The year 2023, which has just ended, has been more difficult than ever, due to the Covid-19 pandemic. However, the e-commerce sector has benefited from the situation and there were more than 40 million online shoppers at the end of 2020, almost 2 million more than the previous year. The other side of the coin for digital commerce players is that more and more businesses and physical stores have created online shopping options for their customers, through the creation of a website or online store. ‘an online store, or optimize existing ones.
Competition is therefore fierce in the online sales sector today, and e-merchants will absolutely have to stand out from their rivals in order to perform.
Through 10 key trends to follow in 2021, and supporting figures, the open-source e-commerce application, and online payment solution show us how to focus your digital marketing action on customer relationships and interactions.
1- Customer retention
According to Forrester, marketing spending linked to customer retention will increase by 30% in Europe in 2022. This shows that customer loyalty is a real strategic issue today.
The Customer Retention Rate is an index that shows a company’s ability to retain and retain customers. Concretely, this translated rate expresses the proportion of customers who remain loyal to your business from one year to the next,
Attracting new customers is good, but keeping your customers as long as possible is even better, and this is especially true in the hyper-competitive sector of e-commerce, where the cost of conversions and clicks seem continuously increase.
There are several effective strategies to boost your customer retention:
– Use customer accounts
The trick is to offer the option to create an account after the first order, as for newcomers creating an account can be intimidating.
– Improve your customer service
The key is your customer support systems to consider: a live chat or support tool can turn a customer question into a sale, for example.
– Start a customer loyalty program
Loyalty programs are an effective way to increase the frequency of purchase because they encourage customers to buy more often in order to earn rewards. It becomes a profitable trade for you and your customers.
There are lots of other strategies, like sending emails or giving discounts.
2- Personalized delivery
We noted it well in 2020: delivery has become a crucial point in the purchasing journey, and consumers increasingly rely on an “à la carte” delivery service.
Currently, more than 70% of French people consider that the range of possibilities offered for delivery is an essential criterion in their purchasing decision. And the faster businesses, the more customers appreciate it: 45% of people who shop online prefer to have it delivered directly, same day.
You must therefore make sure that your offer includes several delivery options, such as BOPIS (Buy Online, Pick-up In-Store), which can simply be called pickup, and optimize your delivery times.
In the field of e-commerce, delivery becomes a key factor in transforming prospects into real customers. The first study the price of the different delivery methods, but their second criterion remains speed.
A fast shipping strategy can boost your sales, maximize customer loyalty, and reduce the number of complaints received by customer service.
The first important thing is to find a balance between the service and its cost. Of course, express deliveries are more expensive than standard deliveries. Therefore, they should be offered for products with a high profit margin.
Also be careful to keep your promise in terms of delivery time, because if the commitments are not kept, the customer will tend to leave a negative opinion on your store.
3- Local marketplaces are on the rise
During the past year, a new phenomenon has been observed, both in France, but also on the whole world market, triggered by the consequences of the Covid-19 epidemic: a number of local businesses have joined together on marketplaces in order to continue selling their production. And this marketplace boom noted in 2020 (more than 50% of business volume) should continue this year.
And then the French are won over by this development, since nearly 70% of them consider that their small local shops should always offer an alternative to e-commerce sites, by being present on digital sales channels.
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It is for this reason that small businesses that do not wish to create and manage their own online sales site will continue to use not only platforms that enjoy significant notoriety, such as Amazon, eBay, Rakuten, RueDuCommerce, etc. . to benefit from significant visibility, but above all from local platforms, because the French, in the midst of a health crisis, have chosen to buy “local”, particularly in the food sector.
Pourdebon.com, for example, is a French marketplace that brings together the products of more than 300 local producers and which ensures the distribution of these goods throughout France.
This company, therefore, connects customers who want to consume locally and producers who work in the same region.
During the periods of confinement that we experienced in 2020, the site saw its sales explode compared to the previous year!
4- The Re-commerce boom
More and more French people are shopping on e-commerce platforms, and this market for second-hand products online is expected to grow further in 2021, with expected growth of over 40%.
This type of business, which promotes the remarketing of used goods by organizing their resale, has existed for a long time, but now it is developing in all niches, and even brands such as Petit Bateau or La Redoute have embarked on re-commerce. .
To do good business with individuals, the French now go to Vinted, for second-hand clothing, or even to Facebook Marketplace, which has long offered second-hand items for sale and purchase.
In the long term, this market should become twice the size of what is called “fast fashion”, this practice which, for certain sectors of activity – especially in textiles and fashion – consists of releasing new items very often, to encourage consumption.
The circular economy is taking off and now represents a market with high potential.
5- The implementation of an omnichannel strategy becomes essential
This is a very noticeable fact in the year 2020 and an indisputable reality: consumers love the mix of genres. For example, one in two online shoppers prefers to order online from physical stores.
It is undoubtedly the complementarity between the different channels – physical, digital, and mobile – that will shape the future of retail. Other examples, 46% of consumers want to be able to go to a store to observe a product before buying it, and more than 80% of them think that stores should rely more on click & collect to facilitate the shopping experience. , as well as conversational commerce. This strategy consists of initiating a dialogue with prospects in order to close a sale, through different channels – email, SMS, phone, chatbots. This allows future customers to ask all the questions they want, and then place their order with confidence. This new direct selling method (D2C) will be spread in 2021.
Going back to omnichannel, retailers will need to ask themselves the following type of question, in order to know if they are offering a true omnichannel shopping experience:
Can customers discover a product in-store, scan it with your app, then add it to their cart for later purchase from home in a different size?
6- The rise of visual research
In 2021, it is now possible to find similar products via an image used as a means of research on Google or Pinterest, thanks to technological advances based on AI and deep learning.
And unsurprisingly, it is young people who appreciate this type of image search: more than 60% of those under 35 want the possibility of carrying out what is called a visual search during their shopping journey. This technique also makes searching easier for customers who cannot express their search terms accurately enough in words. An image of the relevant object in a situation like this solves the problem.
Visual search also saves customers valuable time. They avoid having to scroll through long lists of products. Instead, they can simply choose the desired product from the photos available as a result of their research.
Pinterest Lens perfectly illustrates this new trend. This tool allows internet users to find and buy anything they see on the website and statistics provided by the platform show that over 85% of users looking to buy clothes or furniture use the visual solution at a place of textual search.
Pinterest also revealed that there are over 600 million visual searches performed each month in 2020.
7- The split payment is in the process of being imposed
A new standard has appeared in terms of payment, which facilitates purchases by French consumers during this difficult period: the possibility of staggering payments.
Thus, more and more e-merchants have started to offer split payments on their online sales site. And most e-shoppers now expect to find this type of service on their favorite platforms. It has even become an essential criterion for online stores because almost 80% of Internet users who use this payment facility say that in the absence of a split payment offer on a given e-commerce site, they are ready to look elsewhere.
In addition, more than 70% of customers say that this solution is a real trigger to make an online purchase.
PayPlug has understood this well and allows e-merchants who integrate their payment solutions in several installments to make a difference with their rivals, in an increasingly competitive online commerce sector, where the personalization of the customer experience. the purchase remains the key.
By spreading your customers’ payments in 2, 3, or 4 installments, you will automatically maximize your conversions.
8- Storytelling, a marketing weapon for small businesses
The health crisis that has undermined the economies of countries around the world will have at least had a positive impact in France: a renewed interest among consumers for our small artisans and traders, who are among those who have the most suffered – and still suffer – from the consequences of the pandemic.
With their history, their authenticity, their know-how, and their secrets, these small businesses have assets that the internet giants will never have.
By integrating elements of storytelling into their marketing strategy, these merchants have a real chance to capture the attention of Internet users and gain visibility.
Storytelling is a marketing process that involves using facts and stories to communicate the substance of your business or brand to your audience. Most of these stories are of course factual, while some are a bit embellished or improvised, the main thing being to best explain the central message you want to convey to your audience.
When small businesses become transparent and authentic, it inevitably reinforces the admiration consumers feel and encourages them to connect with them.
The important thing with storytelling is to create a story around your business, your brand, or your product, in order to humanize them and to derive commercial benefits. This marketing process has its place in a social selling strategy.
9- Consumers increasingly connected
The Covid-19 pandemic has further accentuated this hyperconnection phenomenon that we have started to notice in recent years. From now on, we buy everything possible to buy from our computer or smartphone at home, or in the street. In the past, e-commerce was confined to “pleasure” purchases, but today, people also come here to look for essential products. For example, we note that consumer and health-related products have exploded since the end of 2019, with respective increases of 55% and 49%.
For the first time in history, more than half of all digital commerce spending globally was made using a mobile device in 2020. Asia-Pacific, especially China, is at the head of this revolution.
And yes, the typical 2021 customer has changed a lot from 5 back. Consumers all over the world are connected through all types of devices available, they have become more proficient than ever with different technology tools, media, and applications. The consumer is at the heart of the digital world. What was once the “Internet of Things” has become “the Internet of the consumer”, and consumers expect everything they want and need to be just a click away.
It’s up to companies to take advantage of it, by optimizing the level of personalization and engagement with consumers, using all the operational, contextual, and behavioral data available.
10- The importance of micro-interactions
Dan Saffer is the man who invented and theorized this concept of micro-interaction. These micro-interactions correspond to very brief and captivating moments, integrated into an application or a website, which stimulate a feeling of well-being once discovered by the users. It’s one of the best marketing techniques for receiving glowing feedback, improving user experience, improving customer satisfaction, and increasing retention.
As an example of micro-interactions, we can cite many actions on the screen of your laptop or desktop, such as clicks, scrolling, loading, changing page, etc. all that is visually reflected on the screen by the action of the Internet user.
However, we note that the conversion rates on sites with a pleasant and well-designed user interface are very high.
This is why the design of micro-interactions, with great attention to detail, is the key to the success of any application or website, and especially in the field of e-commerce. This helps improve UX by making the user interface more human-centric and less mechanical.
It is therefore essential for e-merchants, when designing their website, to respect 3 fundamental rules:
- Always choose the Right web design Company. For example, if you are a merchant living in Dubai, If you are interested in web design in Dubai. Then your choice should be best for your website design.
- What’s going to happen? (Inform the user about what will happen if he triggers a given action)
- What is going on? (Continue to inform the user during the action that is taking place)
- What just happened? (It is the confirmation or the result of an action)
For more help, we at Redspider web And Art Design Dubai, are always here to help you. Contact the Award-winning Web designing company Dubai.