Ecommerce Gamechangers to Embrace ASAP
As retail giants and traditional storefronts continue to cut costs or even shut their doors, we can’t help but wonder how the future of ecommerce will look. Between the announcements that Toys R Us was filing for bankruptcy and Walmart had halted hiring for the holiday season, it’s clear that digital commerce is putting a big dent in its brick-and-mortar competitors.
So, what are the next growth frontiers in online retail?
The developments that helped make 2018 such a landmark year in the trajectory of the industry may be one indicator along, and things are going to continue to change. If you want to keep up, you’ll have to keep up with the ecommerce changes.
Here are a few ecommerce gamechangers to embrace (or at least acknowledge) ASAP.
Keep Up or Get Left Behind
Many merchants are worried only about reaching buyers in their own backyards (so to speak), and rarely consider the inevitable growth of the international ecommerce market. This is a big mistake. Online shoppers have no problem going beyond borders and are happy to buy from ecommerce stores around the world; so long as shipping isn’t too expensive, the conversion rate is reasonable, and the site is properly translated.
In fact, Nielsen reports that 57 percent of shoppers polled had purchased from an overseas retailer within the past six months.
Selling to an international market may seem like a huge undertaking. And yes, it can be overwhelming if you don’t have the right platform or tools available. But, thanks to solutions like Shopify, sellers can handle global markets in more than 150 countries. You can even use plugins to translate Shopify’s free website themes to populate content based on visitors’ language of choice or region.
The integrations offered by these ecommerce platform providers make it easy to accept payments through a number of gateways, including PayPal and Stripe, without transaction fees.
Shipping calculators and integrations also make it easy to ship products internationally and to account for the necessary shipping fees and taxes, without biting into your profit margin. Your store will display in nearly any language with nearly any currency, so no matter where your customers are, your store will provide a positive customer experience.
Personalization is essential in the expanding ecommerce market. Marketing personalization is a two-way street. Merchants have the ability to gather more data on their customers and prospects than ever before. Meanwhile, personalization has become an expectation of the modern consumer. Personalized shopping experiences based on demographics, previous buying behavior and browsing history are also just the start.
Note that personalization is easy when you have access to the right data. Figuring it out all on your own takes time. That’s where a platform like Evergage becomes helpful to ecommerce success. It’s a real-time personalization platform that combines behavioral analytics with your customer data and advanced machine learning. This allows you to interact with each person who visits your store so you can deliver a truly personalized and individualized experience. You’ll automatically deliver personalized content and product recommendations and can use split-testing to optimize your conversion rates. You’ll be able to reduce shopping-cart abandonment and improve customer loyalty.
Also, consider chatbots for your ecommerce store. More than half of today’s social media users prefer to use messenger apps to connect with brands, rather than turn to email, phone, or a traditional live chat. Enter the chatbot, which is able to reach customers and respond to requests in real-time, learn more about them and personalize their shopping experience based on their responses.
Moreover, chatbots can engage with shoppers, without requiring them to install a native app. Chatbots integrate with platforms such as Skype, Kik and Facebook Messenger. Though chatbots are doing a great job, so much so that research shows that 69 percent of consumers prefer chatbots, they do lack one key element. And that element is the ability to empathize. That’s why it’s important to have a human customer service representative standing by.
If the idea of building achatbot for your ecommerce operation seems daunting, you can turn to a platform like Pandorabots. It helps you build smart chatbots for ecommerce. You can use the basic platform to build and learn as you go, and when you’re ready to execute, you can move it over to artificial Intelligence as a service (AIaaS), which allows you to integrate the chatbot into your applications. You can build a virtual agent to your specifications and add an avatar or speech capabilities. Best of all, it’s free.
These gamechangers can skyrocket your ecommerce business into another level of profits and reach. Consider making these changes heading into the early months of 2019!