Ecommerce, cross-border commerce, international retail.
No matter what name you call it, it is a fact that this industry is on the rise and is doing so steadily.
In 2018 alone, global eCommerce sales reached $2.8 trillion. By the end of 2019, it is expected to hit the $3.5 trillion mark.
Consumers are looking for goods and sellers outside of their borders. Shopify, one of the most prominent SaaS eCommerce platforms, shows in an article that this behavior is prevalent among shoppers, especially those in North America.
However, Asia is soon catching up mostly because of the great purchasing power of PRC nationals.
Judging by those numbers shared by Shopify, it can be assumed that businesses are scrambling to process orders and deliver them on time. How are they handling the entire thing?
An answer could be found in eCommerce software. With the advances in technology, it has moved beyond just order processing and it can also include inventory management, warehouse management, and fulfillment.
However, beyond those things, eCommerce businesses enjoy benefits from other kinds of technologies as well.
1. Mobile eCommerce
Ecommerce is going strong on mobile. The holiday season of 2018 showed just how strong: 40% of eCommerce transactions during the time was done on mobile.
Additionally, OuterBox relates that 79% of smartphone users purchased an item online in the last six months on their device.
With mobile adaptability, eCommerce websites render better on smaller screens. More than that, it is convenient for those who are on-the-go or those who rely on their smartphones for internet connectivity.
2. Digital supply chain
Consumers are becoming more demanding when it comes to delivery times.
They expect to have their orders shipped immediately, be trackable, and delivered swiftly at their doorsteps. To keep up with those demands, an eCommerce business can turn to a digital supply chain.
This helps in the optimization of the supply chain management process that is critical in ensuring efficient delivery periods.
With the latest innovations in technology, an online business does not have to invest in a separate digital chain management platform.
In fact, the best eCommerce platforms integrate critical tools so there is no need to purchase a separate solution. It can even include pre-fulfillment and post-fulfillment features to ensure that everything from the order processing to the shipping procedure goes smoothly.This benefits an eCommerce business greatly because not only can they meet the delivery expectations of consumers but they can also gain a competitive edge with their pricing.
3. Push marketing
Grabbing a customer’s attention is becoming more difficult despite the ubiquity of contemporary technology. Even in email, it is quite challenging to have recipients open promotional communications. That is why businesses, regardless of size, are taking advantage of push notifications.
Push notifications are essential in mobile marketing because they are alerts that smartphone users receive directly on their screens. These are available only for apps, however, so businesses that have the budget may want to look into that.
Since push notifications can increase app engagement by as much as 88%. When push is enabled, 65% of users use the app again within 30 days, Localytics shares in a post.
While an eCommerce software may not have this marketing option, if it has integration capabilities, it is still possible to link a push application with it. This way, it is easier to manage marketing messages for different platforms.
4. AI and machine learning
With the advent of state-of-the-art technologies, customers expect better personalization from brands.
The survey conducted by the Salesforce Research group involving more than 6,700 buyers confirms that. Additionally, 84% of respondents said they need businesses to treat them as a person and not just as a number.
Meanwhile, they also expect brands to tailor interactions based on past engagements as well as to provide offers that are relevant to them.
Ecommerce businesses can leverage those findings by using smart marketing tools that have AI and machine learning at their foundations.
They do not have to shell out big bucks for that either, because there are cost-effective solutions.
Using these, online business owners can revolutionize their interactions with consumers and prospective buyers. Once they do, they can meet the expectations of customers and gain more sales.
5. Social media marketplaces
Social media are no longer just for peer-to-peer socializing. They have evolved to become marketplaces for goods as well. Take for example the social media giant Facebook. It now has a feature called Facebook Marketplace. This is a section of the site where individuals and businesses can sell their products or services. Additionally, brands have the option to display their items on their official pages to make it easier for consumers to shop.
Businesses can take advantage of social media platforms not just to increase engagements but to increase sales in-app. They can also integrate eCommerce software for small business with multi-sales channel management capabilities to manage the orders coming in from these sites.In addition, it’s an efficient tool that your business can utilize to collect product reviews, which is still a crucial factor that buyers look at when purchasing a product or service according to FinancesOnline.com B2B ecommerce website current trends. The reviews from social media sites can be integrated into your ecommerce site easily.
Finding the best software for eCommerce
If you are shopping for an eCommerce solution, there are a few things you have to keep in mind. One is the price point. There are software that may be beyond your budget but could tempt you into signing up for them because of their features. However, it would do you good to compare their offerings with other vendors. When you do, you may find that other sites may offer the same or similar set of tools for a lower price point.
Second, you need to prevent yourself from being dazzled by bells and whistles. At times, what your business needs may be a basic set of tools. With that, you have to list down the things your online retail business needs before shopping around to find the best software for eCommerce that matches your unique requirements.