As we enter a new decade, it’s time to say goodbye to what retailers knew and start to embrace changes. But as we enter 2020, there’s new technology taking over, so it can be easy to forget what makes a retailer great. Here are three key steps that online retailers can use to make the next decade the best one yet.
It’s not news that we’re currently in the midst of the festive season. Sales increase, spending is on the rise and there’s an abundance of sales events. Surrounded by events from Click Frenzy to Boxing Day, it’s hard to miss the opportunity for maximising sales. However, as one decade comes to an end and the next commences, it can be tricky to secure that growth for the next financial year. So, how can online retailers maintain steady growth in sales and revenue after the holiday season finishes and into 2020?
According to a study from Nasdaq, by the year 2040, 95 per cent of all purchases will be made via e-commerce channels. While this is 20 odd years away, it’s a safe bet to say that we’re not too far off that statistic. With this comes a change in customer behaviour, expectations, delivery times, payment platforms and options and aspects that we’re yet to conjure up.
1. Embrace BNPL – It’s Not Going Anywhere Any Time Soon
Currently, we’re already seeing some of these changes in the e-commerce landscape. In only 12 months, Buy Now, Pay Later has become the norm, and if an e-commerce platform doesn’t offer at least one, it’s considered out of touch and somewhat obsolete.
“Thirty-nine per cent of customer have used BNPL, but more importantly, it’s gone up from being 10 per cent of all online transactions to 18 per cent,” explains Mark Fletcher, Data Analyst at Power Retail. “This appears to have been at the expense of both of the leading payment methods with PayPal declining from 49 per cent to 38 per cent and credit cards from 35 per cent to 29 per cent.”
This payment platform, although not heavily regulated by the Australian Government, has become intrinsically linked with e-c0mmerce. For retailers, it’s essential to consider using at least one payment platform in their strategies to maximise the growth of their potential consumer market.
“If any retailer was in doubt about the potential value of BNPL for their business, Power Retail found that over 50 per cent of customers who bought something with the platforms are likely to shop there again, look for other things that they can buy from there and choose that retailer above others,” Fletcher continues.
2. Improve Customer Satisfaction – It’s All About Them
While the old saying goes ‘the customer is always right’, it’s something that often gets turned on its head. While the customer may not always be ‘right’, they are the priority to consider when making a judgement call for your e-commerce platform. If a retailer makes a change to a site without considering the outcome from a consumer, they’re not in the right mindset.
To assist your customers throughout their purchase journey, make sure you implement the following features on your site:
- Live chat – this can be with bots, customer service representatives, etc.
- FAQs – help answer questions that a customer may have without requiring live chat
- SMS marketing and customer service – this has a far better cut-through than traditional email marketing methods.
- Offer reviews on product pages – this establishes trust between the consumer and retailer and offers transparency
These are basics for e-commerce professionals, but when a retailer gets too involved with the latest trends, tech and advancements, it can be easy to forget what makes a customer happy.
3. Transparency is Key – Let Them See Right Through You
This is one of the most important factors to consider when establishing further trust with a potential consumer. This means letting a customer know when a product is out of stock before they make the purchase, showcasing honest reviews, shipping prices upfront and even making an announcement when a mistake is made. Entering the new decade, retailers are entering a time where consumers would rather purchase from a person rather than a faceless brand. Add some humanity to your offerings, and make the customer feel like they’re being taken care of.
As an example, if a customer orders a dress from a retailer app and they add express shipping to their order, they expect the item to arrive within that time frame. However, if there’s an issue with the warehouse or the order can’t be fulfiled, don’t leave the customer in the dark. Make sure they’re aware of the issue at hand, albeit not in great detail, and offer an incentive to make up for the mistake. Whether this is a refund of the shipping price, a discount for their next purchase or credit, make the customer understand that they are being put first.
Consumer behaviour is rapidly changing, and as this transforms, retailers have to do the sam.e. It’s too late to stay complacent, and if a retailer doesn’t innovate new ideas into their strategies, they may just evaporate.
Like this story? Sign-up for the free Pulse Weekly Newsletter for more essential online retail content.