Written by Ofer Fryman, CEO &Co-Founder of Syte AI
Artificial intelligence, machine-learning, mobile and cognitive technologies and emerged in response to our increasing expectations as customers for instant gratification and an elevated online shopping experience.
Now is the time for fashion and lifestyle brands evaluate their current website against current and emerging trends, Not evolving owned media channels opens brands up to risk, as competitors that do will grab market share with a digital presence that better solves for the features, functionalities, and processes that customers expect.
1. Personalized Experiences
Today's customers are not only sharing incredible amounts of information on their multiple devices, but they expect retailers to leverage that information to create a unique and personalized shopping experience - just for them.
Therefore, it has become the responsibility of retailers to give their customers personalized interactions and recommendations to ensure they get what they want, where they want it and when they want it.
2. Sensory Search
2017 marked the beginning of a revolution in panoptic search (also known as visual search), thanks to the popularity of visual social platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest. Panoptic search and voice search are becoming increasingly popular in eCommerce. Retailers and publishers around the world, such as Erdbeerlounge and Intu, are going the extra mile and amplifying their websites with visual search capabilities powered by third-party companies such as Syte Al. Visual search is quickly becoming the standard.
In the case of voice search, people are getting increasingly comfortable speaking into their phones to ask questions, search and shop. Is your site ready to adapt to sensory search?
3. Simplicity for the Customer
This may sound like a no-brainer to many, but you will be surprised. In order to provide a more seamless user experience, you must look into new tools, systems, and technologies such as machine learning to help with all the heavy-lifting. Therefore, it is important to make use of 'one-click' solutions. You will find that in reducing customer effort, you will reduce time and energy spent on trivial matters on the backend.
4. Mobile Commerce
By 2020, smartphones and tablets will account for more than 3/4 of online commercial transactions on a global scale. It's quickly becoming essential to supplement eCommerce with mobile commerce (now commonly known as eCommerce) and doing so will only open new opportunities for retailers, such as mobile payments, on-demand services, app-based services, new marketplaces, and more. If you find a white-label solution that can get you in on mobile commerce - get all over that!
5. Al for the Back Office
It's a jungle out there, and we totally get how time-consuming it becomes to keep tabs on adjustments that need to be made in order to compete. Luckily, we are in the midst of times where that no longer needs to be an issue. Seek technology that uses machine-learning and predictive analysis that will assist with real-time optimizations of merchandising, pricing, sourcing, and more.
6. Digital Assistance
Messaging apps led to the rapid rise of chatbots, which numerous brands are embracing. There are over 100k chatbots on Facebook Messenger alone, and they are being used to handle basic orders, customer service inquiries, even personal shopping assistance such as that offered by Syte Inspire. We strongly recommend you get on board the chatbot train, as the perks are plentiful.
7. Real-Time Customer Assistance
Customer support needs to be top-notch in terms of speed and quality. In addition to chattiest, look into live chat, and self-service portals for customers. The latter isn't anything particularly new, but it is important, and many retailers fail to provide these levels of support. Stop customer frustration before it starts!
8. Digital Promotions
As the eCommerce gets larger, it will only get more difficult for brands to stand out from the giants. This increased the importance of frequent *strategic* paid social media promotions and email marketing efforts. You may want to consider automated and personalized solutions if you're really looking to scale on that front, to help drive outside traffic across all relevant social channels. On that note, educate yourself on SEO (to attract visitors to your site,) PPC (to get more customers,) and conversation rate optimization (to increase sales.)
9. Adoption of Sales Funnels
This is typically used in Internet marketing, and is a really good one to implement for increasing marketplace sales. Sales funnels help control the customer journey based on their behavior to increase conversation rates. For example, you can use a Facebook ad to drive traffic to a landing page, which will guide customers to your store on Amazon.
These are amongst the leading features, functionalities, and processes that will help give your business the edge it needs to stay ahead in the ever-evolving world eCommerce. We have sure come a long way from just slapping products onto a database and hoping for transactions. The market is fierce, and you cannot afford to fall behind during this turning point!
Go get 'em, and make 2018 your year!
About Ofer Fryman,
For over 18 years, Ofer developed scalable real-time, artificial self-developing software systems. Several of his products are currently being used by 60% of the Fortune 1000 companies. Ofer previously held management positions for Jungo, (acquired by NDS followed by Intel); Microsoft; HP; and Shunra (acquired by HP). As the CEO and Co-Founder of Syte, Ofer combines his technical and sales background to lead Syte AI as the front-runner in panoptic search, which is quickly becoming the standard in eCommerce.