Grade-A eCommerce Platform in 2021
Everyone is trying to build the next big thing in the eCommerce space – it is not without a good reason. In 2020, online shopping skyrocketed, thanks to the stay in place orders. Market research suggests that this trend of online shopping is here to stay for a while. The mass exodus from physical stores to the digital ones propelled by COVID-19 has presented a significant opportunity for everyone willing to take it. If the holiday season is any indication, customers’ migration from storefronts to the eCommerce website will not slow down anytime soon. The holiday shopping data relieves some key eCommerce trends, like:
  • Almost half of all the shoppers were using their smartphones to shop
  • Large retailers saw upto 84% daily revenue boost
  • Small retailers saw up to a 107% daily revenue boost
Experts estimate that in 2021, the total eCommerce retail spending will pass the $470 Billion mark. Though impressive, these numbers don’t tell the complete story – some questions remained unanswered, like voice ordering, AI, AR, cryptocurrency payments, and drone delivery’s role in boosting the eCommerce revenue. You might also want to know what works best for an eCommerce platform; a mobile website or a dedicated app. If you are curious about how to carte a successful eCommerce platform, take a look at what you will need to achieve success.

Find your niche

Often people want to drive right into creating their website or app before contemplating the business model. Slow down a bit and think; specializing in a niche is the best way to increase conversion. For instance, if you are selling socks, why not sell socks for women. What is even better is to categorize even further. You can refine your messaging to fit a niche of the audience to drive up your sales. The niche fine-tuning process serves several purposes:
  • It helps your brand differentiate from the competition
  • It brings you out of the shadow of large brands
  • It enhances traffic through search because longer and well-defined (long-tail) search terms have less competition
You can select your niche depending on the following differentiators:
  • Area – city, country, region, neighborhood
  • Target customer – interests, gender, age
  • Price – cheap, budget, high-end, exclusive
  • Sales method – membership, subscription

Choose between eCommerce website vs. mobile app

eCommerce development depends, to a great extent, on what platform you choose. You can go with either website or an app. Though both might seem similar on the surface, some major and minor differences are setting them apart. You can use both an app and the website on a smartphone, but a mobile website does not warrant an install. Meaning, the user can open their browser and visit your website, whereas if they have to use the app, they first have to download the app from the App Store or Play Store. Though apps need installation, they are more feature-rich and can function as a standalone portal to your business. When designing either an app or website, the focus should be on user-friendliness.

Where a mobile website is better

  • People tend to prefer websites for searching for products
  • New customers hardly download an app to get to know the brand
  • Mobile sites will also appear in the search engine results
  • Website eliminates the need for developing an app for different operating systems
  • Websites are more comfortable to support and maintain

Where a mobile app is better

  • Apps inspire customers to become loyal and long-term clients
  • Apps enable direct customer engagement though push notifications regarding new products, sales, discounts, and relevant news
  • An app provides a better user experience
  • Apps can also work offline
Most popular brands opt to develop both a mobile website and an app to diversify their revenue stream and improve customer experience.

Emerging eCommerce features for 2021

The innovation sleep isn’t going to slow down. In 2021 we will witness new emerging eCommerce features. The businesses that effectively leverage these innovations will stand out, so let’s look at what new technologies will most likely gain prominence in 2021.

Voice eCommerce

The formula is straightforward – if a feature makes people’s life more comfortable, it will be successful. Letting customers navigate your website or mobile app via voice commands will significantly improve the experience. Tapping and typing on a small screen is not always the best option, whereas the voice commands feel like a conversion. If your customers can tell your site or app what to do, they will love it.

Artificial Intelligence – AI

AI significantly boost a business’ capability to process customer data much faster to make an accurate prediction. It is crucial because predictions made at a very granular level will help you create offers tailored to individuals. AI helps boost conversion because it treats every person as an audience segment. It also gives you the ability to serve them in a highly personalized manner. By analyzing customer behavior, artificial intelligence lets you maximize your eCommerce efforts’ success rate. Additionally, you can also capture data beyond activities directly on your site.

Augmented Reality – AR

AR combines the virtual and real world. Snapchat and Instagram filters are the perfect examples of AR’s power. This tech is available right now on our smartphones; all you need is to use it correctly to boost engagement and conversions. You can start with an app that lets users see how they would look wearing a particular dress before ordering or how their new furniture will fit in their room. The possibilities are endless. The AR enables you to click a photo and see how things will look in real life.

Multiple payment methods – Social and Cryptocurrencies

The ability to pay only by credit or debit card is quickly becoming a limitation for eCommerce sites. In 2021, cryptocurrency payment will rise in popularity as more and more people are actively seeking outlets that accept Bitcoin. Social media payments are transforming social sites into eCommerce platforms where shopping occurs directly on the website.

Subscription-based eCommerce models

Subscription-based eCommerce lets the customers automate the purchase of products or services they need recurringly. It significantly increases the customer’s lifetime value. Developing a mobile application is the perfect way to showcase and sell eCommerce subscription.

Enhanced delivery options

Drones delivery systems will soon be dominating our skies. Drone delivery will become commonplace sooner than people think. Similarly, advanced 3rd party logistics with smart warehousing solutions can make same-day or overnight delivery, significantly improving a business’ standing. Data show that same-day delivery can lead to an upto 20 to 30 percent increase in the purchase conversion during the checkout process.

Conclusion

When you create an eCommerce store, it is essential to consider all the factors that affect your business’s success. The first thing you have to figure out is what you will sell on your website. It might seem a trivial task. However, this aspect is not as easy as it sounds. If you don’t decide on a niche, you will soon end up dealing with multiple things, and it will become hard to manage. The selection of going with a website or a mobile app or both is also crucial for gaining new customers. People typically don’t like to download an app if they aren’t already familiar with the brand. So it is best to go for both the app and the website. Try also to design your eCommerce store I a way that you can easily integrate the upcoming technologies. Voice command is one such feature that your eCommerce should have.  With the growing popularity of smart speakers, it is essential to have voice command support or take the risk of losing thousands of potential customers. If you make an eCommerce website/app that can adapt to the emerging trends and upcoming technological challenges, you will be set for 2021 and many more years to come.

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