While Amazon certainly plays a role in the struggles of other retailers, much of the latter’s loss of market share can also be attributed to failing to adapt to market changes. Leading retailers who have filed bankruptcy, or who have experienced significant loss in market share, would absolutely benefit from figuring out what the market wants while shopping online, and serving it to them.
With that in mind, these are the top things to strategize for in 2018 and the following years:
- Mobile Commerce Accounts for More Revenue Than Ever
Just how much will consumers spend online? We won’t know until early 2019 after the data gets crunched. However, Forrester projects smartphone and tablet users could account for as much as $500 billion in sales. “Mobile commerce” means much more than having a website which looks nice on mobile devices. Rather, you must create a consistent user experience across all channels. Mobile users need to know everything about a product that they would otherwise learn in the store (including difficult-to-learn information like texture and size). And they need the extreme convenience they get with Amazon. You may not be able to duplicate Amazon’s convenience. But, the closer you can get, the better.
- Accommodate Digital Wallets
Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Android Pay, Paypal, and Amazon Pay are the leading digital wallets. They make the checkout process fast, easy, and secure. Think this isn’t a huge deal? These 37 cart abandonment studies (done from 2006-2017) have found a cart abandonment rate of 55 – 78%. Wow! Many companies lose ¾ of their online sales after consumers put items in their cart. And to top it off, 78%, the highest statistic, was actually recently found in January of 2017. Not only should you accommodate digital wallets, but you need strategies for recovering those customers who add items but don’t purchase.
- Dedicate a Team to Understanding Online Customer Behavior
For the most part, companies do not understand how their customers think and act online. They’re still stuck on the in-store experience. There’s nothing wrong with working on your in-store sales, but you’ve got to work at understanding your online shoppers too.
A/B testing, customer path analysis, surveys, usability studies, and customer feedback need constant analysis. You shouldn’t just do this once annually or once every few years when you redesign your website. It’s a constant, on-going process that requires a specialized team to execute.
Keeping up with your market isn’t easy, but if you don’t, you’ll find yourself in a world of trouble like many long-established retailers. It’s simply the next logical step to take.