Welcome to the latest Direct Peak insights article! This time we are delving into e-commerce and some of the new and emerging trends that could accelerate your sales in 2022.
We work with e-commerce businesses across the UK helping them to plan and budget for growth and these are the technologies and processes being invested in over the next 12 months.
Continual investment in tech platforms is one of the most popular streams of investment to secure future growth, along with people (to build, develop and maintain systems), and fulfilment- especially businesses that moved online during the pandemic.
The pace of change in e-commerce is relentless with new innovations, technologies and ways to engage with your audience emerging all the time. By continually investing you can stay ahead of the curve, provide the best experience for your customers, and grow faster.
With the industry undergoing such rapid change, e-commerce businesses must constantly be up to date with digital technology solutions.
These need to be innovative, cost-effective and scale with your business’s requirements.
Many e-commerce businesses are installing Chatbot technology, something which is becoming an expected part of the customer experience, for customers that prefer to use live chat tools rather than speak with a person when researching products.
The cost of chatbot technology is varied, depending on its functionality and channel of deployment. You can create your own basic chatbot using a chatbot platform or pay a third party to set it up a more complex one for you.
Chatbots can talk to more than one person at a time and are available 24/7. This means that customers are offered quick and precise answers to their queries without having to wait.
Top tip – chatbots that asks for a customer’s email address before they start chatting it can capture 30% more leads on your website than general forms.
Omnichannel marketing is emerging as one of the fastest growing trends; using technology to provide consumers with content based on where they are in their shopping journey. Omnichannel marketing combines all platforms, including email, text message, websites and social media.
Take the following scenario; If your customer may visit a store, and then check your social media channel before visiting the website and making a purchase. Having a connected, consistent message nurtures your customer and increases conversions and sales.
M-commerce is set to overtake e-commerce as more people shop using their smartphone or tablet than ever before.
Many people will now stand in a shop comparing prices online on their mobile phone before buying.
Mobile commerce offers a variety of payment options including one click checkouts from digital wallets. While developing and managing your online store take the rapid growth of m-commerce into consideration – and be aware of advancements in technology and the constant need for optimisation.
Tech giants Netflix, Spotify and Amazon pioneered subscription models.
Subscription models are popular with e-commerce businesses because it unlocks:
- Higher customer retention ratio
- Greater business predictability
- Maximise your revenue.
The benefits to your customer are:
- Convenience – no need to remember to re-order
- Predictable deliveries
- Subscription fits customer’s preference
- Value for money.
Using social media channels for live shopping experiences
Social media channels have global audiences. Over 90% of users access their favourite platforms using a mobile device and 54% use social media to research products.
Live shopping is a trend expected to increase in 2022. YouTube, facebook, Instagram, and TikTok already have their own live streaming features. Brands can link their products directly to these platforms.
Did you know? On November 28 Twitter launched its new livestream shopping platform, with Walmart being first in line with a 30-minute virtual shopping experience. Users were able to watch the live broadcast, shop the featured products and join in the conversation around the event by tweeting comments.
Live commerce is a perfect way to showcase your products or demonstrate ‘how to’, to an interactive online audience, improving your customer’s experience.
Check out our handy guide to setting up a live shopping event on Facebook:
- Set up a Facebook shop
- Set up live shopping on Facebook in Commerce Manager
- Decide on a time for your event using your analytics to see when your customers are most active
- Promote it to your viewers from about a week before, using social media
- Prepare your products or collection that you want to feature
- In the Create section click Live, this will take you to the Live Producer tool
- Go to the Live shopping tab and toggle on Enable live shopping.
- Under Select a playlist, click Choose My Playlist and click Save. The products from your playlist will show under Feature items so you can share them in your live video
- Under Post, give your video a title
- Click Go Live when you’re ready
- Viewers can click through and purchase on the spot
- Once you’ve done with the live video, click End Live Video.
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E-commerce – Planning for growth.
Whether you are new to selling online, or already established, planning ahead, and having funds in place gives you the advantage as opportunities present themselves.
Sound financial planning is key to achieving the goals the business sets – understanding current cash position, predicted and trending income and costs, and fully detailing the costs involved are essential not to run into trouble.
If you are hiring for example, to develop and upgrade systems and infrastructure, the cost to the business is more than just salary. Take into account pension contributions, desk, equipment and space to work. There are also recruitment costs to take into consideration.
Ask yourself – Would outsourcing roles that aren’t core to your business make more financial sense? Finance, HR, and marketing services are commonly outsourced to professionals, giving you access to skills and resources without having to carry the headcount overhead within the business.
Many e-commerce businesses use third party logistics providers (3PL) for ‘on demand’ storage and fulfilment. If your business is expanding fast but you don’t want to commit to an expensive larger premises many storage facilities offer a flexible option. This saves the large capital outlay on renting and kitting out a building.
If you are seeking advice and guidance when planning to scale your ecommerce business then we can share our experience and insights on how similar businesses are planning for growth.
If you are ready to talk to one of our team get in touch directly by completing the form below.
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