Ecommerce is booming.
Global ecommerce sales reached nearly $3.46 trillion in 2019, up from $2.93 trillion in 2018. Experts forecast growth as much as 17.9% in the near future.
Many ecommerce businesses make the mistake of insisting competition is their greatest threat. In truth, it is often a lack of internal processes that creates risk. Consumers today expect more from their online shopping vendor. They want a seamless experience that, rather than creating stress, inspires delight. If you can deliver a better experience for the customer, it doesn’t matter who or what the competition is.
A positive, delightful experience means a repeat customer that will bring their business back to you again and again.
That’s why many successful ecommerce businesses are investing in technology.
Marketing and Business Technology for Ecommerce
No matter the size of your ecommerce business, the right technology can help you do more. It can be a critical component of the customer experience.
It can improve efficiency, so you can do more for your customers with less time and less effort. It can provide a better experience at every phase of the customer journey. It can help you deliver better bottom-line results. The right system can be critical to unlocking value for your customers and helping you earn more with every transaction.
The key to unlocking that value and efficiency is in finding and implementing the right technology. Unfortunately, many companies are reluctant to even investigate new systems. They worry that new technology could mean new risks, and so they embrace the status quo and do nothing.
Today, when the customer expects so much more, the status quo simply isn’t good enough. Let’s look at areas where a new system and new technology can reduce risk and improve customer experience.
A Close Look at Technology for Ecommerce
There are many forms of marketing and business technology out there for ecommerce businesses, including a CRM (Customer Relationship Management), ecommerce platforms, your website, and back-end systems that help you better manage ecommerce processes.
The CRM and Marketing Platforms
A CRM system is a great way to collect and manage customer information. Look at adding a marketing platform like HubSpot, which links marketing automation, customer service, inbound marketing and sales tools around the CRM.
Many ecommerce businesses struggle when using an old, inadequate and inefficient ecommerce platform. It becomes a burden the business can’t overcome. The platform should be easy for the customer to use. Customers should be able to quickly and easily find the information they need and then select the product without stress or frustration. The platform should also be easy for your team to use. It should be customizable and provide downloadable reports and data at the push of the button, like GO2’s Empower ecommerce platform. Look for an ecommerce platform that is flexible and provides the connectivity to other systems to update as needed.
Your website should be the face of your company. What does an old, ugly, error-filled and inefficient website say about your business? Your website should also be the central pillar of your omnichannel marketing approach. No matter what device or channel the customer uses, they should have a consistent, brand-appropriate experience. Look at adding a messaging service or chatbot for the customer to the website. Also consider the data you are collecting on the customer from the website. By collecting the right data and implementing the right tools on your website, you can increase sales by using customer information to cross-sell or upsell.
Product Information Management (PIM) Technology
Eliminate errors and inaccurate information on your website with a PIM. The PIM provides a database for your product information. Look for a cloud-based PIM that integrates with your website and ecommerce platform. It should also support other stakeholders – partners who work with or you’re your marketing information. This will allow your business to be more agile, helping to unleash your product information so it will work for you.
Today, there are many tools to aid in asset and package tracking. Tracking assets using a pen and paper, or a spreadsheet just won’t work with the rapid pace and quick turnaround time of modern ecommerce. RFID labels, for example, provide pinpoint accuracy when it comes to finding and tracking inventory in a warehouse. The cost of those labels have dropped to a point where it is more cost-effective to use RFID rather than employees to track inventory. Look for RFID labels or barcode scanners to reduce the manual work in the warehouse and stay on top of inventory demands.
In the ecommerce transaction, shipping is a critical connection between you and your customer. If a product ships late, or there is a mistake in shipping, you’re leaving a negative lasting impression on your customer. Look to leverage shipping technology in your ecommerce processes. What system are you using to link the product to the shipping address? How are you printing shipping labels? Is the label secure and strong enough to withstand the rigors of shipping? Do you have the right label – one that is easy to use and provides the brand experience your customers expect? What about the packaging? Many customers expect the companies they purchase from to support green business practices like sustainable packaging. What does your packaging say about your business?
Ecommerce Business and the Focus on Customer Experience
The key to success with ecommerce isn’t just a great product or a low price, it’s the customer experience.
With the right technology in place, you can enhance and improve the customer experience. That means enhancing both the customer touchpoints, like your website, chatbot, shipping labels, and ecommerce platform, and behind the scenes with a modern marketing platform and CRM that provides marketing automation or a PIM that ensures accurate information.
If you’d like to learn more or would like to speak to an ecommerce technology expert about your business needs, then contact GO2 Partners today. We’ve been supporting many of the largest and most successful ecommerce businesses in the world with our managed services and technology programs, helping them better focus on what they do best – grow their business.