The default state of ecommerce is one of flux; it is punctuated by technological innovations and rapid changes. Simply keeping up to pace is a challenge, and feeling comfortable is like grabbing sand that quickly slips through the fingers.
Yet the feel of ecommerce is not one of comfort anyway. It’s fast and barely controllable, and the best brands and retailers grab hold of emerging tech and make the most of it, before it either becomes standard procedure or slips away and is replaced by fresh innovations that emerge.
Like successful explorers that navigate the wild and rough landscape of the forest, the best brands utilize the ecommerce environment and adapt to its forever-changing features. And also like successful explorers, they utilize the best weapons to stay ahead of the game. In terms of ecommerce platforms, we believe your weapon of choice — if you are a big brand or hold big expectations for scale — ought to be Salesforce B2C Commerce Cloud.
So what are some of the best practices that you can currently use to boost numbers and bring in more customers? Episerver dives into these practices in their newly published Reimagining Commerce 2020 report.
Balance privacy with personalization
To perform any balancing act requires careful consideration and weighing up the opposing sides. Too much of one means too little of the other — all freedom and no security is going to leave you defenseless. But like all sliding scales, there is no perfect placement, and one nudge towards one side may disrupt your operations.
Offering convenient online shopping experiences should not undercut fundamental privacy and security protocols. Last year highlighted the weaknesses of data protection with a whole host of hacks and account takeovers. That’s why half of consumers want anonymity to be a high priority. And while customers do want personalized content, they want brands to be aware of the boundaries and to not misuse data.
In practice, customers are happy to share their data so long as they are getting value in return. They are wary of retailers potentially misusing their data but they also enjoy getting tailor-made content delivered to them wherever they like.
Salesforce B2C Commerce Cloud is powered for personalization and provides comprehensive marketing and loyalty functionalities. And with its Einstein AI capabilities, targeted content helps to offer better and more relevant experiences for customers.
When we want to shop online, most of us first reach for our phone. The report found that our first foray towards a purchase is started 49% of the time on mobile, followed by laptop (24%), then desktop (19%), with newer tech the least likely to be used — tablet (8%) and smartwatch (1%). Mobile shopping is becoming the default which means a shift towards user-friendly mobile apps and quicker pathways to payment.
But that’s not the end of the story because while we are migrating more towards mobile, conversions remain lower than on desktop. Establishing a mobile-first approach ought to be a priority if you’re looking to capitalize on current tech developments. The ecommerce platform that goes full force on mobile is the latest version of Salesforce B2C Commerce Cloud, called Salesforce Reference Architecture, or simply SFRA Architecture. If mobile commerce plays a key part of your business operations, then SFRA Architecture is modeled for not only improvements in usability but in speed.
But a world-class mobile-first strategy isn’t limited to the digital experience alone. It integrates mobile with the store to provide omnichannel experiences that connect the digital and physical.
End of shipping costs
Among all of the capabilities that a brand has to offer, customers overwhelmingly expect free standard shipping. Among those surveyed in the US, 82% of customers expect this above all else, while 51% of respondents expect tracked shipping.
And if you’re still charging for shipping, you’re likely going to be hit by abandoned carts and lost customers, because receiving products with free delivery is becoming a default expectation among customers. Salesforce B2C Commerce Cloud allows complete control over the payment process, and gives you the tools to set up your shipping and returns options.
Keeping up with the fast-paced changes of ecommerce may prove challenging, but rolling with the waves of innovations and trends are your best bets to stay significant, and enjoy the ride while it lasts!