Whether we want to admit it or not, it’s easy to see that online shopping and online retail has changed the way that people shop for the better. Shopping online, especially while there are still lockdown restrictions throughout the world, is much more safe and convenient than visiting your local retailer. Consumers are able to research and compare a number of products within any given category and make a decision to purchase based on the information they gather. All of these factors have contributed to making online retail such an enormous industry. In fact, in just 2019 alone, online retail purchases contributed to more than $3.5 trillion dollars spent globally, with upwards of 2 billion people shopping online for different products and services.
A large contribution of this online shopping experience comes from Amazon, which has changed the e-commerce space in a number of ways. Amazon’s online marketplace offers its customers more than twelve million products, majority of which are provided by third-party merchant accounts. These products are then viewed by more than 197 million Amazon users every month. Knowing this, it’s less surprising to find out that other online retailers are feeling an impact from Amazon’s hold on the e-retail space. Shoppers now expect online retailers to be able to fulfill their orders much faster than years previous, largely in part due to Amazon’s prime shipping options. In fact, a recent study indicated that 88% of shoppers expect faster shipping and delivery from other online retailers due to their previous orders from Amazon.
This can spell disaster for retailers lacking the shipping capabilities that Amazon has. These retailers have done their best to adapt to these consumer expectations and have implemented strategies that increase shipping speeds for their customers, in addition to providing additional ways to please their customers. For example, one of these strategies has been to provide real-time shipment tracking updates on customers’ purchases. This information is often found on a tracking page on the retailer’s website which increases brand recognition and can improve the customer’s experience.
If you’re attempting to spar with Amazon in the online retail space, consider how convenient your online shopping experience is. It starts with how easy it is for customers to make a purchase from your website. Be sure to allow first-time users to create an account with little to no hassle so they’re able to place orders much quicker when they return. In addition, allow for billing and shipping information to be saved and then auto filled on following orders as it can save customers a good amount of trouble and time.
Finally, research has indicated that the cost and speed of shipping are highly influential factors in whether or not customers decide to purchase from any given website. Most customers desire products quickly, but don’t want to pay a premium for expedited shipping. Seven in ten customers would rather wait an extended amount of time for shipping if it means they don’t have to pay for it. This is to say that shipping costs are another large part of what influences purchases made on your website. Actively searching for ways to mitigate shipping costs, like employing an automated storage and retrieval system to better coordinate warehousing and transportation of these products is a great start. For more information on how to get a leg up in online retail, check out the resource below.
uthor bio:John Hinchey is VP of Sales for Westfalia Technologies, Inc., a leading provider of logistics solutions for plants, warehouses and distribution centers. He has more than 20 years of experience in manufacturing and warehouse automation.