E-commerce sales in the U.S. last year surpassed $340 billion and in the past decade have doubled their percentage of total retail sales. As consumer interest grows, promotional companies not only need to look at e-commerce, but stay on the cutting-edge. Matt Smyth, director of Digital User Experience at ASI, lists the four biggest innovations.
1. Actually Buying: “Traditionally, B-to-B companies have contended their products could not or would not be sold online. As buyers get younger, this trend is changing. These ‘Digital Natives’ will expect to buy your business's products and services online 24/7. These customers value control and expect to make an informed buying decision with little to no interaction with a live person. How can you help facilitate reorders, sample requests or optimize your site in a way that allows for a question-free order? Give them a site that ‘expects’ buying and they will buy.”
2. Customer Experience: “Now more than ever, your website is a reflection of your business. Websites that are easy to use and provide valuable information serve as an ambassador for your company. Customers expect the same ease of use on B-to-B websites as consumer sites like Amazon and Ebay that have created frictionless shopping experiences. Create a customer-focused website with simple navigation, compelling content and vivid product images. Find the path your users are most likely to take and remove friction points.”
3. Personalization: “Ad retargeting, localization, adaptive personalization and social media have all helped to create an Internet that is personal to you. Your customers expect the same experience. When a user logs in, show them products that are right for them. Give them ways to access their orders, save products, communicate with peers and see only what is most important to them.”
4. Multilingual: “By 2020, 40% of the U.S. will be Spanish speaking. With Chinese, French and other languages on the rise, it's important your site speaks to this growing customer base. Open up to a growing market by creating a multilingual site.”