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Using technological trends to boost your business, online retailers have a great opportunity to take advantage of these 5 available tools.
Based on how consumers shop online, what they purchase and how they responded by technologies used by businesses online are driving improved tools in the space of data analytics, innovative technologies and customer experience. Retailers have an opportunity to apply these new trends and tools into their online stores to positively impact their business.
1. Interactive Product Visualisation.
By better visual presentation, and offering additional information as you visually inspect a product you enhance the customer experience as well as present your product in its best light. This brings clients closer to a “physical shopping inspection of the product” and aligns it to the way of taking in information to drive buying decision-making.
Features like the “zoom” function can give a visual detail on the texture, edge or curvature detail. 3D scanners provide you the capability to present a 3D experience of your product, allowing consumers to pan/rotate the product to see it at various angles. 3D product imaging will engage your client, raise their confidence in the product’s delivery of their needs and improve conversion rates.
These tools cannot be isolated or just a replacement to static images of the past. They would need to be complimented with traditional tools such as video tutorials/testimonials/demonstrations so as to demonstrate the setting, applicability and key tenets of reliability, use and experience. A note on warranty, customer satisfaction terms can assure the client on their risk of purchase and make them feel at ease in transacting the product.
2. Artificial Intelligence (AI)Artificial Intelligence may make people think that this technology is not applicable to them, or that these big words oversell the capabilities of the tool itself. We are not talking about “Terminator” technology here, but a learning and adaptive method to present the client with better recommendations, make aware of relevant offerings based on their choices and behaviours, and to automate your logistics and warehouse operations – all of which makes your store more intelligent for the client and yourself.
Analytics is well established in today’s online businesses with various metrics in the domain of SEO, bounce rate, conversion rate, web-traffic and many more. AI takes it further with doing a deep analysis with predictive algorithms – taking your metrics to a new plateau of management.
Historical data, recent purchasing trends and analytics of the data can assist an online retailer to better allocate resources in order to optimise the supply chain, and keep your inventory stocked appropriately. While analytics can report trends and show gaps in your operations, AI can adjust/recommend adjustments earlier in the process/real-time to assist online merchants with inventory/logistic decisions that will impact your bottom line.
3. Advanced Product FilteringOrganising your store for inline shoppers to visit and engage with your products has always been on the cards to do well. However, stores are getting more cluttered with a lot of products, and shoppers are getting shorter on time – thus the ability to identify what they desire quickly is in today’s world a must.
This requires the online merchant to categorise and tag their products as they are being loaded into the store, in a way that it makes sense for the clients to easily find them. It becomes even more critical if you are selling similar products with small variations that requires detailed attention of the client – for example batteries (all shapes, sizes, voltages, applications, etc.).
With advanced product filtering, the client can narrow down a selection of products using previous client ratings, size, color, price, best-selling, theme, or other attributes as applicable of your product set. This applies not just for your filter tools on your store, but also for the search engine – making it as adaptable as possible for the client to find what they are looking for.
4. ChatbotsThis technology simulates an interaction with the online client at various levels. The goals are aimed towards orientation, correlation and engagement using AI. Yes, it is part of AI, but applied in a specific way of communicating with the client – providing them a handholding experience towards their purchase. Just like the AI discussion above, the client can be made aware of discounts/promotions, related products, and other relevant information through this chat window.
Technology today has moved into a space where imitating human linguistic interaction has come to cloning our mannerisms and expressions. The chat experience being provided comes close to what one would expect from a live person enquiring and responding to your messages.
Additional feature benefits of this technology are follow-up with clients on surveys, back-in stock, new promotions and other key communications to drive traffic and funnel the client into converting.
5. Additional Delivery OptionsWhile online shopping has become a norm in today’s modern society, the instant gratification of having the product in-hand that retail enjoys is still a challenge. The trade-off of cost vs. convenience between retail and online is well established, however, providing additional options for clients to chose from can bring the experience to a higher satisfaction level. Shipping methods are today a key differentiator between online merchants – from Free Shipping all the way to Next Day delivery.
Drones are now being piloted by Amazon as a new “shipment method”, making the dispatch and arrival of your product delivery as “same day”. Mercato is taking a very different approach with a drop-ship approach connecting local vendors/merchants in the community to deliver locally – making it easier, faster and more convenient. While logistics is going to the next level, online merchants have to push the envelope best they can to satisfy the client’s experience on shipping in cost vs. time.
Your successes as an online merchant relies on keeping up with the trends and technologies of the tools available and see which ones can impact you best for your return on investment in their application. The online channel is only getting bigger, more complex and competitive – 2019 is only a stepping-stone into the continuous evolution of this marketplace. Engaging with the above strategies can only bring greater success and a better experience to your online consumers.