The COVID-19 virus has affected many, globally. However, digital technology has been shown to add growth effectively to many businesses, like eCommerce businesses, both large and small. As it has reached these businesses, digital technology has accelerated. Therefore, those who have expanded or started to include eCommerce have benefited during the pandemic: this trend is set to continue beyond this crisis. In fact, it is predicted that by 2022 the retail eCommerce sector is set to increase by 17%. We go a bit deeper into some of the areas many businesses struggle with, and the areas they have control over. Regulations often differ, as do the terms of online payment solutions. There are other areas impeding success but over which companies do not have much control. Focusing on making your business the best, the most visible and accessible, can help you make changes that can benefit your business.
Customers’ Growing Expectations
Businesses have spent millions of dollars in improving their brand identity and reputation, all with a more customer-centric approach. Nevertheless, experience does matter, since 86% of online shoppers are willing to pay more if they have a better experience. Nevertheless, even though the market has increased, customer satisfaction has decreased – even Amazon has experienced a decline in the American Customer Satisfaction Index. Consumers have tired of irrelevant endorsements and are demanding engagement in place of assumptions. The average customer experience is below the acceptable. Many new players have been drawn into the eCommerce market – in fact 89% more are revival businesses. Some businesses, like Amazon, are trying to innovate through offering new shipping methods. However, there is a disconnect between the seller and consumer expectations.
Personalization Originated with Relationship Marketing
Even though it has been seen as an old concept, it is a vital component which many have not mastered, to their cost. Scale has been a negative factor – the customer database is too large to generate personalized customer experiences. On the other hand, customer purchases are often too low to justify spending on such an approach. Still, eCommerce personalization is possible. The correct software can be harnessed, also the best people to analyze the data, tracking sales and pinpointing new opportunities; helping the client to make better choices. To overcome this problem there is a need to create a one-on-one relationship. Using the tools available, and adding much-needed capabilities to increase online ratings and visibility, the data must be processed, yielding a deeper understanding of the client’s buying behavior, thereby drafting a personalized customer experience.
An important trait to adopt while the business grows is that of being reliable. Clients will use various channels to learn more about the product or service before making a purchase; therefore the experience at the different touch points should be consistent on all these platforms. To solve this problem, optimization of the various digital platforms is vital. In other words, the various pages, shipping details, and search options should be consistent. The customer’s shopping journey then becomes seamless. In practical terms, the fulfillment, distribution, and the product quality must be commendable.
Dealing with the Competition
Simply put, competition occurs when an increasing number of people offer the same products or services, a race ensuing to see who can outsmart the other. In fact, W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne coined the blue and red oceans strategy. This strategy describes red oceans as the cutthroat competition turning the ocean red. However, when owners innovate, ignore the competition, and are able to turn hidden constraints into new opportunities for growth, such a strategy falls within the blue ocean. The blue ocean is where you want to be: you are not inherently forced to drop your rates to beat the competition.
Alternatively, companies can remain in the red ocean where they need to undertake ongoing competitive analyses to observe pricing, products, and the marketing strategy used by competitors. This is to understand the competition’s strengths and weaknesses, which then must be considered by the company’s own marketing strategy.
To operate effectively, the ability to be agile is important, especially for eCommerce. This involves making changes that continue to inspire the customer when necessary, in reaction to changes that occur rapidly. This could mean producing new content or photos or video-editing work. Also this could imply hiring addition skills for a project, but not wanting to hire permanent staff that will affect the company’s overheads. For the latter, outsourcing is a solution. Business owners or companies that want to improve their agility can onboard and offboard staff as and when the project requires such.
Through Facebook and Google ads as well as emails, marketing can stimulate traffic to the websites of businesses. However, once spending stops so too will the traffic. Having proper leads are therefore useful to help a company remain at high-ranking level. A strong SEO strategy can help to improve ranking and lure the right audience to the business website. In addition, a lead-generation specialist can help to increase the number of leads. This specialist will focus on various lead-generation strategies, such as using lead magnets. Lead magnets are incentives which drive traffic to the site offering their contact details, creating grade content such as white papers or e-books, offering a discount, offering a free trial period, using social media, and also, for instance, using retargeting.