Global eCommerce businesses need to differentiate themselves in challenging and crowded markets and stay on top of the latest developments across a range of areas if they want to make sure their business will thrive. International eCommerce sites have their own particular set of concerns to address – from translating languages for multiple markets to navigating duties and taxes for each country. On top of this, they need to keep on top of the latest trends for eCommerce to make sure their website is operating at the highest level.
Based on extensive research by the Product Strategy team at eShopworld here are five of the most important trends that will affect eCommerce businesses in 2019 and beyond.
1. Customer experience
Customer experience (CX) has always been important, but with a global eCommerce business, the whole world is a competitor and shoppers are quick to abandon the journey if something isn’t addressed properly.
According to our research, 65% of US customers find a positive experience with a brand to be more influential than great advertising. There are many ways to improve the customer experience including offering a loyalty and membership scheme which gives benefits to customers and builds loyal customer relations.
21% of US digital shoppers abandoned their cart due to a complicated shopping experience, so implement a one-step checkout, autofill addresses and auto-detecting country and city using GeoIP have proved helpful in simplifying the process and reducing cart abandonment. There are challenges to delivering excellent customer experience, especially when implementing technology into the CX process. To get the balance right make the experience as human as possible, without frustrating customers. Other challenges can include being able to measure CX properly as different departments may use different metrics and KPIs.
Omnichannel is the practice of using all available shopping channels to buy or sell goods or services and has shown to generate higher lifetime values in sales, with 58% of retailers saying their omnichannel e-business is profitable, an increase from 45% in 2016. An omnichannel strategy should be consistent across devices (desktop, mobile, app, storefront) and channels and include localized choices such as language and currency.
Some of the omnichannel opportunities that could be implemented include:
- Click and collect
- Real-time store availability
- Reserve online, try on in-store
- Shopping cart saved when moving between devices
- Try on before you buy
There are challenges with implementing omnichannel – such as budget pressure, as reported by 61% of retailers globally. Turning user data into usable insights is also a considerable challenge with retailers struggling to utilize the data collected but doing this will give great insight into shopping patterns, preferences and user behavior across multiple customer touchpoints.
3. Delivery optimization
Last-mile fulfillment is the final stage in the ecosystem that brings goods to consumers’ doorsteps. Delivery expectations among international shoppers are high and a bad experience (delays, losing parcels) will result in customers not repeating their purchases.
Innovations in delivery optimization include dropping off goods inside the home (eg Amazon’s secure in-home delivery through Amazon Key), secure lockers in locations such as shopping centers and apartment buildings, and smart labels for returns will all help with ensuring a smooth delivery process for your customers and keep them coming back for more. Challenges include failed deliveries, lost and damaged parcels and late deliveries but improving tracking and flexible delivery options should help to mitigate that if implemented properly.
4. Product finding and discovery
Being able to find products is key for a business – if customers can’t find what they want on a site, they’ll quickly go somewhere else. Online product finding is becoming more data driven, personalised and competitive and social media is also enabling more efficient methods of finding products.
Other innovations to look out for include using voice and visual image search – particularly as ViSense shows that 62% millennials what visual search over any other new technology.
5. Customer segmentation and personalization
Using data to analyse customers and place them in segments based on their habits and shopping behaviors is becoming more and more commonplace and customers will often swap data for a better experience, with 48% of customers willing to wait longer for a personalized product or service. This gives great opportunity to retailers to personalize communications to customers and offer individualized promotions and offers based on their shopping habits. Identifying and segmenting target customers and offering tailored marketing strategies will increase conversion and assist with hyper-targeted advertising to serve more relevant and personalized advertisements across display, search and social media.
Marketing and Innovation Review 2019
To investigate more into the insights shared, make sure to download the Market & Innovation Review from eShopWorld and see all the insights across technology, global and cross border eCommerce.