Roy's Blog

July 26, 2018

This is what the future of eCommerce holds — guest post

It’s amazing to think that Amazon is almost a quarter of a century old. But what’s even more amazing is that there are now around 2 to 3 million eCommerce stores open for business. And this isn’t even counting China. That’s a lot, but the good news is that if you can stay ahead of the curve, you can thrive.

The fact is that customers worldwide have gone gaga for online shopping. At the same time, technology has changed enormously over the past few years. Together, customers and technology are driving eCommerce in a new direction. This is great in one sense - but only if you follow this new direction.

New direction

What does this direction look like and how can you keep up? Let’s take a look at the future of eCommerce simplified.

Omni-channel shopping will dominate

More and more of us are shopping online than ever before, but the truth of the matter is that brick and mortar retail isn’t dying out. eCommerce is growing, but as Forbes points out, it still makes up just 10% of retail.

The retail climate has changed, but what we’re seeing are customers who want the best of both worlds. They want to browse online and even buy online; but they also want to order online and pick up in store.

They also want to be able to walk into physical stores and jump on their mobile devices to compare prices with other stores there and then.

In other words, they want an omni-channel shopping experience. Customers now have no problem with using numerous devices to achieve an end goal.
When their favorite brands are able to provide a seamless omnichannel experience, their loyalty towards that brand grows. As Steven P Dennis expertly writes, “the more customers become omnichannel in their behavior, the better a brand’s economics become.”

Voice search will become popular

Voice search is growing in popularity and eCommerce store owners will need to adapt. Most people across most age demographics haven’t tried voice search yet - but are interested. Moreover, 40% of millennials have started using voice search.

For eCommerce store owners, this means a rethinking of their content marketing strategy so that they remain visible on Google. Most voice searches are questions. For example, instead of querying “black leather jacket for a man”, a user might ask “where can I find a cheap leather jacket for a guy near me?”

According to SEOClarity, eCommerce store owners will need to start thinking about how best to incorporate trigger words into their content, such as “best”, “what” and “how”.

eCommerce store owners will also need to add more natural language to their content, and they’ll need to answer more questions related to particular topics with in-depth answers, so that Google might rank them on position zero.

Voice search

Branding — such as logos — will become more prominent

There are around 3 million eCommerce stores in existence, but 8 out of 10 of them will fail. One of the reasons for this is the dominance of Amazon.

Another key reason is that a lot of eCommerce companies don’t have a recognizable brand. Lots of them sell on Amazon but nowhere else, and this prevents them from building a relationship with their customers.
In 2018, millennials are dominating the economy and they want to be immersed in a proper marketing campaign. The best way eCommerce stores can do this is by building brands that customers recognize, and which they see their own values recognized in.

There are many aspects to building a brand, from colors to fonts to web design to tone of voice to logos. None of it has to cost a company much money. For example, Shopify have a logo maker that allows even novice designers to create awesome logos in a matter of minutes.

New markets will open

When we think of eCommerce, it’s easy to focus on the big hitters, like America and China. But as Business Insider points out, the likes of Latin America, Southeast Asia and India are emerging eCommerce markets that retailers have already started targeting.

Meanwhile, LatAm has written a whole piece about the “red hot potential” of Chile as an eCommerce market, while countries like Indonesia are showing huge potential. The Indonesian government is more open to foreign investment than ever, and its number of internet users is rocketing. Brazil is another market to watch in the years to come.

eCommerce stores will have to be different

With so many stores offering the exact same product to the consumer, there will soon come a time when the winners will break away from the pack … while the losers will be left counting their losses and closing their doors because they weren’t creative or smart enough to be different.

If you sell the exact same product as a competitor, what’s going to set you apart? Why would customers come to you and stay loyal? Here are some ideas:

1) Define your unique selling propositionwhat makes your product or business unique? What approach or angle do you have that no one else has?
Maybe you sell chocolate bars that are entirely produced in-house, for example, or maybe your company is super green-focused.

Be different

2) Leverage product quality —make your the product the very best of this type and then leverage it. For example, make sure the quality of your product is the first thing customers are aware of when they visit your website.
Shout it from the rooftops that your products are guaranteed to last longer than your rivals.
The Casper Mattress is a great example of this. Here’s their tagline: “Why lie awake on a mattress for 10 minutes when you can try one for 100 days?”

3) Nail your branding — the harder you work on your branding to express your value proposition, the more it will resonate with the right people and the more you will stand out in a competitive marketplace.

4) Implement a loyalty program — as customers become ever more selective about who they shop with, you need to start thinking about how you can give something back.
Loyalty programs that are different than others work because they reward customers for shopping with you and generate positive feelings for your store and brand.

Conclusion

The future of eCommerce is bright but it is changing. This means that store owners need to stay abreast of the latest trends so that they don’t get left behind.

Follow the customer, be different, work on your brand, implement voice search and keep an eye on emerging markets.

Michelle Deery creates copy and content at Heroic Search in Tulsa. She specializes in writing about eCommerce and content marketing. Her advice has been featured by Crazy Egg and Entrepreneur. See what she is up to on Twitter @MichWriting

  • Posted 7.26.18 at 04:51 am by Roy Osing
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