As the world is entering its third year of COVID-19, nano and micro businesses are beginning to embrace digital tools. What in the last two years was viewed by them as means to survive, is now finally acknowledged as a way to thrive.
Ecommerce is the perfect example. Merchants who were previously reluctant to sell online ramped up their Internet presence in the last year. What’s more, consumers and merchants alike began to seek out an improved ecommerce experience. The tendencies are constantly evolving and, to stay competitive, merchants need to stay alert. So let’s take a look at some of the trends that could affect SMEs and their online commerce this year.
Manage a consistent, connected experience from one spot
Everyone talks about omnichannel, and small business owners are probably getting tired of that word; yet, customer loyalty is linked to omnichannel experience because people no longer shop linearly. It’s quite often that consumers first notice a product on social media, then browse through an online store and, finally, purchase it in-person. The buying journey is getting complex and, to capitalize on this, SMEs have to invest in omnichannel experience, but that’s not everything. Merchants need to look for more ways to cross-sell and integrate all sales into one single platform, so they can cope with the challenges of omnichannel retailing.
Take advantage of mCommerce
Smartphones have become the essential tools that help us run our businesses, organize our lives and, of course, do our shopping. Because a growing percentage of online purchases are completed via a mobile phone, merchants have to focus on providing a positive smartphone encounter with their site. This means that SMEs need to make it easier for users to shop on their phones while keeping in mind that with mobile less is more, especially at checkout.
Furthermore, the average person’s attention span has dropped significantly, which means that consumers will be looking for ecommerce solutions that allow them to buy at any moment on any platform. So, business owners need to realize that any chance to reduce the number of fields, screens and clicks will turn into more purchases. Diverse payment options that speed up the checkout process are a must, too, when it comes to mobile commerce.
Diversify and integrate your payment options
Consumers demand options and look forward to their preferred payment method. As a result, those who can diversify their payments are more likely to reduce cart abandonment and encourage shoppers to spend more. Additionally, consumers avoid cumbersome checkout processes that stand out as a separate part of the shopping experience and look for embedded payments. Thus, in order to succeed, each business has to adjust and provide frictionless, integrated payment solutions.
Optimize the buyers’ path
The payment process is not the only important touchpoint, however. The reality is, merchants have to improve every customer interaction and that can happen in different ways. For example, improve product search, provide rich product merchandising, personalize the upsell process, simplify return procedures or offer payment flow that is quick and easy. Because more experiences shift from physical to digital, we can’t look at ecommerce as just a transactional opportunity. At every touchpoint, consumers are forming an opinion about the business and brand.
Sell across borders
As part of the ecommerce boom, international transactions offer big growth potential for small businesses. Due to ongoing supply chain issues, more and more consumers are willing to buy internationally. However, many SMEs think it’s hard to accept and process cross-border payments, not knowing that a fintech partner could offer fast, inexpensive and secure cross-border payment tools.
Power loyalty with data
Data is the currency in retail and businesses can find innovative ways to incentivize consumers to share more of it. This is one trend that SMEs need to note as more retailers are expected to encourage shoppers to share data in return for perks. For example, the more info the customers are willing to provide, the more access they’d have to promotions. All businesses, regardless of their size, can look for creative ways to solicit data and ecommerce is perfect for that.
In return, that data can help a business predict shopper preferences and behaviors. And this, again, is where modern bundle services come in. For example, tying your online and in-store Point of Sale tools from myPOS can help you generate reports, track inventory and analyze and improve your sales. In-depth analysis reduces costs, enhances processes and improves profitability.
Find the right digital tools
Overall, SMEs are looking for the right tools that can help them provide a stellar online shopping experience and blend that experience with their other channels. Blended retail will become the norm in 2022 because customers expect to move between online and offline seamlessly. This means that SMEs will have to offer an integrated ecosystem of solutions to stay competitive and those who bundle their services and diversify their payment offering will be in a better position to maximize sales.
The reality is that consumer values and demands change quickly and companies have to adapt to those behaviors. While it can be hard for the smaller business to keep up and apply the new trends, modern solutions can lend a hand, so business owners can focus on what matters – their business.