With people preferring to shop online, the e-commerce industry is growing at a rapid pace. Each and every business prioritizes customer shopping experiences and it is no surprise that the latest e-commerce trends for 2021 reflect that.
From omnichannel shopping to voice search, from customer retention to varied payment options, e-commerce will shape itself to meet the growing customer demands as well as make the shopping more seamless, easy and fast.
Existing Customer Retention Will Be Top Priority
The customer retention cost is cheaper than the new customer acquisition cost. The e-commerce websites are now trying to retain existing customers through discounts and offers.
Even if an e-commerce store is able to retain 5% of its customers, it increases its profits between 25-95%.
To increase direct communication with customers, advertisers are relying on cost-effective marketing techniques like bulk SMS messaging services and emails.
What you can do to retain existing customers?
1. Find out what the customer wants to buy next-
Identify repeat customers. Study their shopping patterns. Segregate the customers based on their buying patterns and lifetime value. Predict what and when they will buy next and try decreasing the time for the next purchase.
For example, if a customer has purchased a keyboard, you can prod him to buy a mouse or pen drive or show him combo offers for keyboard and mouse.
2. Prioritize existing customers-
Earn customer loyalty through a rewards program.
- Offer coupon codes at checkout
- Points for purchase
- Early access to subscribers
- Easily redeemable reward points
- Discounts for additional purchases
- Limited time deals
- Discount on immediate purchases
- Countdown clock for offer expiry time
- Referral programs
- Automatic entry in sweepstakes
Voice E-Commerce On The Rise
The advent of Amazon Echo, iPhone and Google Home has brought Alexa, Siri and Google Assistant to our homes. Voice commerce is using voice recognition technology to buy products.
The e-commerce giant Amazon has integrated Alexa into its shopping site. Users can now search, select and buy products with the voice command.
With about 28% of Amercian households owning at least one smart speaker, the voice e-commerce sale is expected to grow to $40 billion by 2022.
In 2018, about 16 million people had made at least one purchase through the smart speaker and this year it is expected to touch 26 million. Voice commerce allows the users to multitask while keeping their hands free. Voice commerce is now mainly used for browsing products and recommendations.
How to make your e-commerce website voice commerce optimized?
- Include long-tail keywords used in voice searches to improve rankings
- Test if products on your site can be purchased with a simple voice command.
- Hire the services of voice commerce startups to allow your e-commerce store to be voice-enabled.
- Partner with Google Assistant or Alexa Assistant to offer personalized services to users through voice search.
Voice commerce is a trend to look out for in 2021 and the subsequent years because Amazon and Google are also researching on using regional languages in the devices for users to shop more conveniently.
Omnichannel Retail Experience
Omnichannel commerce is about providing the buyer a seamless experience when shopping from their mobiles, desktop, laptop or physical store.
The trend nowadays is that the customer gathers information about the product from his mobile device and then goes to a physical store to look at the product. The customer makes the final purchase either online or offline depending on where he gets the best offer.
Omnichannel commerce is about connecting all the channels and providing a better shopping experience to the buyer.
The best example of omnichannel marketing is Disney. You can buy tickets online for entry into the theme park. Once you are physically present at the theme park, you can scan your pass on the Disney mobile app. This app will show you curated content like the interactive map, locating Disney characters or checking the ride timings. Thus, as a customer, you get a seamless omnichannel experience.
This omni-channel retail is followed by almost all e-commerce giants. You can order online and pick it up from your nearest physical store. When you shop online through a website, the actions are transferred to the mobile app too. Thus all the platforms are inter-connected to make for a delightful shopping experience.
Shopify Plus allows you to integrate your store to the social media platform Facebook. This allows buyers to make a purchase through Facebook reflecting that on the mobile app.
How to go ahead with omnichannel retail?
Allow shopping in all the channels like offline, online through the website, mobile app and even on social media platforms like Facebook & Instagram.
Blur the line between online and offline shopping by connecting the two. For instance, buyers can now check what is in stock at their nearest physical store through its mobile app. They can book these items and collect them from the physical store.
A buyer hits multiple touchpoints before making the final purchase. In short, reaching every new channel to provide a shopping feature to the buyer is not enough. You have to connect all the channels so that the buyer can shop from anywhere and it is reflected on all other channels.
Varied Payment Options
E-commerce businesses offer payment modes like money card, digital wallet and cash on delivery. The more payment options you provide, the more customers you attract.
Bitcoin cryptocurrency saw a meteoric rise when Elon Musk tweeted that Tesla plans to buy $1.5 billion in Bitcoin and even planning to allow payment in the valuable cryptocurrency.
But it is not only Tesla that is allowing payment in Bitcoin. Amazon’s live-streaming platform Twitch accepts Bitcoin and other select cryptocurrencies as payment options. Even Shopify, Expedia and Microsoft accept Bitcoin payment.
Green consumers, also known as environment-friendly consumers, are those who are careful while making a product purchase and consider the impact of carbon footprint for the manufacturing process and packaging of the product.
With green consumerism on the rise, buyers are demanding products that involve eco-friendly production processes and recycling.
How can online stores contribute to reducing their carbon footprint?
- Reduce waste and use eco-friendly materials for packaging. Use degradable plastic where the use of it becomes inevitable.
- Associate with products that use eco-friendly manufacturing processes or that which leave a lesser carbon footprint.
- Source products from local retailers to lower the carbon emissions accrued during transportation.
- Offer payback for customers who do not opt for the fast delivery of products.
- List the product location or from where the product is shipped so that a customer can select a product from the nearest location.
E-commerce stores usually have an increased carbon footprint because they need to deliver packages from one place to another fast. Amazon plans to reach zero carbon by 2040 by opting for more environment-friendly processes in transportation and packaging of products.
Jumping into these e-commerce trends is not a feasible option for many online stores. Like integrating voice search in an online store will require money, efforts and time. Similarly, reducing the carbon footprint is not something that can be attained in one go. It needs consistent efforts and detailed planning and implementation. Allowing for Bitcoin payment poses a problem in countries where trading in cryptocurrency is still considered illegal. The best way forward is to try to adapt to emerging technologies or at least make an effort to be able to recognize some of the emerging feasible e-commerce trends of 2021 and work towards it.
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