In a competitive online market, any e-tailer could tell you that having a pretty homepage and easy navigation is only half the battle in competing against the big guys. With booming business, the tech industry is none too happy to provide new platforms and services to help e-tailers stay ahead of the curve, drive traffic, and ultimately sales, to their sites. Below, a round-up of new technologies to help out in a few key areas of selling online.
This is one area that depends heavily on analytics, from creating online ads to targeting shoppers and converting them to customers. The cost associated with online advertising can be astronomical, and with small and medium-sized businesses (SMB’s) representing over 95 percent of global commerce, most remain underserved because they don’t meet the minimum ad spend required by many agencies and platform providers. According to a recent study by Deloitte, every dollar spent by SMB advertisers has eight times the equivalent impact on growth as the same amount spent by their larger counterparts.
However, the same study found that they are far less likely to invest in advertising than larger firms. ReFUEL Spark provides this underserved segment of the market with artificial intelligence-guided advertising. In laymen’s terms, the platform helps create smarter ads to help its subscriber base reach online customers. The results are sustained performance enhancement, and the proof is in the pudding.
“ReFUEL4 makes it so much easier to get ad creatives,” said Julia Mak, Director of Marketing, Instamotor. “We have seen our overall campaign performance increase by 30 percent, our media spend reduced by 10 percent, and most importantly saved so much time in getting the ads done. They were up and running in 72 hours, and we saw immediate results and improvements across our campaigns within a month.”
Ever heard of a chatbot? If not and you’re in online sales, you need to be in the know.
“Bots” are online programs designed to spark up a conversation with human users, and they are important for fashion and accessories sites to help customers find the right product on a retailers/brand’s inventory. In a nutshell, the most important things to understand about bots is that they are very cost effective, highly engaged (their shoppers spend tons of time in messaging platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Kik and WeChat), they’re great customer service tools, and excellent product promoters. Imagine e-commerce customers casually chatting with a bot via text message to ask about the best deals, hottest products, what’s trending and more.
One example is Sephora, who became the first beauty company to launch a bot helping users find the right product from its extensive list of SKUs. Users can ask the bot for makeup tips, product recommendations and reviews. Most importantly, they can make purchases directly through their app and Facebook Messenger.
Bots basically create a win-win for online shopers and e-tailers alike. On the consumer end, they can feel like having a close friend who picks out items for them. For online retailers, this can be a great opportunity to upsell and cross-sell products related to what a customer is discussing with the bot. It’s like chatting with your own personal shopper, and online customers love it. The catch is that this technology can be costly to incorporate for small or midsize e-commerce sites.
Gupshup is one bot platform who provides bots to over 30,000 companies worldwide at all different price points. They develop a variety of chat bots for both consumer and enterprise users across the most popular messaging platforms, including Facebook Messenger, Skype, Slack, Kik, and more.
Once you’ve attracted shoppers to your site and helped them pick the perfect item, all that’s left is to close the deal. One thing that online retailers have missed out on since e-comm stores first popped up, and an area of opportunity, is the power of negotiation. Consumers love to land a deal, but they also have grown weary of price comparison shopping. And unfortunately many miss landing the sale because customers leave the site to find the product cheaper elsewhere.
But what if your site had the technological ability to negotiate with these bargain hunters? What if they could offer a price, and you, the e-comm owner, could counter offer? The fact of the matter is it leads to more sales and revenue, upward of 30 percent in some cases. PriceWaiter is a powerful tool that connects all those dots, offering optimized discounting, timing and deal analysis.