Did you know that there are more than 20 million ecommerce sites on the internet? Imagine if they all looked the same. That would be boring, right? Still, only a handful of businesses seem truly one-of-a-kind.
In this article, I am going to talk about six issues in the form of questions that we urge and can help you to find answers to before starting your own ecommerce site. Let´s start connecting all the pieces together!
1 Value proposition: What value are you giving?
Having a clearly defined and communicated value proposition helps you to stand out from the crowd.
Can you tell exactly what you can offer better than your competitors can? If you answered yes, you have already defined your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) or in other words, value proposition. If no, it is time to get a closer look at it. Value proposition tells consumers why they should buy your product or service instead of others. It also keeps your customers aware of why they should remain a loyal customer. Today, customers are more fickle and demanding due to shifting customer expectations and behaviour, and it is easier to change a retailer or brand to another if they are not getting what they are expecting.
2 Customer expectations: How to ensure an exceptional customer experience?
I think we agree now that a unique and valuable online store is a necessity to your business to be successful. However, do you understand what makes it so unique and valuable to your customers?
Being out of the loop when it comes to the trends that drive your customers can make selling to them much more difficult than it needs to be. The world is ever changing and marketers need to adapt to it. We are living in the age of digital transformation, which has most companies on their feet, developing new ways of working in a modern economy.
If we look at the timeline of change, B2B and B2C customers do not differ that much anymore due to the comparable customer journeys. Naturally, these two businesses have their own strategies but in the end, every customer wants to buy from a company that gives exceptional experiences and value, despite the model your business is focusing on. Marketing is always P2P – people to people.
According to CEO of Akeneo, B2B vendors can reach new markets in 2020 if they keep embracing new strategies that fuse enterprise-grade Product Information Management (PIM) and creative B2C strategies. Learning from each other’s strategies and adapting to them is crucial for keeping up with this year’s markets.
To get along with today’s ecommerce trends, let us have a look at these steps:
- Invest in good PIM
Amazon, Ebay, Alibaba, Tori.fi… there are plenty of marketplaces out there. One of the key factors these marketplaces are increasing is sophisticated PIM solution that ensures your customers enjoys confident purchases with all the product and service information necessary. PIM + ecommerce = better CX.
- Salesperson is the new problem solver
Changes lead to growing expectations. As a salesperson, your aim is not just to make sales, but help customers with their problems on every digital touchpoint of the customer journey. The business life has undergone a change and customers expect immediacy, rapid fulfillment, personalization and ‘why’ instead of ‘what’, meaning that you should sell a vision, not a product.
- Experiences, experiences, experiences
Data-driven customer experiences are increasing in today’s business. Customers demand personalization in marketing, sales and customer service, which means they want to feel valued, heard and understood. Although physical contact is not going anywhere, personalization is a red-hot trend. It is not only about showing each website visitor a different front page, nor does it only apply to retail products but much more. Read more about personalization in B2B world from our previous blog post.
3 Customer relations: How to build and maintain trust in online sales?
Security and privacy are increasingly becoming the key factors in digital customer experience (CX), according to Kantar’s ecommerce trends report. Those two build trust in the digital environment. However, when we talk about feelings, people do business with people they know and trust. Trustworthy brand or company means that you offer quality products or services by trusting and loving it yourself first. If you do not trust your goods, no one else will. Why should they?
According to Futurelab Finland one of the 2020s CX trends is to convey emotions digitally, and that can be difficult. Inc.com wrote an article about how to gain customers’ trust by simple tactics.
Check out these matters for instance:
- Professional web design
- Comprehensive About us -page
- Easy access to your contact information
- Fixed broken links
- Testimonials and references
- Secure checkout and clear terms & conditions
- A blog with relevant content
4 Discovery: Which factors contribute to traffic and discovery online?
Remember we talked about the value proposition? Content should always be written with that in mind. I would say the most valuable factor to get seen online and gain traffic to your ecommerce site in 2020 would be great content – written with your personal touch. When writing about products or services, do not mumble, be explicit and get right to the point of who your product or services are for.
Great content does not necessarily help you if it is not SEO proofed, because 93 % of all traffic comes from a search engine. Well-structured SEO means that you have, just to name a few, several backlinks, keywords, title tags, meta descriptions, alt texts and URLs optimized. Our professionals at Knowit can help you with that.
Make sure your site is fast on all devices. Google ranks your site by the quick loading time and great UX. Check your speed from here.
5 Customer segments: Who are your customers online?
Does this differ from your existing customers, and if so, how? But how to identify the differences? By doing customer research. When researching, you should take notes about what is the most engaging topic around your business or field, and what people are discussing about it online.
In online business it is important to understand where your customers are and what are they interested in. You can find information from your competitors or from your own blog’s comments, by doing a keyword research, by creating a survey or use a market research tool to get data on how consumers research products or services before purchasing them.
6 Target markets: What are the market specific requirements?
Selling online allows easier access to market beyond your local customers. You can reach customers easily around the globe. When planning expansion, start it off by evaluating the market potential: are you able to deliver to the required level for that specific market with reasonable investment? Make sure to understand the culture and target group of the new market areas, and create a strong and memorable strategy with the help of storytelling to sell your products and services. And, remember your USP.
Food for thought
- Can you get by with a global English site for your international customers?
- Do some markets warrant a more tailored approach in terms of the offering, language or pricing, etc.?
- Use data to evaluate which markets to prioritize.
To conclude, ecommerce is evolving rapidly with ever-changing trends, and online stores have blossomed more than ever during these tough times. The above six things we just went through are something to consider before starting your own online store. However, there is more. If you need a helping hand in setting up your unique online store or you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us. We are ready when you are.
For further reading, you may be interested in the below blogs on ecommerce UX and how you could approach ecommerce if you are a B2B company with multiple brands.