The post-pandemic world has undoubtedly redefined the e-commerce meaning for all of us!
With the pandemic, consumers began to drift from brick and mortar stores to online markets giving rise to striking growth in the e-commerce world.
However, rapid growth of the e-commerce market has made it important to understand various facets associated with e-commerce meaning.
Looking at the trend of e-commerce since 2014, it is estimated to grow by 276.9% up to 2023, increasing e-commerce sales globally.
In 2019, retail e-commerce sales worldwide amounted to 3.53 trillion US dollars and e-retail revenues are anticipated to grow to 6.54 trillion US dollars in 2022.
Types of e-commerce models
- Business to consumer(B2C)
In this model, a business sells products to a consumer.
Example: You ordering grocery through an e-commerce website is an example of business to consumer model.
- Business to business(B2B)
A business selling products to another business.
Example: A business sells laptops to another business for use.
- Consumer to consumer(C2C)
Consumer selling products or goods to another consumer.
Example: You, selling your used laptop to another consumer.
- Consumer to business(C2B)
A consumer selling a product to business.
Example: Influencer marketing in which an influencer charges a fee to promote a business i.e. the influencer(consumer) is exposing the business to his/her audience.
Forms of e-commerce:
Ecommerce can assume a variety of forms when it comes to different transactional relationships between businesses and consumers.
This method requires the delivery of a product by a third party.
The business selling products to consumers directly. For example, an online clothing store selling clothes to its customers.
The sale of the products in bulks often to a retailer who sells these products to consumers further.
Examples include downloadable digital goods, courses, templates, etc.
Online based Event planner is an example of e-commerce services.
What factors have led to such rapid growth of e-commerce?
The pandemic driven lockdown has a lot to contribute to the growth of the e-commerce industry as social distancing confined people to their homes and the only way left to shop was to use online platforms.
Although the situation has begun to improve with eases in the lockdown condition, people still seldomly step out to avoid the propagation of infection, leaving the market places deserted.
Moreover, the convenience offered by an online shopping experience is unmatchable and saves a lot of time.
People do not have to wait in the long queues for checking out which makes their life much easier.
Also, consumers who shop online do so at their convenience, wherever, and whenever they want.
They do not have to be physically present at the stores for making purchases, unlike brick-and-mortar stores.
At the consumer’s comfort, he or she can browse through products and can complete the purchase with the tap of a finger online.
The best part is that consumers could shop while lying on the bed without having to escape their comfort zone and the purchases follow them to their doorsteps.
After all, hassle-free experience is all that a consumer is looking for.
E-commerce businesses put in extra effort for personalized consumer experiences. Consumer experiences can be oriented based on the consumer’s previous transactions and purchases.
E-commerce platforms use insights obtained from consumers’ histories to suggest product offers in line with their interests.
Clearly, e-commerce has made the struggle so simple and those who know the convenience it offers are addicted to it!
For being in the business, you need to make sure that you have adhered to the right marketing strategies.
Undoubtedly, redefined e-commerce meaning calls for brilliant promotional tactics!
#1. Build a Website
E-commerce websites are the foundation your business rests on so it has to be perfect!
Develop a website that’s easy to navigate and user friendly at the same time, so the customer can have a smooth experience.
Various platforms like Shopify can help you construct your website or you may also seek help from a professional web designer.
This is where e-commerce marketing really becomes accessible, as it allows users who are already a part of these top sites to get involved with new shopping opportunities.
Examples of some of the biggest e-commerce sites include Amazon, Alibaba, and Aliexpress!
#2. Develop an App
In addition to the website and social media pages, you must also establish an app of your own for adding more to the e-commerce meaning.
A properly developed app for your store can be a serious game-changer.
Not only it creates a far greater seamless customer experience but it can send conversions through the roof also.
This will increase your potential customer’s access to you even more while keeping you competitive in the business market.
Increase e-commerce sales by developing an app that can easily be downloaded in the phones that customers can browse and enjoy the shopping experience, virtually like a real one!
Once they have the app downloaded on the phone, they will have a sense of greater handiness, knowing that they can instantly shop without having to open the website.
If you look at the top e-commerce businesses all of them have apps of their own that run successfully worldwide, providing a much smoother experience to the consumers.
You can also incorporate ideas like gifts or incentives for new users. These tactics prove to be helpful in achieving higher traffic in the app.
For instance, e-commerce retailers like Alibaba and Aliexpress employ this idea for turning their new customers into long-term happy ones.
Moreover, such strategies leave customers with a feeling of having the opportunity to enjoy an added incentive.
A survey conducted by good firms also backs the idea of having an app as most users prefer shopping through the app more due to the convenience it offers while saving a lot of time!
#3. Leverage social media capability to be in line with the new e-commerce meaning
Social media has a prominent role to play when it comes to digital marketing of a business. It significantly creates awareness, generates leads, and advertises your brand!
Being in the business, you’ll probably be having Facebook and Instagram profiles but all you need to do is use the tools efficiently to gain maximum engagement from the social media users!
Let’s talk about the sponsored ads first that you can leverage on Facebook and Instagram both.
These are the ads you create yourself and choose the audience they are going to appear in front of. You must have knowledge about your customer base to be able to set the particulars for the digital ad.
Secondly, Instagram has an amazing feature that allows you to create additional tags on the post that get visible to your customers upon tapping.
These tags let you add descriptions like prices with the products to provide a convenient shopping experience to your customers.
Besides, social media digital marketing also encompasses Google ads and pay per click marketing strategies.
You need to pay for getting both in action.
You can earn double the amount for nearly $1 invested in Google ads.
It is a simple way for making your e-commerce web link appear on the top of Google-generated leads and other websites! In other words, you pay to be everywhere!
#4. Consider SMS and e-mail
Although SMS and e-mail are among the oldest tools of the digital market but are capable of providing the highest ROI.
Over 6 billion people have access to cellphones which indirectly hints how successful a marketing tool SMS can be.
Besides, it has an exceptional opening rate of about 98%, 95% of which gets read and responded to almost instantly.
Despite having a relatively lower opening rate, e-mails are still used by various e-commerce companies to reach out to their customers.
The best part is that both are not hard on the pocket, making it a preferable option for the new startups.
They allow easy communication in addition to a seamless shopping experience by sending order tracking, verification, etc.
For example, Amazon keeps in touch with its consumer through SMS!
#5. Make sure your customers trust you
Customer service is the basis of your customer chain. If you know the art of satisfying your customers, you’ll surely have them shopping with you again.
Customer service has a lot to determine if a customer will re-visit you or not.
According to statistics, 73% of the companies with above-average customer service generate better revenues than their competitors.
The reason why a lot of customers switch the brands can be owed to the poor customer service which is known to have cost nearly $1.6 trillion to the US companies to date.
However, to avert such damage, you need to adopt certain strategies for providing satisfactory customer service:
Endeavor to provide high-quality products
Quality should be your utmost priority for ensuring your customers return happy with the intention to come back for more!
This calls for honest and transparent dealings with your customers. You can also start off by keeping the prices minimal for attracting more people.
Once your customer base is established your happy customers will tell others about you and a strong customer chain will be built resultantly.
Make sure to have a professional team
First of all, you need to make sure that all your employees are well trained and professionally skilled in dealing with the customers online.
Try providing bonuses and incentives to your employees for keeping them motivated as it is naturally going to reflect in their demeanor with the customers. The better the customer service, the greater the revenues.
Making a customer wait is equivalent to cutting down your sales!
Always respond to them as soon as possible as it will reduce a chance of them shifting to another brand. Try to keep your system highly efficient.
You can also make use of the automated system like chatbots to ensure a quick response.
Customers are likely to pay 17% more to the companies that are known to have a good reputation with customer service.
#6. Use influencer market
You can only ensure customer engagement through the right e-commerce marketing strategies that let you enjoy higher sales!
This requires you to utilize all the possible and available methods of marketing for e.g use of the influencer market is pretty much in vogue presently.
Influencer marketing provides considerable customer conversion and is a recipe for increased sales.
Many businesses have their focus laid on influencer marketing for promoting the business through sponsored content partnerships with micro and macro-influencers.
In 2020 and beyond, the trend will continue to grow and evolve as 65% of influencer marketing budgets will increase this year alone.
And 7% of companies are planning to invest over a million dollars per year towards this strategy.
The key purpose of opting for this strategy is that you can reach out to the massive followings of these influencers and celebrities.
Since they have an impact on the audience, they will direct more traffic upon endorsing your products towards your platform!
#7. Post-purchase follow up
Make sure to have a strong post-purchase follow-up mechanism for improving your customer service.
Customer feedback is really important in terms of keeping you motivated and also for rectifying your shortcomings.
Such a follow up will help you in maintaining your standards better.
If a user has purchased a product from your website and agreed to receive emails from you during the checkout process send a follow-up email once the product gets delivered.
This is a good strategy to let your customers know that you care!
Easy internet accessibility worldwide paved the way for rapid e-commerce evolution and development.
However, the current pandemic situation has favored its growth even more to a much greater extent.
Conventional retail businesses are also shifting to the e-commerce space making the business world extremely competitive.
The market place has certainly become saturated with a plethora of e-commerce options for the consumers. It is all about the survival of the fittest now.
Therefore, the improvement of consumer experiences in the e-commerce sphere is crucial than ever.
With the emergence of new e-commerce meaning, you need to employ an effective and clever e-commerce marketing plan for ensuring longer sustainability.