5 Ways Brands Can Win In The new Ecommerce World
In this new age of commerce, even though it seems like the e-commerce industry has taken over, in-store sales still dominate. Most buyers still prefer to make their purchases in on-site stores. Particularly in the US, e-commerce retail sales cover only 20% of the total retail sales. This means that a large chunk of US retail sales is still done in-stores. You may want to ask, what about now that there is a pandemic that is forcing a lot of people to limit their going out. Well, the pandemic no doubt gave the e-commerce sector some form of boost, causing the industry to record its biggest sales ever. However, the country has relaxed its lockdown restrictions and many on-site retail stores have resumed operations. As a result, buyers have gone back to their preferred choice of making purchases and that is in-stores.
Is There hope For E-commerce?
Despite the dominance of in-stores sales in the US, some people believe that a time will come when e-commerce will overtake on-site commerce given the rapid growth of e-commerce. Whether e-commerce completely shuts down brick and mortar businesses or not, one thing is certain, the e-commerce sector has experienced more growth this year. According to Forrester, 84% of adults on the internet claim that they have made online purchases in the last three months.
While e-commerce may eventually dominate US retail sales, commerce trends seem to be moving towards digital even for brick and mortar businesses. There’s a high chance that there won’t be a clear-cut difference between on-site commerce and e-commerce for buyers. These days, when buyers make their purchase in brick-and-mortar shops, they often find themselves paying via digital methods. The same also applies to e-commerce businesses, online merchants also offer in-store features such as click-and-collect that mimics the experience of on-site commerce. The present-day buyer switches between e-commerce and brick and mortar stores, therefore, there’s a need for both on-site and e-commerce merchants to meet them halfway.
According to Retail Dive, more than half of US retail sales will be influenced by digital trends by 2023. Brands are expected to adopt digital trends in order to provide shopping convenience for all their customers regardless of where they will finalize their purchase. So, how do you infuse digital trends into your online and in-store commerce for the best results?
Be Available To Customers Everywhere
As we mentioned above, the present-day buyers switch between in-stores and online seamlessly, the purchase journey is not linear. So as a business owner, you should follow your customers everywhere. The consumer journey span across multiple digital touch-points such as search engines, websites, apps, social media, etc. Ensure that you’re at the center of it all including platforms such as Google, Walmart, Pinterest, Amazon, Instagram, and lots more. One of the major concerns of buyers right now is convenience, they want to be able to shop anytime and from anywhere easily whether offline or online. Consumers always factor in shopping convenience when making a purchase decision – most buyers go with retailers that make buying experience convenient for them.
Target Customers Across Both In-stores And E-commerce
Your customer acquisition strategies should target both e-commerce and in-stores, don’t focus only on one touchpoint. Use incentives such as sampling, coupons and promotions, and digital tech that will give buyers a geo-local experience. Before you start new customer acquisition strategies to target buyers across offline and online touch-points, first make sure you understand what kind of customers you want. Assess your current customer base, see how much impact they have on your brand. Next, test on new audiences to find out which ones have a more positive impact on your business. Do this often to keep acquiring new customers.
Make Use of An Omnichannel Inventory System
Since you’re providing a customer experience that cuts across e-commerce and in-stores, make sure that you always meet customer demands in both your in-store touch-points and in your e-commerce store(s). Simply put, ensure that your products/services are always available to buyers in all the touch-points and platforms you use online and offline. Unless you provide a convenient alternative, customers will not hesitate to go to your rivals if your inventory doesn’t meet their demands. This is why many entrepreneurs are beginning to adopt an omnichannel inventory system. You can also use a communications system that is available 24/7 to let potential buyers find your available store.
Always Run Cohesive Analyses
It is important that you always measure your brand’s performances across all aspects; marketing, SEO, social media, email marketing, checkout, etc. It is quite common for e-commerce entrepreneurs to conduct multiple analyses of their businesses. However, they usually run individual analyses that make it hard for them to get a full picture of how their brand is performing. When you conduct cohesive analyses of your brand’s data, you will be able to notice patterns that will make it easier to eliminate elements that have adverse effects on your business. Additionally, you will be able to identify opportunities in hidden patterns and capitalize on such positive patterns.
Thankfully, there are tools to help with collecting cohesive data analyses, invest in some. You can also hire experts to help with creating coordinated and complete actionable analyses of your brand’s n-store and online performances.
Don’t Be Afraid To Try New Things
For entrepreneurs, one of the winning formulas you need to adopt is the mentality of trying new things, trends, technologies, strategies, etc. This means that you should always conduct testings to see how new things and alternatives impact your business. You’re not only testing to improve sales but also to learn about methods and technologies that can enhance your future in-store and online strategies. Don’t let your lack of expertise in this field affect you, you can always depend on experts in the necessary fields, engage them, pattern with them, hire them.
Over To You
As commerce is shifting towards digital-dependence given the digital-influenced consumer behavior, there’s no better time than now to restrategize and meet consumers halfway across in-stores and e-commerce touchpoints.