How e-com is Changing Shopping and Tips to Take Advantage of the Online Shopping Revolution?
With the ongoing dominance of computers, the web and technology across all areas of our lives, even the way we shop has changed considerably over recent years with e-commerce coming to play an ever-increasingly important role for businesses.
The rise of e-com through the last decade has been nothing short of remarkable with conservative estimates suggesting the sector was worth around $4.9 trillion globally in 2021. While this figure is impressive in itself, online sales are expected to increase by a further 50% over the next four years, reaching a somewhat remarkable $7.4 trillion by 2025.
Indeed, this meteoric growth has been pretty well sustained over the last seven years – in 2014, e-com globally was tallied to be worth around $1.3 trillion, so this most definitely is no flash in the pan. Industry analysts are all in agreement that online shopping will only continue to grow in the coming years.
1. The Importance of Getting your Firm Set up for Selling Online
With such stark figures, there can be little denying the e-com phenomenon is transforming traditional retail and irreversibly changing the way people shop globally. Further, if you want yet more evidence of how shopping is changing, one need look no further than the sad demise of many of our previously successful and established companies. Around the world, high streets are changing with traditional brick and mortar stores closing in their thousands as people move more and more online for their shopping fix.
2. Consumer Journeys now Start - and Often End - Online
Recent research suggests around 70% of all consumer journeys now start online – typically with a search on the king of search engines, Google.
The Google search engine now accounts for around 92% of all search-engine-generated traffic. These figures combined mean that if retailers are to stand any chance of surviving in our increasingly digital economy, they need to have a site that registers high under the platform’s Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) on terms likely to be used by consumers looking for a particular product or service.
These days, most prospective customers fire up their web browser to do the online equivalent of window shopping or make informed research on products or services they already know they want.
3. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is key for Enterprises in the Digital Economy
Where once it was enough for firms to simply have a website and an email address, with such a sway towards digital shopping and online services in general, modern firms these days need to be far more proactive in terms of their web profile. As mentioned above, if a company site isn’t rating high on Google under relevant search terms and keywords, it will likely be missing out on the considerable opportunities for sales and growth offered from online platforms.
One of the most proven successful ways to increase your site’s digital prominence is through a process known and Search Engine Optimization (SEO). SEO refers to the range of highly detailed and involved work performed by web marketing and search engine specialists that can help propel websites to the top of the SERPs, thereby generating considerably more footfall and traffic to sites. Without a dedicated SEO strategy, most sites will simply languish in relative obscurity – no matter how well designed or produced that site might be.
4. For the Biggest Chance of Success, Think Niche
We’re all aware of e-com titans like Amazon which seemingly offer near-endless product ranges and are often the first port of call for shoppers. However, it’s worth remembering this blanket approach to sales took decades to develop, plus a load of very smart thinking and very smart people to make a reality.
Most people realize the chances of taking on an Amazon-type business are beyond slim, but you should also do adequate market research into your target market and demographic to see what competition already exists online in your particular area. While there’s nothing to say you shouldn’t necessarily enter into (or persist in) an already crowded market, it is certainly true you’ll find it easier to succeed if you’re up against fewer competitors.
5. Offer a Unique Selling Point (USP)
Another way of looking at the niche approach is to fall back on the age-old rule that successful marketers have relied on for years – namely, to have a Unique Selling Point (USP) when it comes to your products or services. Rather than just trying to compete against your (often bigger and richer) rivals on price alone, try thinking a little more outside the box and offer gifts or money-off vouchers for future purchases if a certain price threshold is reached. Anything that offers added value to your customers and helps encourage repeat sales could work wonders for building strong client/company relations.
6. Make Sure your Delivery Services are Prompt, Professional and up to Scratch
While it’s true most of us are now accepting of the notion that online shopping is less immediate than purchasing from a real-world store, one of the biggest complaints among internet shoppers is the problem with delayed or cancelled orders. There is no better way to negate the chance of repeat purchases than through poor or slow delivery so you should make sure you spend time sourcing the best and most professional service you can find. There are now multiple options for finding specialist companies online that can handle your courier jobs (for example, sites like https://www.shiply.com/us/courier-jobs) so there’s no excuse for putting your clients through delays.
7. Don’t Discount the Tremendous Potential of Social Media
Most of us subscribe to social media channels to keep up with friends and family but, from a business perspective, the social platforms represent a huge opportunity to reach out to and connect with customers – both existing and potential. By embracing the power of social media and establishing a strong social presence, you’ll go a long way to building your brand and keeping your company front and centre in the minds of your clients.