Now is the time to be in retail ecommerce. Sales numbers are on an upward trend and the industry is growing faster than ever.
The key to standing out is knowing what trends will make you stand out.
Here’s what you should expect from the ecommerce world in 2019, and what you can do to thrive this year.
Selling on Social
You could be selling the best running shoes that were ever invented. But it won’t do you a drop of good if no one knows it.
One of the best places to let people know? Social media.
Of all the time your customer base spends online, roughly 30% of it is spent on social media. And those who are on social media are willing to buy—sellers who use social media as a selling tool attract 45% more opportunities than their peers.
That said, if you spend all of your time and energy on Facebook or Twitter, you’re going to be disappointed.
The name of the game in 2019 is diversity through multi-channel selling.
Consumers are spending their money more broadly than ever:
- 87% of US consumers still shop offline
- 78% of them purchase through Amazon
- 65% in a brick-and-mortar
- 45% in a branded online store
If you’re an online retailer without a selling source beyond your website, it’s time to think bigger. What about social media? What about popular retailers like Amazon or eBay? What about going old fashioned with a brick-and-mortar?
Remember, more than half of consumers do their shopping outside a branded online store—and if you’re not meeting your customers where they are, they won’t purchase from you.
Think you’re all set because you’re on multiple channels? Think again.
Your users will stop paying attention if you post the same content on every channel. Sure, you might get a few unique views, but if you want to really stand out, you’re going to have to do a little better than that.
You don’t just need to personalize your content across channels. You also need to personalize your user experience across channels, recognizing a user as the same user even when they access your content on different channels.
Need some tips? Read this article.
Why do your users go online?
Most of the time, they’re trying to answer a question, whether they’re trawling Google or searching your site. And if you don’t provide a prompt, accurate answer, they’re going to get annoyed.
Enter chatbot AIs.
They’re relatively new to the game, but that’s exactly why you should jump on the opportunity to use them. Chatbots are getting smarter all the time, which makes it easier than ever for them to provide quick, complete answers to your customers’ most pressing questions.
That way, you can keep your customer service team focused on handling big issues.
Real Conversations with Customers
That’s not to say you should discount the value of real conversations with customers. Quite the opposite, in fact.
Remember: when your customers go online, they’re looking for more than just an item to buy. They’re looking for something that will make you stand out, a reason why they should be loyal to you.
That reason is simple: a relationship.
Customers are inundated with ads and sales pitches. They want to find brands to whom they feel a true connection, brands to whom they can relate. Your customer experience doesn’t just need to improve—it needs to flourish. The best way you can accomplish this is conversations.
Get your customer service team involved in your social media and marketing channels. Have them respond to consumer comments and questions in real time—it’s a lengthy process, but it’s guaranteed to show your customers that you listen to what they have to say.
Video for Life
Are you doing video yet?
If not, you should be—54% of consumers would like to see more video content, and 73% of social media consumers worldwide want to see videos that are entertaining.
Video gives you a unique opportunity to engage customers. Video doesn’t need words, and it relies on images implicitly, tapping into the heavily visual human brain and stopping even the most tuned-out social media scroller.
It presents the product in a real setting. It gives you the opportunity to show the real human faces behind your brand. It tells a story that can captivate your customers in less than a minute.
What are you waiting for?
Don’t have a storefront? Don’t want a storefront? Drop shipping is your new best friend in 2019.
Drop shipping allows you to sell products without a physical storefront. Basically, you act as a middleman between a buyer and a supplier, without the need for you to handle the physical product at any point.
This is especially useful for small businesses that are trying to get a foothold but don’t have much capital to work with.
Strengthen Your Amazon Strategy
To Amazon, or not to Amazon?
The key is to learn how to navigate Amazon’s advertising platforms to ensure that your products are seen. That means honing in on your search terms and auto-bidding tools so you aren’t spending money to appear in searches that aren’t relevant to your company.
Ready to Conquer the Brave New World of Ecommerce?
Ecommerce may be changing, but that’s nothing to be afraid of. You know what to do, you know what your business is good at, and you’re ready to take on the world.
When you stay on top of the latest ecommerce trends, you can provide a better experience to your customers. And that’s something your customers (and your digital marketing numbers) will thank you for, time and time again. What are you waiting for? Get your business up-to-date and ready to wow.
Author’s Bio: Benjamin Shepardson is the founder of NoStop Content. With an extensive career in digital marketing and web development, Ben’s knowledge of the industry has enabled small businesses to scale and grow through well-crafted content and strategy.