Ecommerce has revolutionised consumer choice and transformed the supply chain – and there’s no turning back. The disruption of COVID-19 and Brexit simply magnified and fast-forwarded the digital transformation that was already manifesting itself in both changing buying behaviours and shifting consumer expectations – creating a marketplace that now demands a seamless, intuitive, ‘always-on’ ecommerce experience.
The question is, what can you do to meet the challenge – and grasp the opportunities – in this marketplace? There’s no doubt that 2021 is the year for creating competitive advantages through ecommerce – and we’ve shown in previous articles how you can build a strong foundation, embrace ‘the experience’ and even create an e-community as well as an ecommerce platform to be proud of. So how can you move with agility to reap the rewards of increased customer engagement, satisfaction and loyalty – enjoying ever-improving metrics based on a greater number of repeat visits, higher basket values and increased referrals?
‘The Experience’ is now ‘The Everything’
It’s estimated that the COVID-19 pandemic witnessed five years’ worth of digital evolution crammed into a single year. The digital experience ‘scheduled’ for 2025 has been brought forward to 2021. Many customers now prefer – and demand – to procure their goods and services online; and no longer accept compromise in the ecommerce experience. That ‘Experience’ is now ‘The Everything’, which means you can’t afford to not invest in and focus on UX – shaping this to deliver streamlined journeys across your various touchpoints and functions, incorporating clearly defined and signposted calls to action together with value-add ‘delighters’ that increase visibility and ultimately drive those all-important conversions.
The ‘right’ technology is technology that builds trust
The journey you take your customers on is where you’ll gain their confidence and trust – or not, should this journey not be up to standard. It’s worth considering then how you can serve pre- and post-purchase needs through your digital channels, seamlessly delivering information on stock availability, your returns process and everything else that creates a warm brand promise to your customers.
Online retailers should also explore investing in technology to directly enhance the experience – for example by implementing Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality (AR/VR) solutions that help replicate the in-store experience at home. Our clients have discovered that when done correctly, tech is a cost-effective enabler, not an expensive straightjacket; and we’re always on hand to talk through options that are right for you, your customers, and your budget. For example, we’re seeing a rise in ‘agentive’ design and technology, where technology works to help users achieve their goals, integrating elements of artificial intelligence, to adapt to individual interests and preferences, and enrich the user experience. Could this type of intuitive personalisation add value to your customers, and deliver a healthy bottom line return for you?
Everything works better when you’re working better
Remember though that a good customer experience relies on more than just technology. It needs people and processes working in harmony and responding to updates quickly, to maintain trust and reduce the risk of customer frustration. This is where the adoption of Agile ways of working can score highly – further helping increase flexibility and responsiveness – and at Box UK, we’ve helped organisations across the ecommerce sector (and beyond) implement Agile techniques in order to rapidly ideate, refine and develop new concepts and designs. We also know that the underlying infrastructure is likewise vital for maintaining one-to-one interactions with customers, helping replicate the in-person experience as closely as possible, and enabling tailored responses that can resolve issues faster, drive conversions and even uncover opportunities for future business
The past year has seen a revolution that’s forced virtually all ecommerce organisations to re-evaluate their strategy – evolving their approach to keep pace with unforeseen disruption, anticipate long-term change, and grasp the opportunities of a real ‘moment in time’. And while this is a major challenge, the rewards are just as significant.
We’ll be discussing how different ecommerce organisations have responded to this challenge in our upcoming digital discussion ‘Keeping pace in the ecommerce space’ – and if you want to discuss your specific goals, objectives and the challenges of your legacy systems, processes or approach, simply get in touch with a member of our team by emailing [email protected] or calling 02920228822.