The desire to start an online business is higher than ever these days. People who had to leave their job because of the pandemic are looking for a way to solve their financial woes. There are also some who are fed up with their current job and would be more than happy to jump at any opportunity to try something new.
This is where e-commerce comes in. The industry continues to grow and reach new heights every year. The difference became significant recently when people were forced to do more shopping online due to brick-and-mortar stores closing. Even those who have not shopped online before have realized the convenience internet stores offer.
Developing an online business from scratch comes with advantages and disadvantages. For example, if you were to start a clothing line with print on demand dropshipping, you would not have to worry about most logistical problems like shipping, warehousing, packing, and returns.
On the other hand, it would mean that you would need to rely on your suppliers. Not manufacturing products yourself means that a lack of a reliable supplier could put the business in jeopardy.
And these are just a few examples that determine how one proceeds with their online business approach. And you know what else dictates whether a business stands out or falls behind its competition? The answer is trends.
Selling on Recognizable Platforms
Creating a website from scratch is a popular approach, but an aspiring entrepreneur may find more luck selling on popular platforms. As of 2020, third-party sellers make about 50% of all sales on Amazon Marketplace. Amazon is an e-commerce giant, and it is no surprise to see such numbers.
Besides Amazon, you could also consider eBay. While not as popular as Amazon, the platform still has a great number of users who sell and purchase both brand-new and second-hand products.
The advantage of selling on such marketplaces means that you do not need to work on developing a website yourself. Besides, many people use the search function on Amazon and eBay rather than Google when searching for a product, meaning that you do not miss out on this demographic.
That is not to say that you should disregard the idea of creating your own online store. Instead, think of this as a suggestion that could help you see more success in the early days of managing an online business.
Using Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence is another trend that will shape the future of ecommerce. For one thing, it is only a matter of time before chatbots replace real people in customer support. A bot that is available 24/7 and responds immediately sounds like a superior option to a human, right?
Also, since there is a lot of competition involved in ecommerce, brands are looking to collect as much information about custom behavior, competition, and other relevant aspects to gain an edge.
It is difficult to process a vast amount of data manually. Fortunately, with the help of AI, businesses will have fewer problems with the data.
Providing Advanced Customization
Advanced customization may not be possible for some businesses, but if you sell clothes or other products that provide the freedom for customers to pick what they would like to put on a product, do not make the mistake of limiting customization options.
That freedom a customer experiences could be the difference maker between someone spending their money or going to shop in another store.
Colors, words, fonts, and other elements that someone could change should be changeable. Not only will the shoppers have more freedom and product variety, but they will also feel appreciated knowing that this is the place that accommodates their needs.
Optimizing Store for Voice Commerce
Voice ecommerce is another trend that you should not miss. Despite the fact that this technology is still relatively new, more and more online stores are investing resources to implement the feature on their websites.
Besides the obvious convenience that one has shopping with their voice, you should also consider people with disabilities. There is a demographic that has no other option but to use their voice to shop on the internet. And if you fail to provide them with such an option, you will miss out on a number of customers.
Emphasizing Brand Awareness
The emphasis on brand awareness should not be that surprising, but this factor tends to be underestimated by many online businesses.
Recognition and positive associations are necessary if you want to create a sustainable project, particularly if you operate in a competitive niche.
Some of the methods of raising brand awareness include collaboration with influencers, participating in live events to introduce others to the brand, and prioritizing great customer service.