E-commerce is not yet over, and it won’t go anywhere anytime soon.
Never before has there been such a demand for online purchases, and for businesses, this is both an opportunity and a challenge.
In a recent report from the Straits Times on the 28th of Jan, Minister for Trade and Industry Mr Chan Chun Sing highlighted the government’s five-pronged strategy to promote Singapore’s status as a regional and global e-commerce hub.
“The borderless world of e-commerce presents fresh opportunities that are up for grabs by all who are willing to try. Technology is neutral. Businesses that can master it faster and better, win,” said the minister.
It’s time to make a move!
What this means for you, an entrepreneur, is that it’s a time for adaptation. It’s not yet too late to invest in e-commerce, as the pandemic’s impact has had a significant impact towards the lives of every B2C consumer, and this implies changes on how people purchase items online, even necessities for their home.
Problems in E-commerce
Of course, it’s nowhere near easy. You also need to be able to handle it correctly. E-commerce is a haven for the detail-oriented, but not all business owners know how to use technology tools to capitalize on this new opportunity. Some don’t even have the willingness to learn how to.
An option for the commonly overwhelming pursuit of e-commerce growth is to find an all-in-one e-commerce enabler that helps you from managing your online sales channels all the way to delivering your products to your consumer’s doorstep!
Let’s Talk About Consumer Behavior
The COVID-19 pandemic has forever changed online shopping behaviours. Even when the pandemic is over, E-commerce has gained enough exposure and security on the minds of consumers.
This affects certain businesses more than others as well. As health becomes more important, many consumers have been narrowing their sights toward better health.
Let’s not forget about those who were essentially impossible to reach with e-commerce: the older generations. Before the pandemic, could you imagine seniors ordering online? Of course not! Especially since there was a fear of inconsistency or unreliability. Now, even furniture is bought online, even in 3rd world countries.
Here is a rate of how internet users in Southeast Asia interacted with the internet in search of the products they want. There were 40 million additional users between 2019-2020 alone.
In addition to new online users, COVID-19 led to an acceleration of digital consumption as many tried using new digital services for the first time. More than 1 in every 3 digital service consumers started using the service due to COVID-19.
Southeast Asia is mobile-first (and often mobile-only)
Despite this being more and more apparent worldwide, Southeast Asia is among the most mobile-centric regions with countries like Singapore leading the way on smartphone penetration, and others like Indonesia and Thailand leapfrogging desktop PCs altogether.
As late adopters to the internet, most households in the region never owned a desktop, and as smartphones became more affordable and accessible, they quickly became the main device by which people connected to the web.
Reading, Interpreting, and Utilising Data
You won’t get that much out of standing around and trying to think about who your customers are, what their thought process is, or how they come into a buying decision.. Until now!
E-commerce is great in segmenting and organizing data in a way that hasn’t been done before. You now have more access to data more than ever.
- Would you like to know the pages customers visit before coming to a buying decision?
- Would you like to know how long they stay on your website?
- Would you like to know how many people visited your website and their country of origin?
- How many customers click on your ads and how many of these convert to customers?
- How do your ads perform compared to others?
All these questions and more can easily be answered when you know where to find data and how to read them to your advantage!
Be Mindful of Customer Expectations
If you want to make sure your new arm in E-commerce continues to grow, you have to take care of your customers. That’s something not to be taken lightly.
The name of the game is reputation. Customers nowadays get more and more demanding, it gets more and more difficult to maintain customer expectations respectively.
Not only that, but you have to throw a bone again and again, because E-commerce is fast. Your customers see you at the screen, then your competitors next.
Every customer must be treated in a personal manner. It has to be “for them”. Given that, relevant messaging and timing is prevalent. Make sure your customers’ expectations are met and that they feel acknowledged and valued when they purchase your product or use your service.
Manage Your Channels
A multichannel approach to your customers is today’s norm, but people are moving more towards more efficient omni channel provisions to have the opportunity to interact with their customers like never before.
Regardless of having a Multichannel or Omni channel approach, securing a seamless channel management service is definitely something to make sure to be equipped with.
Do not be misled, retaining customers is also a tough task. We live in an age where there are so many choices, that simply having a customer is half the battle (at best). If you have a product, chances are, someone’s going to do it better or give more value.
Combined with the saturation of choices, evolving expectations of the consumer, dented reviews, and discounts by competitors, E-commerce is an uphill battle.
The thing is, customer loyalty ironically is a major aspect in a successful company.
A business should be able to introduce itself in a timely and relevant manner, reel customers in with realistic campaigns, build and maintain relationships.
A good way is to conduct a loyalty system for an emotional attachment to the product. Just take a look at how Starbucks plays into their target market: Millennials to Gen Z. These age groups are already entering the workforce with their own flare and ambitions, and what does Starbucks do? They give out planners in the 4th Quarter of the year.
These thoughtful moves into the lives of your target market goes a very long way.
Find the right E-commerce Enabler
An e-commerce enabler like Kyndle provides services that help a brand in growing its digital pursuit usually through a one-stop solution where they create content, provide omni channel services, performance marketing, all the way to shipping products to the customer.
With the growing demand for speed, efficiency, and seamlessness of service, E-commerce businesses should consider an omni channel approach to their efforts.
Personalisation and timing is very important, and a company should contemplate more on how the adventure of the consumer toward their brand will result in a long-lasting relationship.
Analyze and learn from the data you gather, and be very creative in positioning yourself in the lives of your consumer.
It’s a tough fight, and businesses should let out the innovator in them. We have more tools than ever before. Time to use them.