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How to Manage a Sustainable eCommerce Strategy After the Pandemic

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How to Manage a Sustainable eCommerce Strategy After the Pandemic

DK Hardware, online home improvement retail company, presents six reasons why it is essential to professionally manage an eCommerce platform, so that your business or entrepreneurship is consolidated according to the unwritten rules of the digital economy.

Understanding that the digital economy will continue to be one of the main economic engines in the post-COVID-19 stage, it is essential to ensure our business opportunities in the medium term. However, to achieve the previous, the development of skills to capitalize on it, as well as to face the challenges it entails, is key.

In the last quarter of 2020, the growth of eCommerce globally has been more than exponential. According to Statista, retail platforms have undergone a six percent global traffic increase between January and March 2020. Overall, retail websites generated 14.34 billion visits in March 2020, up from 12.81 billion global visits in January 2020. This is of course due to the global coronavirus pandemic which has forced millions of people to stay at home in order to stop the spread of the virus. How to continue with that sustainable success? DK Hardware shares six key thoughts.

1. Maximize investment. Digital commerce will be the area that will receive the most investment in the coming months (and therefore the most competitive), and these resources should be managed in an efficient and optimized way, since the sales process will be impacted from the pre-sale, the transaction, the after-sales, as well as the service and the customer experience.

2. The relationship with the client evolves. Customer consumption habits have changed and during the process e-commerce has won thousands of new consumers, so the evolution of online commerce management should represent an opportunity to resume direct relationships with consumers. Direct to consumer (D2C) solutions, such as CRMs, applications, custom quotes based on customer needs in regards to volume or project, and communication APIs will be unstoppable in the coming months, and you must understand what they are, how they work and what advantages they can bring to your project.

During the contingency, empathy and transparency played a leading role in customer service, and service was prioritized over sales. Learning to keep our commitments and manage the true needs of consumers in our favor will position us positively, and digitization will be a perfect ally to strengthen these new parameters and deliver true added value to our business or entrepreneurship.

3. New technologies in support of a contact-less society: Concepts such as voice assistants, advanced analytics, artificial intelligence, augmented reality, mobile communication applications, omnichannel platforms, the Internet of Things, robotics and big data in real time, will be variables that must be included in the eCommerce strategy, and we must learn what are the advantages of each of these technologies to capitalize them according to our market segment, since it is intuited that the newly acquired habits will detonate in new needs and demands.

4. A new dimension of social commerce. Social networks are part of the daily life of consumers, and the growth in the use of these platforms during the pandemic has increased the relevance of the exchange of opinions, preferences, and recommendations, around brands, products, and services. The implementation of data analysis tools in real time, for example, that allow measuring customer sentiment, will be very suitable for the development of communication strategies and efficiency of digital campaigns, as well as an adequate conversion of sales interactions.

5. Logistics efficiency. Although the growth of eCommerce has become a great advantage, it also has challenges that are transforming the established foundations. If online sales have suffered from anything during this contingency, it is the lack of infrastructure and logistics to speed up the arrival of the product in the hands of the customer. Learning to digitize and automate delivery and delivery routes in the most efficient way for the good performance of our business is something that greater investment in digital training allows.

6. Care of personal data. The greater the demand, the greater the security gaps. Understanding the relevance, design and management of robust cybersecurity systems, authentication, and protection of personal data will transform in consumer trust and loyalty.

After the rapid evolution of eCommerce, we are obliged to evolve. Only change is guaranteed, and we must demand a perfect rhythm to do it. Training will always be the most important ally for adaptation and the creation of firm, robust, viable and disruptive projects. We do not see a better time than this to add true professionalism to eCommerce strategies, acquire leadership of transformation and thus achieve a new generation of businesses that face the demanding and competitive future.

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Featured in the Best Online Shops 2020 – Newsweek, DK Hardware is one of the largest online home improvement retailers for a variety of hardware manufacturers all over the United States and Canada.

shopping

Impulsive Shopping and Post-Pandemic Consumer Behavior

Picture this. You are in the supermarket in your neighborhood queuing to pay and see some delicious and totally irresistible chocolates that you did not even think about buying but that now are something that has become essential. That is what in marketing is called “impulsive buying” and, for example in the case of supermarkets, it is their main source of benefits.

Let’s take it up a notch. Have you thought about how you can translate an Instagram or Facebook like into a sale? That’s called Influencer Marketing, and I’ll show you how to unleash this online technique by starting a conversation and ultimately driving sales and establishing impulsive shopping, whether this was your initial objective or not. Remember, one like, share or comment, might equal one sale.

The Internet and mobile devices, as instant tools, favor impulsive purchases. Different promotions present on your website can trigger unplanned purchases by Internet users. Imagine being able to have those displays that are in the boxes of the supermarkets integrated into the design and shopping experience of your online store… How much extra income could they bring you? The experience may surprise you.

Flash sales (Time-limited): Flash sales are time-limited sales that are very often used in e-commerce to encourage impulsive buying. Generated by an attractive offer but limited in time, the user has to make a quick decision if he does not want to miss this opportunity. It works very well, especially in specific seasons where people are willing to spend more money (Christmas, back to school, Halloween).

Free shipping: The hook is to set a minimum purchase price so that the shipping costs are free and, if the customer does not yet have that amount, offer low-cost products in the checkout process that achieve the minimum required quantity. If we use products that far exceed the minimum amount, it will not work, but if they are inexpensive and related to the purchase that has been made, success is practically guaranteed.

Stock level: Showing available stocks can, to some extent, favor impulsive buying. If the number of products in stock is low, the interested visitor will tend to buy their product for fear of not finding it again at the price proposed in your online store.

Give away discount coupons or free products (gift): On condition of making a purchase, of course. This type of tactic has been shown to also boost sales since the customer must buy in order to receive their gift.

Expiration date:  Discounts on these types of items range between 20 percent and 50 percent of their initial price. For example, if they are products that expire the next day, the price is usually cut in half, but if we talk about products that have weeks to expire, the discount stays between 20 percent and 30 percent. Stores free themselves of products that would end up in the garbage and without any benefit if not bought, while customers get a good deal for a product that they would either buy or just purchase to take advantage of that specific occasion.

After the pandemic

From toilet paper in the early pandemic to bleach and flour, during this crisis consumers have modified its consumption and its way of making the purchase. But what will the consumer be like after pandemic? It is evident that many consumers have had to test the online channel as a result of this crisis, and they have realized how comfortable and safe it is for them.

The confinement has made the segment of the population that least bought online, those over 55-60 years old, now the group that needs it the most, especially those over 70, who are the most vulnerable to the disease and those who, therefore, should be more confined and without the help of their families. Although the consumer preferred to buy some specific products in person; if consumers verify that the product they receive at home meets their expectations, it is very likely that after the crisis it will continue to do so.

On the same line of shifting consumer behavior, for instance, some of the most popular products today are related to protecting employees and separating consumers with employees, like speak-thru devices, trays and shelves, and sliding service windows.

Where do impulsive purchases predominate: in physical stores or on the internet?

Physical stores are the main claim to get a customer to buy without having thought about it before. This fact is partly logical because most impulsive products are food, clothing, drinks, and personal care products. If discounts and promotions are added to that, the mix is ​​perfect. Supermarkets, shopping malls, and convenience stores are the central places for this type of sales.

Furthermore, some stores go the extra mile by using techniques that play with your senses, by releasing exquisite coffee and fresh cookie smell to get you in, even if they’re not in the food business.

Online advertising is the least appreciated to generate buying impulses, but that does not mean that their tactics are useless: Brands that use digital platforms as the first approach and establish the first connection have the potential to reap the benefits when the time comes to make the final purchase in the store, according to a study by Geoblink. 69 percent of those surveyed stated having bought between one and five products spontaneously in the last week, while 26 percent admitted having made between six and ten purchases of this type.

The millennial generation is the one that buys the most on impulse: a small group of 7 percent have bought up to 11 items without foresight in the last week. The previous facts serve as a great opening remark of the aforementioned Influencer Marketing technique. If you got until this part of the story, it means that there’s impulsive buyer material within you.

Influencer Marketing is nothing more than getting the right people to talk about you, firstly triggering your target audience to talk about you, secondly prompting that audience talking to each other about you, and finally you and the audience listening to each other. When this two-way conversation is in place, it is very probable that some of your social media likes, whether on Instagram or Facebook, are in fact translating into sales in your physical or online store.

There are a couple of exceptions to this rule on digital impulsive buying: the first, that those who already have a subscription to a platform like Amazon, which avoids having to go through several stages before buying, are better able to combat the impulsive factor. The second: when the object to buy is an electronic item. 55 percent of the participants chose the Internet as the preferred medium for the impulsive purchase of these items.

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Featured in the Best Online Shops 2020 – Newsweek, DK Hardware is one of the largest online home improvement retailers for a variety of hardware manufacturers all over the United States and Canada.