Survey the eCommerce Landscape
What eCommerce solutions are best for your business?
Introduction to the topic
eCommerce is important for retailers and businesses of all sizes. When surveying the eCommerce landscape, agencies need to be experts, one step ahead of the curve, to give their clients an edge. They should be bringing ideas to their clients instead of taking orders when their client becomes interested in eCommerce.
What are the numbers? Currently, Amazon accounts for 44 percent of all online retail sales. In 2017, U.S. businesses saw nine percent of their sales come from online platforms. That’s not huge at this point, but it is growing.
Key eCommerce Players
WooCommerce, Magento and Shopify are the major platforms used for eCommerce. WooCommerce is a very popular eCommerce platform. It is built to easily integrate with WordPress and has a huge selection of payment gateways, including PayPal. For most business, WooCommerce has a variety of options for growth and custom templates.
If the price to build and maintain a site on WordPress is too much, there is always Shopify. Although this platform does not give as many plugin choices as WooCommerce, sometimes simple could be better. Over 600,000 online store owners think so.
Magento is built for the more complex eCommerce sites, which is why many of the world’s lead brands use this large, open-source framework to power their business. The setup of Magento gives companies the flexibility to grow and expand past their initial limits. The options are endless for businesses using Magento.
Customer Relationship Management, or CRMs, are sites or programs that keep track of customer data for retailers. Businesses can benefit in huge ways by monitoring On-site chats, Facebook Messenger, SMS, Email or staying aware of order statuses and customer groups, such as loyalty programs and referral programs. All of these can give a business a better understanding of how to market to customers.
When used to interact with an interested audience, email marketing is a powerful tool for eCommerce. There are many platforms that provide email marketing tools, along with the benefit of monitoring the number of opens and clicks. MailChimp, Benchmark or Campaigner are only the top three options. Two useful ways to get the most out of email marketing is to send Abandoned Cart Emails. Through these reminder emails, you could potentially recover 15-20 percent of sales that would otherwise be lost. Also consider welcoming or engagement emails that reach out to your clients, providing special offers or discounts during life events such as birthdays or holidays.
Is your company ready for the future? Statistics show that in 2015, 60 percent of online shoppers used a mobile device and ultimately made 15 percent of their purchases online. That was 2015.
Now, since the mobile experience has become more optimized there is a strong push to continue improving UX on mobile devices. Increased use of digital wallets, easy-to-use mobile search, and readily-available videos will further increase the use of on-phone over in-person purchases.
The Future of eCommerce
With each generation, technology is becoming more mainstream and comfortable. Millennials already account for about 54 percent of purchases online. Large businesses are investing in eCommerce and it’s worth it for SMBs to do so as well.
Many other tools used within eCommerce are not so far out and futuristic anymore. Many companies already use AI/AR, Picture Search, and Voice Search within their sites. Machine Learning and AI are used as well, though will continue to take on more of a significant role as technology improves. Read a more in-depth article on these tools here.
Just because new technology comes, that doesn’t mean Email will disappear. In fact, email marketing may become more popular. Trends project that spending through email marketing in the U.S. will increase from 2.07 billion U.S. dollars in 2014 to 3.07 billion U.S. dollars in 2019.
eCommerce is not going away; it’s actually expanding, and will only continue to grow. If your company or your client’s business would benefit from an eCommerce site, get in touch with one of our team members today at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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