Online shopping continues to grow at an unprecedented rate. The growth is being fueled by changing consumer behavior and the global pandemic that propelled it upwards to reach a record high in 2020. For instance, in 2020, Americans spent a staggering $861 billion in online shopping, representing a 44% increase from 2019.
Which begs the question: How can your business stand out in such a competitive industry. Most importantly, how can you create value for online shoppers?
The secret lies in adopting a customer-centric approach and leveraging disruptive technologies to set yourself apart from the competition. From leveraging augmented reality to investing in customer service, here are the top e-commerce growth strategies you should be using to foster growth and achieve a competitive edge.
1. Utilizing the Power of Augmented Reality
E-commerce provides a fast and seamless way for consumers to buy products without stepping out of their homes.
But, it suffers from one major drawback. Consumers can’t try out the products.
However, with augmented reality, things are beginning to change. Augmented reality (AR) allows consumers to ‘envision’ the products in their homes. This way, they can try out or experience the products as if they were in a physical brick-and-mortar store.
Take GAPS AR as an example. It allows customers to try on clothes virtually. With the AR app, customers can see whether or not a dress will fit them before buying.
The results? Increased conversions and buyer satisfaction.
This also leads to fewer product returns and more buyer confidence in your brand and products—which fosters repeat purchases and buyer advocacy.
The use of AR in e-commerce stores has been growing over time. Today, 32% of consumers use AR/VR while shopping. It is estimated that the global VR/AR market will see a 77% compound annual growth rate by 2023.
Want to implement AR into your online store? Simply follow these steps.
Step 1: Identify Your Business Objective
What do you seek to achieve with augmented reality? Or rather, what do you want your customers to experience? Is it an interactive interface or a product try-on feature?
Step 2: Determine the AR Tools to Use
Once you’ve identified your business objectives, you’ll have a better idea of the AR solution to use. You could start with an AR platform that offers free licensing if you’re operating on a tight budget.
Step 3: Market Your New Technology
Lastly, advertise your new technology to your audience.
The easiest way to do this is to create a short video that shows how the tech works and share it across your marketing channels.
Implementing AR is a surefire way to set yourself apart from the competition. Just make sure to test the technology before you deploy it to your audience to ensure a smooth and successful transition.
2. Personalized Experiences
Today’s consumers crave personalized experiences.
In a survey conducted by Segment, 44% of the respondents said they’d become loyal customers if they received a personalized shopping experience.
If done right, product customization can propel your brand forward in unprecedented ways. And companies that provide personalized experiences are reaping big from it. Take Netflix, for example. According to inside sources, Netflix’s AI recommendation engine saves the company a staggering $1 billion each year.
So, how do you provide personalized experiences for your customers?
One way is to use artificial intelligence (AI) and data-driven solutions to provide unique product customizations to each shopper that visits your online shop. You could customize product recommendations based on their purchase history, past actions, personal interests, and customer behavior.
3. Invest in Customer Service
Excellent customer service is one of the e-commerce best practices that can foster growth and repeat purchases. Here are some stats to bring this point home.
- 89% of shoppers are more likely to repeat purchases after a positive customer service experience (Salesforce)
- 60% of customers report that good customer service is vital for them to feel loyalty towards a brand (Zendesk)
- 83% of consumers say they feel confident working with a brand that resolves their complaints
Going by these stats, it’s undeniable that excellent customer service is vital to increasing retention and driving existing customer lifetime value higher.
The converse is also true. Studies have shown that more than 50% of consumers will switch to the competition after their first negative encounter with a brand. That number rises to 80% if they have more than two bad experiences.
As such, customer service should be at the forefront of your e-commerce success blueprint. Hiring more customer service personnel or virtual assistants could help you provide better customer service. If you are not planning to increase the headcount, you could invest in robust customer service chatbots.
4. Ramp Up Your Social Media Marketing
Your team’s social media strategy should be connected with your content strategy.
Aim to repurpose your website content across your social media channels. This will not only increase visibility but also guarantee you a larger audience.
Social networks such as Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube are the best to include in your e-commerce marketing strategy. However, don’t underestimate the power of Facebook, as the platform has over 2.5 billion active monthly users.
Here are some tips to improve your social media marketing strategy.
- Post regularly (daily if possible)
- Leverage video
- Always use quality images when posting
- Use analytics to track your audience’s engagement
- Don’t use social media for promotions only
For best results and increase in conversions, you may also want to invest in social commerce.
5. Leverage M-Commerce
Statistics show that 67% of global e-commerce transactions are done on mobile.
So, to succeed in this competitive industry, your site needs to be optimized for mobile browsing and commerce.
But having a mobile responsive site isn’t enough. To capitalize on the growing m-commerce trends, you’ll also need to account for:
- Mobile banking
- Digital products
- Contactless payment options
- Customer location
Although many of these can easily be set up in the Shopify store, some may require third-party tools. For example, you’ll need a location-based tool to determine the location of your customers.
That’s it! The best practices for e-commerce growth.
By adopting these strategies, you’ll be a step closer to achieving your revenue and yearly growth goals. But don’t just settle on these practices. Other strategies that may be worth your time and effort include growing your referrals, capitalizing on SEO, improving your site’s load time, and combatting shopping cart abandonment.
If you’d love to improve your customers’ shopping experience with AR and 3D solutions, contact us today for free consultation or book a demo.
If you are wondering what you can do with Zakeke, check out our DEMO STORE.