Key Trends that will revolutionize E-Commerce in 2014
Internet & globalization have taken the world of trade by rage & the concept of E-commerce is also swiftly gaining more popularity by the day. The progress is quite rapid and online shoppers now have more choice and more information at their fingertips than ever before. Here are some top trends that have been predicted for 2014 and how they will revolutionize the E-commerce Industry:
Going global while staying local
Globalization was what started the ball rolling, and now it’s the turn of glocalization. Many global brands have realized the importance of winning a loyal clientele, and hence offer many local options like language, payment options, localized marketing campaigns, etc. This is because although global shoppers prefer foreign goods, they a localized shopping experience.
Compliance: a new hurdle to overcome.
When MNC’s emphasize on capturing local marketplaces, they face many legal hurdles that they have to overcome to ensure compliance with all the local laws of trade & business. Companies that operate globally have to ensure that they comply with all the regulations pertaining to different regions. Businesses may also have to adhere to local business practices for at least an initial entry into markets.
Social networks: why they shouldn’t be undermined
With the advent of the new trend called “Social Commerce”, many MNC’s tried entering the arena but had to withdraw because they were not completely prepared for the huge response that was garnered. Engaging customers socially is a huge responsibility and needs dedicated effort. But if done properly, the benefits are massive. Most global brands are actively engaging their customers through popular social networking sites and the ROI they gain from this is huge.
Businesses today make it a point to collect whatever data available about their target groups so that the marketing campaigns & new business tactics can be made to suit customer needs. In-depth analytics, reports, personal & other information about the customers are collected by every company, which is then analyzed to formulate new business strategies. This goes a long way in ensuring not just success but customer satisfaction as well.
Using multi-channel selling
Having more than one physical (Offline) store used to be a business practice in the past, to increase sales, expand customer base, etc. The same tactic has now been adopted for their online presence by many businesses, for all the same reasons. While cost is a factor, having multiple points of sale online is not as costly as having multiple physical locations. Businesses can choose popular deal websites, marketplaces with a wide user base (like Amazon, eBay, etc), own online stores and social media.
The importance of Mobility
Until a couple of years ago, websites were made to be mobile-friendly, but rather than making a mobile-friendly website, they choose to have mobile (& tablet) optimized websites. This is because most people choose to shop on the go & future shopping trends have been predicted to have a heavy dependency on handheld devices. With the rise in the number of smartphone/ handheld device users, businesses even offer exclusive offers to those who use their apps/ shop online, etc.
Personalization: The short-cut to customer satisfaction
Everyone enjoys being given a special treatment and nobody loves it more than a shopper. Businesses have recognized this trait and now spend time & resources to identify the taste, preference, shopping behaviour, etc of their customers & match their offering to suit this exact need. Using high-end analytics & other tools, they collect data and put it to use to provide a personalized shopping experience to each of their users. This proves beneficial as it generates sales & delivers customer satisfaction.
Assistance & support
When trying something new or facing an unexpected situation while dealing with a business, customers will always look to reach out for assistance/ feedback. If this is not made available, it not only affects customer satisfaction but also may affect the business in a largely negative way, as people will choose to voice their concern on a public platform like social media. Businesses have recognized this tendency & most businesses offer 24*7 customer support & assistance.
In a quest to take customer satisfaction to the next level, companies are trying to eliminate every drawback e-commerce portals may possibly have. One major concern was the delay in delivering the ordered products. Corporate giants like Amazon are now trying to bring to life a concept called “same day delivery” or in some cases “next day delivery”, with the help of local distribution channels.
Easier payment options
Another barrier that kept customers away from e-commerce was complicated payment options & fear of insecure transactions. Most of the major corporate these days provide cash-on-delivery options, secure payment gateways and multiple payment options (cash cards, cod, store credits etc). Some businesses even partner with major banks to make this even simpler and offer special and exclusive deals to the customers of the banks.