We all know that consumer behaviour and the way people shop is changing. E-commerce has seen a sharp rise over the last several years and there’s no longer a clear-cut distinction between offline and online.
Consumers are looking for a seamless, omni-channel shopping experience and e-commerce will continue to grow aggressively. This is where small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) can really get ahead.
SMEs are advantageous because they’re nimble, quick to adapt and more relatable to consumers. They’re also more open to taking risks and trying new things. In order to optimise the e-commerce experience, here are three useful tips to grow sales both regionally and globally.
1. Offer more payment options
Online and mobile payment solutions are keeping pace with the e-commerce evolution, thanks to Apple Pay, Google Wallet, “buy buttons”, and other technologies that make anytime/ any device payments simple and more secure.
SMEs who add payment options – and integrate them with their loyalty program – can capture more shoppers who might otherwise delay or forego their mobile purchases.
2. Simplify checkout
Don’t bombard customers with promotional messaging or ads that may distract them when finalising their purchases. Keep the checkout process simple and secure to provide a quick and problem-free checkout; otherwise, potential purchases could be abandoned.
3. Market to fit each channel
SMEs need to create target-right, customised marketing and merchandising programs relevant for omni-channel retailing. Some solutions enable SMEs to link with established mobile marketing platforms, a simpler way of advertising and offering coupons than developing an app that could be overlooked among competitors.
4. Optimise order fulfilment
Choose a logistics provider with a wide range of solutions and flexibility to handle domestic, regional and international deliveries. Reduce overhead costs by consolidating operation, and offer sophisticated, easy-to-use return processes.
Retailers that cater to the needs and whims of consumers can attain competitive advantages. Taking the online shopping experience and bringing it to life through a reliable order fulfilment process may spell the difference between business growth and failure for SMEs looking to expand their business globally.
Raj Subramaniam is Executive Vice President, Global Strategy, Marketing and Communications for FedEx, a world leader in transportation, e-commerce and logistics services. Raj oversees all aspects of the company’s marketing and communications efforts globally including advertising, brand and reputation, product and business development, digital access, e-commerce, retail marketing and corporate strategy.