How eCommerce Can Safeguard the Future of Small Businesses
The last few months have transformed the way businesses operate. With eCommerce evolving at record speed, retailers in every category are rethinking how they engage and deliver on consumer needs. For many, a shift online just won’t be the same, but for others, digital solutions will help them gain a foothold in increasingly vital markets.
With greater reliance on digital revenue, paired with even greater eCommerce competition, how does an online retailer or small business stand out from the crowd? We take a look at a few things business owners are doing to maximise their digital offering and safeguard online revenue.
The Power of Social Media
It is proving increasingly important for retailers to reach out through social media. Most people live, learn, and share through social media, and shopping
is a huge part of that experience. Social commerce is growing fast, with most of the more-established platforms expanding their capacity to host businesses of all sizes.
Social media allows retailers to connect and sell through ready-made platforms with incredible reach. This is proving an increasingly useful tool for those who have seen their services disrupted. Where else can so many potential customers be engaged so quickly? But ease of purchase is also an important factor. Instagram’s eCommerce feature has all the tools needed to optimise sales and now enables users to make purchases without having to leave the app. Data sugge
sts customers often want to purchase an item in as few as three clicks, so cutting down on those lengthy checkout processes online is key.
Know the Customer
Staying ahead of how a customer behaves online means you aren’t falling behind them. There is a growing need to understand the new habits of con
sumers, assessing how attitudes and behaviours have altered. It is also important to think about whether the current climate has opened up new opportunities with new audiences.
This is where predictive analytics can work wonders. It may sound futuristic, but over the last decade, analytical tools have gone mainstream. Analytics allow retailers to predict what customers are most likely to purchase and what the highest price they will pay for a product is. It helps with improving supply chain management, enhances business intelligence, and makes accurate recommendations regarding promotions and follow-up purchases. Such tools may be vital in helping retailers stay one step ahead.
Streamline Shipping and Delivery Methods
As noted by Episerver, Amazon has really set the standard when it comes to delivery. It may be impossible to match their same-day, free delivery, but there are ways of remaining competitive. This mostly relies on reducing turnaround times and, if possible, costs. An inventory management system is a key part of this, helping to streamline everything from the supply chain to fulfilment, deliveries and more. Focus on providing a delivery service that aligns with customer needs. Determine whether speed, convenience, or cost is the most important to your customer, and source the right courier accordingly.
Now that the right services are in place, make sure all relevant information is displayed, such as whether the item in stock, how long it will take to despatch and what the relevant postage prices are.
Remember, special offers on delivery will always be one of the most powerful promotional tools at your disposal.
A shift towards subscription-based models
Over the last few years, subscription-based business has boomed. For many, the excitement of a regular delivery ticks all the boxes. Many subscription-based companies succeed through simply saving the customer time; something that has become increasingly precious.
Determine if there’s a subscription element you can add to your service. If possible, you might find an excellent opportunity to expand your online shop, improve customer relations, provide higher levels of revenue and that all-important repeat business.
Talking the Talk
Customer service is key, but not every business has the resources. This is where ‘chatbots’ come in handy. Now, this isn’t for everybody, but the recent utilisation of ‘chatbots’ is helping many businesses provide improved customer service, answer questions, offer recommendations, and even deal with queries and complaints.
2020 and Beyond
With a huge advancement in technology, we’re witnessing an incredible expansion and diversification within the eCommerce industry. New techniques, strategies and tools are all there to be experimented with and implemented. User experience, conversion optimisation, and the way customers pay and take delivery of their products can all define good business. It could be an exciting time for digital retailers, as long as they’re willing to embrace what comes next.
ABL Recruitment team
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