The way that the internet has grown in the last decade, along with it its various other facets such as social media, e-commerce, marketing, etc. has completely changed the online shopping experience of customers. E-commerce in particular has had a huge impact on changing the customer behavior and the overall experience of online shopping in a way that cannot be undone.
Customers now expect brands to approach customer service from a very different perspective than they did traditionally. The need for personalized communications in the online shopping customer experience is tremendous and the sense of urgency in getting their products delivered has gone through the roof.
The retail e-commerce revenues are expected to grow to $4.88 trillion in the year 2021, according to Statista, and this particular statistic was derived before the coronavirus pandemic – which has caused the e-commerce industry to surge like never before. As traditional retailers are adapting to this digital sales explosion, the customer experience in online shopping is drastically changing the way that customers normally shop.
In this article, we will explore what the future holds for online shopping experience through e-commerce websites. Here are some of the trends that are the most influential in terms of the experience of online shopping for the foreseeable future.
If your business is not leveraging the power of data to provide the best online shopping experience then you are missing out on a tremendous opportunity. Cookies and other such data mining features of the internet are going to remain the backbone of marketing campaigns. With the help of leveraging data, e-commerce stores are able to tailor-make the homepage of their store for every single individual website visitor according to their preferences and browsing history.
With the help of digital advertising tools on social media, e-commerce websites are leveraging retargeting campaigns to its fullest. With the help of data, e-commerce marketers no longer need to have their customers on their website all the time in order to sell them a product.
Social media is slowly bridging the gap between e-commerce websites and their own platforms by targeting potential customers with ads from e-commerce websites that they are most interested in. Data and social media are truly shaping the customer experience in online shopping like never before.
Having Multiple Shopping Channels
Most of the e-commerce websites focus solely on digital channels such as social media, search engines, and influencers. But brands are taking note of the customer habits and they are not only leveraging the digital but also the retail and experiential aspect of marketing as well.
The only reason why some of the brands shy away from leveraging multiple channels as opposed to only digital or only traditional is because they are facing budget constraints. It is a well-documented fact that having multiple shopping and marketing channels is a great way to build relationships with customers, but this luxury is limited only to big corporations and companies such as Coca-Cola, OnePlus, etc. Who love to shower their customers with amazing events and sponsorship of the right kind that resonates with their customers.
Automated Customer Service
In an era of digital automation, it seems that customer service is something that is on the verge of being completely automated. However, in some industries, we have a long way to go until it is completely automated. As of now, most of the companies still require a human touch and will continue to do so in the near future. But e-commerce and online shopping customer experience on the other hand do not need a lot of technical help from customer service. Most of the time the queries of the customers are about the orders, delivery times, cancellation, refunds, and other such common and predictable information that can be easily automated if the company has the right technology to do so. If the customer service is automated and swift then it would be considered to be the best online shopping experience by a huge number of customers.
Leveraging Mobile Applications
Mobile apps are comparatively way better than websites due to a lot of reasons. The first reason being that the e-commerce website can collect a lot better quality of highly relevant data that can help recommend the best products for the consumer based on their current lifestyle.
A lot of customers are more than willing to share their data (provided that it is stored anonymously) for a better shopping experience on e-commerce websites, or in this case, mobile applications. It could be a bit expensive to develop a mobile application, hence it is something that is to be done only when you already have an e-commerce business that is doing well and if you are looking to scale it further.
Same-day Delivery Facilities
The same-day delivery facility or one-day delivery is very popular among the e-commerce giants who have the means to buy warehouses all over the country or city that they are operating in. Having the product available within a few kilometers from the destination is incredibly efficient and useful in giving the customer the best shopping experience that the company possibly can. However, this is something that can be done only if the e-commerce company has a large budget to buy or rent warehouses across the country.
Other than having huge warehouses, the other most important factor in providing same-day deliveries is the transportation-related infrastructure. There have to be highways that are connecting the warehouse to various cities and you also need to have well-equipped vehicles to provide this facility.
There are a lot of ways that customer experience will improve in the future of the e-commerce online shopping business. It is clear that there is no stopping the growth of e-commerce. Hence it makes the most sense to start an ecommerce business if you are interested in doing so.