Category Archive : E-Commerce

the future of ecommerce

The Future of eCommerce: An Overview in 2020

The e-commerce world is undergoing an extraordinary wave of innovation. New business models are emerging, brands are experimenting with voice commerce, companies are testing augmented reality, along with headless commerce evolving.

Yes, the industry is being raised from the offline, online, and anywhere in between. Lots of profound things are expected to change in retail over 2020 and beyond. The future is bright, and we are here to understand what it will look like.

Progressive Web Applications

With the uprise of progressive frameworks such as React.js and Angular, a lot of e-commerce retailers began to migrate their stores to PWAs. Following the example of famous brands such as Oliver Bonas, END Clothing, Adidas, and Lancome USA, other e-commerce companies inspired by their success stories abandon their regular sites in favour of progressive applications. 

In a nutshell, a PWA is a mix of a responsive website and a native application. The technology provides e-commerce stores with extremely fast performance (thanks to service workers and site caching), perfect UX, and offline functionality.

Look at this awesome Alibaba’s PWA. It looks and feels exactly like a native app.

Image Credit: Onilab

Among the main PWA features are an app-like appearance and the ability to get access to the device’s hardware and software while operating inside a browser. PWAs can be installed on users’ home screens just like regular apps but don’t require a download from app stores. However, developing a progressive app on top of an e-commerce store is quite challenging so that you need to hire experienced front-end developers to turn your site into something that consumers love.

Product Visualization And Augmented Reality

Have you used real-time face masks for Instagram that floated blogger’s stories? This is a perfect example of Augmented Reality (short for AR). But how this technology can be connected with online retailers?

With AR, store owners can implement a kind of virtual fitting room to their website functionality. As such, they are able to provide customers with the opportunity to try on the products before buying with the help of their devices’ cameras. For instance, a famous brand Sephora allows its customers to try on various products that can be purchased from the store with a virtual AG-based mirror. The customers can see how, say, a lipstick will look on their lips.

Modiface mirror by Sephora

Furthermore, Gucci decided to keep up and developed its own AR-based app both for iOS and Android. Within the app, users can choose the sneakers they like and point their cameras at their feet to try on the shoes virtually. Besides, an integrated photo feature lets them make a snapshot with the models and share the photos via social media.

Gucci AR app

Mobile Shopping Is Still On The Rise

The opportunity to buy from any place in the world is one of the major advantages of mobile shopping. According to the latest report, mobile commerce will increase to 68% by 2022 as far as more and more people shop on their phones. M-commerce has the great potential to become the main channel for shopping and to change consumer behaviour. Why should online store owners care about this trend?

Taking these numbers into account, your website must be not only mobile-friendly but also provide a seamless UX with the advanced functionality involved so that your customers can get the ability to shop as easily as they can do on desktops.

Personalization is Critical

“If you don’t upsell on your store, you are losing money” this is the fundamental truth that every savvy entrepreneur knows. But with modern technologies, up-selling took a step forward and moved beyond adding an “Other customers also bought” section on the product pages. Forward-thinking online retailers can offer products to their customers’ tastes by defining which items “go well” with the selected products based on previous buys made by each customer. Just take a look at the personalized upselling section on the ASOS online store.

Image Credit: ASOS

Environmentally Conscious Buyers

Today’s shoppers are becoming more and more demanding. They are more aware now than ever of the impact products can have on the environment. Nowadays, one can see that many e-commerce companies regardless of their size and focus, have started implementing the environmental practices as a marketing tool. From local coffee shops to supermarkets, there are green claims everywhere.

Visual Search in eCommerce

Let’s assume that you are on the train and you see a person carrying your dream bag. You turn your smartphone to see whether you can find it online. But what to type and where to find it? How to describe the bag? Many vague search terms come to your mind when you are trying to guess the ways to buy the same bag. But there is another way. Visual search is AI-powered tech that revolutionized the retail experience by eliminating the friction between seeing and buying. The technology provides the ability to use an image to search for related or identical visual assets. In a nutshell, visual search with the help of artificial intelligence, use visual clues and the image’s metadata to find the most relevant results possible based on similarities such as the style, shape, or colour of the product.

how visual search works
Image Credit: Elasticpath

Recent studies show that the global visual search market is expected to surpass $14,727m by 2023. However, in 2020, only 8% of online entrepreneurs have integrated the image search on their websites. Among those are such famous brands as Amazon with its StyleSnap, Visenze, Google with its Google Lens, Pinterest.

In the context of e-commerce personalization, this technology provides brands with a great opportunity to foster a deep connection with their customers by making it easier for them to find the items they want.

Chatbot Shopping Assistants

In 2020, more and more brands are using chatbots to answer customers’ queries. Their influence is so high that AI-powered chatbots are rapidly replacing human-based call centres. They are developed to answer any question that a customer may have. Besides, they are able to learn both from training and previous experience. Some chatbots can act as voice assistants adapting to many languages and dialects. The chatbots may use for:

  • responding to queries with better accuracy
  • sending shipping information for creating a more personal connection with the company
  • taking orders
  • cross-selling and up-selling
  • sending mass messages.
Image Credit: Engadget

Summarizing

E-commerce is one of the most fast-changing industries. To move with the times and create an online business that will be competitive, entrepreneurs need to take into account the latest trends and innovations to meet increasing customers’ demands. 

10 Tips for Creating a Great Product Content

10 Tips for Writing a Great Product Content that Bring Sales!

Writing a standout product description is the quickest way to convert website visitors into buyers, but it’s not as simple as it may seem. Although product-related content is mostly brief and concise, it doesn’t make the task any less challenging, especially if you are not a professional copywriter.

However, there are a few general rules you can follow in order to craft a solid piece of copy. In this post, we will discuss 10 tips for creating a great product content. Let’s take a look!

1. Use the 5W+H formula

The first rule of product copywriting is to explain all there is about a given item using the 5W+H formula. What does it mean? The idea is simple – it means you ought to answer the basic questions: Who does what, where, when, why, and how?

This tactic enables you to present all the relevant information about your product without missing a single detail. That way, your prospect can learn all they need to know without investing too much time or effort in reading a copy.

2. Make it well-structured

No matter how good a copy may be, the audience will not like it if the structure is not simple and logical. Don’t write large chunks of text, but rather focus on creating a number of smaller paragraphs. It makes a copy highly readable, which is important because online readers tend to skim and scan content instead of reading the entire text.

3. Write briefly and clearly

Another thing you should learn is to write a product copy briefly and clearly. Less is more in digital writing, so you ought to minimize word count while making the text complete and understandable. If you are not sure how to do that, we recommend the Hemingway App.

It’s a simple platform that you can use to check your content writing within seconds. The app will test your copy and give it a readability grade that shows whether your text is easy to read or not.

4. Take advantage of the power words

You don’t have to be a copywriting expert to know about power words. By definition, power words are words that smart copywriters use to trigger a psychological or emotional response. They can do miracles conversion-wise, so you better think about adding the most relevant power words to your product descriptions. 

What are the most impactful power words? The list of solutions is almost countless, but the usual suspects include the likes of Now, Free, Because, Exclusive, Limited, and so on.

5. Make it customer-focused

Way too many copywriters make a mistake of creating brand-focused product descriptions. While it does sound natural, it’s a big mistake as the audience expects you to focus on customers. How can you do it?

First of all, do not be egocentric. Write about the benefits of your product for the target audience instead of describing its superior qualities. Secondly, do your best to analyze the needs of typical buyers and make sure to write copies that match their expectations.

6. Write with SEO in mind

Do you know that 93% of all traffic comes from a search engine? This means that the majority of users won’t be looking for your product in particular, but rather conduct a broader search based on a given set of keywords.

In such circumstances, you ought to react by writing with search engine optimization (SEO) in mind. Do it by identifying the most appropriate keywords for each product because it will increase the discoverability of your product pages.

7. Add images to support copies

Some marketers believe that product images are by far the most important element of a product page, but we think that the two components supplement each other ideally. This is exactly why you should add images to augment copies and help the audience form an opinion about your portfolio. Of course, the thing that matters the most is to upload high-quality images and compress them to avoid slowing down the entire website.

8. Feel free to show style and personality

Product descriptions are often technical and strictly informative, but they don’t have to be. On the contrary, you should feel free to show the style and personality of your brand if you think it suits the target audience.

For example, let’s say you are targeting younger groups such as high school kids. In this case, adding a little humour to your copies will make the product page much better and more appealing.

9. Show what makes the product different than others

Another important suggestion is to highlight the unique features of your product. This is often a critical step since users want to know what makes your item so special and different than a bunch of similar products in the same niche.

In such circumstances, you should analyze the strengths of a given item and emphasize details that make it superior. Do your best to underline this part of the text as it should grab the reader’s attention instantly.

10. Proofread before publishing

The last tip on our list is rather technical, but it is mandatory. After all, how would you treat a brand with tons of spelling and grammar mistakes in product descriptions and other content formats? You can always proofread product content manually, but there are also digital tools such as Grammarly to help you do the job quickly and effortlessly.

Up to You

There is no easy way to write a perfect product description, so you’ll have to embrace the state of the art copywriting principles as soon as possible. In this article, we analyzed the top 10 tips for creating great product-related content. Make use of our suggestions and share your copywriting ideas in the comments – we would love to see it!

AUTHOR BIO:

This article is written by our guest author Leon Collier. He is a blogger and a resume writer at Resumes Planet from Edinburgh, UK. Leon is an expert in online retail, but he also loves writing about other business and finance-related topics. All his leisure time he dedicates to books. 
e-commerce and small business

How E-commerce is Shaping the Future of Small Business

Ecommerce and small businesses have proved to be natural partners during the short while since the former appeared on the scene. The computer, telecommunications, and cell phones are transforming the way business are carried out. Small businesses now find that they could compete with large businesses. An awareness of the e-commerce and small business partnership potential could help you develop your own strategy at your small business start.

Only a few pioneers have really seized the opportunities offered by eCommerce and small business partnerships and made good. Most small business persons are yet to explore its full potential.

Ecommerce and small businesses can start the partnership from the very beginning, as when you start your business online instead of offline. On the other hand, many small businesses go online only at a later stage of their existence.

In this article, we would look at what eCommerce is and how it provides a new (and more level) playing field to small businesses.

Ecommerce: What Is It?

Ecommerce involves doing business with the help of computer networks. You could get a clearer idea about e-commerce by reading the separate Definition of Ecommerce.

ecommerce

The real partnership between e-commerce and small business begins when a full-fledged e-commerce web site, offering shopping cart and credit card acceptance facilities, is put up.

How Ecommerce Benefits Small Business

Ecommerce and small business partnership makes competing with large business a feasible proposition for small business, as the latter now finds that it can

Send brochures and other documents to customers or suppliers for immediate viewing, using email;

Collect valuable business information on the internet, such as contract opportunities and competitor actions;

Reduce costs of operation by minimizing:

  • Dependence on expensive facilities such as offices and shops in prime locations;
  • Number of staff needed to service customers; and
  • Wasteful marketing expenditure, by reaching target customers with greater precision and also putting product catalogs online;
  • Reach markets in distant places, even those in other countries, and
  • Provide excellent customer service even to these distant customers through FAQs, automated responses and remote support, for example.
  • There is also the possibility to reduce other costs such as those for inventory holding and warehousing by working in collaboration with suppliers. Such collaboration becomes feasible under e-commerce.

The small business person also finds that e-commerce is not all that expensive. E-mail is available free, internet connectivity is affordable and maintaining a web site does not cost much. Most surprisingly, the costs could often be recovered in no time through increased revenues.

New Opportunities for the Entrepreneur

Ecommerce and small business proved to be true partners in some unexpected ways – particularly in the case of very small entrepreneurs.

No more had the business person any compelling need to locate the business near the customer. A business could be carried on while residing at isolated locations of one’s choice. The internet allowed the person to reach customers all over the world from such locations.

For those business persons who just could not spare fixed timings for business, e-commerce provided the opportunity to work flexible hours. Women could now do business and attend to children and housework, for example. So could the part-time entrepreneur seeking to develop a second income stream.

Probably the greatest beneficiaries of the new partnership between eCommerce and small businesses were the businesses selling niche products. Customers for such products tend to be few and far, and achieving viable sales volumes was almost impossible. Now, however, they could reach customers anywhere in the world, and do so at low costs through search engine marketing.

How Do You Do Ecommerce?

The first requisite for doing eCommerce is dependable connectivity. The article “The Importance Of Strong Connectivity For Your Business” discusses the role of connectivity in modern small business.

Ecommerce and small businesses operate somewhat differently from eCommerce and large businesses. While the latter tend to use eCommerce to reduce costs by integrating customer relationship and supply chain into their operations management, the former seeks to achieve higher profits by reaching wider markets.

E-commerce usually progresses through a number of stages.

  • Using e-mail for communications;
  • Transmitting files and documents over the internet;
  • Conducting fact-finding research;
  • Purchasing products and services online;
  • Selling one’s own products and services online;
  • Collaborating with business partners and suppliers;
  • Bidding online for contracts;
  • Hiring employees with specific skills; and
  • Conducting online meetings.

Small businesses usually set up their own eCommerce web sites after they have become familiar with the internet. With familiarity comes an awareness of how they could benefit from eCommerce.

The web site starts as a simple brochure web site introducing their business and offers to the world. If promoted successfully such web sites could bring the business to the notice of new customers.

Next might come to the facility for visitors to send queries and comments through the web site. Customers might place their orders using a toll-free number or email/fax.

Now comes the important stage of uploading a full product catalog with descriptions, pictures and price information to the web site. Shopping cart and credit card payment facilities are also incorporated. Customers could now place orders online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Web sites usually use search engine marketing to get visitors and some of the visitors might buy immediately. However, it is Email Marketing Campaigns, particularly newsletters, which reach out to the customers and bring real volumes for the small business.

As online sales increase, it becomes necessary to provide customer support facilities. Customer support seeks to improve customer experience through:

  • Creating an FAQ page of frequently asked questions and their answers
  • Providing Contact and Message Forms at the Web site for customers
  • Using online chatbots
  • Autoresponder e-mails acknowledging customer mails ensuring that all customer queries and complaints are attended within predetermined time limits.
  • A stage comes when coordinating all the different aspects that begin to pose problems. These include:
  • Updating product and pricing information;
  • Updating inventory in real-time and handling orders for stockout items;
  • Tracking the status of orders;
  • Invoicing completed orders and tracking payments; and
  • Attending to the increasing number of customer queries.

Ecommerce and small businesses now face a dilemma – to grow or to remain small. If growth option is chosen, it might become necessary to go in for expensive software solutions to integrate front end interfaces with back end infrastructure and accounting.

Ecommerce and Small Business: Problems

Not all small businesses could benefit from e-commerce. Certain products and services are just not suitable for selling online. Bulky items like furniture and farm products that need to be fresh are examples.

Customers might use the web sites offering such products for comparison purposes and then go to a conventional brick and mortar store for actual purchases.

There is also a mindset problem. Some business persons are just not interested in going online. Many might not see any benefit from doing so, or find that they do not have the time or infrastructure to do so. Others might be held back by the initial costs of an uncertain operation or the heavy competition already online.

A number of businesses that do go online, might not adopt appropriate strategies to succeed. A web site needs to be promoted if prospective customers are to become aware of it. The content of the web site needs to create a desire to purchase. And the design of the site must make finding products, placing orders and making payments easy.

And growth brings problems of integration, as mentioned in the last section. The solution might be too expensive for the business.

Ecommerce and Small Business: Strategies

Some e-commerce models have worked quite well while others have yet to prove themselves. The dot com portals, which hoped to become viable by getting visitors through free content and services, and paid advertisements targeted at these visitors, did not quite work out.

eBay pioneered a new way of doing business online through their internet auctions portal. AbeBooks allowed individuals to open bookstores at their site with eCommerce facilities. Many niche businesses succeeded in marketing their products widely through keyword-based search engine marketing. Cooperative working among product developers, fulfillment houses and affiliate marketers allowed all parties to prosper. Specialized content sites, with information of high value, offered free abstracts and access to full articles and materials for a nominal subscription charge.

If you could find an innovative way for eCommerce and small business partnership, you might also grow like eBay or Amazon.