Shopping habits are changing. Today’s consumers are developing expectations that will shape the future of e-commerce. Brands that cater to these growing demands will flourish, while others will fall behind.

To secure your success in the years ahead, we’ve outlined the top 5 ways to sell to customers of the future.

And you may be asking — why should I make these changes now?

We’re at a turning point in e-commerce. What shoppers currently see as a delightful extra will quickly become the norm. By tapping into these opportunities early, you will create more reasons for consumers to choose your brand over those that are slower to change.

Let’s explore the top 5 ways to attract shoppers of the future ...

 

1. Operate Through Multiple Channels

More and more companies are moving to a multi-channel marketing and sales strategy to meet shoppers wherever they are — be it the web, market places, a mobile app, social media, or in-store.

Some brands go a step further by creating an omni-channel presence, integrating all their digital and physical channels into a seamless customer experience. Today's customers switch from one channel to another through the buying cycle, with one study finding that 73% use multiple channels to research, find and buy a product. What’s more, the same research showed that omni-channel shoppers spend more money and are more loyal than their single-channel counterparts. So it’s clear that developing an omni-channel solution makes business sense.

When you create a solution, keep in mind that mobile commerce is projected to reach 54% of all digital sales by 2021. To cater to that market, start by making sure your website is fully mobile responsive. One way of doing this is by providing a clear CTA on mobile sites, inviting high intent shoppers to search for what they are looking for. Check out how OCO Glasses have made search the primary form of navigation on mobile devices to increase CR through search and reduce site exits. 

If you don't yet have a mobile app, consider building one.


2. Personalize Your Customer Journey

Personalization is moving beyond basic product recommendations. Personalization in the future will mean engaging customers with an automated customer service that is uniquely tailored to them.

This area of technology is developing quickly. To benefit most from this popular trend, take a look at your brand's level of personalization regularly and consider which areas of your online presence can be enhanced further. Areas such as personalizing promotional campaigns, email marketing, loyalty programs and more. 

You want to make sure your customers receive the best customer experience available and that you stay relevant to them. 

For the best results, only choose third-party solutions that are committed to delivering cutting-edge technology as this field develops into the future.

 

3. Prevent Missed Sales

There are many things which can interfere with a purchase. Slow loading speeds, high downtime, confusing navigation, poor product descriptions or ineffective search can send customers running to your competitors.

If you want to get your customers to the checkout smoothly, then you need to audit the customer journey on your site. Start by looking for any sources of friction for the customer, and develop plans to remove them.

Maybe you need to optimize your channels, switch to a new host, or introduce new tools to help customers find exactly what they’re looking for.

The potential can be boosted further by personalization, where each customer will see promotions and products that are uniquely relevant to them.

With a smooth and helpful journey through the sales cycle, you can get your customers to the checkout, quickly. Above all, customers expect you to accept multiple forms of payment and for them to be able to pay easily, across all of your channels. 

 

4.  Embrace Conversational Marketing

When communicating with businesses, 90% of customers say an immediate response is "important". So it’s not surprising that the shift towards AI is seeing increasingly sophisticated automated chat solutions. 

Conversational marketing taps into this new trend by using live feedback in the form of conversations, via social media, instant messenger and chat bots. Shoppers love using messaging tools to communicate with their favorite brands. It's personal, it's easy, it's available instantly, and they never have to wait for a response.

Companies that build conversational marketing around the needs of their customers will drive engagement and should see a healthy boost in sales, too.

With the rise of Alexa, more shoppers are turning to voice search as a part of their buying journey. Comscore predicts that by 2020 50% of all searches will be voice searches so it’s time for you to get savvy. 

Check out how Raen use voice search in the search box to improve the user experience of their online-store.

 

5. Test, and Test Again

If at first you don’t succeed, dust yourself off and test again. To implement any of the solutions we discussed in this article, it's important to know you’re on the right path. Whether you're focusing on one solution or many, it's crucial that you analyze your progress every step of the way and investigate what works and what doesn’t. Testing should be done to:

  1. Identify areas for improvement.
  2. Monitor the results of a given solution.
  3. Help fine-tune a solution to optimize results.

There will usually be a warming-up period where growth will be slow, so try to manage your expectations for the first few months after implementing a solution. And if you're not seeing good results after some time has passed, don't throw in the towel right away. Check to see if the problem is with implementation, rather than the solution itself. Sometimes, a little tweaking is all you need to get the results you want.

 

Summary

By embracing these developments in their early stages, you can position your business as a brand that cares about the customer experience, boosting your sales now and in the future.

Looking for a proven, future-proof solution for your business? Klevu's AI-driven search is ready to serve the customers of tomorrow, today. To learn how advanced search can revitalize your customer journey and boost sales, check out this article or schedule a live demo.