The world of e-commerce is constantly changing and evolving. The main reason is that consumers are influenced by modern technology and the latest trends. Because of that, their behavior and purchasing habits also change. Consumers expect online stores to provide them with more convenience and new features.
E-commerce businesses that are unable to keep up are left behind. Those stores that are innovative enough can meet the new demand and consumer expectations. That said, customer experience became one of the most important factors for business success.
Consumers are, therefore, more focused on the experience they’ll have with online businesses rather than just focusing on the quantity or quality of products in stock.
Moreover, because the online market is highly competitive and quite crowded, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for e-commerce stores to attract more customers. Fortunately, consumers are drawn towards innovative and creative ideas. With that in mind, here are a few e-commerce innovations to attract more customers.
Mobile traffic has become dominant in the past few years. It has also long since surpassed that of the desktop traffic since everyone uses a mobile device, such as a smartphone or a tablet. These consumers use their mobile devices for everything, even online shopping.
Mobile commerce is expected to encompass 72.9% of global e-commerce purchases in 2021. Simply optimizing your online store for mobile is not enough to attract more customers. You’ll have to step up your game and make everything more convenient for your mobile consumers. Here are a few things to consider:
- Optimize website content for mobile
- Optimize for voice search as well
- Invest in local SEO
- Use Geo-targeting and location-based selling
- Optimize email newsletters for mobile
- Get rid of intrusive ads and excess elements on your website
- Use a responsive design
The more effort you put into optimizing your store to be as mobile-friendly as possible, the more you open your business to a broader audience. Great exposure can help you attract more customers than ever before.
Store pickups and instant deliveries
Not so long ago, consumers settled for receiving their deliveries in a few days, perhaps even a week or so. Today, however, things have changed drastically. Same-day or next-day deliveries have become an industry standard.
But these standards are driven by industry giants that have supply chains to make such deliveries possible in the first place.
Smaller retailers have to compete with that, so they decided to be creative and innovative about it. While large e-commerce giants promise drone deliveries that will arrive in a few hours, other retailers have come up with store pickups.
In other words, consumers can browse products online and make purchases, which they can pick up at the nearest store in person. This has created a whole new level of convenience for consumers because they no longer have to worry about expensive shipping fees and delayed deliveries.
More convenient payments
Convenience when it comes to payments has proven to be quite valuable to consumers, especially during the pandemic where a lot of people have lost their jobs or couldn’t work due to the lockdown. Innovative e-commerce stores that decided to meet consumer needs in such scenarios are now enjoying more customers. Let’s take Australia, for example.
A lot of e-commerce stores there implement the Humm buy now pay later Australia model. Consumers can make purchases through interest-free installments, while e-commerce stores get paid in full by their partners. This model works well for every party, and it’s based on partnerships between retailers and fintech companies. Convenience has always worked wonders for e-commerce stores, and today is no different.
Augmented reality (AR)
One of the most innovative technologies that have transformed the e-commerce industry is augmented reality (AR). What was revolutionizing the gaming industry has now made its way into the e-commerce sector.
AR technology has reshaped shopping experiences, and any online store that leverages this technology can expect more and more customers coming their way. From a consumer point of view, this technology provides them with a unique perspective when shopping online.
Although still being developed, we can see a lot of online stores offering this feature to their customers. For example, consumers can try out different clothing using a mobile app. Moreover, giants like IKEA allow shoppers to see how furniture will fit in their homes through the use of AR and mobile apps.
Last but not least, consumers can also try out different makeup to see how it looks on them in AR. Retailers like Sephora offer this feature in their app. Providing customers with a whole new level of experience is certainly something that will get their attention for all e-commerce stores.
When it comes to customer experience, customer service and support are vital factors. Innovative e-commerce stores have discovered a way to engage multiple customers 24/7 seamlessly. These stores use chatbots to help them out. Chatbots are computer programs mostly powered by AI (Artificial Intelligence).
They can mimic human behavior and use natural language processing to communicate with customers efficiently. They also use machine learning to gather information about an individual consumer to make the best recommendations. This technology is particularly interesting to millennials and gen z consumers.
Innovations can be a game-changer for e-commerce stores that have to compete against better-funded and more-developed companies. Consumers still have the final say in the matter, and they do prefer innovative and creative ideas over market dominance and manipulation.