Gaining a Competitive Edge for your eCommerce brand - 4 ways you can do this
Post covid 19, consumer expectations and shopping behaviours are witnessing a radical change. These changes demand strategic transformation in existing supply chain processes and related ecosystems at the retail and wholesale levels.
Consumers have shifted to e-commerce and started preferring online products that they previously would have purchased from brick-and-mortar stores. Even post-pandemic, customers are preferring to follow the same trends.
Key Emerging Contributors for Ecommerce Trends
The shift in Consumer Behaviour
Today’s consumers are comfortable making online purchases even for product categories like groceries, furniture, and other household staples. Online product reviews, a wide range of options and simplified yet easy delivery terms have created a strong preference for online shopping.
Lucrative Promotional offers
Retailers are responding with exceedingly diverse product with tantalizing promotional offers to lure people to opt for online shopping. In addition, loyalty points and short-duration deals create an urge to shop more on these eCommerce stores.
Better selection options
Most eCommerce stores offer a wide selection of goods along with flexible and fast delivery. In a recent survey, 43% of respondents were willing to pay more for this convenience. To add to this, product and price comparison sites, along with rating and reviews portals are making the overall online shopping experience smoother and cost effective for buyers.
Above all, factors such as ease of payment using digital payment options and the proliferating use of technology has made a radical shift in the favour of ecommerce stores inevitable.
Customers prefer buying from brands that have a reliable website with clearly defined delivery terms and a smooth sales experience. All this puts an additional burden on the supply chain as it plays a key role in ensuring the availability of goods and smooth, hassle-free delivery – leading to an enhanced sales experience. It should be obvious, brands that prioritize their eCommerce capabilities have a competitive edge.
Creating a Digital Connection
As brands have several ways to reach customers online, failure to deliver seamless customer experiences in a multichannel world can impact the brand and sour the customer relationship.
This is why selecting the right digital commerce model is crucial. Ironing out the complexities of operations, understanding the prevailing ecosystem and its capabilities to serve consumers is critical. It is the first step in selecting one or a combination of the available digital models.
Cost impact during product order life cycle
Choosing a digital commerce model impacts the product order cycle as online sales naturally affects the supply chain. The movement of full cases of products from the warehouse to fulfilment workers who unpack and prepare unit-level is long and arduous. In the online model business need to manage:
- Unit level processing labour
- Packing, unpack and put away
- Website maintenance
- Payment and credit services
- Small-parcel delivery
- Shipping for mailed returns
- Customer service sites and agents
Each stage of the order life cycle adds additional cost. It’s important to note here that maintaining a seamless process can be a differentiator.
Also Read: How to get started with mCommerce in India
4 ways to get the competitive edge in eCommerce
Increasing sales and maintaining financial performance while raising the bar with service standards is crucial. Here are four-way eCommerce business can gain an advantage:
Agile Digital commerce
eCommerce provides immense opportunities to target different customer segments while creating immense possibilities for engagement. Finding innovative ways using prevailing digital capabilities, and the latest methods to create valuable user experience and engagement drivers is the best way ahead. The reality is getting the loyalty of digitally savvy customers isn’t easy. You have to keep customers interested in the latest product launches and strengthening backend processes with the latest technology if you want to sustain customer loyalty.
Segmenting your Stock-keeping units
The expectation for two-day delivery in digital commerce is considered a given by most online stores these days. However, this is easier said than done. Companies will need to speed up their supply chain and distribution channels by segmenting SKUs on the basis of consumer demand and prioritizing those items on shelves that get sold quickly in contrast to slow sellers. Improved forecasting of your product inventory, reduction in waste of ordered products and simplified shipping and transportation are the additional benefits that can be achieved with SKU segmentation.
Endless aisles or in-store fulfilment
Omnichannel brands with brick-and-mortar stores can maximise their revenues through endless aisles. 38% of online shoppers will abandon their order if the delivery will take longer than a week.
In addition, 24% of shoppers cancel their order if they find delivery too slow. Thus, the fulfilment of the orders is something that eCommerce stores must optimize if they want to retain customers. Endless aisles, or the process of ordering online and picking from the store are some of the latest strategies that have worked in preventing cart abandonment or losing the sale.
Enabling fulfilment operations
Inventory management, supply chain management, order processing, quality control and customer support are significant milestones in the order fulfilling life cycle. However, it is a challenging task to coordinate these processes. A shift to fully optimized and automated fulfilment operations can eliminate process inefficiencies. With AI or robotic processes, storage, retrieval, and packaging can be streamlined.
Further optimizations are possible. Good that add revenue needs to be increased while a stock that burdens the supply chain system and increases costs need to be reduced.
Competitive edge with Concord Commerce
Businesses need to nurture the customer experience from the beginning to the end of the sale. Before opting for an ecommerce partner, it is vital to understand the capabilities of your existing systems the gap in creating a competitive edge. Deep introspection of existing resources, customer expectations, omnichannel capabilities, supply chain management and product life cycle stages are a must.
You can partner with Concord and get a robust eCommerce model developed of the highest standards. That will provide a delightful sales experience to your customers and help your business to rise above the competition. Accelerate the growth of your online store to rise above the competition. Feel free to arrange a meeting today.