As a new business owner, it’s crucial to stay ahead of the curve in the rapidly evolving e-commerce landscape, but it’s equally important to know which trends to adapt to and which trends to let pass by.
Here are some key trends I’ve noticed so far this year.
Augmented Reality (AR) in Shopping
AR is becoming a popular tool in e-commerce, with over 100 million consumers already using it for shopping. AR allows customers to visualise and interact with products in various settings, creating a unique shopping experience. For example, Wayfair, an online homeware brand, has launched a mixed-reality shopping experience where customers can see how new items would look in their homes.
For the majority of businesses, including those which are clients of Packed Posted getting involved in the AR space is likely a distraction and very high risk. So unless you have the resources to hire a dedicated AR team, just stick to admiring what the big guys are doing.
The line between online and offline retail is blurring. Customer service interactions are now happening across multiple channels. However, only a third of companies are currently omnichannel, meaning there’s a significant opportunity for businesses to offer a seamless shopping experience across different platforms.
If you can sell through more channels profitably without cannibalizing sales from your channels with the best margins, go for it. Packed Posted makes it very easy to sell across multiple online platforms which may free up resources for you to try your hand at markets and even retail listings.
Personalised Customer Experience
Today’s shoppers expect a personalised experience. Over half of consumers expect all customer interactions to be personalised. To meet this expectation, businesses need to provide their customer service agents with valuable customer context, such as details about recent purchases.
This is a must, obvious copy & pasted answers and generic “sorry I’ll get back to my DM’s later” Instagram stories make your business look unprofessional. I recommend that you utilise some of the free CRM tools such as Hubspot to keep a record of customers so you can quickly look up order information and reply to their support requests more efficiently and personally too.
Conversational, Social, and Livestream Shopping
Shoppers are increasingly expecting to communicate with businesses through messaging apps like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, WeChat, and Line. Additionally, shopping through social media platforms and live streams is gaining popularity.
I’ve seen some good examples of this working well, but if you are uncomfortable on the camera it might not be something you enjoy and hiring actors may not look authentic for your business.
Master the basics such as Facebook messaging, then add more selling channels such as Whatapp, Instagram DM’s and lastly TikTok shop. Managing enquiries from all these platforms can be an accident waiting to happen.