- Omnichannel selling takes over commerce – eCommerce businesses that make marketing efforts across multiple channels experience a higher purchase rate than those that only employ a single-channel effort.
- Scale further by going multilingual – only 25.9% of internet users speak English, making multilingual support necessary for global eCommerce businesses.
- Streamline the online shopping experience with fast checkouts – customers tend to abandon their cart if the buying process is too long or complex.
- Provide flexible payment options to simplify transactions – some customers prefer traditional payment methods like bank transfers. Meanwhile, others favor novel ones like digital wallets, cryptocurrencies, or the Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) mechanism.
- Optimize for personalized experiences – 31% of consumers want their shopping experience to be more personalized. One way to do this is by offering relevant and personalized recommendations.
Omnichannel selling integrates multiple platforms and channels to provide a seamless experience. This includes online channels like websites, social media, and the offline brick-and-mortar store experience.
With a forecast showing that mobile commerce will account for 42.9% of eCommerce by 2024, it’s clear that mobile shopping is one of the main pillars of a business’s omnichannel strategy.
Mobile commerce is no longer optional – it’s necessary to stay ahead of the competition. Therefore, creating a mobile-friendly eCommerce site will ensure a great customer experience.
A PWA acts like a native app and includes app-like interactions, like one-click access and offline functionality. It is a win-win solution for those who have to choose between building a mobile app or a mobile eCommerce website.
Even if you already have a robust app or eCommerce site, you should still consider offering your products on marketplaces. With most marketplaces providing free shipping and returns, customers see them as more convenient than shopping at multiple eCommerce stores.
If your brand is still new, sell at your area’s top marketplaces to take advantage of its high traffic reach. If your brand is more established, use marketplaces to drive customers to your site. For example, offer discount codes they can use when purchasing via your website.
Data also shows that customers are starting to combine online and offline experiences. Even though people still avoid crowds, there’s significant growth for curbside pickups and the buy online, pickup in-store (BOPIS) shopping methods.
In 2020, curbside pickups and BOPIS sales doubled compared to the previous year and were projected to increase to over $140 billion in 2024. Both methods provide the safety of online shopping and convenient yet speedy in-store visits.
BOPIS also fostered a new customer behavior – research online, purchase offline (ROPO). Shipping costs can be expensive, and many customers dislike waiting for items to arrive. Furthermore, 56% of shoppers prefer offline stores to see, touch, and feel the products before buying.
Although 43% of US shoppers are spending more online than before the pandemic, it’s also important to note that people are keen to shop in physical stores again. 70% of US consumers are no longer concerned about shopping in-store, explaining the 44% increase in in-person visits to brick-and-mortar stores.
A brick-and-mortar store can also serve as your online business’s logistics hub. 30% of eCommerce orders get returned, so a logistics hub can help process returned items.
When balancing online and offline channels, remember to offer a consistent customer experience. This effort pays off well – the order rate is 494% higher for companies employing omnichannel campaigns.
Bonobos is a company that achieved omnichannel success with guideshops.
At these guideshops, customers can try on different sizes to find out which one fits them best. Then, they can place an order for the size they want from the Bonobos site. The guideshops also act as a customer support center where clients can ask questions and return items.
For your own eCommerce business, research instances when your audience would prefer visiting a brick-and-mortar store. If the sentiment is strong, address these needs and see whether it’s worth pursuing on a larger scale.
2. Multilingual Stores
Localization is vital to achieving worldwide success. eCommerce giants like Amazon and eBay have expanded their operations beyond English-speaking countries. Smaller eCommerce stores can benefit from thinking globally as well.
Based on a study conducted by CSA Research, 76% of online shoppers prefer to shop for products with information in their language. In addition, 40% will never buy from eCommerce sites in other languages.
Take a look at the following graph for more findings from the study:
By making sure your eCommerce store is accessible in different languages, you will increase your global recognition and get more sales.
According to the Localization Industry Standards Association (LISA), every $1 spent on localization has a $25 return on investment (ROI). Therefore, targeting the international market is a worthwhile investment.
While it’s excellent to provide customer support in different locales, having a multi-language online store is a great place to start.
If you built your online store on WordPress, many plugins let you add multi-language support to your website. If you use a website builder like Zyro, you can add more languages to your store via its settings.
3. Fast Checkouts
When shopping at an online store, customers shouldn’t struggle at the checkout.
According to the Baymard Institute, long or complicated checkout processes drive 17% of customers to abandon their carts. Shortening the checkout process is one of the best ways to mitigate this risk.
Limit the checkout process to a single page and eliminate all non-essential elements. For example, you can remove the company address field if your store sells direct-to-consumer products. This simplifies the customer journey and brings in more conversions.
That being said, multi-page checkout has its advantages, such as bigger analytics scope. We recommend performing A/B testing to see if a single-page checkout performs better than a multi-page checkout for your store.
Ensure that the cart is responsive and has minimal loading time. This will complement the overall fast service and leave a good impression on the customers.
A built-in search engine lets visitors quickly find the item they want, so make sure to enable the search feature on your eCommerce site. If you use WordPress as your eCommerce platform, there are numerous search plugins to choose from.
Enable saved addresses and payment information so that returning customers don’t have to repeat the same procedure for their next purchase. Finally, apply abandoned cart recovery strategies to encourage buyers to complete their checkout.
4. Flexible Payment Options
Don’t lose potential buyers just because your site doesn’t accept their preferred payment method.
According to Worldpay, digital or mobile wallets accounted for 49% of global eCommerce transactions in 2021, becoming the most popular payment method worldwide.
Credit cards came second with a 21% market share in the same year. Meanwhile, digital wallets are expected to facilitate about 53% of all eCommerce transactions by 2025.
Although cryptocurrency isn’t expected to become a popular payment option anytime soon, more companies are starting to accept it.
We suggest providing these transaction methods for all online purchases:
- Digital wallets (including mobile payments, like Apple Pay)
- Credit cards
- Debit cards
- Bank transfers
Keep in mind that the popularity of certain payment methods varies by region. For example, most people in South Korea favor credit cards compared to other payment options. This isn’t the case in Thailand, where bank transfers are the most popular form of payment.
If you’re targeting a specific country, research the people’s most preferred payment methods.
Furthermore, providing an alternative payment scheme can add a competitive edge to your business.
BNPL plans allow customers to pay for products in installments, often interest-free. They are convenient for customers who can’t make the full payment at the time of purchase or prefer not to pay the total price upfront.
The pandemic has impacted the rise of BNPL as it allows customers to make purchases online amidst economic uncertainty.
The lower upfront commitment of BNPL makes customers more confident to make purchases. It increases sales by reducing the cart abandonment rate by 35%. Moreover, it’s a great way to build trust and increase customer loyalty.
Klarna, one of the largest BNPL providers, experienced this rapid growth in 2021. Its gross merchandise value (GMV) for the US market increased by 334% compared to 2018.
BNPL is applicable for various products, from food to more expensive items like electronics. To add this payment solution to your checkout page, use a payment gateway that supports installment payments.
5. Personalized Experiences
A personalized experience refers to an eCommerce environment where visitors receive product suggestions and targeted email campaigns based on their previous activities.
According to a study by Segment, more than 60% of consumers are more likely to become repeat buyers if a company provides a personalized shopping experience. Customers expect businesses to be proactive and offer on-the-spot suggestions on what products they might need next.
By personally tailoring each buyer’s shopping experience, you’ll be one step ahead of your competitors as buyers won’t have to look for more products elsewhere.
Personalized experiences also make people feel appreciated and taken care of. It’s a good practice to apply in various phases of the customer journey.
Amazon does personalization right. The online marketplace giant shows a row of recommendations on its homepage and every product page.
Brilliance Research found that product recommendations account for up to 31% of eCommerce store revenues. If a business succeeds in offering a personalized experience, it can attract and retain customers without spending money on additional marketing strategies.
Other ways to implement personalization in your eCommerce website are providing localized content and targeted offers.
Localization means adapting your site content to each target market, based on their geographical location. Beyond just translating the content, localized content should appear like it was made by and for a specific local audience.
Localized content should reflect local interests and values. It should also abide by local arrangements like regulations and units of measurement.
Meanwhile, examples of targeted offers are recommending bundles of related products with a special price, or giving discounts for products that a customer has repeatedly bought.