More than 10,000 retailers, suppliers and technology vendors attended the the Internet Retail Conference & Exhibition in Chicago this year. IRCE was a great way to learn the latest technologies, trends and best practices when it comes to digital commerce. Below are some of the key takeaways from the trade show.
You Really Need to Sell on Amazon
No other commerce business is more omnipresent than Amazon. The ecommerce giant accounted for 53% of ecommerce growth in 2016. Shoppers have grown used to shopping on the marketplace, and this trend will not change any time soon.
Amazon’s reach just keeps growing. In fact, nearly half of the US population is within 20 miles of an Amazon fulfillment center. Brands looking to succeed must make their mark on the marketplace.
Brands Are Increasingly Going Direct
With more and more retail stores closing, brands can no longer rely solely on their retail partners. This has increased the pressure on brands to go direct, and they are now shopping for and implementing the same digital tools as retailers. Some of these tools include email marketing, CRM, shipping management, and content management software.
Consumers Are Shopping More on Mobile and Trying Ship-to-Store
Mobile shopping continues to grow, and more shoppers are turning to apps because the overall in-app experience tends to be better and more optimized than websites. According to the 2017 UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper, more than half of consumers have tried the ship-to-store option as well; 44% of these shoppers made additional purchases in-store when they arrived to pick up their online purchases.
B2B eCommerce Is On the Rise
The B2B market has long lagged behind B2C, but not anymore. Digital platforms have made it easier for suppliers to sell to business accounts at a growing rate. While merchants today are more used to reaching shoppers online, technology is making it easier for them to sell products to vendors and B2B customers as well.
You Need to Invest More in Personalization
There’s a growing demand for better, more personalized brand experiences. According to a recent study, 66% of shoppers said they are likely to switch brands if they are treated like a number instead of an individual. Achieving personalization at scale is increasingly difficult, but innovations in AI and AR are growing to fill in the gap.
Customer-centric retailers that offer seamless customer support, quick delivery, and consistent multi-channel and omnichannel experiences, have a greater chance at success – almost twice as likely as retailers that do not take such efforts.
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