e-Commerce has become the centerpiece for hundreds of thousands of companies worldwide looking to connect with clientele and sell their products efficiently. The success of e-commerce businesses spurs from a merchant’s ability to make the shopping experience fast, convenient and enjoyable for the customer.
These businesses are always looking for new and innovative ways to differentiate themselves in a very competitive market. The act of finding trends and advanced tech that will propel an e-commerce vendor beyond the competition is more prevalent than ever. Read on to find out some of the ways in which technology is changing the future of B2B and B2C online retailing.
#1. Better Market Research and Forecasting
Artificial intelligence (A.I.) has allowed for countless advancements in demographic and forecast-based research methods to help companies sell to their customer base more efficiently. Accurate predictions of total sales over a given month or quarter can give a business insight into how to manage inventory, cut costs, and streamline the overall business process. As of now, 20% of all A.I. investments go toward making online retailing more efficient.
New software can also assist in finding new ways to advertise and promote products. Whether it be through social media, mobile campaigns, or even traditional marketing strategies, A.I. has the power to track total impressions as well as future demand. Getting people connected to your products is now easier than ever, and being able to track all aspects of your business in real-time will give you a competitive advantage over those who don’t have this capability.
#2. More Accurate Search Options
As we all are aware, modern technology and smartphones have in many ways set a precedent for instant gratification. Consumers expect to be able to easily access, navigate and purchase what they want and need without any lag or delay. Similarly, searching for what they need should be as easy as a few keywords. Optimizing your company’s site/online store to appear in a wide variety of search queries will not only get you more exposure but more conversions as well.
The continual advancement of Google and other search engines will take into account product relations and cookies to ensure the most optimized results for a given query. Evaluate your site for shortcomings that could keep you from appearing in more searches and correct any on-page inaccuracies to see the best results.
#3. Selling and Upselling Capabilities
You may have already noticed that many e-commerce sites offer recommendations based on past spending habits or prompts to click the sidebar that lists a number of similar products to the one you are viewing. This marketing strategy is just the beginning of online-based companies upselling and promoting extended product lines. A.I. will allow brands to precisely identify a customer’s needs while providing them more beneficial add-ons.
Thus creating higher revenues from larger transactions as customers feel obliged to buy more. If you can hone in on your target demographic and their spending habits, you can go above and beyond to meet their desires. Programming your e-commerce site to serve up advanced product searches and provide easy upsells, such as accessories or protection policies, will undoubtedly raise profitability in the long-term.
#4. Robotic Process Automation (RPA) Software
RPA software can be used in almost any industry in order to automate back-end business efforts and help to save time, money, and effort that could be allocated elsewhere for more pressing projects. Choosing to adopt process automation will give you a competitive advantage in a number of categories, from inventory management to payroll. RPA even has the ability to oversee customer service calls and give customized prompts depending on the issues at hand.
One of the biggest selling points of process automation is that it can learn from humans as they use the interface. By tracking how a task is completed, whether it be by spreadsheet, data transcription or even over the phone ー RPA bots can understand, adapt to the learning curve, and mimic these actions with minimal error. Although many believe that A.I. is taking jobs away from humans, RPA is meant to be utilized supplementarily to one’s current role, as a tool to support and eliminate the hassle of repetitive, time-consuming work.
#5. Unified Communication Systems
E-commerce depends almost solely on supply-chain management. In order for this system to function effectively, each department, from distribution to the executive team, has to function as one united front. Having a direct, concise channel of communication across all areas of the business will ensure there is little to no lag or waste in the production process.
Using a conferencing system such as Zoom for all telecommunication within the office, or adapting a translation software to provide services to the clientele of all nationalities can be tremendously beneficial. Connecting all branches of your company will not only make overseeing projects easier but also gives insight to all employees as to what the vision and goals of the company are moving forward. By avoiding bottlenecks in communications as much as possible, productivity and total output will be optimized.