Every day in the technology world there are new ideas and emerging trends but how do you know which ones are right for you? It takes time to complete your own research and can sometimes just result in frustration. It can be hard to read the industry-related research on blogs and sites and relate it to yourself and decide on a direction. Every business is unique and improvement takes investment of time and resources so it is important to focus on the trends that make sense for your particular businesses mission.
Easy ordering is key. There is nothing worse than when the customer’s desire for a product involves a clunky ordering process that doesn’t work well. It is no longer a trend but an expectation that end-user customers will purchase items from their mobile devices. Regardless, they expect a positive shopping experience using an easy-to-order platform. Many businesses sell through established platforms from major retailers which is an excellent way to engage the customer online with a smaller investment. Social media marketing and online selling go hand-in-hand by utilizing their advertising, featured products, and business promotion capabilities.
What are the truly hot trends that may or may not explode in 2020:
- Social media, social media, social media. With the integration of “Buy” buttons into advertising on social media, ecommerce software vendors need to ensure easy integration from social media platforms into ordering systems.
- Artificial Intelligence continues to reach into our lives and the shopping experience is not immune. Businesses will invest in tools that provide a competitive advantage. AI can include tools such as automated marketing and offers, auto-responses and chatbots, and pricing or discounting based on demand.
- Personalized shopping with auto-generated suggestions according to a customer’s previous purchases. This can be enhanced through integration of customer profiles or social media integrations.
- Voice commerce has increased enormously with the popularity of Alexa, Google Home, and Amazon’s Echo products.
- QR codes are making a comeback particularly in the realm of online payments. Integrating QR code creation into software may be something to consider.
Once orders have been placed, fulfilling that order takes center stage. When packages are delayed or arrive with the wrong product, the relationship with the customer can be lost forever. Customers have a high expectation and consistency is the key. A modern ecommerce vendor’s needs to fully integrate systems and automate fulfillment processes, as well as integrate drop-shipping capability.
Inventory management should also be a key area of focus for any online vendor. Inventory is very dynamic and can be difficult to keep current. The automation and integration of accurate inventory snapshots with online sellers will drive the ordering process and streamline fulfillment.
Getting Third-Party Assistance
How do you know the route to take? How do you know what is best for your unique needs? Third-party services can be a strong ally if they are equipped to serve your industry and your marketplaces. As a vendor your priority is to form your business goals and designate areas of focus and a consultation with the right third party can help execute the steps that turn those goals into reality.
The place to start is always through exploring opportunities for automation and integration. Oftentimes, minimal effort is required to integrate third party systems selling channels, social media, shipping, accounting, and other fulfillment services. The benefits with a third party consultation is that they can be a dispassionate observer of operations and provide real opportunities for minimizing manual work, efficiently managing inventory, and making timely decisions with real-time data. With a smooth running, automated operation, you have a foundation to build on allowing you to explore and take advantage of the latest trends.
Remember to focus your ecommerce technologies on efforts specific to key activities and goals of business such as order placement and order fulfillment, especially on mobile devices. If interest in the latest trends of ecommerce have moved to the top of your company’s list, drop us a line, your comments are welcome!