The future of retail is eCommerce. Are you ready to invest?
The new financial year is upon us, and many business decisions will be made. Regarding eCommerce, UX and website development, standing still is not an option for businesses focused on growth. Retailers and manufacturers want to make pertinent investments to propel them ahead of the competition. Like any bricks and mortar store, your eCommerce website must be built upon a firm foundation with the potential to grow with your ambition.
The success of many businesses is down to their ability to anticipate and embrace change, deploy cutting-edge marketing technology developed for growth and customer retention, and provide a lifetime value to their consumers. Does your current platform provide you with opportunities?
With many businesses still recovering after the pandemic, eCommerce should be at the forefront of retailers’ and manufacturers’ minds. But Covid aside, consumer behaviour is in constant flux with more and more people leading digitally-led lifestyles. With the rate at which technology progresses, customer expectations are rapidly becoming more labyrinthine. It is imperative that businesses can adapt and change as quickly and economically as possible.
To invest, or not to invest?
There are plenty of articles available that list the signs that you need a new eCommerce platform. However, you can usually fix these things without upgrading to a new platform. The usual culprits include the following:
• A high bounce rate
• Slow page load speeds
• Your brand isn’t adequately reflected
• It looks dated and offers a poor customer experience
• You’re not ranking on Google for key terms
• Your content doesn’t convey the right message and isn’t optimised for SEO
• The navigation is confusing and convoluted
• Poor lead conversion rates
• The site isn’t optimised for mobile or designed with consumers on the move in mind.
• Your site doesn’t align with your digital strategy.
Whilst all these points are relevant indicators that you need to invest in your website, there are other things to consider in the dynamic world of eCommerce. Here is what future-focused businesses looking to scale should be considering:
• If your long-term business plan includes expansion into new territories or sub-brands, does your current platform allow you to deploy multiple storefronts or habitats?
• If you already successfully operate multinational sites, consolidating regions into one platform provides many benefits in website maintenance and reporting.
• About the impending “cookie-apocalypse”, can you deploy a direct-to-consumer (D2C) strategy alongside B2B and start collecting zero-party data?
• Are you planning to streamline the internal sales process electronically? Perhaps you’re looking to go paperless or give your partners and consumers the ability to self-serve. If so, consider incorporating an electric data interchange (EDI) solution.
• Consumers spend twice as much time on mobile devices as on desktops, and Google predominantly uses the mobile version of the content for indexing and ranking. Is your site optimised for mobile?
• More and more consumers are browsing whilst on the move – can you provide a seamless, uninterrupted experience without internet connectivity? A progressive web app (PWA) can!
Besides your internal infrastructure and the people that make your business and your brand – is there a more significant asset than your website? Your website is the “pièce de resistance”, underpinning your entire digital strategy. If you find that the limits of your eCommerce platform shackle your digital system, it’s time to upgrade.
We’ve investigated some of the emerging trends and technologies you should consider incorporating into your long-term eCommerce strategy, which relies on a platform that can move forward and develop at the same speed as the eCommerce industry.
Consumer awareness of sustainability has increased, with many digital buyers opting for eco-friendly brands where possible. 65% of shoppers would be willing to spend up to 20% more on sustainable purchases. Brands that are doing sustainability well include The Pangaia, Wild and Estrid. For existing brands, sustainability isn’t happening overnight, but small steps make a big difference. Packaging and delivery play a crucial part in any sustainable business model. Consider partnering with a sustainable fulfilment company such as Huboo. Huboo uses eco-friendly packaging and handles all your eCommerce order fulfilment needs. They also integrate with Adobe Commerce, offering a seamless user experience from purchase to delivery.
Subscriptions and flexible payments
Until recently, the most common examples of a subscription would have been streaming services such as Netflix and Spotify or your favourite magazine or TV guide. However, the subscription business model is spilling its way into eCommerce, with brands such as Glossybox, Stitchfix, Graze and even Amazon leading the way. The benefits for consumers and retailers alike are apparent. The consumer receives their product(s) at regular intervals chosen by them. Often, the consumer can take advantage of a discount due to individual item costs decreasing depending on the volume purchased or length of commitment.
Some of the benefits for retailers include:
• Substantial, sustained growth
• Customer retention and brand loyalty
• Predictable revenue each month and over time
• Ability to manage supplies and stock more efficiently.
Payment providers such as Paypal and Adyen can offer retailers various subscription models to suit businesses and their consumers. The ability to integrate with your eCommerce platform and CRM means that the reporting capabilities have never been more concise.
Amazon and brands such as Klarna also clear a path for flexible payment options. Buy now pay later (BNPL) schemes are becoming increasingly popular, with the choice to split the payment into smaller instalments over a set period. 44% of UK consumers said they would give up on a purchase if their preferred payment option were unavailable.
Live shopping and video consultations
Consumers itching for that real-life shopping experience whilst stuck at home during the pandemic led to a rise in live shopping and video consultations. Whether it be a shopping event available live to the masses, or a one-to-one personal shopping experience, from style tips to skin consultations with L’Oreal – this trend is set to continue. Some of the benefits to retailers include:
• Decreased basket abandonment. The element of human interaction gives consumers that final push to make a purchase.
• Stronger customer connections. Associates can get to know consumers better than ever with the opportunity to chat and answer questions.
• Tailored interactions. Consumers can book a consultation in advance and detail exactly what they are looking for from the comfort of their own homes.
Tech trends to be excited about
Augmented reality offers endless eCommerce opportunities and is set to take the industry by storm. AR in eCommerce allows shoppers to overlay products in their chosen settings. See how your new sofa will look in your living room with the Argos AR-enabled app, try on a pair of glasses with Specsavers, or even see how you’d look sporting a new hairstyle with Garnier. It helps customers make confident purchase decisions by visualising products in their intended locations.
Take eCommerce to the next level and give customers the in-store experience without stepping out the door. Virtual showrooms allow customers to explore and click on specific products to see more in-depth information from the comfort of their homes.
We’ll discuss emerging technology and trends, including personalisation, AI and machine learning, voice search and mobile-first experience. We do not doubt that your competitors will consider each of these trends and technologies to differentiate themselves and accelerate ahead of the competition. If you want to scale, you should consider Adobe Commerce as the driving force underpinning your eCommerce strategy.
You must have a platform with the fluidity to adapt and evolve to meet your consumer’s ever-changing environment and increasing demands. Contact us today to learn more about Adobe Commerce, arrange a demo, or discuss your requirements.