In this article, you’ll read about the top7 e-commerce innovations you should know about. How session replay gives you a competitive edge, why blockchains are cutting out the risks and concerns, how you can mimic human talk with software, real-time location-based mobile selling, important legal tools and more.
Are you thinking about launching your own online business? Do you already have a store and you want to take it online? Are you curious about boosting up your sales or simply want to know today's best tools and strategies that will help your e-commerce business thrive? Read ahead.
What is eCommerce?
Also known as electronic or internet commerce, e-commerce is buying and selling products and services online. This refers to all kinds of trading conducted online, the money (and other sorts of funds) transactions included. The most popular way of e-commerce is online shopping. It includes every transaction executed online, such as online banking, auction markets, online ticketing or payment gateways. As technology continues to develop at a crazy pace, there are more and more innovations in e-commerce that you should know of.
Top E-Commerce Innovations
1, Session replay
A useful analytics tool is session replay. Wouldn't you like to know what your visitors do when they are on your site? Session replay is the way to understand customer engagement. It is quite a comfortable tool as it records all actions on your website. As a video reproduction, you can watch every click, scroll, swipe, and tap made by users. This way you can notice minor differences between the ways new and returning visitors interact with your site.
Session replay allows you to discover how the user behaviour changes after you introduce a new feature or run an A/B test. Recordings can be filtered according to your preferences. You can sort them by URL, date, time and more. Session replay provides a lot of information about online user experience. If you know how to utilize this information, you have the high ground, because session replay gives you a competitive edge.
Even if you are not fully aware of its meaning, you have probably heard about Bitcoin and Blockchains. Imagine a thick registry book in a library that contains the record of every loan, exchange, and information of the books. Blockchains sort of work that way on the internet. It is a new technology, a way of documenting data online.
You could say that Blockchains are a database of information stored on a variety of data servers. Blocks are built of information such as digital signature, time of the transaction, amount of currency paid, etc. These blocks are stored in a public network you can call chain (hence the name). When you purchase something online using a cryptocurrency like Bitcoin, the transaction begins to create a block. This block gets verified by thousands of computers across the internet, not owned by any authority or government. The verified block is then added to a chain, and later other blocks follow. This means that if you want to modify a block, you would need to modify the entire chain that could contain millions of entries and that is just simply not possible. Blockchains are cutting out the risks and concerns raised when involving a third party in the transaction. You already know that Bitcoin is a well working system of a cryptocurrency and that proves the effectiveness of the BlockChain technology.
When surfing online you have probably met a chatbot before. They can be on websites related to almost anything: food delivery, webshops, online counselling, job listings and more. A chatbot is a software that can mimic human talk online.
They have been around on the internet for years, but they started to develop to a level that helps online businesses only in the past few years. Chatbots can connect to several databases. They provide the requested information collected from the relevant database. For example, your request is "I need a taxi", a chatbot obtains the information based on the database and your given location. For an online shop, a chatbot is a great asset. It interacts with the users and helps them with their inquiries in connection with product information, returns policy, shipping information and other data related to the business. It can also reduce the number of questions asked. If the users need information about less specific information, don't worry, your chatbot will take care of it.
4. Website Analytics
If you have a website, you probably have asked yourself the question, "How many people are visiting my website? " or "Do I get enough visitors to get my business booming?" There are numerous questions related to your website traffic, and website analytics helps you to answer them. It is a complex statistical tool that measures the attendance of your website using several metrical information. This allows you to get a customized analysis to see the performance of your website. Other than measuring web traffic, it can be used for market research.
Using website analysis you can identify traffic sources, based on devices, browsers, social media and so on. Having this information will oversee your conversion rate better and generate more revenue. It is also great (or say crucial) to use this analysis when planning your next online marketing campaign.
You can find several metrics used to measure your web traffic such as sessions, page views, bounce rate or conversion rate. These values will get you an understanding of what the visits and engagements mean to your business.
There are many web analytics tools on the market, Google Analytics is one of the most popular ones. This free tool generates reports that include information about your online traffic sources, visitors and engagements. You can also see what keywords attract the most visitors to your website. As you analyze your e-commerce website, you'll realize how dependent you've become on SaaS services for everything on your site from product delivery to customer service features. At some point, you may feel that all those tools are getting out of control. So, it's helpful to monitor your IT and SaaS tools, keeping your website optimized, compliant, and financially efficient by controlling all those resources from a single dashboard.
When optimizing your website it is necessary to be aware of which metrics to consider based on your business strategy.
If you think you know all the best marketing strategies, but you don’t use remarketing, you’re missing something important. It is not a lately discovered innovation, remarketing is worthy to mention when talking about e-commerce tools. With remarketing, you can reach the users who have already interacted with your website. This way, knowing your audience will help you give ideas to improve the placement of your ads. It doesn't matter which traffic value you want to grow, remarketing will help you do it. The cookies that you accept record what you do on a website. This feature will lead to targeted ads that will follow you online. In e-commerce, you can improve your cross-selling, strengthen your brand and reduce cart abandonment. By choosing the right time and targeting the buyers, remarketing can be the difference in your online business.
6. Real-Time Location-Based Mobile Selling
In connection with geo-targeting and geofencing, location-based selling is a rapidly growing sub-industry of e-commerce. The base of this strategy is someone's current (or previous) location. When people are sharing their location, the data sent from their smart devices are provided for ads. The main source of this data comes from GPS information and Bluetooth signals shared from mobile devices.
The marketing strategy behind geotargeting is to provide advertising or content to the users staying in a specific area or location. The advertisements mostly appear on social media platforms as well as on Google tools.
7. Contract management software
Handwritten contracts are mostly gone, but people are still using word processing software to create contracts which can be lead to significant errors. If you only copy and paste your agreements, it can easily happen to miss one little part of the agreement which can be significant later.
The good news is that you can use contract management software which allows you to collaborate on creating a contract, sign easily and track all of your legal actions so you can renew them in time.
This is important news for all sales teams, HR teams and people who are working in finance and legal departments. Basically, this is important for companies that can be exposed to serious legal risk, and to companies that have already had a huge amount of time wasted because they didn't handle manual contracts with care.
How to decide which tool to use for your business? There isn't a perfect answer to that. There are a number of tools other than the ones above that can help you take your e-commerce to another level. It depends on what business you run and what you want to achieve. It can be a constant increase in online purchases or strengthening your brand image. It can be both too, but you need to be clear on what your goals are. You must know your target customers, use those web traffic reports and shape your strategy carefully by using the right online marketing assets. Doing so will increase your chances of gaining more revenue and running more successful marketing campaigns.