By 2015, the worldwide e-commerce industry is expected to generate revenue of around $900 billion. Currently, there are over 2 billion internet users across the world and this user base is going to become 3 billion by the next year.
All these encouraging figures show shiny days ahead for the e-commerce industry. But the fact is that a significant number of online retailers are entering the internet domain on a daily basis. Moreover, online shoppers are becoming smarter and they love to explore a number of online shops and their various offers before making a purchasing decision.
Thus, for any online store, it has become imperative to think innovatively and beat the competitors with their products, services and offerings.
Using Technology to Stay Ahead
The web world is a fast changing domain with new technologies hitting it almost on a daily basis. There are several types of technical tools that an e-commerce shop business can employ to gain a competitive edge in the industry
1. Competitive Intelligence:
There are several types of tools that companies can use to gain an insightful knowledge about the industry. For example, Alexa, Google Analytics etc, can provide an in-depth knowledge about various e-commerce players.
You can learn about the Global Traffic Rank, Search Analytics and other details about your competitors. This will help your e-commerce store to develop a strategy to beat the competitors.
2. Keyword Analysis:
Keywords are the key when it comes to generating traffic. You can take help of Google Adwords Keyword Tool to find the most competitive keywords.
You can also get to know which keywords related to a particular segment is generating more traffic. Moreover, it will also reveal how much competitors are paying for their ads on a per click basis.
It’s important to understand that the Search Engine Optimization is a continuous process. Search engines like Google would keep changing its algorithm, and SEO professionals will have to update their knowledge and skills accordingly.
This also puts emphasis that an e-commerce store needs to keep updating their content and keywords for search engines to crawl their fresh content.
4. Social Media Efforts:
In today’s scenario, the social media could be a game changer. It not only helps building reputation, but can also generate business leads. An online store should allow users to share their purchases, deals etc on their social pages.
Moreover, an e-commerce store should have social media profiles on all leading networks and should keep it updated and fresh. You can share discounts, promotional offers,etc., on the social networks and can witness traffic visiting the web store to take advantage of the latest deals and offers.
Technology can play an important role to bring the traffic you desire for. But you need to offer them the best products, services and the shopping experience, once they are on your e-commerce store.
For any ecommerce outlet, there are few important aspects to keep in mind that can help them establish their brand superiority in the online world. These are products, services, business model and extras.
You must offer the best quality and durable products to your customers. Besides, you should have some unique products in your portfolio that can simply draw the attention of the shoppers.
You can also offer your customers with better customization and personalization choices. For example, if you are selling clothes and apparel, offer them choices of matching shoes or sandals, when they place an order for a dress on your website.
Let your customers feel that you care for them. Besides offering them cost-saving deals, you need to make sure that they would have the best shopping experience on your online store.
Keep your order placement and online payment mechanism as simple as possible. In case they are facing any issue, you should have a 24-hour support team to resolve it quickly.
You must an on-time delivery mechanism in place and provide them with an order tracking system to rest assured that the consignment is on the way.
#3: Business Model
This includes designing of your web shop, choosing features and functionality, selecting wholesale supplier, integrating payment mechanism and also choosing your delivery partner. A feature-rich, but clutter-free website always appeals to the online shoppers, which should also have several types of safe online payment systems.
Moreover, you need to focus on product supplier that can provide you with good quality products at wholesale prices, so that you can keep the prices low for the consumer and at the same time can make significant profits.
By delivering products on time, you can build a relationship with your customers, and thus you should focus on choosing a professional shipment company.
Online shoppers are more willing to do a business with an online store that can offer them price discounts, free goodies and other attractive offers. You too need to design promotional offers that can draw the attention of the customers.
You can offer discounts, bundle some products to offer like Buy 2 Get One, offer free shipping, discounts on the next purchase etc. Plan a tool or a system to capture personal data of your customers to send them Birthday and Anniversary Offers from time to time.
In the true sense, the online world is a fast changing world, and online retailers need to be prepared to embrace new technologies and remain open to new ideas.