The future of e-commerce

As a digital agency becoming more and more specialised in headless commerce, we get more and more questions about the future of e-commerce and what it would mean for brands and companies. I have written down my thoughts on the current changes making waves in e-commerce.

4 min leestijd

Rising competition

E-commerce sales haven’t slowed since traditional stores reopened, resulting in an influx of DTC (Direct-To-Consumer) firms competing for client attention. The demand for flexible, easy-to-use, and easy-to-navigate e-commerce platforms is growing in conjunction with the expansion of DTC brands/companies.

 We often get brands and companies requesting help with their current platform to increase page speed as well as the need for flexibility. You need an e-commerce platform that performs well in these metrics. To keep ahead of the competition you want your e-commerce platform to suit your (changing) needs. This is why we specialise in headless commerce platform that offer this flexibility and speed. 

 

Omnichannel shopping

As the lines blur between the physical and digital environment, multiple channels will become more prevalent in customers’ path to purchase.

 What it means for e-commerce is to understand how your customers buy, which marketing channels they engage with, and their motivations and main drivers to purchase. In the simplest sense, omnichannel shopping means decoding what, where, when, why, and how people are purchasing the products you sell on a particular channel. There are many ways where multi-channel shopping is in the works. For instance, people can research a product online and then buy in-store, or buy products online and pick up in-store. The more channels your shoppers use, the more likelihood of an increased average order value.

 Offering customised product recommendations or personalised product testing experiences is one way to achieve this in store. The key is to sync your customer profiles through a point of sale (POS) that integrates with your e-commerce website. This way you truly make an omnichannel shopping experience.

 

Supply chain vulnerabilities

Supply chain disruptions will continue to happen with increasing frequency and severity and thanks to increased competition, consumers have rising expectations of how quickly goods will be delivered. This means your brand needs to have flexibility in connecting with the right logistic and fulfilment partner. For instance decentralising fulfilment—including by using retail stores as warehouse centres—means parcels get to customers faster, often at a lower cost, but this will mean you also want to have that correspond in the online experience for your customers. 

In order to make the complete fulfilment process effective, you should also think of returns. Free returns seems to be the most effective way for consumers, but it should be costs that you would like to avoid. There are some solutions you can think of:

  • Offer free returns to your members (logged into account), and charge for returns for new visitors
  • Charge for returns but make exchanges free of charge
  • Only charge if the return’s monetary value is less than a figure of your choosing
  • Plus, you can always set different rules for different markets, segments or product groups

 

By making the return process as effective and efficient as possible, you can attract/retain customers, but also keep control of costs.

Social shopping

Brands no longer sell through a single retail channel; they may sell via livestreaming, owned websites, or other retailers/marketplaces. For example, live stream shopping has become highly popular and may soon become one of the most successful ways to gain audiences.

Instead of giving one-to-one customised buying over video between a brand and a consumer, live stream shopping focuses on delivering one-to-one personalised shopping over video between a brand and a consumer.

Therefore, brands must optimise their e-commerce platform to sell products across different social networks, as well as leverage business messaging apps to help shoppers drive conversion.

The rise of B2B e-commerce

Because B2B e-commerce is so prevalent, B2B organisations must optimise and streamline their purchasing processes, channeling the B2C ordering experience. A B2B buyer’s experience is far more sophisticated than a B2C buyer’s.

Due the nature of the transaction, B2B purchasers must normally go through several processes before making a successful purchase, including interactions with sales representatives, discussions, and approvals. In brief, B2B e-commerce enterprises must adapt to a more frictionless transaction by developing enhanced capabilities for the B2B market, such as quote management, price negotiation, easy ordering, and order and inventory management.

All this requires a e-commerce platform that suits the B2B buyer and sellers.

Concluding

Businesses have dealt with more change in the last two years than in the previous two decades. As a side effect, companies have grown more resilient. And it’s a good thing—because there’s a lot more change ahead. Changes like record-high shipping costs, diminishing returns on online advertising, and a massive increase in the number of channels businesses are selling on. All this will affect the way we shop, sell, and ship.

If you want to keep ahead in this ever changing e-commerce world, let us help you.

Wil je meer weten?

Marc helpt je graag verder. Marc is met zijn ervaring in de bureauwereld en de verkoop van zijn eigen bureau A Friend of Mine een doorgewinterde ondernemer. Hij loopt 5 stappen voorop en ziet altijd mogelijkheden.

085 060 9386 [email protected]