Staying ahead of the market trends when you operate online can be a difficult prospect. Things can change in a heartbeat. The fad that is sweeping the market today can be old news tomorrow, which makes it really hard to keep up.
But what do you do? You want to make the most of potential trends, and you want your business to stay current, so what choice do you have? The key lies in refocusing your efforts. While the products that you sell are important, anticipating your client’s changing needs is more so.
To improve your business’s social prospects, you need to ensure that you keep an ear open for trends that are changing the way clients shop. You need to look for ways to improve your client’s shopping experience.
For example, 10 years ago, paying for goods online basically meant using a credit card or PayPal. Things have changed substantially since then. Now you need to consider incorporating alternative payment methods, like cryptocurrencies or immediate transfers, for example.
Now, there are obviously going to be limits to the number of payment methods that you want to offer. With all the new possible options, it will be difficult to have all the bases covered. We’re not saying that you have to offer every single one.
But do try to look at things from the clients’ perspective as well. Maybe they don’t want to have to enter their credit card details online at all. What if they don’t have a PayPal account, or don’t want to open them? An instant EFT payment option could provide a workable solution.
Keep Pace with Changing Perceptions
By keeping pace with your client’s changing perceptions, you can act proactively rather than reactively. That way, you get to keep providing a stellar client experience. Your clients will be a lot more forgiving when it comes to small slip-ups or stock problems if you provide an excellent sales experience.
But where do you start? How do you know which eCommerce trends you should start paying attention to? Choose the easiest changes for you to implement first, and then work your way further down the list at your own pace.
The ideas you get will give you a starting point, but what happens when you have worked through all of them? How do you make sure that you keep up to date with the trends going forward? It’s simpler than you think, but you do have to do a bit of work.
Look at It from the Client’s Perspective
Without your clients, you wouldn’t have a business at all. It’s something fundamental that a lot of businesses seem to forget. We design our product offers around what we think our clients want and what is most convenient for them.
We need to turn that around completely. Start by reviewing everything from the client’s perspective. How can you make things as easy as possible for them from start to finish? Things like adding another payment method, for example, is a small tweak but one that can greatly improve your client’s experience.
The easier the buying experience is, the less room there is for doubts about purchases to creep in. Take a cue here from one of the world’s leading eCommerce sites – Amazon. Its one-click buying option doesn’t really save that much time if you really think about it. But it helped the company supersize its business.
Why? Because it simplified the sales process. Every extra step that you add to the sales process is an opportunity for the client to change her mind. Before the one-click process, she would have had to hit the “Buy” button and then proceed to checkout.
It’s not much of an extra inconvenience, but it does add a few extra seconds to the entire process and leaves room for clients to start second-guessing their purchases.
How can you make things more convenient for your clients? What can you do to reduce the time between hitting the “Buy” button and checkout?
Keep up to Date with Changes in Your Industry
This is not exactly earth-shattering advice, but it is also important. Understand the direction that your industry is headed in so that you can start improving your product offering leading up to the changes.
Consider the Supportive Industries as Well
Supportive industries are those that don’t necessarily relate to what you are selling, but which you need to run your business. For example, payment options and shipping. You need to keep on top of advances in these areas as well.
With a never-ending to-do list, this might seem like something that can wait. That’s a big mistake, though. It is just as important as monitoring changes in your main industry because these are changes that your clients will encounter across the board.
Take our example of the payment system again. If your client has been able to use instant EFT at other sites that she’s using, she might wonder why you don’t offer it. She may not be too concerned about it initially, but as the option becomes more widespread, not adopting it may make your business seem out of touch.
Encourage Client Feedback
One of the best ways to get information about what your clients want is to ask them. Get them to provide feedback on how the ordering process went, what new features they would like to see introduced, and areas that you can improve in.
You won’t be able to act on all the suggestions, but you will be able to glean some great information this way.
With some simple tweaks and an extra focus on exceeding your client’s expectations, your business can go from drab to fab without a lot of extra effort on your part. By doing your research, you can keep ahead of trends and anticipate the changes that are coming. You can improve your customer service and image in no time.