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E-Commerce; What’s Happening in 2019?

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The year is nearly half over, and the eCommerce industry is doing quite well. A lot is going on… innovations, trends being established, statistics being compiled, forecasts are emerging for future growth, etc., etc., etc.

So, what are some of the issues making noise thus far that are earning a lot of attention?

On the techie side, chatbots and voice search are prominent topics. Digging a little deeper exposes a few more issues rising to the surface and gaining momentum.

There are a number of items that could be discussed, but the three following features seem to have captured the attention of a lot of experts and bloggers.

          mCommerce

                    Videos in marketing

                              Dropshipping vs. traditional distribution

Mobile commerce, mCommerce, is the future of eCommerce.

Over the past decade plus, the internet has completely changed the shopping habits of nearly everyone. But a trend has been developing, and now, we can no longer ignore the shift from a desktop internet to a mobile internetMore than 50% of all internet traffic now takes place on a mobile device.

A few quick numbers…

It is estimated that there are 2.1 billion smartphone users worldwide, with 257 million of them living in the United States…and these numbers are still growing.

It’s also estimated that nearly 62% of all smartphone users do some shopping on their device. In fact, shopping via mobile device generated more than $200 billion in retail sales in the U.S. in 2018.

In a report by 451 Research, mCommerce transactions are expected to overtake traditional eCommerce sales in 2019…globally!

So, it’s not difficult to see that mobility is having a great impact on eCommerce

Are you ready?

Two questions for the business owner: Is your website mobile responsive? And, is it optimized for the mobile user?

In the early days of mobile marketing, most companies would try to utilize the design of their primary website across several channels and platforms. It didn’t always work out well.

The mobile application of a business website should be designed to fit all specifications and parameters of mobile technology. Not only should the display fit the mobile screen, but the functions need to fit the device too…it must be totally mobile responsive!

If your mobile browser is simply a small version of your PC website, it’s more than likely that the customer is going to struggle with the app.

Consider the mobile-users dilemma in looking at your primary website: Trying to read all the content and see the images, as well as scroll around the pages and tapping on links, or trying to type in their information on the contact page…all this on a small mobile device. It’s not a friendly-user experience.

This is precisely why the website needs to be designed specifically for ease of use on any mobile device. Mobile responsiveness takes in to account the smaller screen and methods of navigating and entering data.

Developing a mobile app.

Below are some tips for developing a mobile app for your business:

  • Keep it simple and user-friendly: Provide your shoppers with a captivating experience, but don’t clutter it up with unnecessary junk. They should be able to navigate easily and quickly in their search for answers to their questions about your product or service.
  • Keep the registration and signup brief and to the point: You don’t need their life history. All you need is a minimum amount of info to complete a transaction. Over time you will be able to build a profile through your continued interaction with them.
  • Integrate your app with social media: First, the user will be able to share your business with their friends and associates. Also, consumers can access you through any social media app, such as Twitter, Facebook, and others.
  • Provide multiple payment methods: Set your site up to accept credit/debit cards, and services like PayPal and other payment methods used by shoppers. Be prepared to accept foreign currencies as well…it is a global internet network.
  • Provide an easy checkout process: After all the effort to get them this far, don’t frustrate them with a complicated checkout procedure.
  • Provide a feedback method: Let the customers give you their take on how well they like, or dislike, doing business with you…this will help you grow.
  • Use the analytical tools: There are many tools available to evaluate your app’s effectiveness, and most of them are free. Use them to compile statistics and build profiles. After all, this mobile aspect is part of your overall business and this data can be used with other data to create the “big picture.”

Making sure your mCommerce strategy is optimized for this new wave of mobile shoppers will enable you to cash-in on the rapidly growing mobile-shopping revolution.

So, here’s a curveball to mess with your thinking.

Keep in mind; we are in a transition period—that is, desktop internet to mobile internet. A report from comscore.com shows that the majority of consumers are “multi-screeners” —they search the internet on multiple devices…desktop and mobile. 91% of these consumers use a PC or laptop to access the internet, but not exclusively. 80% also use their smartphone or another mobile device to search the web as well.

Consequently, you are going to need to keep both your non-mobile website and mobile-responsive apps current and relative to what’s happening in online marketing and technology. You want to be able to capture every available market!

Using Videos to market your brand.

Images (graphics) have been a part of advertising since the beginning. But with today’s technology, it is not difficult at all to turn that still image into an action video.

Statistics show that consumers prefer videos over reading when shopping online. Why? Let’s look at a few of the reasons behind the popularity of video in marketing.

  • Videos can be trustworthy. All of your efforts are geared toward building relationships with your customers. A large part of the relationship is based on trust. Normal advertising can often seem hyped and gimmicky. But an effective video presentation on the value of your product can engage and capture the viewer and can stir up emotions that simple content cannot do. Videos can connect you with the consumer and begin that relationship. One that is based on the trust that you have their needs and best interest at heart. This is the kind of trust that will create long-term, loyal customers. One recent report stated that 57% of internet shoppers were more likely to make a purchase after having watched a video presentation of a product. Videos give them confidence with their decision to buy the product.
  • Mobile users love videos too. People like to watch videos on the go. 90% of the consumers with a mobile device claim they watch videos while shopping for a product. So, people like to watch videos and usage is increasing every day —time to get your videos in the game.
  • Social media is all about videos. Consumers on social media will share videos that they find entertaining and informative. Provide your customers with quality videos that promote your brand and they will be shared socially. This sharing can increase traffic to your site —marketing you didn’t necessarily plan.
  • A video can tell the whole story in a matter of minutes. This can be summarized in a simple, often quoted, passage from a Forrester Research report by Dr. James McQuivey. He said, “A minute of video is worth 1.8 million words.”
  • Video increases conversion rates and sales! Statistics show that adding product or service-related videos to your website, specifically on the landing page, can increase conversions by 80%!  Again, consumers react to videos.
  • Search engines love videos. Visitors will stay longer to watch a video. This keeps them on your site longer and informs the search engine that there is quality information on your site and that, in turn, builds trust with them. Moovly.com says it is 53 times more likely that you’ll rank first, or near first, on Google if you have videos on your website.

Online video creation and editing tools are getting better and easier to use, and there are more of them.

The cost of these tools is dropping, and one can even make a decent video on a smartphone today.

There’s no reason not to give video presentations a try. Even if there is some expense, more than 80% of the businesses using videos in their marketing say it’s the best return on investment (ROI) you can have.

Dropshipping vs. Traditional Distribution.

If you’re thinking of starting a business of your own, but the cost of building a facility to house your showroom and a warehouse to store your product line is a little overwhelming. Then welcome to the era of Dropshipping.

The largest expense in just about any business is in real property and infrastructure. If these could be avoided, would you press ahead with your dream to own a business?

Dropshipping (also seen as drop shipping) is one of today’s most popular logistical approaches for the budding online retailer.

Dropshipping is the concept where you, the retailer, have a line of products that you sell online. But when it comes time to ship a purchase to a buyer, the item is shipped directly from the manufacturer, from a wholesaler, or some other third party.

You purchase an inventory from a third party. You sell it online. And the third party ships the item to the customer. Sound simple? It essentially is.

Here are some more advantages of Dropshipping:

  • Minimum risk. You don’t have all your money tied up in inventory…especially in the beginning when sales may be a little slow. You buy only what you need based on what you’ve sold.
  • Little overhead costs. No warehouse and no inventory, so no insurance, utilities, or other expenses associated with a physical presence. Many drop shippers work out of their home using just a home computer.
  • Easy to start-up. Without all the details to attend to in starting up a brick-and-mortar business, you’ll be able to focus on your arrangement with a third-party provider and get your business going quickly.
  • Dropshipping is scalable. As the business grows, you won’t need to build a bigger store. You simply increase your activity by increasing your agreements with your suppliers, and they will meet the increased demands.
  • It’s flexible. You can offer an ever-changing array of products. You can capitalize on trends or be seasonal, or…just let your imagination run. There’s a supplier for just about anything you can think of.

Dropshipping is not a perfect, worry-free system. There are issues to be dealt with, especially when working with third-party providers. But then, any business has its challenges and requires a dedicated effort to make it work.

But many people today are realizing their dream of successful business ownership…thanks to dropshipping.

Shopify…how do they fit into all this?

Maybe it’s just a coincidence, or maybe not. But the three areas discussed in this blog …mCommerce, Videos, and Dropshipping are all features available in an online business created using the Shopify platform.

With a large selection of themes and plug-ins, your Shopify website will be everything you want it to be, including mobile responsive and full of informative videos to promote your business.

Plus, Shopify integrates with several drop shipping apps that allow you to set up and operate your dropshipping business…if that’s part of your marketing plan.

And, to top it all off, Shopify’s mobile app lets you manage your business in the palm of your hand from anywhere…at home, on the beach, wherever you may be.

Let Chelsea and Rachel at Chelsea&Rachel Co. and their team of highly skilled and enthusiastic experts show you how you can become a business owner and achieve the success you may have only dreamt about.

Call them today!

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