Ecommerce customers across B2C and B2B industries crave connected, unified shopping experiences. This means they want seamless handoffs between different channels and websites, and personalized engagement based on their prior interactions with a brand. A 70% majority of customers feel that these connected processes are very important when it comes to winning their business in the competitive ecommerce landscape.

 

Businesses hoping to attract today’s connected shoppers must unify experiences across all touchpoints. Customers deserve, and demand, truly cohesive retail experiences along their journeys from discovery to delivery and whatever lies beyond. Unified experiences can also provide brands with a clearer understanding of customer activity and how it may relate to retail inventory, products, and promotions.

An ecommerce platform that supports excellent user experience design can help make a brand’s online store easy to navigate and engaging to explore. Product recommendations and smart search powered by artificial intelligence can help inspire shoppers to purchase.

 

Brands can also maximize conversion rates with ecommerce optimizations such as checkouts without any account sign-up requirement, and automated price adjustments for sales and promotions — which helps eliminate sticker shock at checkout.

Businesses should run their ecommerce sites with the same care and attention to detail required by a flagship retail location. Online stores are the primary way many consumers interact with brands — truly, the ecommerce website is the new storefront window display.

 

Just as with a storefront window display, ecommerce businesses should showcase new products on a regular basis. Most customers, 69% on average, expect to see new merchandise whenever they visit a site or a store. Consistent inventory updates are simply a must, as today’s customers crave fresh product offerings more frequently than ever before. With an intelligent ecommerce platform, businesses can aggregate average customer visit frequency and stagger product launches to meet the pace of the highest-value shoppers.

 
New research from 6,000 consumers and 1.4 billion ecommerce visits reveals what shoppers actually want.

As has always been true of commerce in general, ecommerce is essentially a competition between businesses, and it’s essential for brands to know what the competition offers and charges. Using automation to run reports on the competition can help businesses develop compelling deals, bundles, and counteroffers for their customers — with state-of-the-art website experiences that stand out and don't just blend in.

 

Great online customer service is just as important as a perfectly presented product inventory or an excellent ecommerce site. Just as in a physical retail store, when customers run into issues shopping online, businesses should be there for them with kindness and support. Real-time messaging built into an ecommerce site is an indispensable tool that brands can use to instantly engage customers and solve problems — curbing bounce rates, shopping cart abandonment, and shopper dissatisfaction.

Most modern consumers are comfortable with receiving relevant, personalized advertising through digital channels — on the web, by email, and through social media. Businesses can help deliver seamless shopping experiences to these consumers by integrating ecommerce with digital marketing.
Connected experiences matter across every channel, and brands should take care to integrate shopping links into personalized web ads, emails, and social content used in digital marketing campaigns. Microtargeted omni-channel marketing allows brands to zero in on the highest-value ecommerce customers and other desired niche markets, delivering shoppable content to those most likely to click and convert.
 
Shop sections can also be added to brand profiles on some social media websites, like Facebook. From there, it’s easy to tag products from the brand’s shop in image and video posts. Content in posts and stories on Instagram and Snapchat can also be linked directly to a brand’s ecommerce website — leading to seamless customer journeys and omni-channel conversions.