The changes that the retail industry has seen as a result of the emergence of online shopping cannot be overstated. The ability to shop online has provided customers the most convenient and safest experience throughout these trying times of COIVD-19. Not only are there endless possibilities in regards to products, but more and more exclusive deals and promotions are available exclusively online. If you were wondering just how influential this industry has been, in 2019 alone (before lockdown restrictions) online shopping totaled above $3.5 trillion spent globally, with over two billion people doing some form of online shopping.
Of the most influential players in the online retailing space, Amazon has to be the largest. Amazon has continued to break the mold when it comes to online shopping and e-commerce. With over 12 million different products to choose from, it’s hard to believe the nearly 200 million users visiting their marketplace every month would not find something they’d be willing to buy. The issue with such wild success for Amazon is that smaller online retailers will likely face expectations they won’t be able to meet from their customers. Expectations like accelerated shipping or free shipping have become standard but are not always offered by smaller online retailers.
These businesses competing with Amazon in this space certainly feel their impact. As such, it’s almost imperative for these businesses to prioritize ways to keep their customers happy despite their logistical woes. In most cases, this is accomplished through branded tracking pages or member-based shipping prices. While a tracking page doesn’t solve a customer’s need for their product at an expedited speed, it does allow them the agency to stay up to date on the processing and shipping cycle of their orders. These pages can increase brand recognition and improve the customer experience.
Another way that these smaller online retailers can look to keep up with Amazon is through revitalizing their website and customer experience. Most of the time this comes down to convenience and how user friendly a website is. For example, what are the benefits of creating an account on your website? Do your customers get to save their shipping and payment information for future purchases? Do you recommend them new products based on their previous orders? Are there any discount codes exclusive to users who create accounts on the platform? The more opportunities you create for your customers to take advantage of, the more likely there are to make repeat purchases. Saving the customer time and money is always priority number one.
For more information on how Amazon has shaken up the online retailing industry, be sure to review the infographic coupled with this post.
Author bio: John Hinchey is VP of Sales for Westfalia Technologies, Inc., a leading provider of logistics solutions for plants, warehouses and distribution centers. He has more than 20 years of experience in manufacturing and warehouse automation.