Surviving In Uncertain Times
Over the last couple of years, online businesses have been facing stiff competition.
With the way things are going, customer expectations are always on the rise, there is no room for error. What’s more, there is still the fear that Jumia, Konga, Amazon or Alibaba can just swallow up the whole market.
Despite the challenging odds faced daily, entrepreneurs from all over the globe are creating new eCommerce businesses and companies on a daily basis. A recent study carried out showed that more 100,000 eCommerce websites world were generating meaningful revenue.
So, there is the need to ask how, despite the harsh conditions, eCommerce businesses are getting customers, providing quality services, making a profit, and on a broad scale, just surviving in 2018?
To find out the answer to that all-important question, Econsultancy decided to hold a heartfelt discussion with senior marketers to find out just how are ecommerce businesses surviving in 2020. The roundtable discussion was held in partnership with Magento and BORN Group. The discussion saw participants sharing their rich eCommerce experience as well as deep insights into how eCommerce companies and businesses can thrive and survive in an ever-competitive market in 2020
1) Get the basics right
The participants mentioned expressly that for an eCommerce business to survive, it’s strategy must involve the 4 basics of eCommerce.
- Customer attraction
Customer attraction and engagement are fundamental aspects of eCommerce businesses. Online channels should be used as a way to engage customers and clients creatively. This could include giving out discounts and offering rewards for using online sites as opposed to the market stores.
A marketer made a strong case for online sites as it would be an advantage to small eCommerce businesses that are not so established, as several customers would be willing to try out a new site if they are given the right rewards and incentives.
- Make an impact
Newly formed eCommerce businesses usually have just a chance to make a positive impression and retain customers. To achieve that, they need to ensure that a remarkable experience is afforded to the customers, which more significant sites may not be able to provide. A participant suggested that providing swift and helpful replies and suggestions to customer questions can be a way of making an impact.
- Transact quickly
Consumers grow tired of slow websites and also sluggish transactions in general. New eCommerce businesses should aim to provide swift transactions and also ensure fast delivery times.
- React to customer demands
Learning how customers feel about prices, products, services, and the general shopping experience is one way to know how best you can be for your customers. The use of systems like sentiment analysis as well as comment aggregators can help identify your customer demands. In addition to that, give swift responses to complaints and questions. As suggested by one employee, Dive in and provide a quick response.
2) Get to know your customers over time
Participants mentioned that it is imperative eCommerce companies should know their niche. Doing this will help develop customer personas, and build their site to fit with their target market. To achieve this, eCommerce providers need to have a better understanding of their customers by careful observation of how they utilize the site and by that, know how best to improve the customer experience
3) Develop trust with regular customers
After gaining an understanding of your customers, the next step for eCommerce companies is to develop confidence with their customers. To achieve this, eCommerce companies need to simplify the buyers’ journey round their site and make it more accessible. As a participant puts it, while speed helps in building trust, creating a brand personality accessible to users and which they get to know also helps to develop trust too.
4) Work hard to deliver a fantastic experience
On a final note, eCommerce/online businesses should strive to ensure that they are always relevant to their customers. To do this, eCommerce providers can send out discount offers over emails or tailoring the site to meet the needs of their customers, advised one participant.