E-commerce has become an indispensable part of our lives today. It’s just so naturally ingrained in our daily routines.
Cooking something and ran out of an ingredient? Order online and it will at your doorstep within minutes. Want to buy a particular kind of dress for a party? Order online and no matter from where in the world it is being shipped, it will reach you within days. Want to send a parcel somewhere? Place an order on an app and a person will be at your doorstep within minutes to collect and deliver.
Life just seems to have become so much easier today than before. Who would have thought back in the early 90s that a day would come when we could shop anything and everything from the convenience of our homes?
During the COVID-19 pandemic, when people were forced to stay indoors due to worldwide lockdowns, the E-commerce industry reached new heights. According to the data collected by Statista, online retail sales will reach $6.3 trillion by the end of 2023 vis-à-vis $5.7 trillion in 2022 and $5.2 trillion in 2021.
These numbers indicate that E-commerce is here to stay for long. It will keep on integrating more and more new technologies and developments in AI and machine learning to tap the right kind of prospects, predict customer behaviour, and provide the best services possible.
5 Key Elements to Ensure Success of an E-commerce Business
Consumer behaviour is highly erratic and unpredictable. That’s why, E-commerce companies have to integrate the latest technologies into their platforms to keep up with ever-changing customer demands and survive the competition.
Here are the five top factors E-commerce business should consider to ensure success in the competitive market!
1. Use Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning for Cross-selling
Though AI and machine learning are two different things, when used together they can take your business to the next level. E-commerce companies such as Amazon have understood this well and are making optimum use of these technologies. AI assists in tracking and recording user data, whereas machine learning helps understand and analyse it.
So, when you search something on Amazon, its AI tracks your information & preferences and feeds you with relevant ads on other platforms like YouTube and Facebook. This cross-selling strategy not only ensures a higher CTR for Amazon, but also increases chances of a buyer completing his purchase on the platform.
2. Integrate Upgraded Interactive Tools into E-commerce Platforms
E-commerce lacks the human touch that conventional shopping provides. Therefore, E-commerce service providers are using technologies such as chatbots and live chats to add a personalised touch to their consumers’ shopping journey. Have a question or a complaint? Enter a query into their chatbot or chat live with someone from their customer service department, and your issue will be resolved smoothly.
Moreover, the integration of AR and VR technologies allow people to view the product they want to purchase from all sides and in detail, thus enabling them to make an informed purchase decision. Not to mention the specially curated personalised promotional emails designed to make the customers feel special!
3. Emphasise on Eco-friendly Options
Consumers, these days, prefer sustainable and renewable products rather than those that pose a threat to the environment. Taking this into consideration, major E-commerce companies are striving hard to offer products made from eco-friendly and recyclable materials such as bioplastic, fibre, bamboo, glass, etc.
In this endeavour, many of them are also collaborating with more green companies to come up with viable options. As the world is fighting with challenges such as global warming and consumers getting more aware about the benefits of sustainable and organic products, the focus of E-commerce industry on eco-friendly options will go a long way in the future.
4. Develop Conversion-driven Websites with Great UX
Can you imagine a great-looking, great-functioning E-commerce website that has no visibility whatsoever in the search engines? No matter how big your business is or how good your website is, you need to perform SEO on it to gain visibility and traction in search engines. Plus, you also need to promote your business of social media to spread your brand message across to the wider audience.
E-commerce companies today can’t deny the role SEO and SMM play in enhancing their digital presence and online reach. Adding clear & innovative CTAs and optimising the overall user experience, with responsive design and hassle-free navigation, are of great importance. After all, “Good UX is good business”.
5. Optimise for Voice Search and Use Virtual Assistants
Talking is better than typing. Today, most leading E-commerce platforms have voice assistants that respond to your voice search queries aptly. All you need to do is speak up and tell the voice assistant what you are looking for. “Alexa, show me good 5G smartphones.” And Alexa, Amazon’s voice assistant, will instantly respond with a plethora of options at your disposal.
Owing to the ever-growing acceptance and popularity of voice and virtual assistants, E-commerce companies will keep on developing the technology and incorporating newer, more user-friendly versions into their platforms. Even small, upcoming and small E-commerce businesses should leverage these technologies to provide better user experience.
To sum up, Millennials and Gen Zs, who constitute a vast majority of the world’s population, are evidently more trustful of online transactions despite the ever-looming threat of Internet frauds. They are the most tech-savvy generations, taking optimum advantage of E-commerce marketplaces and online transactions.
Moreover, the development and growth of online payment gateways and e-wallets have made the buyer journey much easier. Therefore, it is for sure that E-commerce industry is bound to grow rapidly in the near future. All the technological developments and innovations will take the industry to the next level.