The Global eCommerce sector is an emerging force in the online industry. It is one of the fastest developing retail markets in US, Asia, North America and Europe. In the UK, researchers predict that growth in eCommerce sales, though small, will be sustained in the incoming years starting with 13% in 2014 to 19.3% in 2019.
Despite this upward trajectory, it is surprising that not every eCommerce owner succeeds in his/her business. Building a successful online store takes hard work and patience. Since time is one of the things you invest in this business, you can’t expect to see results right away. So how do you make sure that your business keeps growing and innovating? Start adding some eCommerce innovations. Here are some tips to help you get started.
1. Store Pickups
Your shipping costs matters a lot more than you think. According to a 2012 report from comScore, “two in five online shoppers abandon shopping carts because of delivery timing.”
Free shipping is great but it’s getting too common. With everyone offering the same thing, it’s difficult to stand out from the competition. In a world where time is money and everything is so fast-paced, what people need is smart and effective solutions that can address problems in shipping. (There is nothing more frustrating than a late delivery!)
And that’s where Store Pickups come in. Today many retail giants including Wal-Mart, Best Buy and Sears are offering “Store Pickups” or “Buy Online, Pick Up In Store” options that allows customers to purchase online and get their goods a few hours later at any of the nearest available location.
Now you don’t have to wait a few days to get your items delivered. If you happen to drive by the nearest store, you can simply pick up your orders and not waste few hours or minutes shopping (since you already did it online). It’s a great time saver, plus you could compare brands with a keener eye if you do it at the comfort of your home while sitting in front of the computer.
2. Content Driven eCommerce
Content is a huge term but in marketing, it is the meat of the process in creating and distributing relevant information to attract and engage consumers. So how do content and eCommerce tie up?
The standard eCommerce websites are straightforwardly product based: You open the site and you can see products, prices, and descriptions. A content driven eCommerce website on the other hand provides valuable information for the readers in the form of blogs or media along with the products they sell.
Most of these content driven eCommerce sites tell authentic stories of people using their product. They cover every aspect related to their merchandise and curate content that they think their readers will find interesting.
A great example of a content driven eCommerce site is The Honest Company, founded by Hollywood superstar Jessica Alba. This $1 billion dollar worth company is known to be “selling parents peace of mind” and serves as an online destination for shopping safe and effective essentials for the family. Its blog is a wonderful resource for people (particularly mothers) interested in learning more how to live more healthfully and mindfully.
3. Mobile Ecommerce (M-Commerce)
As the reign of mobile commerce continues, the need for retailers to optimize their content for mobile search and viewing is becoming increasingly important. Ecommerce businesses are using mobile’s personalized experience to create a one-of-a-kind opportunity to connect, build loyalty, and earn more revenue from consumers.
Improvements in mobile technology are underway and consumer’s affinity with this medium is making them quite dependent on the small screen. In fact, more than half of transactions online are now accomplished through mobile. This steady growth will only climb in the years to come as BI Intelligence reports shows in this graph.
From around $300 billion in 2013, the mobile share of eCommerce is poised for growth to up to $600 billion dollars in 2020. This is a huge proof that consumers will prefer to use tablets and smartphones to shop in the near future. eCommerce business can use this information to use mobile commerce to their advantage.
What are the things to consider when optimizing for mobile?
- Ease of Navigation – shoppers love mobile sites that are simple and efficient in design.
- SEO – potential shoppers can’t discover your site if it’s not search engine optimized.
- eCommerce Software – the best platform includes easy mobile optimization. Here’s a list of award-winning website building platforms to create online store by the American Webmasters Association (AWA).
- Payment Options– make sure that your mobile website can offer customers their preferred payment choices.
4. Email Marketing for eCommerce
Email marketing ranks second after search in being the most effective eCommerce marketing channel according to a study by Custora. Great marketers know this best so they make sure that they use email the right way. And this isn’t like sending people generic and boring newsletters with the only form of personalization found in the customer’s name. There are many ways to personalize your email and connect with your consumers without sounding like everyone else. Here are some ideas to inspire you:
- Email follow up with recommended products based on customer’s purchase.
- Abandoned cart reminders that encourage consumers to complete their orders
- Exclusive discount emails for loyal customers and other incentives like bundle deals and coupons.
- Relevant news and updates about your eCommerce site including sales and the nearest store location.
- Order confirmation along with a clear shipping and delivery information.
- Curated content for members subscribing in your newsletter.
5. Subscription eCommerce
Subscription services are one of the few developing business models that’s currently trending today in the online community. Almost every business website or app offers something on a recurring billing basis. But the idea behind it is nothing new. The model was first used by newspapers and magazines, which was later on adopted by businesses. Today this business model is used by many companies to provide products, unlimited media access, or tutorials on a monthly basis.
In eCommerce, you can use subscriptions to allow people to choose products and to let them decide how often they want it to get delivered. The beauty of subscription eCommerce is seen mostly on its ease of price calculation. For one, consumers see the prices of the subscriptions before they hit the sign up button. This gives consumers a clear expectation of what services they’re going to get and how much they have to pay.
An example of a subscription eCommerce company that does it right is Birchbox. Birchbox creates ways for consumers to choose beauty products of their liking by offering them to test these cosmetic products in reduced price while companies who subscribe to Birchbox get exposure and efficient promotion.
Over to You
What other new and innovative methods are available to eCommerce businesses to keep things growing? Share your thoughts in the comments.