Below are the principal trends that online entrepreneurs should pay close attention to in 2019:
All smaller online stores use big data
In recent years, we have heard a lot about big data – a lot of data about every person, company, site, collected by thousands of Internet services (from Google and Facebook to customer relationship management systems). And the more online entrepreneurs are using big data, the more they are breaking new ground compared to all the competitors who are not yet using the data.
In 2019, this division will no longer coincide with the boundary between large and small internet merchants. On the contrary, it is the small and medium online trade that is starting to use the data on customers and partners (and their own, collected by the store itself, and external, collected by other sites) in search of unique ideas.
Big data is also fed by artificial intelligence – programs for automating complex processes that revolutionize online commerce.
The work of AI is already visible in many online stores: programmable chat-bots, automation of data analysis, automation of warehouse movements. And there are examples of brands that take AI to a new level – for example, North Face recently introduced a personal helper bot in shopping.
So, if you plan to stay in e-commerce in the long run, it is worthwhile to study the existing developments in the sphere of collection and application of big data.
Communication with clients is becoming increasingly personalized
One of the locomotives of Amazon’s success is the advanced product recommendation algorithm: it provides 35% of the marketplace’s sales volume. Using consumer habits, interests and even a history of visits, the e-commerce giant can promote products that the customer is likely to purchase.
In recent years, it has been an affordable but still virtuosity art to direct its customers to the products that are most relevant and desirable to them. And with far fewer vendors than Amazon in 2019, personalization of product recommendations is beginning to prove its effectiveness.
All quality customer service
Buyers are used to the fact that the convenience of online shopping is growing. And sellers have to meet not just the high expectations, but the ever-increasing expectations of people.
Here are four tips on how to meet them in 2019:
- Make your shopping experience as simple as possible. Think about whether you need two or more stages (sub-pages) of ordering – isn’t it more effective to let the customer fill in the details on one cart page and click “buy” on it? Do you need a lot of mandatory fields to fill in when placing an order, because this is one of the main reasons why people throw filled baskets?
- Ask your customers what they lack; what you need to improve. Be active in finding feedback and interviewing your customers about their experiences in your store. By asking for feedback, you form a more holistic view of your business. Don’t be afraid to receive criticism, including public criticism. In this way, you will firstly identify your shortcomings, and secondly, you will show your customers that you are serious about their complaints with a friendly and constructive solution to the problem voiced in the negative feedback.
- Be responsive. And in social networks, and on your site, and by e-mail, and by phone, and online chat from the online store are expected to timely, friendly, informative responses to any requests.
- Apply personalization. This is what we said above: use the customer’s browsing and shopping history on your website (and then the big data from external players) – offering the person what he or she is clearly interested in, or what successfully complements what he or she has acquired.
And remember: impeccable service is no longer a bonus in people’s expectations from the online store – now it’s the norm.