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6 reasons why ecommerce is important for your business

1. Consumers are demanding digital

As I’ve already mentioned, consumers are increasingly turning to digital channels to achieve their goals, and while the rate of ecommerce growth has dipped with the reopening of physical stores, the rise of online shopping has changed buying behaviours for good. 78% of respondents say they have shopped more online since the pandemic, and 86% of those will continue to do so in the post-pandemic landscape, according to research from Retail Systems.

Retailers must meet these consumers where they expect to find them – which means delivering a great ecommerce experience that:

  • Is easy to use and trustworthy.

  • Offers a wide range of competitively-priced products.

  • Provides a seamless journey from purchase to fulfilment.

The range of customers comfortable with online shopping has also grown, with new and infrequent users increasing their activity by 169% during the pandemic (source: Retail Systems), giving retailers all the more reason to invest in ecommerce.

And it’s no longer just the expected retailers that need to consider the digital experience. B2B audiences are increasingly informed and influenced by their encounters with leaders in the B2C space, while still requiring services that respond to their specific context (something I’ve written about previously here).

2. Your competitors may already be ahead of you

Faced with such overwhelming demand from consumers, it’s no surprise that retailers are moving quickly to evolve and enhance their online offerings. The growth rate of ecommerce sales is expected to outpace that of physical stores by almost 900% between 2019-2024 (source: Common Thread), and even before the pandemic the majority of retailers were planning to invest in sophisticated AI and IoT technologies to support their online offering (source: Smart Insights).

This drive for innovation and optimisation in order to achieve digital leader status is further raising expectations of ecommerce platforms and the experiences they support. Consumer expectations today are driven by the very best interactions they experience from across the web – and only those brands at the forefront of digital will be able to deliver ecommerce websites with the strong pulling factor needed to secure engagement, conversions and repeat visits.

Reacting to changes and new opportunities at pace

The technology you choose to power your ecommerce platform is important, as when set up correctly this should enable you to react rapidly to changes and stay ahead of the competition. With flexible systems, a modular supporting architecture and an agile approach to development and delivery, you’ll be able to:

  • Expand your catalogue with new and updated products.

  • Launch sophisticated, cross-channel marketing campaigns and promotional activity.

  • Respond to feedback from users, stakeholders, and the wider market.

Data is at the foundation of a successful ecommerce strategy. Through your ecommerce platform you’ll be able to unlock valuable data to better understand your audience, using this to shape new features and enhancements that will drive increased consumer satisfaction and success.

Analytical tools provide a wealth of insight into patterns and trends, revealing common pain points and priority user journeys, and allowing you to get granular about the campaigns and tactics that resonate with your audience. It’s important too to enhance this insight with direct feedback from your audience, via user research, online surveys and other mechanisms such as chatbots.

Retailers can also interrogate product data to better manage stock levels and product availability – reducing the risk of lost sales opportunities, without unnecessary overstock and waste.


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