Amazon, ebay, Zalando, Ikea, these are the names that come to mind when we talk about ecommerce and have become a point of reference for consumers all over the world. They have undoubtedly revolutionized online shopping, but what distinguishes these ecommerce giants? Let’s discover the strategies that set them apart from everyone else, offering a unique shopping experience to their customers.
1. Omnichannel experience
Using technology has become an important competitive advantage in the market. Customers expect to interact with a brand across multiple channels and devices with the same consistency, quality and ease. This continuity is important for increasing sales. For example, IKEA has seamlessly integrated online and in-store sales, offering a functional experience in both, thus contributing to an even more solid and trustworthy brand-image.
2. Personalized shopping experience
Creating a personalized shopping experience is a powerful tool to increase conversions and loyalty to your brand. Suggesting related products in real time or sending special offers based on people’s interests, significantly increases the chances of making a purchase. For example, Zalando uses Machine Learning to offer personalized suggestions about future products, sizes and preferences. AI allows you to create targeted offers based on age, gender, origin, etc. Data collection of this kind is also useful for segmentation in marketing emails, to offer targeted promotions to specific groups of customers, such as people with the same date of birth.
3. Invest in customer service
When thinking about customer service, Amazon is an example of a company that has made customer service a top priority. The company has invested in 24/7 customer service, while also implementing advanced technologies such as chatbots to provide immediate support. This leads people to perceive the company as reliable and available to solve any type of problem.
In addition, Amazon has built such an efficient order management and shipping system that it guarantees free same-day delivery too. This can take place at home or in collection points, thanks to the presence of special lockers along the streets of many cities, thus allowing people greater flexibility in collecting their orders. In addition, easy return process, options such as try before and pay later and fast refunds are all elements aimed at facilitating the customer’s shopping experience and making it pleasant.
4. Innovative use of technology
One of the main challenges in online shopping is the lack of sensory information for customers, who cannot touch or see a product when buying.
Many big brands use AR technology precisely to allow people to have a similar, interactive and engaging experience, for example visualizing new furniture elements in their home, thanks to the 3D visualization function. This allows people to better understand the product they are buying, in terms of size, colour, space and compatibility with their environment. Among the main trends that are revolutionizing the world of ecommerce, AR and VR are certainly becoming popular tools. Apart from furniture and design brands, even those who sell clothing and makeup use augmented reality to allow customers to try on products and make more informed purchasing decisions, thus increasing convenience and decreasing the possibility of returns.
5. Inventory visibility and accurate analytics
One of the biggest burdens for ecommerce giants is inventory management. As sales channels multiply, so do problems with inventory visibility, which, if inadequate, lead to supply chain inefficiencies, higher operating costs, as well as out-of-stock and overstock issues. An advanced inventory management system allows you to have a complete real-time overview of the availability of products across all your channels and to distribute them as needed, to ensure that customers always find the products in stock.
In addition, this software is able to collect data and perform analytics to forecast demand and allow managers to adjust inventories accordingly.