It is no secret that every year consumer trends rapidly change and, as a retailer, it is your job to keep on top of them. Knowing exactly what your customer wants and how you can adjust your retail game to accommodate their ever-growing and changing needs, is the key to not only staying in the game but keeping one step ahead of your competitor. This is especially true if you own a small business but may not be possible for every company to invest in time or a marketing or sales team to promote online sales, improve conversion rates, and increase your revenue. Therefore, let’s take a look at what shoppers are looking for in their online retail experience and how your business can increase its revenue as a result of this.
Providing an Online Personalized Shopping Experience.
As part of ever-changing customer service expectations, having a personalized shopping experience is growing rapidly in popularity and has quickly become something that shoppers actively look for. Shoppers want to feel that, after a few clicks, your online retail store knows them and can readily help them find what they’re looking for. This is especially true after creating an online account and one of the best ways to increase potential customer sales. With the option to check out as a “guest” instead of creating an account so readily available, people are going to need to have the best shopping experience possible to actually go ahead and create that account. The number of online retailers in 2019 is at an all-time high and a site that offers a personalized experience to their customers will have a competitive edge over one who doesn’t. A retail website that has the ability to recommend products based on a product that your customer already bought, or is currently browsing, has a huge potential to boost your revenue. It is exposing people and your entire potential customer base to products that they might not have seen otherwise, or may potentially have missed. Another useful tool is an option to see what others have bought who already purchased the item that you are looking at, as they very well may have similar taste to you. If a consumer can visit one retailer who can show them exactly what they are looking for and more, they might not feel the need to look elsewhere.
We Want Our Electronic Devices to Know Us (Better Than We Know Them).
This may seem strange, but most certainly ties in with the point above of providing a personalized shopping experience. When it comes to not only shopping online but the device in which we use to purchase these items, devices that know nearly more about us than we do them are becoming rapidly popular. We want devices that are not only intuitive about what we want, when we want it but can provide us with whatever information we are looking for. Want to know what the weather forecast is? We either want to be told with the click of a button, or we want to be able to verbally ask, and find out. Better yet, wouldn’t it be nice if we were just told what the weather was because our device knows that this is information we want on a daily basis? With the evolution of electronics, especially in the form of smartphones, iPhone’s Siri and home devices such as Amazon’s Echo, there is now an expectation for our electronics to be able to act for us. This seems like a crazy expectation if you think about it. However, consumers are now so used to this that they expect nothing less. We are constantly being surprised by how much our electronics can do and how they are constantly evolving. Staying on top of this ability to provide this kind of personalization to a product, is a huge deal when it comes to boosting revenue and staying on top of the hottest trends.
Social Media Is More Relevant Than Ever.
Social media is undoubtedly the biggest driving force behind sales today. Retail ads placed in Facebook and Instagram have proven to be invaluable when it comes to getting your product out into the public. Another hugely effective social media marketing ploy? YouTube. More and more retail websites, apps, restaurant chains, and even holiday destinations are being advertised through a video or even multiple videos that they are sponsoring for a social media influencer. If the product is even mildly relevant to what a popular influencer represents, you can best believe that there has been a brand either paying them to feature their product, or has sent them the product for free, hoping they would mention it. YouTube is not only for entertainment purposes anymore, but it is where social media influencers make their careers. Unfortunately, it has become harder than ever for YouTubers to make money off of ads that are run before and during their videos alone (via AdSense), and are looking for sponsorship deals more than ever. Not only has it become harder to make money off of these ads, but the standards for even being eligible to be monetized in the first place have become significantly stricter. If you are able to sponsor a social media influencer with hundreds of thousands—if not millions—of followers, you can best believe that you will see a huge influx in sales. (That is, if the influencer believes in your product, of course!)
Can I Have It for Free?
Largely due to the competitive retail market (both online and offline), if a customer is going to order from you, odds are they want something for free, or at a discount (can you blame them?). Whether they are buying online or in store, a customer is much less likely to choose your competitor over you if you are not offering a discount or some sort of benefit for shopping in your store. (I am guilty of this myself!) For example, even if you are an online retailer, there is actually benefit in raising your prices by a few dollars so you can offer your customers free shipping, or even offering free shipping over a certain amount spent, which many retailers already do. With the number of competitors retailers have in 2019 both online and offline, it is important for customers to believe that they’re getting at least something for free.
These are just a few of the many ways that retailers and consumers alike are growing changing for the year 2019. In order to boost your revenue, it is essential to keep on top of the latest trends and end up not seeing the competition for dust!