By Chaitanya Chokkareddy Technology for MSMEs: In today’s e-commerce landscape, customers expect simplicity, ease, and intuitiveness in their online shopping experience. Delivering a personalized online shopping experience and ensuring that customers come back to the platform requires a deep understanding of who your customer is and what they want. According to Salesforce’s State of the Connected Customer report, 66 per cent of customers expect companies to understand their unique needs and expectations.
State of E-commerce in India India has over 348 million digital shoppers with the e-commerce market projected to reach a valuation of $111 billion in 2025. The nation is ranked as the world’s third-largest digital retail market and is set for a massive expansion. The pandemic led to a further boom in e-commerce as customers flocked to online shopping in search of convenience and safety.
This has created a unique opportunity for the brands to gain market share and grow their businesses. Also read: How hyper value e-commerce platforms are enabling India’s micro entrepreneurs Streamlining Customer Interactions To succeed in the age of connected commerce, brands need to focus on conversational customer experiences (CX). Conversational commerce, facilitated by chatbots and other AI-powered tools, allows brands to engage with customers on various channels and provide personalized, human-like interactions.
By having the right conversations with customers across different channels, brands can move customers through the sales funnel and build a more personalized relationship. Conversational commerce can make customers feel understood and at home, going beyond aggressive advertising and pop-ups. Overall, understanding and meeting the shifting expectations and priorities of modern digital shoppers through conversational commerce can lead to increased customer loyalty and business success in the e-commerce industry.
Personalization Lies at Heart of Online Shopping The changing e-commerce landscape and evolving buying behaviours have made brand loyalty harder to sustain. Personalization is key to online shopping because gives customers the sense that they’re being seen and heard and establishes a connection with the brand. Companies need to differentiate themselves by offering enhanced value and optimized experiences such as equipping fashion websites with virtual changing rooms – something Asian startups are already doing to set themselves apart.
Technologies such as AI and analytics can play a significant role in understanding customer preferences and behaviour, enabling personalized recommendations and retargeting. Companies also need to focus on support and self-service options to handle increased brand exposure and customer inquiries. Meeting customers on their terms, regardless of where they are in their buying journey or which channels they prefer, is essential for improving customer satisfaction and driving repeat business.
Achieving hyper-personalization at Scale This requires choosing the right technologies from the start and ensuring that it can adapt to usage spikes as the business expands. Cloud platforms can solve most of the scalability issues from the transaction point of view. Also read: Govt launches new e-commerce portal for artisans, weavers with 0% commission from sellers, free shipping Recovering abandoned carts presents an opportunity to understand customer behaviour and address deficiencies in their shopping experience related to product quality, shipping and return policies, and payment gateway issues.
Troubleshooting and debugging your sales backend or portal is one aspect of correcting deficiencies. Taking a holistic approach to the entire customer journey and actively communicating with customers can reinforce the idea that “human interaction gets more sales done”. Choosing Right Support Platform for Your E-commerce Model Evaluate Your E-commerce Model: Understand your e-commerce model and its unique requirements.
Consider factors such as the size of your business, the types of products or services you offer, your target audience, and your sales volume. This will help you choose a support platform that aligns with your specific needs. Keep your Brand Top of Mind: You could take cues from Google, Facebook, and Amazon by following shoppers across channels or sending emails related to the terms users search for when they’re not on your site.
This keeps your brand front-of-mind and increases your odds of a positive response more than random outreach might. Anticipate Scalability: Anticipate the amount of traffic your platform might have to deal with so that people don’t get turned off by being unable to use or access your services during high-demand periods. Be flexible to offload some of the tech or integrate new technologies seamlessly depending on the volume of the business.
Look for Automation Capabilities: Automation is critical for scaling up. It’s the only way to handle sales at volume. Thankfully, one can automate almost all business processes today.
Nonetheless, retailers would do well to focus on automating common touchpoints and minimizing the time they spend on the most frequent interactions: Send alerts, messages, notifications, or calls to drive conversations and e-commerce journeys forward based on predetermined triggers without human intervention. Include ‘offline’ in your omnichannel strategy: ‘Offline’ still counts as a channel – complete with its own unique customer behaviours – and the same consumers who buy certain items online may prefer shopping for other products in person. Your communication platform should let you track and identify customers no matter where they interact.
Data Utilization: Data is crucial for understanding customer behaviour, preferences, and pain points. Choose a support platform that provides robust data collection and analysis capabilities. This will allow you to gather insights about your customers and use them to improve your support processes, personalize interactions, and increase customer retention and loyalty.
Test and Iterate: Implementing a new support platform is a continuous process. Test different features and functionalities to see what works best for your customers and business. Continuously iterate and optimize your support process based on customer feedback, data analysis, and changing business needs.
Create Holistic CX Strategy in E-commerce Technology plays a huge role in helping e-commerce brands adopt holistic, sustainable CX strategies across the entire purchase path. Individualistic buyers, however, don’t seek solutions that give them the feel of just another number among others. Any technology one use must be scalable, flexible, adaptable and more importantly should seamlessly customize and integrate into your sales solutions.
Chaitanya Chokkareddy is the Chief product Officer at Ozonetel. Views expressed are the author’s own. Subscribe to Financial Express SME (FE Aspire) newsletter now: Your weekly dose of news, views, and updates from the world of micro, small, and medium enterprises.