More than the digitalization of commerce
Quick, easy, convenient: the ideal online shopping spree from the customer's perspective. This deal is at least as attractive for the vendors too, as e-commerce solutions tap additional sales markets and open up the product range to new target groups.
The continuing networking is also gaining ground in commerce. Small suppliers, in particular, benefit from additional revenue through direct sales channels and can enhance their online presence with professionalism and sophistication.
Consumers demand a seamless shopping experience in all aspects. This brings with it numerous opportunities and challenges, especially for the added value of companies. Consumers have access to an unprecedented price transparency, variety of information and convenience throughout the purchasing process. Businesses can make even better use of this trend by meeting the demands and wishes of the target group with innovative offers and solutions.
Trimming the customer journey
A successful online business is all about creating shopping experiences that leave a lasting impression – simple and inspiring. Capturing the imagination of the customer and ensuring their satisfaction always come first in this respect. Optimal usability, an appealing interface design and intuitive user guidance are the core elements of a successful online shop. While products and services are staged attractively on screen, the background is alive with tracking and analyzing – new sales potentials are being identified and processes optimized. After all, businesses that continuously conduct analysis and tests and adjust the setscrews can positively influence traffic, conversion and the number of products in shopping carts, thereby appreciably increasing sales in their own online shops. Thus, by taking into account user behavior, the experience is also continually enhanced for customers.
The individually tailored setting of the customer journey
For the customers of the Hamburg-based Carlsen Verlag publishing house and Meyer-Hosen, SIRUP developed completely individual customer journeys that embrace the e-commerce market but also positively charge the brand image even further.
For example, a good product search facility for customers is an extremely efficient guidance system through the product range – an important factor for customer satisfaction.
The skilled use of personalized product suggestions allows for the optimal utilization of the cross-selling potential of the product line in the online shop. Recommendation functions also integrated via social media can then increase the positive effect for the brand value as well.
Easy payment with a range of payment methods is essential for sales transactions. Payment with credit card and digital payment methods such as PayPal and immediate payment services are continuing to grow. And new providers such as Cash Payment Solutions and Google Wallet are popping up all over the market. These provide customers with a digital wallet in the shape of a user account, where users can either pay in advance or via their account using one of the customary payment methods. For the shop operator this means weighing up the benefits against the risks.
Subscription models are especially interesting for premium services – once acquired, customers tend to remain faithful. Although the sales process is somewhat more sophisticated, the company's monthly income is easier to calculate and there are better chances for improved customer loyalty.
An example of a subscription model in the education sector is the Duden Lernhelfer: this grants premium members unlimited use of all functions for a defined period of time.
Reaching customers and learning from them
In order to be visible to customers online, good search engine marketing is essential. You can only place your products with your target audience if you can reach them where they are.
A large portion of the added value of B2C e-commerce in comparison with classic three-level trade is direct contact: not only can shop operators communicate with their customers, but they can also learn from them. This allows for target groups to be defined more accurately than with traditional marketing's purely analytical method.
A growing number of stationary traders are setting up online shops and online mail order companies, that were previously purely internet-based, are getting engaged in retail. What unites them all is the desire to contact customers wherever they are and to trade across channels. This is also known as cross-channel, multichannel, omnichannel or everywhere commerce.
The ROPO phenomenon (Research Online, Purchase Offline) illustrates the dovetailing of online and offline very well. Many customers continue to buy in retail stores, but use the internet in advance for research purposes. In store, they get the final additional information (feel, fit, consultation, etc.) before purchasing. Businesses must react to all of these changes and make adjustments accordingly.
One department alone cannot fix it
The processes and organizational structures of a company are being challenged in a completely new way. The traditional silo mentality is reaching its limits.
Interdepartmental planning and actions are what is needed. This generally has a significant impact on corporate culture and structure, and also means a shift in the relevant know-how and personnel – often resulting in a major change management process.
The technical heterogeneity of the systems involved and the variety of combinations of platforms, operating systems and browsers are the challenges faced on the technical side of things. With our shop solutions, we ensure successful order fulfillment by mapping all processes across one system – from the integration of ERP and credit checks, to the transfer of data to the shipping provider.
For this, SIRUP uses proven and comprehensive e-commerce systems such as Magento, as they offer a secure, flexible and expandable infrastructure for individual online shops and mobile commerce.