E-commerce has exploded over the last five years. According to the US Census Bureau, in the fourth quarter of 2015, it accounted for 7.5% of all U.S. retail. Mobile shopping in 2015 accounted for 30% of all e-commerce, an increase of 5% from 2014.
Here are five improvements that have contributed to its unprecedented growth.
Retail Partnering for Fast Delivery
One of the greatest benefits of online shopping is being able to avoid the financial, and emotional, costs of driving. The time-consuming hassles of buying gas, fighting traffic, and looking for a parking space are all eliminated. Your items are delivered right to your door, and increasingly, often the same day you order them.
Expanded delivery services are elevating customer service to a whole new level. Google Express is one of the companies leading the way. By partnering with local retailers in multiple locations, they are able to offer same day or overnight delivery of a wide variety of items. Their partners include Ace Hardware, Walgreen’s and Toys”R” Us.
No matter what functions you want for your e-commerce store, a wide variety of plug-ins are available. Cart66 is just one of the many that offer nearly every feature necessary to sell products online from any post or web page.
From inventory management to multiple payment methods, these plug-ins make it possible to get your online store up and running in record time. There is even a free version. The pro version integrates with other popular plug-ins, like Gravity Forms, and also offers support for recurring payments and membership access. This is great news for the increasing number of people starting unique subscription services.
Mobile merchants reported a 68.5% increase in visits last year. 44% of those visits were by unique visitors, or potential new customers. Mobile apps and downloads generated almost $41 billion in revenue. Consumers are using their new technological capabilities and their smartphones to compare prices, read reviews, and text their friends about purchases before making them.
During the last holiday shopping season, Consumer Reports reviewed just a few of the increasing number of shopping apps available. Getting the highest quality items at the lowest prices a purchasing apps is the new name of the game with these apps.
One of the highest-yielding improvements in e-commerce is the addition of the social checkout. Despite all of our technological advances, word of mouth is still the most powerful, effective, and profitable form of advertising.
Giving customers the ability to rate and share their shopping experience on multiple social media platforms with a simple click of a button is word of mouth multiplied exponentially. Profits are reflecting the power of positive experiences shared the moment they happen.
E-commerce provides convenience and savings, but it does have one disadvantage. Consumers are not able to use their five senses to experience products before purchasing them. As anyone who has ever measured the difference between a photo of a cheeseburger and an actual cheeseburger can testify, what you see isn’t always what you get.
Through words, good website content enables customers to more accurately imagine textures, scents, sounds, and sensations. In one study, it was revealed that 55% of purchase failures were the result of content that was unclear, incomplete or uninformative. That’s why companies are spending more to improve the content on their e-commerce sites.
There are more, and better, tools available than ever before to help your e-business provide an unprecedented level of customer service. In a sharing economy, the goal is to go beyond customer satisfaction– to customer enthusiasm– shared.
Jessica Kane is a professional blogger who has worked in eCommerce for the last five years. She currently writes for Rakuten Super Logistics and recommends them for all your product fulfillment needs to further your success.