Today, the retail world is seeing major shifts within the online space. Fueled by technological advancements and the ever-changing consumer needs, some changes are smaller than you might expect while others are big enough to dictate the future of your business.
If you are an online merchant, it pays to know how the current landscape is evolving. Here are five elements that are defining this transformation and how your business can get ahead of them.
Virtual assistants may have started as an Apple gimmick back in 2011, but they are now a staple feature in modern smart devices. People are increasingly relying on voice assistants to do everything, from checking the weather to shopping online.
If you have a dedicated merchant platform, say a website or mobile app, you will benefit significantly with voice integration. Offering the convenience of speaking to their phones rather than typing to place orders can give you an advantageous edge over the competition.
Online platforms are increasingly employing artificial intelligence techniques to learn about their visitors and adjust themselves accordingly. They can change their landing pages and recommend products depending on a customer’s previous activity.
Customers value experiences that are tailored to them and implementing personalization elements can have a strong effect on client retention. Even something as simple as addressing them by their name when chatting can go a long way.
Online platforms may have overtaken brick-and-mortar establishments in sales, but they still lag behind when it comes to customer interaction. A physical store leverages the power of face-to-face interaction to offer a personalized experience that keeps customers coming back.
Recently, however, many online merchants have been embracing chatbots as effective alternatives to human salespeople. Chatbots allow stores to interact with thousands of customers while giving them all a feeling of personal attention. According to experts, 80% of online businesses will be using chatbots by the end of 2020. Do not get left behind.
4. Mobile shopping
One of the biggest appeals of online retail is that it gives customers the ability to shop from anywhere. Unsurprisingly, smartphones are the most popular mode of shopping online.
Businesses have been doing their best to offer a smooth mobile experience. A notable response is the increased use of Progressive Web Apps, or PWAs, which give websites a native app-like feel for seamless mobile navigation. With a PWA, you can significantly improve your customers’ journey as they browse through your store with their mobile devices.
5. Payment methods
In today’s digital age, customers are demanding convenience above all else. In addition to a seamless mobile experience, they also want to be able to pay as quickly possible with any payment option they have.
One of the most prevalent retail merchant services complaints is the complexity of payment processes. To get ahead of the curve, partner with a payment service provider that is capable of helping you to make checking out fast and straightforward.
Take Action today
The e-commerce scene is changing rapidly, and as an online retailer, you must keep up to remain competitive. Factor in the trends above in your business strategy and you will reap the benefits down the road.
Author Bio: Payment industry guru Taylor Cole is a passionate payments expert who understands the complex world of merchant accounts. He also writes non-fiction, on subjects ranging from personal finance to stocks to cryptopay. He enjoys eating pie on his backyard porch, as should all right-thinking people.