2020 was THE year many – if not most – of us started shopping online more than ever. And this has resulted in the improvement of the ecommerce platforms available for retailers and other merchants eager to capture sales in 2021.
Just a few of the most recent ecommerce platform improvements
- Websites pretty much have become the primary purchase path of many brands because of the pandemic….
…so it follows that platforms will be ensuring that their platforms make those paths as easy as possible for their prospects to follow. you should look for:
- Ecommerce platforms that have robust filtering and search capacities.
- Personalization at each contact point (on pages, marketing emails, at checkout). The platform also should be personalized as unobtrusively as possible.
- Streamlined returns and exchanges.
- Pick-up in-store capabilities (for brick and mortar retailers).
- Ensuring that fulfillment is made quickly, no matter how high sales volume is. (That is, no more excuses when the Post Office is slow.)
- The ability to conduct customer research rapidly.
Your customers’ needs are going to change. All. The. Time. Will you be on top of those changes? Rapid customer research capabilities therefore are something you should look for in your ecommerce platform. Doing so means you’ll always be “up” on what your customers expect from their experience with you.
- Virtual and augmented reality.
People still love to shop in stores. Truly. They do. It’s just easier and quicker to do so online.
But online-only shopping does come with issues: customers can’t ascertain fit, they can’t see how “something will really look” on their living room wall, etc.
But the “ease” of “one-click” shopping is just too strong to ignore. Still, the more your ecommerce platform can give customers that “in-store” experience, the better.
Which is why it’s wise to provide your customers with a way to “see” how the item will fit or look once home with VR/AR capabilities on your ecommerce pages.
- Provide several ways to pay.
Digital wallets (such as Apple Pay) are starting to somewhat “take over” online payments. But not everyone wants to use this extreme convenience. At least, not yet. So remember to offer customers the ability to pay online via credit card
In addition, “lay away” is coming back in a big way. AfterPay, for example, is a service in which your customers can purchase an item over four payments, yet receive it as soon as they make their first payment installment. And, just like lay away, and unlike credit cards, they aren’t charged interest so long as they pay their installments on time.
- Ensure your ecommerce improvements include optimization at every level.
After all, the faster your site, the quick – and more – sales you’ll receive. Frankly, the only thing that really matter is page load, and how long it takes your customers to perceive how long it takes to load.
Take a look at Google Analytics’ “Site Speed” in the tool’s Behavior tab. Doing so will show you how long it takes each page to fully download on different platforms as well as devices. You also can use Google Chrome to ascertain page speed.
Ecommerce will EXPLODE in 2021
If ever there was a year to pay attention to ecommerce it’s this year. No more will retailers and other sellers of pretty much anything (even restaurants and realtors, etc.) have much of a say in where and how their prospects buy from them. You’re going to need to adapt to their needs and speak with them where they want, no matter what channels they’re on which payment methods they prefer.
Learn more about these ecommerce platform improvements trends can help you in 2021 and beyond.