About a year ago, COVID-19 caused disruption in our daily lives. The new normal began and we know that this drastic change is far from over. But, what we have learned from this event is that we need to learn to adapt.
Last year when the quarantine started nobody had access to physical stores. You had to stay at home and even though we are in a tech era, nobody was ready to do everything online. We are now eating out less and cooking at home more. We are spending more time in front of screens than ever. Maybe we never thought of the impact COVID-19 would have on the e-commerce industry and consumer culture.
If your business didn’t have already an e-commerce website you may have faced the challenges to adapt quickly and make sure your business survived. But even those who already had e-commerce had to make adjustments to ensure their platform was fully working.
Today we are slowly coming back to what it just to be, however, there are key best practices in e-commerce to consider. Keep them in mind when working on your current or next online store, and you’ll be more prepared for what customers need in the years ahead.
E-commerce best practices
1. Upscaling online purchase paths
As a result of the pandemic, websites have become the primary purchase path for many brands. You need to stand out among other competitors and constantly improve in what you are offering.
For example, enrich purchase information such as improve size guides, live chats, photos of your products, or even ad try-on/augmented reality. Another thing to consider is your site speed loading. Remember that now your visitors may have increased because people are preferring to buy online rather than leave their homes, that’s why you need to make improvements if your website is not loading fast enough.
E-commerce is extremely competitive, you need to constantly look for ways to keep improving.
2. In-store experiences to digital consumers
Consumers are always browsing, researching, comparing, or purchasing online, no matter where they are. Even if they choose to purchase in-store, there’s a high chance that they may have looked up a price or compared items before making their visit to the store.
One way brands can adapt to the new reality and improve, is by bringing the in-store experience online. Find more interactive experiences that bring both in-store and online together.
AR and VR are an example of what businesses are including in their shopping experience. We know it is not the same to see an item in person as seeing it online, but the use of AR and VR helps customers obtain the insight needed to make a purchasing decision.
3. Provide different payment options
According to Shopify, we will see more payment options than ever before. Digital wallets, financing solutions, or even cryptocurrency are starting to be some of these options. However, this may vary depending on where you are, but one thing is sure and that is, e-commerce will continue to grow worldwide and transactions will occur in different ways. Credit or debit cards won’t be the only option.
You have to be prepared to face these changes and make sure you adjust to your customer’s needs.
4. Build creative advertising strategies
A great way to attract consumers to your e-commerce is to create a creative and even, interactive marketing strategy. Experts have mentioned that they have seen more 3D and CGI content being used, especially with COVID-19 restrictions and safety guidelines. Brands have had to thinks outside the box and try new things to get the customer attention.
5.Unify customer and product data
Make sure you have a unified view of your product and customer data. Why? Because this is the first step toward providing a consistent and seamless experience to customers across channels. Ensure that your product data and inventory are accurate and updated in real-time, your platform should automatically sync all the product information (prices, description, and images with SKU counts).
Your e-commerce platform must also integrate with both the sales and supply sides of your business. Integrate a POS system to help you keep track of your products. A POS system will give you important data about your customer and help you measure and analyze the full journey. This way you will efficiently track performance and it gives everyone the same business-critical metrics to work toward.
6. Performance optimization
Many businesses who already had an e-commerce faced problems with the performance of their platforms because from one day to another websites were saturated. They had to quickly improve their processes and make sure their sites were performing to the highest levels.
From now on businesses will start to notice performance issues and work hard to fix them on every level. For example, page load is a make it or break it. Nobody likes slow apps or websites. Faster stores convert at a higher rate. You should also keep an eye in the image sizes because they take up 60% of an average storefront page. Reduce your images size will help you create a fast-loading website.
7.Shopify’s dominance will expand
As a result of COVID-19, e-commerce grew enormously. Not only there were more consumers buying online but also companies had to join the wave of e-commerce. Many started to use Shopify, a platform that hosts over 500k e-commerce stores, because of the need to adapt to the new reality.
Now, more consumers have created a regular habit of shopping online and those who unfortunately lost their jobs saw the opportunity to create their e-commerce business. According to Shopify, “the number of new stores created on their platform jumped 62% between March and May 2020 compared to six weeks prior.“
Experts in e-Commerce
E-commerce will keep on growing and changing, therefore, businesses will continue to adapt for years to come. In under a year, the unexpected took us by surprise and taught us to adapt quickly to entirely new norms. We hope that by being aware of these e-commerce best practices mentioned in this article you can identify elements to be improved and have a successful platform for your business.
At Applaudo, we can help you build a reliable e-commerce platform or optimize your existing one. Let’s connect and have a talk.