Vertical Plus COVID 19 update Vertical Plus will continue to operate normally during the Coronavirus outbreak but there might be some changes made to our working practices to ensure we keep our staff and clients safe from Coronavirus. Please click here for the latest information about how we are responding

The future of ecommerce

Are you looking to get the edge on your competition? Perhaps the answers to your questions can be found in the future.
The future of ecommerce

In the first installation of this topic, we’re going to be looking to the future, and pondering what trends and ideas could be dominating the ecommerce scene. We’re going to discuss the future of customer acquisition versus customer retention; taking the product right to the people; and how we can add a ‘human touch’ to ecommerce websites.

1) To acquire or to retain, that is the question.

During the pandemic, many businesses adjusted their marketing strategy to focus on online presence. As a result, the online marketplace has become increasingly crowded. So how on earth are you meant to stand out amongst the crowd? You will probably have to dig deep into your pockets. 

Pay Per Click is essentially a bidding war over keywords and online space between you and your competitors. The person with the biggest budget tends to win. The spike of online activity that has taken place throughout 2020 and 2021 will probably start to settle down as businesses open up again and lockdowns are eased – however, we think things aren’t going to be quite the same as they were. 

The number of businesses that are ramping up their online presence is increasing, and it’s probably going to keep increasing over the next decade. This means that the cost of customer acquisition will continue to rise. In turn, you’ll have to think hard about where your business is getting its customers from. 

The best sort of customer is the one that keeps coming back for me. To keep costs down, you might want to consider improving your client retention and customer loyalty. If they like your business enough, loyal customers will do your marketing for you. They’ll rave about you online. Tell their friends and family about you. And they’ll keep buying from you. 

So as acquisition costs go up, it’s going to be more and more important to improve customer retention.

2) Give the people exactly what they want.

Are we, business owners, perhaps becoming too complacent? Do we take our customers for granted, expecting them to find us on the internet? The future of ecommerce could look completely different.

We spend a lot of time on our phones, scrolling through social media looking at videos of cats and funny memes. Some social media platforms, like Facebook, are becoming increasingly aware of this. To make the most of this opportunity, they’re introducing their own marketplaces, enabling people and businesses to buy and sell on their platform. For example, the Facebook Marketplace. 

Instead of expecting people to come to your website, it is worth considering selling directly via your social media platforms. In the future, social media marketplaces are probably going to become increasingly popular.

With all that in mind, your website is still fundamental for online presence. We do not think online marketplaces will ever replace a good eCommerce website. They do several key things that are harder to do any other way. So if you’ve got an eCommerce website, don’t ditch it just yet.

3) Adding human touch to your website

Shopping in person and shopping online are two vastly different experiences. If you shop in person, you can try products – you can see, smell, hear and touch the products you want to buy before you actually buy them. When you’re shopping online, you don’t have this privilege. You are completely reliant on the information provided to you. 

So how can we make online shopping feel more personal and human?

Unfortunately, there’s no one-answer to this question. It requires thinking outside the box. Consider a clothes retailer. Imagine if you could try the clothes on virtually. What if you could upload a picture of yourself, and the website models the clothes on your picture? That way, you could get a feel for how the clothes would look on you without having to buy it. Revolutionary. 

It’s these sort of features that can make the shopping experience that much more special. It doesn’t have to be that complicated either. Simply having a well-produced video of lots of different models wearing the clothing would help customers get a feel for the clothing.

It’s all about making the online shopping experience feel personal. If you have lots of returning website visitors, welcome them back like a store clerk might. This helps build relationships you’re your customers. Recommend them products they might like based on their history. If you get the recommendations right, you’re going to build trust with the customer and you’re more likely to make a sale.

At the end of the day, online shoppers want to feel that they are valued. Make your website feel like a real shopping experience, and you will nurture your customers.

Vertical Plus are experts in ecommerce and helping clients build their business online. Get in touch for a no obligation chat with one of our team. For more information contact info@verticalplus.co.uk