+ Seven ways you can benefit from the digital transformation of the retail space. | Inovio Payments
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Seven ways you can benefit from the digital transformation of the retail space.

A lot has changed since the first book was ordered on a little website called Amazon back in 1995. If you accept online payments, you are sure to benefit from the exciting innovations that have continued to rock the ecommerce world since then. Incorporate these trends into your retail model to delight your customers and ensure your success.

Ecommerce continues to grow.

Even before COVID-19 disrupted business as we knew it, online sales were growing with each passing year. Since the pandemic took hold, the trend has only increased.

There are several reasons for this. Ecommerce is both safe and convenient, allowing consumers to order from the comfort of home and have goods delivered to their door or available to them in-store or curbside within minutes. Websites are more intuitive and easier to use than ever before. Finally, improved data security has made ecommerce more secure, allaying consumer fears in the process. 

Harness the mobile revolution.

Increasingly, consumers are steering away from clunky PCs and laptops in favor of using their smartphones exclusively for everything from email to internet browsing and even purchasing. As a business owner, you cannot afford to ignore this trend. Taking it into account means more than just recognizing it; you need to take steps to optimize your website for mobile devices. 

Mobile devices have smaller screens, creating a browsing and purchasing experience different from their larger counterparts. You should take the following steps to optimize your website for shoppers using smartphones or tablets such as iPads.

  • Integrate Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) markup into your webpage to make the most of your search rankings.
  • Choose a responsive web design that changes according to the device and size of the screen on which the content is being viewed.
  • Use high-quality images but compress them to save space and reduce website clutter.
  • Remove Flash from your website.
  • Optimize your site for mobile by placing relevant content such as calls-to-action immediately after images.
  • Take advantage of Google Analytics and other Google-based tools, guides, and user forums.
  • Increase your page download speed by compressing images and minifying code.
  • Remove pop-ups. They are distracting. Furthermore, Google penalizes you for having them.

Taking these actions can make a potential customer’s experience on your website fast, efficient, and seamless, enabling them to quickly access the content they came for without getting bogged down with useless details. The result will be enhanced sales and happier buyers.

Target younger visitors.

While people of all ages are shopping online more than they ever did in the past, this is particularly true of buyers in their twenties, thirties, and forties. These shoppers are more likely than other demographics to respond to social media marketing efforts.

Therefore, don’t procrastinate when it comes to establishing your presence on popular sites such as Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, and TikTok. The good news is that you don’t need a degree in cinematography or computer science to harness the power of these platforms to your advantage. Videos can be made with your cellphone or an inexpensive camera. You can even get your current happy customers in on the action by encouraging them to post content of their own.

Blog entries, product reviews, testimonials, instructional pieces, and chats are just some of the ways that you and your customers can engage in ongoing, dynamic conversations that keep your brand at the top of their minds and inspire new visitors to your website. You can even link your online store with these social media sites to make purchasing even easier.

Tap into consumer concerns about the environment.

A focus on green issues is creeping into many aspects of life. Online shopping is no exception. As a result, buyers are becoming more cognizant of how their purchasing behaviors affect the Earth. You may already be incorporating “green sensitivity” into your business model.

If you are, be sure you let your customers know the steps you are taking. These may include actions such as offering sustainable packaging and sourcing your products from fair-trade organizations.

Provide customers with unique product offerings that are off the beaten path.

Increasingly, online shoppers are becoming more willing to explore the outer fringes of shopping options that go beyond the conventional big-box vendors. Instead, they are increasingly craving the unique, curated products and hands-on customer service that is better provided by smaller, independent vendors like you.

These days, buyers want to be integral parts of a business’s origin story. Include buyers in your brand’s message by first sharing how you got started. Your “about us” page should be more than simply a boring recitation of contact details. Let customers know who you are and what inspired you to start the business. Then, come up with ways to transform your buyers into integral parts of your future.

Expand your customer base.

One of the most exciting attributes of ecommerce is its ability to grow right along with your business. If you have the urge to share your goods and services with a more diverse sample of purchasers, one way to do so is by selling to customers in other countries. Once you begin to accept multiple currencies, you can dive into an entirely new pool of potential buyers.

Of course, taking this step represents a big leap for your company, one that is not right for every retailer. Before taking the plunge, first be sure that you understand the culture, product desires, and preferred payment methods of your new country of choice. Also, do your homework to partner with a payment gateway that offers compatibility with local currencies through multi-currency conversion. Finally, be sure you either understand the nation’s tax laws and other regulations or that you hire a professional who does.

Use augmented reality to enhance the customer experience.

Augmented reality (AR) technology can help your ecommerce store to overcome one of the highest barriers to online shopping: The customer’s inability to see or touch your products. This technology furnishes buyers with a better way to visualize what you are offering and even to imagine how they might look if they were wearing the clothing or accessories on your website. As AR becomes more sophisticated, it is destined to become the next best thing to in-person shopping at a store.

As we begin to enter a post-pandemic world, it is impossible to predict exactly what online shopping will look like in the decades to come. However, there is no doubt that customers will continue to take advantage of the convenience and increasing sophistication of ecommerce to obtain the products and services they want. As a business owner, one of the best ways to move your online store forward is to harness the power of the online and mobile shopping revolution.

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