5 things to know to prepare for the future of eCommerce

in Business Hacks

by
Tino Laï (til)

Which trends to follow?  Which ideas will work?

1. The merge between digital and reality is happening

It's not a secret. Ecommerce is increasingly important. Ecommerce is predicted to grow by more than 20% in 2014 to reach close to USD 1.5 trillion. Big retail stores are losing out to online competition and the next step is the end of the distinction between “real store” and “online store”.

Consumers are constantly swapping between these two channels and they expect the same price and service. People read reviews and check prices on the web, but actually enjoy walk into the shop. The next generation won't see the point of separating online and physical shops. Nowadays, many companies still think they can use different strategies or pricing but retailers can't continue to apply separate services, pricing, policies and strategies between the point of sale and the virtual store. 

Bear in mind that sooner or later digital and classic retail stores will converge and prepare for the future.

2. The tools of tomorrow are available right now

We share more than 2.5 billion gigabytes everyday over the internet. In an era where everything is tracked and recorded, sellers have to adapt their strategy and tactics to remain competitive. Analyzing trends and people’s needs has never been as easy as it is now; we must learn from the market and use all these inputs to expand even more.

Digital marketing, geotracking, retargeting - all these tools are already available and show results. We have to develop our marketing and sales processes with them in mind. Since Emarketing is already providing results, it has become necessary to incorporate these new tools into each step of our organization.

3. The customization of everything is really coming

People expect to have an original product that meets all their desires and fits all their needs. Customers increasingly want to have personalized products and services. It is especially challenging for most sellers as they have to adapt the whole supply chain from inventory management to support.

For example, selling computers already demands a specific interface. People want to be free to choose the components inside their device. They want to be able to manually select each piece of hardware and, if possible, see reviews for each of them. Sellers need to keep specific inventory records for each component, use a special quote builder, utilize specific upselling and carry out faster updates of the product (hardware components evolve faster).

Managing products will become more and more complex.

4. The excitement is more than the purchase

For some, buying a product is a rewarding experience in itself - looking at the items for sale, interacting with sellers, trying and testing different products.

It's the same with an online store - all interaction shoppers have with the website/app can be part of the positive experience.

Slowly but surely, the products page becomes more elaborate. The purchase experience will be crucial and as important as the price of the product. There are lots of predictions about the future of ecommerce: support using live chat as the norm, color-customized products (more than 65k colors?), mobile payment in-store available everywhere, virtual dressing rooms, augmented reality shopping, holograms, sales robots and more.

5. Charles Darwin is right: Adaptation is the solution

The distinction between companies and consumers is getting weaker; people interact with brands on social media in the same way as they interact with human beings. The future of sales is to target a real person with specific needs and not an generic consumer. The company is considered as a person and consumer targeted as a person. Consumers talk to each other about everything - world of mouth has never been as powerful as it is now.

We're entering the Person to Person era (P2P) where everything is more connected and more personalized.

What's problematic is that with so many new ideas and innovation available and waiting to be adopted, we can't develop them all. So, what should we prioritize to prepare P2P era?

  • Use Emarketing tools because they provide amazing results and are already available. You have nearly nothing to lose by using them.

  • Accept the fact that you can't predict everything and choose what to adapt


 

The best choice you can make is to invest in flexibility itself. Instead of choosing a structure/architecture that will limit you, choose an open solution: An ecommerce platform that will always be compatible and will allow a lot of possibilities and options in the future.
 
Nowadays, the product page can be a simple picture with simple text and reviews, but it should also be easily editable and customizable so you can add further innovation. Many of those who started ecommerce early on had to scrap everything and start again when  mobile became popular just so that their sites could be responsive to mobile devices. It resulted in huge costs and it was predictable. We can prepare ourselves for the P2P era now.

We don't need to be the first, we just need to be ready (compatible) for the future.




- by Tino Lai, Emarketer, specialist in lead acquisition

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