How to Boost Your E-commerce Business Without Reducing Prices
Black Friday is no longer a one-day shopping extravaganza, all thanks to ‘Cyber Monday’ which has made it an extended shopping period for customers. In 2017, the U.S. ecommerce revenue hit a record-breaking $3.34 billion on Black Friday – a substantial 21.6 percent year-over-year growth rate. This is good news for retailers as it means customers are increasingly relying on ecommerce platforms for their holiday purchases. As today’s customers have ample options available to make their purchases, e-commerce retailers must start carefully planning out the Black Friday promotions well in advance. With Black Friday right around the corner, here are some tips for ecommerce retailers to create a buzz, drive traffic and make sales this season:
Black Friday Marketing Strategies
Black Friday marketing through e-mail
One of the best ways for ecommerce retailers to create a buzz around their Black Friday promotions is to pull out a list of the company’s past and potential online shoppers, segment them based on their needs and send customized emails to suit their shopping patterns. Email marketing is a time-tested strategy for business to expand their sales and the customer base. It is an added advantage to include a catchy subject line and scheduling posts based on time zones or peak of online email users will ensure a wider reach for your Black Friday marketing efforts.
The e-commerce market continues to evolve at a mind-boggling pace, which indicates that companies in this space must adapt to the latest technological advancements and innovative strategies to stay ahead of the curve. With several new additions, 2018 has definitely proven to be an impressive year for e commerce. In the years to come, we can expect a whole lineup of new trends that could kickstart the future of e commerce. To help businesses prepare themselves for what’s in store for next year, we have curated a list of innovative e commerce trends that are here to stay:
Trends in e commerce
The era of emails are back
Email marketing campaigns have been faring surprisingly well off late. In recent years, several companies have admitted that emails have been driving more revenues for them than all their other social media platforms combined. Email campaigns have also been incredibly effective in driving traffic to the website. By allowing customers to make secure purchases from within their inboxes, top e commerce companies are poised to make emails their weapon of choice for driving business revenues.
Personalizing and humanizing the brand
Technology is getting better every day, and that makes personalization a must – especially for companies planning to make a mark for themselves in the future of e-commerce. With several options available to track user behavior while shopping on online platforms, online retail companies can leverage this data to personalize what is shown to the audience. This is one of the proven e commerce trends that’ll enhance shopping experience and ensure repeat sales.
AI in e commerce
Artificial intelligence will continue to dominate the future of e commerce. This e commerce trend is expected to witness large-scale adoption by companies across the globe. AI not only helps online retailers to handle customer queries and grievances quickly but also helps provide personalized services using the behavioral data available.
Several payment companies such as ApplePay, GooglePay, PayPal, and ShopifyPay are moving ahead to standardize payments to make the buying process simpler and quicker. This is one of the main factors that is expected to fuel the use of mobile checkouts by customers. Such e commerce trends are good news for online retailers as well as the customers because it is not only convenient and faster but will also encourage impulse purchasing.
AR will become a reality
Online retailers are increasingly investing in the incorporation of augmented reality into their sites. AR will continue to be one of the hottest e commerce trends and is expected to see mainstream adoption in the next couple of years. Using this technology, customers will be able to see how the products will look on them or even in their homes in case of home appliances and accessories. This will make customers more confident in their purchases, increase orders, reduce returns, and ultimately ensure customer loyalty for the company.
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One of the significant advantages of operating online is the effortless access to unlimited data on customer centric trends, preferences and shopping behavior. E commerce companies can easily gather necessary information based on the past shopping data of their customers. In general, there are three basic ways in which e commerce companies can spur their revenues – firstly, by increasing the total number of customers, secondly, by increasing the average number of times that each customer buys from your brand, and finally, by increasing the average order value of each customer. But marketers often find it difficult to prioritize between these parameters. In that case what can be the next move? The answer is to have a customer centric approach and knowing exactly what your buyers want. Being customer centric is a sure-shot game changer in sales and marketing for companies.
Ways to Implement Customer Centric Marketing Strategies
Gathering demographic information of the buyers, like age or gender is one of the primary steps towards a customer centric approach. Also, knowing where the customers live and tracking their behavior is an added advantage. But beyond the demographics, customer psychographics plays a vital role in understanding the goals, emotions, values, hobbies, and habits that help drive purchase decisions among customers. Psychographic segmentation is crucial for marketing in a customer centric manner.
Targeted promo e-mail
Though e-mail marketing is an efficient and cheap way for e commerce companies to market their products to the target buyers, what makes it successful is the ability to stand out from the other swarm of promotions in the customer’s inbox. Targeted e-mail marketing is a highly customer centric approach, purely based on the customer’s purchase history or browsing data on e commerce websites. This will not only give the customer a feeling of personalization but might also spark an impulse purchase.
The amount of time customers spend on browsing through products is inversely proportional to the amount of time they want to spend in billing and checkout, this holds true for both brick and mortar as well as e commerce platforms. A lengthy checkout page will result not only in customer dissatisfaction but it might also result in the customer terminating the purchase.
Chatbot conversion optimization
Chatbots are becoming increasingly popular among customer centric e commerce sites, especially due to the absence of a customer care associate to assist the customers like in the retail stores. Chatbots give buyers the opportunity to interact with the brand and get their queries resolved in real-time. Due to massive customer traffic, most e commerce companies have automated chatbots on their websites to cater to customer centric queries. Chatbots can also help in improving the conversion rates.
A common trait among online shoppers is to read the product reviews before making the purchase. The main reason for this is to protect themselves from being duped or receiving products that do not meet the expected standards. However, several dishonest players in the online business display fake reviews about a product. Aiming for customer satisfaction is the key for customer centric companies to be successful. Authentic reviews, be it good or bad is in the best interest of the customer, and therefore is the right move.
To know more about how e commerce companies can promote a customer centric culture in their business
With each passing year, ecommerce has started swallowing up a significant chunk of the retail market share. Several players in the online retail space have managed to garner customers’ trust and establish themselves in a short span of time. In order maintain this customer base in the future, it is a requisite for companies to ensure that their offerings, right from the packaging of the product to the delivery stage, are streamlined to meet the customers’ expectations. Customers form an impression about a product on the retail shelf through its packaging; this is exactly what the packaging of the goods does for ecommerce companies. Any damaged or frayed packaging could lead to severe dissatisfaction, and loss of trust in the company from the customers. This makes ecommerce packaging solutions one of the critical factors that require serious consideration from online retail platforms. Thinking of ways in which you can make ecommerce packaging solutions more effective for your business? Here are few trends that you can look up to for some packaging inspiration:
The difficult packaging of products could end up putting customers into a wrap rage, especially in situations where they are eager to get their hands on the product ordered. Good ecommerce packaging solutions aim at making unboxing of products a pleasant experience for the customers. Taking this into consideration, popular ecommerce players such as Amazon have introduced frustration-free CPEX (Customer Packaging Experience). This ecommerce packaging solution packs the products into specifically designed frustration-free packaging directly at their facilities. It means that customers will receive the same product that they find on a retail store-shelf, the only difference being it would be in much better packaging.
Unique design features
When a packaging displays unique packaging designs, it elevates the brand in the eyes of the customer. Ecommerce packaging solutions can incorporate uniqueness in packaging either in terms of functionality or decoration. The basic idea is to make the process of receiving the package more exciting for the customers. When customers feel that they are getting more value and a differential experience, their morale towards the company would simultaneously rise.
Big data design optimization
Ecommerce packaging solutions must aim at optimizing packaging infrastructure with storage in mind. This would help the company to gain efficiency in large fulfillment warehouses. A typical example is incorporating RFID tags and barcodes on the packaging, which allows to speed up the process of picking and packing items from the shelves. Ecommerce companies can use packaging analytics data to help increase efficiency at all stages of packaging development.
When customers get equally excited and happy about the packaging – you know that you have just raised the bar for good packaging. Personalized packaging is not new to the retail industry; however, they were previously adopted only by luxury brands. But thanks, to personalization software developments, the experience of personalized packaging can be implemented into businesses in an affordable way. Ecommerce packaging solutions that aim at creating a unique experience for customers must consider adopting personalization measures to make the customers feel a connection to the brand. This would eventually enhance the overall experience and delight of the customers.
Sustainable packaging materials
The rising demand for environmental-friendly are attracting more companies to shift to green packaging techniques. These degradable and recyclable materials also make it easier for customers to dispose them. If you are looking to go-green and appeal to customers at the same time, then sustainable packaging is the way forward.
The concept of retail stores or the brick and mortar model has been in existence from time immemorial. But with digitization spreading like forest fire around the globe, new models of trade and commerce famously termed as e-tail has taken birth. Like two sides of a coin, both retail and e-tail have their respective perks and drawbacks. While ease and convenience are the key factors that give e-commerce an edge over retail stores, the lack of touch and feel and the risk involved is a significant drawback of going digital. What are the other critical points of difference between these two models of shopping? Let us find out:
Many times, especially while shopping for clothes or electronics at retail stores, we seek assistance from the store consultant for opinions and more information about the products before making a purchase. This is one of the key factors lacking in the case of an e-tail model. While making a purchase online, the customers have to go by the information given on the online shopping portal and trust their intuitions to make the right purchase decision.
Deals and Offers
As you may be aware, the cost of setting up retail stores are much higher when compared to that of e-commerce. This is one of the primary reasons why you will find more attractive price cuts and offers in an online shopping platform when compared to retail stores selling the same products. For the price conscious customers, the digital shopping model is nothing less than a boon.
The Conversion Rates
Digitization has given birth to new models of marketing and advertising as well. Though in many cases, online advertisements have been found to have a comparatively more extensive reach, the conversion rates of e-commerce sites are much lesser. In a regular retail store, out of the number of customers who walk in, the conversion rate or the sale rate is much higher when compared to the e-tail platform.
The Power of Choice
The players in the e-tail platforms widely exploit the benefits of low set-up costs by giving the customers a wide range of choice and options, which is not very feasible in case of retail stores. This makes online platforms of shopping more attractive and convenient for customers when compared to retail outlets where the alternatives available to them are limited.