3 Ways Retailers Must Adapt Their eCommerce Retail Strategy Post-Pandemic
The pandemic has changed how retailers operate, causing many to re-elevate their eCommerce retail strategy. But what happens to those eCommerce operations once the pandemic is finally over? According to a recent survey, 63 percent of consumers stated that they start their search on Amazon.com, 25 percent on other marketplaces, and only 21 percent on brands’ websites; with such a high volume of online shoppers, is it feasible to look back?
After many retailers quickly invested in eCommerce capabilities, such as digital ordering, delivery tracking, and stock management, to stay afloat, many will be forced to reevaluate their business. Now, companies may need to consider a permanent plan to support themselves moving forward as we move further away from previous challenges. This blog will look into viable options for keeping eCommerce retail alive and competitive in 2021, and the future as the world of retail continues to evolve.
Implement AI For Operations and Personalization
AI is the new face of retail, and it’s being incorporated into every aspect of business management. There are several different ways AI technology can help boost your eCommerce retail operations. It can help cut operation costs by evaluating ordering, picking, and delivery to enhance operations with fewer trips and less wasted time.
AI also helps predict inventory and consumer behavior with its vast algorithms. It does so by providing customers with items they’re looking for and expecting what purchases will go together or require more inventory. If your company has been running forecasts in aggregate, it’s time to make the switch to a more advanced and dynamic forecast solution.
These AI algorithms can improve personalization and reduce customer churn. Although personalization isn’t a new concept, retailers can significantly enhance effectiveness with richer data from online transactions. Advanced AI systems instantaneously analyze customer and behavioral data to understand what factors lead to retention and identify when or why customers churn. For example, this data can recognize who’s likely to buy a specific item when they’re shopping and more. In addition, you can utilize its information to target promotional advertising and encourage more significant purchases.
Also, with the ability to identify what people will buy, AI models generate helpful tips and purchase companions for consumers to make more intelligent and confident purchase decisions. For example, if a customer buys a large beach towel, AI can suggest water toys, sunscreen, pool maintenance, or accessories.
Implement a Multi-Marketing Strategy for Higher Sales
A recent Shopify study found that merchants who sell in three or more channels can see a 200 percent boost in sales. With such a higher margin in potential sales, it’s no wonder that many online retailers pursue a multi-marketplace strategy.
It’s crucial for you to partner with a POS provider that offers a multi-marketplace solution. For starters, managing multiple store locations can be challenging. With every store having its ebb and flow for operations, consistent management requires a POS and back-office management system designed to streamline processes and link remote locations under one system. Plus, you can run your entire chain of stores with a multi-store software component that can operate up to 99 stores all at once. Meanwhile, you can better provide the following:
- Customer and loyalty management
- Intuitive inventory management
- Employee maintenance
- Time clock management
- Productivity reporting
Selecting the right marketplaces can be tricky, which is why extensive research is necessary to pick the correct locations for a business’s audience. Unfortunately, many brands and retailers spread out listings of all their products on as many marketplaces as possible, leading to poor sales results and wasted time. Instead, look for marketplaces where your product categories sell well, your prices are competitive, and your margins are acceptable. There are tools available for competitive pricing research, market share analysis, and listing automation and optimization. They can maximize your success for your eCommerce retail strategy.
Additionally, you must ensure that your inventory management aligns with your sales and fulfillment of eCommerce retail. More than just handling new lines or revenues and fulfillments, your products should be on the right marketplaces for a successful strategy. Carefully evaluate the various fulfillment options and select the one that best meets your needs. Furthermore, sellers must keep sufficient inventory at each marketplace and manage the inventory level and inbounds independently. This approach adds up to much higher carrying costs and endless order and management complexity.
Focus on the Customer Experience
Convenience is essential, and you want to ensure that your eCommerce retail site is easy to navigate and user-friendly. After all, you made the site for your customers, so why not guarantee they’ll have an enjoyable experience online just like they would in your shop? Also, stay up on the latest trends to keep your online store current.
The easiest thing retailers can do to keep their eCommerce site prevalent moving forward is to focus on the user experience and ensure their retail location hits all the significant markers, such as:
- Big holidays and big shopping moments
- Target those budget shoppers
- Warm weather specials
Privacy and security needs are a critical focus as well. Verify that your site is equipped with the latest software updates and ensure your security efforts are apparent online as well. If consumers don’t feel safe on your website or that it’s not secure, they’ll abandon their cart in fear of their credit card data safety.
For better or worse, eCommerce retail must prepare and adapt for whatever the future holds. Your retail design will endure any challenge you may face by implementing AI and multi-marketing strategies and focusing on online customer experience.
At The General Store, we have all the items you need for your eCommerce retail strategy to thrive throughout 2021. So if you’re ready to secure your eCommerce store’s future and success, contact us today!