The e-commerce industry has undergone rapid and transformative changes in recent years, with new technologies, consumer trends, and business models emerging at an unprecedented pace. Retailers, who experienced a surge in demand from customers due to the pandemic, dedicated the last three years to strengthening their capacities in fields such as human resources, finance, and technology. However, the changing economic environment means e-commerce providers now have to reevaluate their strategies for attracting and retaining customers.
E-commerce traffic in North America declined 1.6 percent in the third quarter of 2022 compared to 2021, according to the New York Times. Conversion rates dropped 12 percent during the same period. This has led to retailers prioritizing one thing: efficiency.
Automating the business processes and workflows has become a key way for brands to cut costs amid the challenging e-commerce environment. But to move the needle in online shopping, brands must be aware of the trends influencing consumers’ expectations and leverage them. They’ll need the right analytical insights to navigate through the highly competitive e-commerce landscape and identify the most valuable opportunities for their growth.
By collaborating with an established e-commerce platform like Shoplazza, brands can discover a quicker and more effective way to achieve their e-commerce goals and meet customer expectations.
Evolving customer and seller personalization
Launching a digital store requires more than business skills and venturing into e-commerce can be a steep and costly learning curve for entrepreneurs. Since the customer journey is affected by every facet of the business, it’s essential for e-commerce brands to concentrate on multiple factors when evaluating their customers’ journey.
Customers today are looking for brands and products that cater to their unique needs, which is why investing in personalization can yield a revenue growth of up to 30 percent. To provide something a customer might be interested in, companies need to use more sophisticated recommendation algorithms to offer complementary products or services instead of just the things the shopper has already browsed or bought.
But implementing personalization strategies can be expensive and time-consuming. Shoplazza has built out a robust infrastructure for fast data retrieval to provide merchants with insights into their customers’ needs and preferences without exhausting their financial resources. Having reliable analytics data about customers’ preferences and where they’re likely to face obstacles can help brands prevent user frustration and smooth over any confusion in the customer’s journey.
Besides personalization, navigating the waters of shipping speed can be challenging for even the most experienced brands. Around three in four shoppers say that product shipping is key to their overall shopping experience and they are much less likely to make a repurchase from a brand if they encounter delivery issues. Shoplazza has dedicated an entire team to tackle the issue and to link vendors with shipping companies such as FedEx or UPS to negotiate on their behalf and secure the most favorable express shipping rates.
Shoplazza looks at each merchant as a unique case study to provide a set of customized services and analytical insights, with a real person available to answer questions and offer immediate assistance.
“Our experience in dealing with merchants across the globe has allowed us to gain a deep understanding of their pain points throughout the business cycle,” says Luk Chan, Shoplazza’s Associate Director of Global Key Accounts. “Our goal is to provide customized, human-centric services to our clients and strive for long-term sustainability for their business.”
Recognizing dynamic price trends
Machine learning has become critical for e-commerce firms to analyze and interpret the vast amounts of data they accumulate. This helps brands identify customer behavioral patterns and fine-tune their marketing campaigns to suggest similar products that cater to the needs of individual shoppers.
Shoplazza has leapt to the forefront of this trend by leveraging its ML-powered algorithm to optimize pricing for brands that can’t always track competitors’ rates. By generating a graphical representation of price fluctuations, brands can visualize market dynamics and make informed business decisions. This enables companies to stay competitive by dynamically adjusting their pricing based on the market demand and competition.
“We operate in a fast-changing business environment where trends can shift rapidly, sometimes on a quarterly basis. This is a big challenge for some of our clients,” Luk Chan says. “The continuous stream of information bombs we receive on our desktops and phones can make it challenging for brands to discern which trends are applicable to their business.”
Shoplazza is currently developing over 56 free building applications that clients can download and install to meet specific needs and provide merchants with tangible tools that can streamline their operations.
Building the future of e-commerce
In the U.S. alone, social commerce retail earnings are predicted to reach nearly $80 billion by 2025. The line between e-commerce and social media is fading, and as more social media platforms incorporate e-commerce features. As a result, merchants will need to develop strategies to seamlessly analyze data from various channels to streamline customer analysis. Shoplazza is addressing this trend by connecting merchants with popular platforms like TikTok and Pinterest, and enabling them to track customer data across platforms.
Another big trend making its way into e-commerce is augmented reality. The world of AR shopping may seem like futuristic sci-fi, but in reality, businesses are already using AR to sell products. Augmented reality allows customers to virtually try on and test products through an electronic device such as a smartphone or virtual reality headset. While still in its early stages, Shoplazza is researching how they can incorporate AR into their platform and allow for an immersive shopper experience.
Shoplazza is also researching the potential of voice commerce, which allows customers to make purchases using voice commands. This could be through a voice assistant such as Amazon’s Alexa, Google Home, or a chatbot.
Ultimately, the evolution of e-commerce calls for a blend of strategies, each one unlocking a different advantage for brands as they seek their competitive edge. By partnering with an industry leader like Shoplazza, brands can stay nimble, flexible, and responsive to market changes.
“Being adaptive and open minded are crucial to today’s commerce landscape,” says Shoplazza COO Alyson Zhang. “Our effort in automation aligns seamlessly with the current AI momentum that continuously increases efficiency, reduces costs, and improves the customer experience — ultimately leading to increased sales and revenue.”
CTA: Download Shoplazza’s Social Commerce Playbook 2023 for more valuable insights on key e-commerce trends.