The Continually Evolving E-Commerce Space

As the generational gap widens from seniors who have never used a computer in their lives to infants who are born toting iPads everywhere they go, the current shift in E-commerce focus is palpable. Technology impacts today’s generation at every turn, and everything from keeping up with close relatives halfway across the world to ordering your lunch is either done online or right from your mobile phone.

The broad shift in traditional market economies has seen a departure from the brick-and-mortar focuses of old, as increasing numbers of business transactions are carried out without ever setting foot in a physical “store.” Breaking down various aspects of the e-commerce focus show how companies are trending and just what portions will continue to be digitized and moved online.

Customer Service

The days of outsourced customer service are certainly upon us, as more often than not you’re left dealing with a call center halfway around the world to facilitate your customer interaction. More companies are recognizing the impact this has on their customer service as it’s generally not good, so many have begun to employ “smart” systems which make human interaction easier to facilitate.

Online automation softwares like chatbots have been a giant leap in this space, as it enables a real customer service representative to handle multiple inbounds in the time it used to take to resolve one incident. Also by logging interactions on an individual basis, all pertinent information becomes available to all members within the organization so that there is no drop-off or miscommunication through the life of the interaction.

Delivery Optimizations

From the market-changing delivery drones being worked on by larger corporations like Wal-Mart and Amazon to simply providing expedited shipping options and accountability, delivery services are certainly leaps ahead of where they used to be. New technology is constantly being tested to optimize shipping methods, storage, and optimization across the entire process. From flat-rate shipping boxes which make it easier to optimize the space within delivery trucks to marketplaces condensing shipments, the entire delivery system has made leaps and bounds to accommodate the shift to e-commerce focused entities.

Digital Wallets

The introduction of digital wallets have changed the way you pay, and for the majority of the population it began right on the iPhone. PayPal has been around for quite some time, Apple Pay was really the first to optimize the payment experience within native applications, really removing the checkout “step” altogether. As any e-commerce company knows, the drop-off at checkout is one of the most frustrating aspects of a transaction flow to deal with. It’s often incredibly difficult for an e-commerce company to identify which aspect of a check-out flow causes the most discomfort and work to improve their conversion rate can be exhausting. With seamlessly integrated options like ApplePay, it standardizes the process for all apps using it and streamlines the interaction for the user.

The Roadblocks

For many E-commerce converts, the most frustrating aspects still revolve around ordering something which you’ve never physically seen or held yourself. With this notion in mind, it’s quite obvious that the brick-and-mortar retail experience will never die as it’s incredibly important for the customer to be able to try things on and experience a product for themselves before they buy. This portion of the population will do well to keep the physical stores alive, but the numbers don’t lie; the numbers reveal how e-commerce has quickly carved a demand among consumers. The introduction of new e-commerce technology that will make the process faster and more efficient will encourage a new generation of shoppers to purchase online as well.

Woman On Computer

Online Shopping: Are These Barriers Stopping Your Customers From Buying?

Woman On ComputerOnline shoppers are becoming increasingly picky about the businesses they buy from. This is primarily due to the extensive choice they have and their wariness of online scams. But if you’re continually driving traffic but failing to convert visitors to customers, skepticism may not be to blame. If your e-commerce site contains too many barriers or issues, this could be off-putting to potential clients. From difficult navigation to slow loading times, there are multiple reasons why they may be leaving your site empty handed. So to start getting the sales and results you desire, consider whether your site contains the following barriers.

No information about shipping costs

Many business owners think that not revealing shipping information will help them secure more sales. But in fact, this can be detrimental to your business. Customers will often want to know how much shipping fees are before committing to a purchase. Especially if they are overseas. So by not containing this information, you could be missing out the opportunity to sell your products.

This also applies to making returns too. While you naturally want the customer to keep your products, there will be instances when a return is necessary. But without any information to refer to, this can also stop a sale from proceeding. So rather than keeping your customers in the dark, add a page to your site that includes this vital information.

Lack of images

Online shoppers like to see as much of a product as they possibly can before making the decision to buy. So if you only have one image available for each of your products, this could be what is stopping them from making a purchase. Having numerous images from different angles, that can also be enlarged gives customers a better overview. This can help you stand apart from your competition, particularly if they are selling the same product. Product videos can also show your product being used. This can be valuable insight that encourages customers to add to their bag.  Adding extra product photos and videos to your site might seem basic. But it can make a big impact on your sales.

Not enough payment options

From Paypal to credit card payments, there are more ways than ever for online shoppers to pay for their purchases. But if your website only offers one payment option, this can cause suspicion and restrict how many sales you generate. So rather than letting this continue, you need to start providing more options. Some business owners can find card processing services difficult to secure because of the products they sell. But some services will allow you to open a high-risk merchant account which allows you to offer further options. You should also look into offering email, online checks and debit card payments. This will not only boost the professionalism of your business but also allows more customers to buy with ease.

Now you are aware of these issues, it might be time to reassess your site and work towards improving it. In a matter of weeks, we will be entering the busiest shopping period of the year- Christmas. So make sure your e-commerce experience is up to par sooner rather than later.