In India, e-commerce has seen tremendous growth in recent years. Here are eight major things we learnt about online selling in 2014.
- Customer satisfaction—Trust and Transparency
As more and more online stores are being set-up, buyers are becoming increasingly wary of overzealous sellers. So, it is essential for the sellers to build a good rapport with buyers and ensure that trust and transparency not only remain as mere policies, but an absolute necessity.
In recent years, the dynamics of online shopping have seen radical changes. For instance, the introduction of services such as cash-on-delivery have succeeded in gaining buyers’ trust. However, with more and more consumers opting to shop online, it is important to take enough measures to retain this trust. Catalogues should be filled with accurate information about the product so that the buyer can make more informed decisions. Caution should be taken not only on the quality of products, but also on the timely delivery of products. It is also important that sellers proactively address customer queries and resolve problems effectively.
- Next-day-delivery and same-day-delivery became key differentiators
In 2013, cash-on-delivery service changed the course of online shopping. This gave customers a sense of comfort and convenience shopping online. This demanded additional services that could provide an enhanced shopping experience for online shoppers.
Two new trends began to take shape—Next-day-delivery and Same-day-delivery.
If cash-on-delivery service was an influential factor in making a difference to the online shopping experience, Next-Day-Delivery and Same-Day-Delivery took it up a notch. As e-commerce market evolved, the competition among e-commerce portals grew— satisfying customer’s need for getting the products delivered the next day or on the same day became an imperative.
- Mobile-friendly content
Comparing prices and product specifications on-the-go is not a fad anymore, thanks to mobile devices. Now, customers can track orders and delivery updates anywhere.
Therefore, creating mobile-friendly content became of prime importance. It is necessary for the sellers to create content that is simple, easy, and short. Text-heavy content can be exhausting for a customer to read on the mobile phone. Here are a few tips to make content more engaging:
- Keep it concise—short sentences pack more punch
- Bullet points are your best friend
- Always use catchy product descriptions
- Keep it simple, keep it direct
- Captivating Images
While product descriptions are important, high-quality product images have a more impact on customers. For online shopping, visuals play a crucial role in influencing customer behaviour because what they see is what they want.
Well-placed pictures peppered with only necessary amount of description text to explain the product make for an effective strategy to grab eyeballs.
- Ad Retargeting
Although marketers have been using ad retargeting prior to 2014, it caught on in 2014. Here’s how it works. Once a buyer leaves a page, the products or services viewed will be shown again as advertisements across different websites he visits later on.
Constant exposure to brands and brand logos breeds familiarity. This builds customer trust and ultimately leads to a purchase.
Ad retargeting helps to have the brand in the foreground and brings back window shoppers when they decide to buy. Repeated exposure to brand generates more clicks.
- Content marketing became bigger than ever
SEO, which stands for ‘search engine optimization’, is the process of getting traffic from the free, organic or natural search results on search engines.
Getting the website SEO-ready has always played an important role for e-retailers. While this continues to remain one of the most important aspects to generate traffic, creating more engaging and creative content became a necessity in 2014.
Optimisation is key:
- Make sure your goals match the goals of your visitors. It’s not just about traffic. It’s about figuring out what you want, and then coming up with relevant keywords that drive visitors to your website
- Impressive titles grab readers’ attention
- Create quality content using the right keywords
- Packaging matters
First impressions are sometimes the last impressions. And attractive packaging helps when delivering the products.
Some products like toys, perfume bottles, jewellery, etc., are fragile. Packing them in bubble wrap helps prevent damages. While the products may be authentic, delivering them safely to the customer is of utmost importance.
- The age of cross-selling
Suggesting products based on the customer’s previous shopping behaviour became another major milestone in 2014. This is cross-selling. For example, when a buyer purchases a book online, soon after, he sees suggestions of books either by the same author or in the same genre. This proves advantageous as customers can browse the list and save time. Even if it doesn’t lead to a purchase immediately, it eventually pays off. Suggestions for complementary products, such as suggesting a memory card along with a mobile phone is another great way to sell more.
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