Retail Realities for Modern Online Sellers

Online retail is skyrocketing in growth. In fact, Statista reports that $2.3 trillion U.S. dollars were spent on ecommerce in 2017 and that number is forecasted to jump to $4.48 trillion by 2021. Online retail, however, is also highly competitive. With the rise of mobile commerce, online shopping is no longer limited to traditional desktop computers – it now takes place on mobile phones and laptops… and it has even come full-circle to include in-store mobile browsing on smartphones, as well.

As an online retailer, you need to have omnichannel capabilities to be successful in today’s world. You also have to be able to update your inventory counts instantly across multiple shopping platforms to ensure that the products you’re marketing are in stock and ready to be sold. Keeping this in mind, check out the retail realities below to learn how to streamline your business for omnichannel selling success in 2019.

1. Easy Reorders Drive Repeat Purchasing

Modern customers are more loyal than they are usually given credit for. You just have to take a look at all of the “Buy Again” buttons, “Repurchase” buttons, and even Amazon’s physical Dash buttons, to see how much of a demand there is for retailers to give customers an easy way to buy more of the same products.

Of course, repurchasing buttons are mainly popular with customers buying consumer packaged goods, but all retailers can benefit from increased loyalty by retargeting customers with offers on their favorite products.

Pro Tip: When your customer relationship management (CRM) solution integrates with your POS system, you can create an email marketing strategy that takes your customer’s purchase history into account. This means that you can offer consumers the option to repurchase their favorite products or send them promotions on products that complement their most recent purchases.

2. Personalized Customer Service Boosts Online Retention

It’s no secret that email personalization increases customer retention, but did you know that you can also boost retention by providing better online customer service? In fact, customer service is the next frontier in online personalization.

Giving your employees access to each customers’ full order history as well as records of each customers’ past interactions with your staff lets your team address your customers’ needs with a better awareness of where they’re coming from. So when your customers reach out, your staff can instantly address their needs.

Pro Tip: Did you know that nearly 70 percent of customers who stop working with a retailer say it’s because they feel that the business doesn’t care about them? Keep your existing clients by giving each of your customer-facing employees access to a full history of each purchase and interaction, so your online customer service can come from a smarter place.  

3. Flash Sales Inspire Impulse Buys

Modern online customers are all about the discounts. Flash sales, product drops and short-term promotions are all great ways to drive traffic to your website. However, sometimes retailers make the mistake of underestimating the boost in traffic that will come from their flash sale and not preparing enough product to meet the demand. (Take Build-a-Bear’s ‘Pay Your Age’ promotion, for example.) When retailers run out of products during a promotion, it can lead to angry customers and negative online reviews.

Pro Tip: Make sure you don’t run out of inventory during a sale with order forecasting, real-time inventory updates and efficient reordering. Brightpearl’s inventory management solution is made to handle high order volumes and sudden spikes in sales, so you can be fully-stocked with inventory for every occasion… every time.

Conclusion

Retail has always been a trend-sensitive industry and the current trends in online retail demand that sellers have access to accurate inventory monitoring, as well as the ability to provide comprehensive customer service across channels. Since online shopping today takes place across multiple devices, you need the ability to record and access customer interactions, track inventory levels, and respond to new orders where and when they happen. To do this, your back-office and front-of-house systems need to work together seamlessly.

Brightpearl can help streamline all of your complex online business processes into one easy-to-use platform that you can access from anywhere in real-time – granting you more control over your business processes. With Brightpearl, you can manage your ecommerce business remotely and have a better overview of your business processes when you’re on the move – allowing you to focus on the most important aspect of running an online retail business… your customers.

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About the Author

Nicole Leinbach Reyhle is the Founder and Publisher of Retail Minded, a publication committed to supporting independent retailers through news, education and support, as well as the Co-Founder of the Independent Retailer Conference. Recognized for her expertise in independent retail, Reyhle has published thousands of articles about small business and is the Author of the book “Retail 101: The Guide to Managing and Marketing Your Retail Business” from McGraw-Hill. Additionally, Reyhle has contributed to Forbes, Fiverr, IBM and more, and has been the Spokesperson for Small Business Saturday from American Express since 2014. Learn more about Retail Minded at www.retailminded.com, at @RetailMinded on Twitter or at Facebook.com/RetailMinded.