E-commerce is the process of buying and selling goods online. The most common forms of e-commerce are business to consumer (B2C), business to business (B2B), and consumer to consumer (C2C).
The Boom on E-commerce: Keeping the Focus on Customer
Often e-commerce replaces a brick-and-mortar store as more customers can access their products and it reduces costs for your business. Despite e-commerce being an ingenious development, it does not come without its flaws.
Recently there has been a boom in the number of businesses shifting to e-commerce. The COVID-19 pandemic has left bricks and mortar businesses no choice but to turn their attention to digital sales, as their customers could no longer visit their stores.
The demise of high street stores has contributed to the rise in e-commerce platforms, thus shaking up the industry and causing existing e-commerce businesses to revaluate their systems.
Dan Conboy, CEO at Statement says, “We´ve seen with the pandemic a shift to direct consumer and e-commerce from many retail businesses […] Businesses need people dynamic and flexible enough to understand what they need to do now to meet this new landscape.” So, now the industry has grown significantly, what are the barriers e-commerce businesses need to overcome?
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Maintaining Customer Loyalty
A saturated market means more competition, and more competition means a battle for customers. In a Google search, thousands of e-commerce companies are all competing for custom, and this has escalated throughout the past year.
Standing out to your customer and making digital connections are essential for securing sales as, unlike bricks and mortar stores, in-person interaction is not possible. One way to overcome this is by using consistent branding.
When looking for a trustworthy company, customers are more likely to have confidence in companies that have consistent branding across platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and websites as it connotes that the company is reliable and of good quality.
Successful e-commerce businesses make shopping online an easy task. Elements such as seamless transitions between platforms and high-quality images make for a great customer experience.
However, the ease of accessing e-commerce platforms is matched by how easy it is to leave them. Without the pressure of personal interactions you get from a bricks-and-mortar store, often customers can browse your site but leave it and not return.
Easy ways to combat this are to include high-quality photos on your website, have your ‘pay now’ button visible, and use simple yet enticing copywriting. All of these will help towards more onsite sales and ideally lead to customer retention.
Focussing on your omnichannel customer experience is also important. Providing a seamless transition between channels can help give your customer a relevant and personalized shopping experience, thus encouraging them to purchase your products.
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