Within the last decade, there has been a shift in the retail industry. As consumers turn to online shopping more frequently than brick-and-mortar locations, eCommerce sites have had to adapt to increased traffic. In fact, Statista predicts a 265% growth rate for online retailers, from $1.3 trillion in 2014 to $4.9 trillion in 2021.
eCommerce businesses will need to implement new technology to handle the demands of rising consumer visits and purchases. Below, you can find a few solutions available now to help your site’s sales.
Customers spend large amounts of time on social media sites, which has led to a rise in social commerce. By purchasing products directly off of social media, consumers close the gap between social and shopping applications. One poll found that 30% of online shoppers are likely to make a purchase from a social media site.
Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram are already integrating shop button options, which can help your company create a link between online stores and social posts. Shoppable posts are not only a method of securing recurring customers, but can also attract new individuals.
Following the social commerce trend, mobile commerce is another option for your company to implement. Having a mobile-friendly site increases the opportunity to receive sales from consumers who use their phones or tablets to make a purchase. This feature also helps expand your reach and can assist with increasing overall revenue.
Image Search Technology
A 2017 study by Moz.com found that 27% of all searches happened in Google Images. That’s second only to Google.com searches. Consumers like to see what they are buying, and images on your webpage and search engines can help funnel more sales to your eCommerce site. Although some companies are further along than others when integrating image searches into their eCommerce sites, here are a few tactics you can use now:
- Reverse Searches: Customers can take a photo of a product and reverse search them online. By adding images of your own items to your site and pointing them to eCommerce pages, you can guide consumers to your site.
- User-Generated Content: Your customers are a great source of demonstrating products in use. Images or video of your merchandise on customers builds up brand confidence and positive reviews. By tagging your social handles in their posts, customers aid in creating awareness of your products and what they look like.
- Scan-In-Buy App: Numerous companies have taken advantage of their own mobile app to create opportunities for customers to scan and buy items. For example, Neiman Marcus created a Snap, Find, and Shop component on their app to help people find items similar to images taken with their phone. These types of on-the-go image searching abilities make it easier for customers to buy exactly what they want in a matter of minutes.
Voice technology continues to grow in everyday use for consumers. With in-home voice assistants like Apple’s Siri or Google’s Home Assistant, customers can order everyday items by just talking to their device. However, people are more likely to purchase products that they know rather than trying to buy something without seeing it, which does restrict the scope of products purchased this way.
Because customers cannot see the products they order through voice search, a verbal description is necessary. Although most products currently purchased using voice assistants are everyday or household goods, this might be something for your eCommerce site to think about going forward. However, if your product offerings lean toward food or low-cost items, it’s worth it to explore how to become voice order-friendly.
Internet of Things
The Internet of Things helps connect various sectors of eCommerce sites. It allows you to track where any item is in your supply chain via sensors. This information is useful for knowing how much product is available or where a shipment has stalled. Customers also like the ability to know where their order is at any given time, which the IoT can give through updates.
Users on eCommerce sites can also be tracked in real-time using IoT. This data is beneficial for you to have access to or know about. With this information at your fingertips, you can provide promotional details or introduce a new product to them while they are on your site. The ability to sales pitch to a consumer on your site in real-time can help you make more sales.
Speaking to customers through chatbots, offering product suggestions, and providing personalized experiences are all processes that artificial intelligence (AI) can handle for your eCommerce site. Because AI can take over these tasks, it can free your team up for other large business goals. AI also gives you the upperhand in some instances where it can offer optimized deals in order to complete a customer sale.
Although AI can manage day-to-day tasks such as customer questions or starting off customer service queries, it can gather insights from these interactions. This data can help improve your business practices and eCommerce site itself. All this information gives you an edge over your competitors by knowing what your customers want or roadblocks on your site that need to be fixed.
Cloud-based technology can help your company simplify logistics and analyze business spending. Cloud-based tools, like an enterprise resource planning system for example, provide a major benefit to your back-end team, due to their capability to store all relevant information as be accessed regardless of location. From supply chain, to distribution, to finance, all relevant departments have access to the data that enables your eCommerce business to run smoothly. However, be sure to select a provider that operates on their own cloud versus companies like Lawson Software that rely on third parties to access the cloud. Otherwise, this cross-departmental collaboration may become more complex than it needs to be.
The framework of your cloud platform can also aid with decreasing webpage loading time, which will help keep your customers on your site. A final benefit of cloud technology is the security of your data and consumer information as well. Especially with regulations like GDPR and CCPA, properly stored and secured information is important.
All of the technologies mentioned above are aimed at improving your eCommerce site. From bringing in new customers to improving current customer experiences, these tools will help your business overall. However, there are still developments to be made in this industry. It is important for you and your team to stay on top of current technology for the best eCommerce experience.