The future of e-commerce is here and this is the reason why a lot of businesses have made it big in a passing couple of years. Online shopping in Pakistan is one example that can offer a broad overview of how the introduction of e-commerce sites have revolutionized the marketplaces, not just for retailers but for customers as well. There are a lot of realities that come with the trends of online shopping and how the retailers can balance the profitability of acquisition, build an audience and watch out for the critical curves ahead. It should be kept in mind e-commerce business owners that fantasy is very different from fact, and if one thing is working today might not work tomorrow. The first step should always be in the right direction and new as well as old entrants should differentiate between the online shopping trends of today’s landscape.
When people start with their online businesses, they tend to be everywhere, which is wrong. The proliferation of the channels, social, and brick and mortar marketplace, etc. is very demanding and hence should be done in the right way. You cannot go ruthlessly everywhere but you need to know where your customers are, how you can add the real value and where the return on spending is the strongest.
E-commerce sites are data-driven and especially when it comes to DTC (direct-to-consumer) businesses. The owners need to understand where the visitors are coming from and what are they doing after they arrive at your site or store. You can prioritize on tools like Google Analytics with Google Data Studies for e-commerce conversions and also multi-channel funnels. For offline, it is more about tracking your fulfillment partners in regards to the regions, cities and even the neighborhoods from where the orders are being placed. Monitoring the sales pattern is very important to have an impact on revenue.
Rather than thinking of online-to-offline, omnichannel or multi-channel, you need to think about the channel, which provides the best customer experience.
Retention Comes First
It would be wrong to say that the fight for the customer is new because it is definitely not. Digitally native vertical brands usually go for the same customers and that too in the same platforms. The cost for customer acquisition rises up because every brand is going for the same customer, with limited advertising space.
You will need to put retention over acquisition because it will be the way to go to survive the new customer spend that can be higher as compared to the customer lifetime value.
Loyalty programs and reward systems are two of the most tested concepts that increase the transactional value of e-commerce businesses. Subscription service is yet another tool, which will help you to make your customer keep coming back to you. Work on the lifetime value of the customers to breakeven the acquisition cost.
One great way to master acquisition is through search and almost all the large or online retailers have used this strategy. The search engine optimization marketing has broadened its horizons and now online business sites have been increasing their ROAS through it.
You can match the search queries of your target market, ads and the landing pages that will help you to eliminate the confusion or friction. The shoppers of your online site should be given the ad copy and the landing pages with the keywords that exactly match their searches. You can use single keywords or even groups of 5-15 keywords, but the customers should always experience that throughline from the top to the bottom.
Secondly, always remember to keep a close watch for the negative keywords that are the words which prevent the ad to be triggering by the terms. If you will use negative keywords, it will just drag down your ROAS. You can master the SEO by how you edit the product descriptions and if it includes the keywords that your target audience searches for.
Entertain your Audience
There is no way that your customers will accept that they like to be sold to. In fact, a world where there are so many options available, you would have to do something more unique to capture the market and that could be to entertain your audience. When there is great content available on your e-commerce site, the audience will be directly connected to it. It can even be seen that the great sales copy usually involves human emotions, which does the thing. Most of the e-commerce sites in Pakistan have picked up on this strategy and it can be seen that the majority of those sites offer content to its customers through blogs or informative articles. This is the best way to send you a message across the board and make the people to be inspired or motivates to go and buy your product and services.
Digital marketing is not just a channel now but it has been transformed into a factory for audience creation. You can choose different channels to post content and engage your audience.
Social Media Driven Customers
Social media has become one of the greatest platforms for online business owners, the majority of the sales have been coming through this platform only. The users of social media are growing by the day who are active and also have done prior purchases, enabling the platform to generate consumer purchasing behavior.
Platforms like Snapchat and Pinterest have been giving out retail experiences to its users throughout the year 2018, with Facebook and Instagram ads connecting the users directly with the retail sites. The one part where the retailers have to make it worth it for the customers is to make the checkout experience easier for the users. There are a lot of brands out there who have rolled out amazing digital campaigns and got the most traffic on their site, but again the checkout experience was so worst that the customers never returned to the sites again. It is not always about the acquisition, but for retention now. You should be able to make more shoppable tags in the social media feeds, where the check out button should provide the customers with easy options of payments.
Use of Augmented Reality
It is true that no one ever thought that Augmented Reality is going to be this huge as it is now. It has become the ‘it’ thing and now there is no stopping in the augmented reality just flourishing. Implementing digital information, which includes images of the product, text or even video representations would give you a major opportunity to give an experience to the customers. Augmented reality has been used by e-commerce giants and it has resulted in differentiating themselves from their competitors and providing experiences to the consumers. The technology will be seeing more advancements in 2019 and more online businesses will adapt to this technology. It will help in the online and as well as the offline engagement for the online retailers. The younger shoppers will be able to engage more with the brands where augmented reality is implemented. The online businesses will be able to bring more personalization all across the channels and deliver high human engagement.
Word of Mouth
Online reviews have the power of taking online businesses a long way. It can be seen that a lot of e-commerce brands in Pakistan have gained popularity through the reputation that they have established with customer reviews and feedback online. More and more customers are integrating the reviews in their buying decisions, in fact, shoppers are showing more inclination towards online retailers that have good reviews. It doesn’t matter if you offer online products or services, but make sure that you have created a strong word of mouth for your online business which will trigger the target audience to check your site and buy products/services from you.
Most of the time retailers refrain themselves from the online reviews thinking that the negative reviews would hurt their business, however, the benefit is much greater than the risk. The online reviews will help the brand to sell more and even attract more customers. Reviews have a big impact on online sites and it helps the customers to evaluate their choices and also to increase their decisions in buying your products or services.
Zero Geographical Limitations
The one thing, which will work the most in favor of the online business, is to have no geographical barriers. It can be seen that the majority of the online sites in Pakistan have started to provide the products to various countries, and not just locally. The online retailers have been working towards not having these geographical limitations and allowing their business to flow all around the world. It is the concept which has been the most critical element in the growth of the online business, as now the retailers are able to expand their business and capture newer markets with just one single site.
Moreover, it should be kept in consideration that the online shops or sites provide their customers with zero time limitations too. Having a global reach will not do good for online retailers if there is a time limitation, and it takes ages for the products to be delivered to the customers. It is the point where great customer service comes into play, the customer will be looking for answers in case of their orders being delayed, while the customer support could provide a great experience to the shopper at that time. The online shopping space is focusing more on the customer satisfaction score or the net promoter score, which tells how happy the customer is with your business.
Online shopping has majorly transformed the retail space, in fact, it is predicted that with the coming years brick and mortar business models will decline. Customers now prefer convenience over any other factor. Hence, more and more retailers are working on providing convenience to the customers with the comfort of them sitting at home and getting all they need. Speaking of convenience, Farosh.pk has been providing its customers with great quality products with just one click. Check out the broad range of products available at affordable prices, as compared to other online shopping sites in Pakistan.