For many, the thought of going into a mall and shopping around to choose a product is now seen as an inconvenience. This is because today, buying a product or a service can be done from the comfort of your own home, with a credit card and a few clicks of your computer mouse. The online buying culture is rapidly growing and now it is becoming easier as well as more secure to buy what you need online. Most e-commerce websites are suited for quick and easy selection and payments, and many are mobile friendly, making it possible to purchase on the go.
Below are some of the technology based trends that are helping to make browsing and purchasing, quicker and slicker than ever before.
Omnichannel buying: Just because you found and purchased that handbag that you were looking for online, doesn’t mean the entire transaction has to stay online too. Retailers are offering consumers the opportunity to use their various channels in order to buy products and services in the way that makes them feel the most comfortable. So, for example, if a consumer is looking for a pair of jeans, they may have first been made aware of the brand on Facebook, but are guided to the online store to make a purchase or given physical store locations so they can make the purchase wherever they feel comfortable.
Customer Relationship Management: Just because the sale has been made, does not mean that the interaction between consumer and provider has to end. Many websites are rewarding customers for their loyalty, which is likely to help them to make repeat visits to the store. Many sites have the opportunity to scan or upload receipts in order to gain loyalty points or even win a prize. This type of validation campaign helps retain loyalty and also gather consumer information, as well as encouraging consumers to purchase online.
Mobile wallet: Many of us do not see the need to keep cash in our wallets anymore, with the rise of the mobile payment system. This is available not only online but also in store, where instead of fumbling for your credit card and waiting for the machine to process your payment, you can simply hold your phone up to a reader and type in your pin code in order to make a payment. Buying online with your mobile phone also makes individuals feels more secure in their payment as their details can be saved to their personal mobile device, which they always have on them. In addition to the safety aspect, using your mobile wallet to pay for purchases is also quicker than an online card payment. Brands like Apple Pay are making waves in the mobile wallet industry, with local products like Beam Wallet is the current solution for those looking to pay easily in the Middle East.
Personalization: Successful eCommerce solutions must be able to communicate with the customer on a one-to-one basis by delivering a fully personalized experience that is easy to understand and use. Gone are the times where customers were grouped together. They are now segmented by their buying habits, item selections and payment methods. Personalization has advanced from communicating with a customer via content to a CXM (Customer Experience Management) platform, where the customer can interact even further with a company online. Examples of these platforms are Sitecore, EPiServer and SDL Tridion.
Marketers are always looking for ways in which they can further close the gap between consumer and brand in the buying process. The four tech-based solutions above make it even easier for the consumer to choose a brand they feel will aid them in purchasing a product or service in a safe and secure manner, while providing them with a vast array of online items that can be bought in a few minutes or less.