With so much competition in the eCommerce space at the moment, being able to stand out from rivals and offer a unique, high-quality service is a must.
To do this and get a bigger slice of the industry – which IMRG figures show was worth £78 billion last year – firms will need to be able to react quickly to any new trends and ensure that their platform is able to offer consumers exactly what they want, at the instant they want it.
One key trend that has emerged in the last year or so is the growing expectation of customers to be able to interact with a firm through a variety of different channels, including in-store, online, mobile and social media. They will not want to compromise on the experience through any of these, so it will be up to businesses to provide a consistent and high-quality service across multiple platforms.
This means older concepts of ‘multichannel’ shopping are being increasingly replaced by the idea of ‘omnichannel’, where businesses offer the same solutions and capabilities through all their touch points. This will require firms to have a high degree of agility, aswell as respond immediately to new developments.
For instance, near field communication (NFC) technology is increasingly common on the latest smartphones and users will expect to be able to use this technology in-store to enhance their shopping experience. Recent figures from Evans Data Group suggest 31 per cent of mobile developers currently support this technology in their apps and a further 45 per cent expect to do so in the next 12 months.
These could be used in-store to make purchases or find out more information about a product by connecting to the internet, if businesses are fast enough to respond to the customer demand and put the right capabilities in place.
However, such tools will need to be backed up by comprehensive management systems that are able to ensure that all aspects of a businesses eCommerce system are fully integrated and allow users to connect via the method of their choice. This needs to be coupled with strong customer service solutions that ensure the quality experience does not stop at the checkout, but enables individuals to track their orders and raise any post-sales queries and returns as conveniently as possible.
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