The world of e-commerce is one which has seen numerous major transformations in the past few years. At the same time as many of these transformations were taking place offline, they were also happening online. Today, shopping on the internet can offer an unprecedented range of benefits for both consumers and businesses alike. Ultimately, it’s important to ensure that any changes that you make are constantly making things better for the consumer.
Arrival of Online Retailing
One of the most profound transformations that took place throughout the last couple of decades was the arrival of the world of online retailing. In fact, some people will remember being sold actual physical goods back in their hometown by local retailers like Family Dollar. However, with the advent of the internet, brick-and-mortar stores have been left far behind. This has led to a number of other types of e-commerce businesses popping up across the country. Some of these include traditional full-service stores selling all sorts of products and services, such as restaurants, doctors’ offices, and even pet stores; as well as online outfits that focus primarily on providing the customer experience more directly than a physical store can; by providing services such as web design, marketing, and sales support.
There is no denying the fact that consumers are now spending more time on their computers, and even more time looking at their mobile devices. As a result, many business owners are finding that their customers are spending more time shopping online than ever before. One of the ways in which this has come about is through the introduction of the concept of personalization. Personalization has taken on a whole new meaning for many consumers, who look to purchase their merchandise online. With the advent of the Amazon marketplace, this has become even more true than ever before.
New Normal of E-Commerce
Amazon is a perfect example of the new normal in the e-commerce industry. The company not only has the financial wherewithal to compete in a tough marketplace, but also has an unmatched commitment to customer service. Consider the Amazon Prime Membership card, which allows shoppers to purchase one million items from Amazon without ever leaving the comfort of their own homes. Consumers love the convenience of this card. In addition, this membership program has proved incredibly popular, bringing in over one million members last quarter alone.
Another way in which the E-commerce trend is changing is with the introduction of Payment Options. Many of the new e-commerce businesses are allowing customers to pay with their debit or credit cards, PayPal accounts, and even money orders. This allows customers the choice of choosing payment options that suit their needs, which has caused many traditional businesses to begin offering more convenient payment options to their customers in an effort to stay abreast of the competition.
Social Networks For Marketing
New e-commerce trend is changing the face of marketing is through the integration of technology into brands like Twitter and Facebook. These two social networking sites have become hotbeds for viral marketing campaigns that spread news about products and services to millions of customers in minutes. Brands who have an account with these sites can update their products and services on a constant basis to a captive audience of people that can easily share the news with millions of others. This helps to build brand loyalty and drive up sales. Further, because these news feeds often contain links to product websites, these social networking sites have also begun to play host to brand exhibitions and trade shows.
Rise of Video Platforms
A final aspect of the E-commerce trend is the rise of YouTube and other video ads. Companies have been posting videos about their products for customers to view for decades, but this new style of sharing has only recently taken off in full force. Millions of people use YouTube and other video sharing sites daily, and a single ad placed on these sites can potentially reach millions of people. Brands that choose to advertise on these sites must ensure that they are relevant and interesting enough to users to encourage them to click on the ad. Otherwise, they will simply be wasting money on advertising that will be quickly snuffed out by users.
The rise of voice assistants like Amazon’s Alexa is another important feature of the E-commerce Trend. Alexa, whose voice is virtually identical to that of the company’s founder Jeff Wilcke, can perform a multitude of tasks for customers. She can order coffee and take notes on what she is reading; she can make reservations at restaurants; and, best of all, she can answer any questions that a customer might have. Customers love having a personal assistant, especially one that can take care of all of their shopping, calendar planning, and meal preparation. If voice assistants can do the same for brick and mortar retailers, then consumers may soon be replacing their personal assistants with Amazon’s voice assistants.