Transcending and complementing the brick-and-mortar retail stores is the ever-dynamic e-Commerce retail sector. What was once thought to be a threat to brick-and-mortar stores is now helping them greatly. Since the late 1990s, e-commerce has grown drastically. This transition from traditional physical marketplaces to technology-based markets has implications on economic and social growth.

E-commerce and it’s distinctive power has appeared moderately – the terms ‘virtual bank’, ‘network marketing’, ‘online shopping’, ‘payment’ and ‘advertising’ have now become familiar to people. E-commerce reduces transaction costs by removing the time barriers that buyers and sellers previously faced. Customers who had to drive to a physical store location during business hours and search around the shops for manual comparison, can now do this online for any product at any time. Also, the retailers get access to larger clientele and feedback mechanisms which help in auto-correcting their strategy to boost their sales.

While giants develop their own e-commerce solutions, small players take help from e-commerce service providers to boost their sales.

The culminating experience of the customer need, with the profound experience offered by e-commerce, makes it an ever-evolving segment. Paramount importance is given to the customer experience; as that is crucial to address the customer need and eventually drive more business. In this article, let’s discuss some of the emerging trends in enriching user experience:

Emerging Trends in the Retail Industry:

#1 OmniChannel

Customers expect a flawless shopping experience across all channels; such as mobile, kiosk, apps and websites. Technology has helped us in enabling this seamless experience for the customer. It’s now easier than ever to integrate the data and extract it across any channel at the convenience of the customer. It’s even giving the users the same experience, irrespective of the channel.

#2 m-Commerce

Year-on-Year, the conversation rates are exceptionally rising on m-commerce. Customers adapt to living their lives from their mobile phones and tablets, and they expect platform-specific offerings that offer a better shopping experience.

#3 Share Reviews and Buy Better

Consumer reviews are significantly trusted. Reviews help in getting more conversions. Retailers should allow customers to voice their opinion on their retail site, as the customer gains confidence in buying the product when it has better rating and reviews.

#4 Buy Online, Pickup in Store

Introducing this feature is definitely an add-on. The consumer is able to get the merchandise based on their schedule and not rely on the freight service. Customers have the luxury to take a ride or stop after work to pick up the online order. This enables customers to save the shipping cost; as well as avoid waiting in long queues to pay the bill, as the outlets have separate counters for picking up the product.

#5 Personalization

Customers get a personal shopping experience with the help of different data and tools which can render personalized messages, products and suggestions. Retailers provide one-to-one marketing experience which increases customer satisfaction and substantial prospects.

#6 Marketplace

A marketplace is primarily a type of multichannel e-commerce. Small investors sell their products, which are eventually organized into one catalog, on an established website. In a nutshell, this is expanding your business to provide customers with a greater inventory.

#7 Additional Payment Options

The evolution of Internet banking has made way for a huge number of payment options. Retailers have to upgrade and enable customers to make payments through any of the gateways available in the market; for example, Apple Pay, MasterPass, etc.

#8 Faster Shipping

Customers will be excited to receive the product as early as possible. Customers prefer to buy products from sites which render faster shipping. Based on the urgency of receiving the product, customers are willing to pay extra to receive the product faster. Online retailers have started offering new shipping methods such as Same Day Delivery, One-Day, and Two-Day delivery options to the customer.

#9 Weather Segmentation

Weather personalization works best for the e-commerce industry. It’s a common tendency for customers shop online when they stay indoors on a bad weather day. Weather-based product suggestions will drive customers to buy products which remind them of the needs they have in a certain moment. Understanding the connection between purchase decisions and weather conditions will lead to huge outcomes for a business.

 #10 Size Conversion

In today’s world, there are thousands of brands. In the fashion world, there is a lack of consistent clothing sizes. Customers buying online will certainly be confused about selecting the right size for a particular brand. The integration of the size conversion app will indisputably assist customers to pick the right size for the product they have selected. This is definitely a flavor enhancer to your website.

#11 Relative Sizing

Retailers provide the ‘Relative Sizing’ option to give the customers a real time comparison to objects/devices generally used. Ex. If a customer wants to buy a book and is not sure of the length and width, relative sizing can help them figure out the exact dimensions. (e.g. Width: 2.5 times Iphone 6S OR 3 times Nexus; Height: 1.5 times Iphone 6S)

#12: Cross Culture Recommendations

Globalization has made the world fairly small in terms of views, ideas, products and culture. For instance, Diwali is celebrated throughout the world. Retailers promoting cross cultural products on their websites will undoubtedly increase their sales.

Finally, the writing on the wall is loud and clear that e-Commerce is the way to success for the Retail Business. The customer-centric user experiences go a long way to support the segment in achieving greater heights. Rich contents of the e-Commerce sites have helped people to learn; as well as to get updated, inspired and immersed in the world of the brands, apart from regular shopping. Sharing of this captivating experience does help in deeper brand exposure. E-Commerce has stood the test of the time by offering solutions for every kind of gadget offered, and scaling up to the ‘Internet of Things’. With each year passing, seeing the revolution in e-commerce transforming the lives of the retail business is a wonderful experience.

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Posted by Vasudha Hegde

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