In a world that has become increasingly online-based – especially with the social distancing effects of Covid-19 – it has never been more important to create a proper digital strategy in order to succeed in the world of e-commerce. In fact, current statistics show that 14.1 percent of all trade is conducted online at a revenue of approximately $4.13 trillion by the end of 2020.
By 2023, this online trade is expected to reach as much as 22 percent and a whopping 95 percent by 2040. As such, the time has most certainly arrived to take that first tentative step into e-commerce if you have yet to do so. If the thought of taking this step sounds slightly nerve-racking, do not worry. Below are a few tips to get you started.
The customer is key
It goes without saying that you need customers for your business to succeed, but the internet can prove to have certain pitfalls in this arena. If customers are unhappy or dissatisfied with your product or service, they only need to resort to their keyboard and leave a scathing review, which could put off future customers and create a negative attitude towards your company. Indeed, as many as 53 percent of Amazon shoppers tend to leave a review of their product and experience with the shopping giant.
Therefore, Markus Lindblad from Haypp Group quite rightly asserts that “the closer we become with our customers, the more we will understand their needs across different markets and customer segments. Only then can we be on the customers’ side and create proper change.” Lindblad definitely knows what he is talking about, as the Haypp Group’s subsidiary Nicokick was able to increase its business by 250 percent within six months, and shows no signs of stopping its current upward trajectory.
However, this idea of keeping the customer happy no longer merely relies on good old fashioned “service with a smile”. Modern customers are looking for value and a positive purchasing experience, as well as good service. You need to cater to their budgets and needs, or they will click on a website that can provide exactly what they want.
Providing good deals could be as simple as offering sales and promotions, as well as free or discounted delivery – and do not need to break your own bank in the process. Indeed, studies show that free shipping is customers’ most important consideration when shopping online, followed by the quick delivery dates and a broad range of product options. Your most practical course of action would be to work out what suits the logistics of your company so that you can bring your best foot forward amidst your competitors.
Maintain a social media presence
Customers love to interact with their favorite brands on platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. Not only do social media make your business more accessible to customers as a place they can turn should they have any issues or questions, but it also serves to keep your company top-of-mind through your presence on users’ home pages. This is also the space to explore new ideas and discover what your customers truly want.
Instagram and Facebook stories have also incorporated features such as polls, in which you can gain up-to-date and current information on how your customers feel about certain products or services – like free and fast focus groups at the click of a mouse. Most importantly, however, social media allows you to create meaningful relationships and dialogues with your customers, again forming the basis of keeping your customers in focus.
If all this wasn’t enough to persuade you to explore social media, keep in mind that Generation Z and Millenials are highly likely to conduct their online purchases via social media and that when asked, 30 percent of respondents prefer to buy products via these platforms.
Make your website mobile-friendly
On average, adults spend about three hours on their phones every day. Our mobile phones sit in our hands, pockets, or bags throughout the day, and are the most accessible tool for online shopping. In fact, research shows that more online shopping happens on our phones than on our computers. So ensure that your website is optimized for mobiles, without losing any of the website’s features and ease of use – as nothing will drive customers away faster than a frustrating user experience.
Do not grow complacent
The world is ever-changing – and it makes these changes at quite a rapid pace. Therefore, it is important that you remain aware and updated on advancements and new products within your field. These advancements could pertain to several different areas, anything from your environmental footprint to the technical specifications of your product.
This, again, is why constant communication with your customer and target group is so important. Keep abreast of what they care about and strive to achieve in their everyday lives, and consider how your products or services can be optimized to cater to these concerns.
Once again considering the case of Nicokick, the company noted that nicotine pouches were adding to the annual level of pollution. As such, they decided to take action and provide their customers with more environmentally friendly options. Nicokick encourages its suppliers to manufacture nicotine pouch packaging using recycled paper and plastic containing lower chemical content.
Moreover, the lids on these cans have space to store used nicotine pouches, to prevent them from being thrown into nature and waterways. Although nicotine and the environment are not usually synonymous concepts, Nicokick created value by considering the sustainability and future of the products they sell. Consider what impact your product or service could have and act accordingly.
Perhaps, in these Corona times where employment has become scarce, your business has continued to surge, and you are able to offer some work opportunities. This will serve to solidify your customer relationships and build loyalty, as they will see you as a business that looks out for its consumers, and will also help to meet the increased production and customer demand that you may be experiencing.
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