Technology as a competitive factor in e-commerce

E-commerce Trends & Technology

Do you consider technology a factor that can give your e-commerce business a true competitive advantage? Here is why you should. 

The rapidly expanding world of e-commerce

In 2020 the world of e-commerce accelerated in an unprecedented way. The COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting global lockdown made customers immediately turn to online shops and vendors. Necessities they would normally buy only in stores were now purchased online and delivered straight to their homes. As is usually the case, people quickly got used to the commodity of such a solution. Today e-commerce is at its absolute heights and is constantly growing.

With this huge wave of new clients came some new expectations. Online customers demand quality, both when it comes to the product they want to buy and to the service they are getting when buying it. In fact, the service is getting more and more important: according to a survey by Deloitte, 43% of customers are happy to pay more only for sheer convenience. On the other hand, clients who don’t get the experience they want during their online shopping process, immediately switch to another retailer and never plan to come back. 

Building a successful e-commerce strategy

E-commerce businesses around the world are working hard to increase their competitive advantage and get more clients. The newest technologies help online vendors take their shops to a higher level and increase their customers’ satisfaction.

If you are keen to make your e-commerce business a true success,  here are some key strategy factors worth considering when planning your new buying platform or improving your existing one: 

1.     Integration with other systems

When thinking about improving your e-commerce platform, it is crucially important to take into consideration its capability to integrate well with other systems. After all, no system can work on its own. This capability to integrate is also important when it comes to different channels used by the clients and any future changes you may plan to introduce when your business grows and reaches new markets.  

2. Optimal fulfillment

While many e-commerce business owners concentrate on their products and on gaining new clients, only a few understand the true importance of optimal fulfillment – everything that happens from the moment of the checkout to the moment of delivery or return of the product. Taking care of it, mainly via automation of those tasks, is one of the best ways to ensure your company gets positive reviews and recommendations. What’s more, it can give you a significant advantage when you cannot compete with your competitors’ pricing. 

3.   Automation

When your business scales, you become involved in many repetitive, tiresome tasks. To deal with them efficiently you either need a lot of people doing it (but in such cases, there is an increased possibility of making mistakes) or good automation tools that take those routine “things to do” off your head and allow you to concentrate on further developing your business. 

In e-commerce, automation may be used to deal with inventory management, internal communication, sales campaigns, and the cybersecurity of your business. 

4.     Customer experience

Great customer experience means a seamless customer journey, from the moment a client first sees your shop to the moment of the delivery (or return) of a product. A competitive and modern e-commerce platform should take into consideration the most important aspects such as personalization of the offer and seamless checkout, delivery, and returns. Additional bonuses are virtual-reality add-ons allowing clients to “try on” products or visualize them, or chatbots allowing for seamless and continuous communication.

5.     Scalability

Scalability lies at the very heart of every successful e-commerce business. As your company grows, so should its ability to take numerous transactions and provide the required safety and reliability of your products and services. The same is true for businesses that operate only seasonally: in such cases, your infrastructure should support your needs, not requiring you to pay for resources you are not using at a particular time.

No matter whether you already have an e-commerce business or are planning to open one, you should always think about the ways technology can make it more attractive and effective. A way of doing it is by having in mind those key factors and assessing them on a regular basis. Only such an approach can give you the competitive edge you need to succeed. Knowing that by 2025 as much as 24.5% of all sales will be done online, it is definitely worth reaching for. 

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