Back in the early 2000’s we saw the beginning stages of the power of e-commerce as customers all over the globe began to buy online instead of in person at retail stores. Here we are 17 years later and e-commerce is about to show it’s powerful influence on customers around the globe yet again! Amazon has changed the face of e-commerce by purchasing products in bulk and as a “Marketplace Seller” (where they take a cut of a third-party sellers’ products and sell them on their website and app) resell the item at competitive pricing. If you’re an Amazon Prime member, you’ll get that item in 2 days. Who needs to go to the store anymore? But wait, there’s more! If you’re a Prime Member you can also have your groceries delivered, watch Amazon videos, movies, and rent e-books. By the way, with Prime Now, you get to have items delivered within 2 hours or select a 2-hour window to have it delivered within the same day. Anyone else’s business plan so broad?
This level of progress brings up a good question. Why didn’t other major retailers think of structuring their growth plan in the same way? If you carefully evaluate their offerings, Amazon’s services could be replicated by a competing retailer. The truth is that while all of their programs are feasible for a large competitor to copy, the one component no one thought about was the simplest. Business 101 if you will. Location, location, location. Having distribution centers just about everywhere was Amazon’s starting point. Yes, Walmart has 150+ distribution centers with way more square footage than Amazon’s fulfillment centers. However, they are not optimized for restocking as Amazon’s 11,500 stores are.
That being said, Amazon is probably the most defensible company on the globe, and we definitely haven’t even started to grasp the scale of its power over competitors. Amazon’s lead will grow over the next decade, and I don’t think there is much more other retailers can do to stop it. So if you can’t beat em’, join em’!
How to Make Your Online Business Grow
Knowing a shopper’s buying cycle is a way to specifically cater to each shopper. It’s important to realize that there are different types of shoppers. Some have very specific needs, while others prefer browsing around. For this reason, it’s very important to know what the shopper needs in each stage of his or her shopping journey. A good retail marketer would use his or her knowledge on the different shoppers to their advantage by offering, for instance, event-specific content for weddings, bridal showers, anniversaries, cocktail parties, or business meetings.
Another thing to do is to make your merchandise season friendly. Meaning having different looks for each season and then promoting it in that manner. This is a perfect way to “guess” a shopper’s buying cycle since you know that any shopper who shops in the summer, for example, will be looking for shorter clothes, sandals and sunglasses. Whereas a customer that shops during winter will most likely be looking for coats, mittens, and scarves.
Drawing Traffic to Your E-commerce Website
Content marketing plays a big role in the retail world. Undeniably, retailers are always using new methods to promote their brand/store and or products at hand. Through the use of social media, branded magazines, or lookbooks, these companies definitely prove to know the value of marketing in such a cutthroat industry.
Internet plays a huge role in retail content marketing. With the internet you have access to the outside world very easily which is always necessary. When promoting retail content online, it’s crucial to measure how well your content is doing. Are people liking it? talking about it? using it? or sharing it? These are all important questions because chances are, if people aren’t engaging with your content online then they definitely won’t shop on your website. After you’ve evaluated the success of your online marketing content through “likes, comments, and shares”, it’s up to you to decide, based on the success or lack thereof of your online content, what your next step will be.
Trends that are Shaping Consumer’s Purchasing Behavior
So now that Amazon has paved the way and has changed our customer’s shopping behavior, it’s time to jump on board the e-commerce boom ship. Online shopping is shaping the retail industry’s upcoming years and most business owners will want to follow the trends to boost their revenue. The document below will help you begin the planning stages to help your business grow…online.
Once you’ve laid out your growth plan, you’ll realize that you may need a staffing solution that will meet your new call volume needs. You don’t have to hire in-house staff when a virtual sales team can take all of your incoming calls, answer your customer’s questions, and place orders!