The internet has removed all geographic boundaries and the world of sale has progressed at an unimaginable pace. If someone has talked about buying and selling items from one side of the world and shipping them to others all through a few clicks, it would sound like science-fiction. In today’s world, this has become a regular part of our lives.
Online technology has immensely changed buying and selling services. It has impacted these processes in so many aspects that it is sometimes hard to keep track. That is why this compilation of some of the most noticeable changes that online technology has made to the business world will keep you informed.
Analysis of Customer Behavior
Customer behavioral analytics can play a huge role in the increase in sales. They allow sellers to analyze the purchasing patterns of the users and make adjustments that will improve customer experience.
Online shopping provided business to use this analysis and find out customer preferences and dislikes.
Behavioral analytics can focus on keeping track of the buyers’ search, their purchase history, as well as the interactions they have with customer service.
The collected data can then be passed on to business owners and marketers who can base their further strategic steps on specific data.
Instead of organizing the business based on assumptions and predictions, online technology enables them to use facts that will help them make the right business moves.
This works well for buyers as well, since they get a more personalized experience and can quickly find what they want.
In order to capture and retain massive volumes of consumer data, we need online technology that can handle that. This is where Big Data saves the day.
Investopedia defined Big Data as “ large, diverse sets of information that grow at ever-increasing rates. It encompasses the volume of information, the velocity or speed at which it is created and collected, and the variety or scope of the data points being covered. Big data often comes from multiple sources and arrives in multiple formats.”
All the information about consumer behaviors and purchasing habits can be stored, analyzed, and managed by using Big Data tools.
These analytics help sellers determine the target audience and improve B2C or B2B lead generation.
All in One Marketplace
Why would you go from store to store when you find it all in one place? This is where online shopping communities such as Amazon thrive.
25 years ago when Amazon first stepped onto the scene, it has taken over the world of the internet and won the users’ hearts.
The following statistics will give you a better representation of how impactful this online shopping platform is:
- Amazon has more than 2.9 million active sellers in the marketplace.
- There are 119,928,851 products as of April 2019 on the Amazon website.
- Shoppers purchased more than 100 million products during the Amazon Prime day in 2018.
- Small businesses in the US sell more than 4000 items per minute over Amazon.
These facts show how popular Amazon is among buyers and sellers. What makes Amazon so attractive is the opportunity to buy and sell various products. There are simply no limitations.
Anything that you need from books over clothes to electronic devices you can find on this platform.
There are no more endless phone calls to companies trying to handle some issues. Now, there are chatbots that automate the request and instantly provide the answer.
A chatbot is a software solution that stimulates communication with the user in order to help them complete the purchase.
Seller also benefited greatly from this online technology solution. By embedding chatbots in their e-commerce store, they don’t need to waste time on long customer conversations.
Henry Campbell, a digital marketer and translator at TheWordPoint pointed out another way to use chatbots. “Chatbots can also serve as some sort of sales assistant. If they are activated to greet the customers after they spend some amount of time on the website and ask them if they need help, chatbots can start a conversation that will solve customer dilemmas and encourage them to buy the product,” explains Henry.
Therefore, chatbots brought multiple benefits such as:
- Helping buyers to complete purchase
- Offering product recommendations to buyers
- Providing customer support
The reports claim that 93% of consumers who use their mobile phones to research potential products and services end up making a purchase. This only shows how important mobile shopping has become.
The extensive popularity of smartphone shopping has influenced business owners to enable a seamless online shopping experience for mobile users.
While some simply use a responsive design for their website (which has become a must for e-commerce stores), others go one step further and create mobile shopping apps.
This leads us to the current situation where every large selling company has its app for an easier shopping experience. The fact that 145.2 million mobile users accessed the Amazon app in March 2019 shows how important shopping apps are.
Social Media Marketplaces
Who would’ve guessed that social media can make such a change in the world? It has altered our communication habits, introduces new job opportunities, and ultimately, changed the way we sell and shop.
Both Facebook and Instagram have made one step further towards online shopping.
Facebook introduced a Store option that businesses can use on their social media profiles to sell products directly from this social media platform.
When it comes to Instagram, they have brought the internet shopping experience to a whole different level.
Instagram allows business owners to add images of products with special tags. When users click on those tags they are directed to the website where they can instantly buy the product. Instagram Stories are also very popular for product promotion, where users just need to “swipe up” and the will be led to the item’s purchasing page.
This visually-oriented social media network has also inspired affiliate marketing. Pat Flynn concisely defined this phenomenon by describing it in the following manner:
“Affiliate marketing is the process of earning a commission by promoting other people’s (or company’s) products. You find a product you like, promote it to others and earn a piece of the profit for each sale that you make.”
Influencers use Instagram or YouTube to promote those products, while companies use affiliates marketing tracking software to follow their activities and pay commission accordingly.
Sales Force Automation
Thanks to this online technology innovation, business owners can say goodbye to tedious repetitive tasks.
Statistics show that businesses that don’t use automation spend 71% of their time and resources planning and defining business processes. The same applies to sales organizations.
That is why they need sales force automation systems. These systems deal with tasks such as scheduling sales appointments, setting up new website content, sending follow-up emails, posting new content on social media, updating sales opportunities, and so on.
Removing time-consuming obligations from the schedule leaves the sales team to deal with valuable business aspects such as marketing, customer experience, and business strategy.
Some Final Thoughts
As a society that is driven by online technology, we have welcomed these changes with open arms. It is so easy to get used to faster and more accessible selling and buying processes. Nowadays, some people can’t even imagine their life without online shopping.
However, this is driving e-commerce owners to make changes to the way they do their business. If they don’t want to fall behind their competitors, adopting these online technologies is essential for the business’s progress.