How eCommerce is Changing Every Day
If you and everyone you know love to shop online, you might assume that ecommerce has a stranglehold on sales. However, last year, the United States Census Bureau reported ecommerce still only rakes in less than 10 percent of all retail sales. Therefore, online business owners have to work hard to keep their eyes on the prize, and the future, if they want to help see ecommerce make bigger, more secure gains.
The very nature of online shopping shows us how crucial technology is to the growth of ecommerce. A great number of solutions focusing on innovative technology for ecommerce covers everything from marketing to fulfillment. With respect to marketing, this is doubly important, as arguably the largest tech factor is social media. Here we see evidence of ecommerce’s biggest trend: multichannel retail. No more are we placing all of our hopes on our website, as many online retailers offer that “Buy NOW” button to social media ads and promotions. They’ll also open a storefront on Amazon, as well as ensure they’re visible on comparison shopping engines.
In the race to become a multichannel monster, online businesses are spending more time and money on cohesive branding. Few things are more effective in sales than having that consumer feel that they know about you. Multichannel and branding loop us back to those ecommerce solutions. While you’re growing your presence via multichannel, those orders need to be fulfilled and shipped in a seamless fashion. Otherwise, your days are numbered. Technology’s influence on how fast an order is processed and shipped has trained the consumer to expect this from every online retailer.
That’s not the only way the technological aspect has greatly impacted consumer habits. For instance, the common introduction of an app, where users are one or two taps from opening your storefront on their phones, means that you can be a real presence in their lives. What inspired them to download that app? It probably wasn’t a magazine or commercial; those don’t have the biggest impact as ecommerce tastemakers. Social media again takes the prize, as small businesses looking to compete can step onto the playing field just by clinching a deal with a social media personality.
Consumers are more likely to check up on their favorite media accounts, and this doesn’t just mean the Kardashians. Anyone with anything resembling an aspirational lifestyle can sell your product online. In addition, consumers know that they can get crowdsourced opinions on your products and services at multiple points, all online. Finally, there’s personalization. Consumers are trained to expect that their shopping experience will present everything in a manner most relevant to them. This means that stores are interacting with consumers through any channel that customer prefers, making plain old automation a thing of the past. Again, technology has to compensate for the customer’s constant need for connection.
This sounds like a lot for a little retailer to take on, but the truth is, it means everyone has a shot. With smartphones and the Internet, big name retailers can no longer totally monopolize sales; there’s room for you to get a piece too. All it takes is your keen interest in tech trends, and the willingness to branch out from your website.