managed and accessed? Enter cloud-based programs.
With increasing customers shopping on multiple channels, data is collected from various points. Having unhindered and uncompromised access to customer data can help businesses outperform their competition by fast-tracking global distribution, making it easier to create and cater to new environments rapidly.
Proactively Convert Loyal Customers
It’s important to realize that,
- Attracting a new customer costs five times more than keeping an existing one.
- 44% of companies focus more on customer acquisition, whereas only 18% focus on retention.
While many e-commerce businesses direct their efforts towards acquiring new customers, it is the repeat customers who are actually making the wheels spin. It is, therefore, crucial to find new ways to meaningfully connect with customers, thereby earning their loyalty for long-term growth.
The race to earn consumers’ trust and loyalty is certainly heating up. This involves catering to expectations such as high-end website security, transparency in costs, free customer support, and detailed product information. Further, customers expect to be rewarded for their loyalty. Meeting customer expectations is vital to driving loyalty and beating the competition.
3. Embrace Change to Become Future-Ready
Changing technology and increasing customer expectations have made the e-commerce landscape volatile. This is precisely why authentic data that offers accurate information is beneficial. Apart from that, agile processes and flexibility towards customer/market demands will help your business move forward confidently.
Manage Your Data to Make Sense of It
Businesses regularly gather enormous amounts of data for understanding customers and meeting their needs. However, making sense of the data can be overwhelming. Knowing what’s working with customers is often confusing, and it is hard to find such information quickly. However, using business intelligence tools will equip you with customizable dashboards so you can scrutinize various data sources on a unified platform.
The knowledge thus gained can help enhance purchase frequency, aid conversion, and personalize the customer journey. A holistic view of multiple data sources provides e-retailers with the insights required to manage and adjust to change in an agile manner.
Streamline Internal Processes
It is necessary to be flexible with meeting customer demands and creating content per customer segment. The business’s internal teams need to be empowered to derive insights from multiple data sources. When equipped with the right tools, they will be able to sidestep the obstacles that hinder development without intervention from the IT department.
Having supporting administrative and IT tools in place results in less time spent on backend operations and more dedicated to strategic decision-making that helps drive sales.
By enabling internal teams to focus on their respective tasks, businesses can reduce their developer workloads while maximizing efficiencies.
All said and done; customer experience sets the stage for success in the modern e-commerce arena. It is the primary factor your customers base their impression and opinion of you on. It is, therefore, imperative to not just deliver according to their expectations but surpass them. Your business processes, customer-oriented strategies, and innovative solutions – all play a role in placing you ahead of your competitors. Acquiring and retaining a competitive edge boils down to the shopping experiences you provide. Enhanced efficiency leads to improved conversion, resulting in an ever-expanding bottom line. Ultimately, that’s what it’s all about!