What to consider for Your Ecommerce Strategy
As customers increasingly turn to the Internet and smartphones for purchasing decisions, economies are seeing brick and mortar to evolve into "click and order," and ecommerce become intertwined with m-commerce.
The influences on global trade are complex. Any comparisons between markets, growth and revenues must take into account the economic strength, cultural differences, consumer preferences and ease with which ecommerce goods and services can be distributed carefully.
Best practices for your ecommerce strategy:
For businesses breaking into the ecommerce space, the process can be a bit of a whirlwind. Ecommerce presents countless opportunities for retailers and brands, so businesses seeking to take advantage of the benefits must also address some tough decisions — site design, mobile and social media strategies, customer service and product pricing, to name a few.
Create a User-Oriented Experience
When your customers can't physically see and touch the products you're offering online, convincing them to break out their credit cards can be a harder sell. Pricing products appropriately and delivering a user-friendly, all-around personalized experience is one way to encourage customers to fill their digital shopping carts.
Design a Service You'd Want To Use Yourself
The best test subjects for an online business, app or ecommerce site are often friends, family and fellow team members. Make your team test the service like your ideal consumer: If you can't use it pleasantly for an hour straight, it's not good enough.
Customer Feedback Is Crucial
Any business knows that customer service is part of the foundation for success, but small and medium businesses in particular rely on their customers for word-of-mouth promotion and brand loyalty.
Know your locations (Europe vs the US)
Ecommerce Exports Much Higher in Europe than in the US: Recent ecommerce market research conducted by Forrester shows that “ecommerce sales in Western Europe are expected to grow at a faster rate than the U.S. in the next five years,” with the UK’s online retail industry increasing its share from 15% to 17% of the total market by 2017.
Studies conducted by various agencies shed some light on the influences that both retailers and consumers are having on the difference:
An Existing Audience: With a domestic population of over 316 million, US retailers have a considerable audience to market their products to, which undoubtedly contributes to the “stunning fact that only 1 percent of America’s 30 million companies export,” compared with 10% of French and 25% of Swedish companies.
Import/Export costs: Businesses calculating the profit potential of an international market will have to factor the costs of transportation and distribution into their plans, but the duties levied at the point of import are influencing the buying habits of European consumers.
Although online spending has increased by approximately 17% with ‘average basket values of £86’, per person, import duties significantly inflate purchase prices which, combined with competitively priced European alternatives, is dissuading shoppers from buying from the States.
Consumer Confidence: When a European consumer has a problem with an online purchase made from another EU country and decides to return it, they have, broadly speaking, unified Consumer Rights laws which afford them the same protection as if they’d purchased it from a British supplier.
The same cannot be said of purchases made from the US, and the lack of confidence combined with the import costs and the resistance of US retailers to aggressively market their products to an international market is contributing to such buoyant EU ecommerce. Asendia UK knows more about cost efficient and effective distribution routes for ecommerce trading in Europe and beyond.
Utilize Social Media — But Don't Rely on it Exclusively
A social media strategy — particularly paid advertising and an engaging content strategy — can be an effective way to target audiences and drive traffic to your site. Sites and networks such as Pinterest, Etsy, eBay and Instagram are often hugely useful for ecommerce businesses of any size. Social is also a great way to get word-of-mouth momentum started, which is perhaps the most important method of launching a new site or platform to success.
Invest In Mobile
It's becoming increasingly clear that ecommerce companies simply cannot afford to disregard mobile users. In fact, four out of five smartphone owners use their devices to shop.