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How to make your eCommerce business stand out in 2021

5 min read

Back to Insight

5 min read

How to make your eCommerce business stand out in 2021

Author: Phil Birss
Posted in eCommerce 3 weeks ago

2020 was a year that did not go to plan for a lot of people and businesses. The COVID-19 pandemic saw an acceleration of trends that were only just becoming entrenched. It could be said that the eCommerce sector saw 10 years of growth in just a single year. This was down to customers being locked down for months at a time. they were forced to alter their shopping preferences and behaviours causing millions of businesses to either invest heavily into their already existing online channels or head online for the very first time. This article aims to build on those trends by showing you how you can leverage the positions laid out in 2020 for the new year. Here are a few tips to ensure your eCommerce business stands out in 2021.

Diversify payment methods

To remain ahead of the eCommerce trends, you need to diversify your payment methods. This will help you take advantage of the latest trends with digital wallets increasingly becoming the default payment option for most customers. It could be that the days of the credit card being the most used payment method might be coming to an end. It is also imperative that you have financing solutions alongside your multiple payment options. Over the past couple of years, the world has seen cryptocurrency become a legitimised payment method for ordinary goods, to the point that even banks are accepting them.

Transfer in-store experiences online

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses all over the world have been searching for inventive ways to combine the in-store experiences that people are used to with the ease of the digital shopping experience. This process is more likely to succeed in this new climate as customers are now more open than ever to novel innovative ways to compare and buy products.

Your eCommerce business can leverage the advancements in virtual and augmented reality to provide top-notch service to your customers. This could be something as simple as letting the customer try out new clothes to see if they fit their style right from the comfort of their home. Using a smartphone with a camera, your customers will be able to view different combinations of outfits just as if they are in their closets.

While this does pale in comparison to being able to touch and feel the clothes in real-time, VR and AR experiences can provide customers with the much-needed insight to make their purchase decision.

Improve online buying pathways

It is believed that due to the coronavirus pandemic, websites have become the major purchase pathway for a lot of brands, overtaking the in-store method. For this reason, your eCommerce business has to offer a lot more than what the big eCommerce names offer to ensure you set yourself apart in the new year. You can do any of the following:

  • Properly applying personalisation. This should be ideally done at every contact point. This means in search, pages, in checkout, and marketing emails. It should also be done in a manner that isn’t obnoxious.
  • Streamlined exchanges and returns to help cope with the higher volume number
  • Enriched purchase information which could mean instant chat, improved size guidelines, as well as augmented reality.
  • Nearly instantaneous website loading speed by implementing improved development practices.
  • Nailing higher fulfilment volumes to ensure logistics is not an issue for your company.
  • Increased consumer altruism such as non-monetary rewards for certain behaviours.

Loyalty programs should be integrated into omnichannel marketing

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, most stores only offered in-store loyalty programs. In 2021, customers are automatically expecting that loyalty program when they purchase something. It could be a thank you email or text sent as soon as a purchase is made, it could also be an opportunity for you to provide them with referral opportunities and extended offers. Doing this helps to create a deeper connection between your eCommerce business and your customers. This, in turn, makes them want to shop with you, as they are getting a value far beyond the items they purchase.

Going the extra mile for your users and clients in the new year

Gone are the days where eCommerce merchants and businesses could dictate where and how customers made their purchases. To do so today would be making a choice to be left behind. This is why your eCommerce business needs not only to adapt but also communicate with its customers regardless of the payment options and channels they utilise. You have to be willing to go the extra mile for your clients regardless of how they reach you, be it desktop, mobile web or app.

Conduct quick but insightful customer research

It is important that your eCommerce business can keep pace with the ever-changing customer behaviour, preferences and needs. Doing so requires you to implement rapid customer research as a way to accelerate innovation.

Due to the changes of the previous year, retailers both online and offline are operating in a landscape where the only constant thing is change. This translates to innovation being at the crux of beneficial customer experience. Nevertheless, it is important that you also adapt with a razor-like focus on the needs of your customer. This can be done by integrating customer research throughout the entire process.

Customer research can thankfully now be done over some days instead of weeks, as it need not be based on any overarching result. Even skeleton concepts can be worked as part of a well-designed research process, where you can figure out what is likely to work and what wouldn’t in the new eCommerce landscape, we find ourselves in.

Conclusion

Becoming aware of the tips listed above can aid you in optimising your services to suit your customers. This enables you to sell to them better and also create improved customer experiences. It is important that your apps and sites are as quick as they can possibly be. This means selecting the very best technology for your brand.

If you’re looking help to grow your eCommerce business, check out our services and some of the clients we have helped to reach and exceed their goals.

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