Arunabh Madhur, Regional VP & Head Business EMEA at SHAREit Group
Brands are continuing to invest heavily in the e-commerce market despite current market and economic challenges – and they need to. Indeed, the current global e-commerce market is valued at around $5.5 trillion. Further to that, estimates show that online retail sales will reach $6.7 trillion by the end of 2023 – and e-commerce making up 22.3% of those sales.
So despite the economic and market climate, businesses must still plan for success and cater to customer demands to make the most of the global e-commerce opportunity.
Mobile apps are key
Mobile apps are now a fundamental component of retail, as they provide customers with a convenient and engaging way to shop from their phones. The past couple of years has been rocket fuel for digital transformation, providing an opportunity for the retail industry to innovate. Whilst global trends continue to point to the user growth of Facebook, TikTok and Instagram, the trends underneath the headlines highlight significant opportunities to drive new customer acquisition, which in turn demands a targeted customer retention strategy from companies.
According to research from Baymard Institute, 69.82% of online shopping carts are abandoned and with demand expected to continue, pressure is growing on retailers to expand current offerings and create personalised experiences to tackle this. One of the big challenges e-commerce companies face, though, is analysing and maximising the behaviour of users, and bringing down the cost of their marketing and engagement against how much is earned through a customer making a purchase.
To meet customer demand, mobile apps offer a variety of features such as push notifications, product recommendations, exclusive discounts and offers, and easy checkout processes, to make the shopping experience easier for customers. By leveraging the power of mobile technology, brands can create an immersive shopping experience tailored specifically to their customer’s needs, and this in turn helps increase customer loyalty, customer return rates, and maximise online revenue.
Re-targeting and re-engaging customers
Brands should focus on re-engaging with returning consumers through a personalised strategy as this can help increase the lifetime value of users, which in turn helps brands bring the cost of their marketing down knowing that brand loyalty has been achieved. According to research from Google and Storyline Strategies study, 72% of consumers are more likely to be loyal to a brand if they offer a personalised experience.
Optimising the online shopping experience is crucial in retaining customers. Today, consumers need a more ‘human’ touch, i.e., smart product suggestions based on buying history & behaviour that helps build a one-to-one relationship between brand and buyer. In particular, push notifications haven’t just enhanced personalisation but also increased app engagement by up to 88%. Push notifications have also proven to get disengaged users back, too, with 65% returning to an app within 30 days of the push notification.
Another strategy to consider is the option of adding buy now pay later (BNPL) options at checkouts for customers. Brands that add the option of financing at the checkout allow customers to spread the cost over time, which according to Klarna has resulted in a 30% increase in checkout conversation rates.
Publisher platforms allow brands to leverage their reach and sticky user base. Especially with open platforms such as SHAREit, which can help e-commerce brands create a strong revenue conversion with higher average order value with unique retargeting and user acquisition solutions. Because users are not just sharing product links, but also sharing e-commerce apps and deals among their community. Users of these publisher platforms are also encouraged to share products and apps through platform activities.
What the future of e-commerce holds for brands
E-commerce is positioning itself as a key facet in retail, and its future. With Advancements in technology, customers can access various products and services worldwide through their smartphones – making shopping more accessible than ever. Brands must put consumers at the heart of everything they do, like never before. Offering incentives and payment options, personalising customers’ experiences and re-engaging them, as well as targeting new customers, in an effective and un-intrusive way, are all ways in which they can influence purchasing decisions and improve retention figures.