Before the clock strikes midnight on the last day of 2019, you should have your plan for world domination forecasted for the next 12 months.
As an online brand, your main focus should be providing value to your audience.
One of the main features of online business is that it gives flexibility to both consumers and brands.
Companies are able to cover a larger territory without necessarily investing additional funds. The whole process is being automated with less need for personal assistance. Needless to say, this will increase the profits of the brands that are quickest to adapt.
Online purchasing also affects buyers. Nowadays, you don’t even have to leave your home to buy things you need. In fact, browsing has become much easier and you can quickly compare prices between different outlets.
But with saying that, actually buying online has not become that easy. With poor UX on websites and difficult payment forms, customers may not actually convert. As a brand, if you’re not up to the level of your competitors, you may wave that opportunity goodbye.
In a way, customers are getting spoiled by the technological improvements while brands are doing their best to improve their experience. Here are some of the things online customers expect from brands in 2020.
The changes in online shopping came about fast and furiously in recent years. Go back a decade ago and tell people that they could buy everything from shoes to a kitchen over the phone and they would have laughed on your face.
Today, more than 80% of purchases are done by visiting companies’ physical location. Various phone applications are becoming more popular which also allows clients to remove cash and card payments from the equation. This system is already very popular in China and some other countries, it is slowly getting traction in the US.
By tracking your location, you don’t even have to interact with a salesperson. Instead, all you have to do is take the item you want and get out of the store while money will be deducted via a phone application. Using your phone as a wallet is a great idea for people who shop on the go.
Nobody leaves the house without a phone nowadays and forgetting your wallet is so 2018… Become a savvy shopper by downloading apps that are connected to your card. Most brands will accept payments from cards and using your phone as a method of doing this is super innovative.
Most websites are also adapting to become mobile-friendly. In 2020 there should be no reason to have to navigate a full-width monitor sized website on your phone screen. That’s old news. Apps, websites, payment options should all be easily navigated on your mobile device. If you’re a brand and reading this, please make this a priority. You don’t want to seem outdated sure you don’t?
Price comparison sites are on the rise
One of the biggest benefits of online shopping is the ability to quickly compare prices. The concept is even more modernized and improved. Today, as you have a lot of different sites who give you a breakdown of possible outlets where you can buy an item.
Basically, you can input a particular product you’re interested in and you will get a list of all potential shops and how much they charge for it. Needless to say, this allows you to buy products at the cheapest price possible. This can be especially important for smaller items that you buy on a regular basis.
As a brand, you shouldn’t fear these comparison sites. You’re already competing with other players in the market. Why not be at the forefront and run display ads on these comparison sites? Take the bull by the horns and show your value.
Obviously, customers are after the lowest possible prices available. If your branded items are being sold at various different prices all across the web, there must be something afoot here. As a brand, being as transparent as possible with your pricing is important for 2019. People love honesty and that’s only going to continue going forward into 2020!
Voice search is a relatively new trend but it is gaining a lot of traction for a good reason. Basically, you don’t even have to type anymore in order to make an online purchase. The whole process can be done via phone as you order things by simply saying what you need.
The trend coincides with the increased number of mobile users compared to desktop users. Furthermore, all of this will lead to improving technology and more options for users. Don’t be surprised if your brand starts trailing behind the competition if you can’t implement this technology for your online stores.
With devices like Amazon Echo or Google Home on the rise, so is voice search. Customers expect to be able to find a brand or an item simply by requesting these devices. If your brand isn’t equipped with long-tail keywords, you might want to change that.
People won’t say exactly what they want, it will probably be mixed into a full sentence. Optimizing your marketing for this form of the market will work wonders for you and for your customers. Drive sales through the roof by working with new trends in society.
Word of warning, sticking to what you know will not do you any favors, you have to be flexible.
Personalization is the key
Nowadays, in order to be successful, you have to cater to your clientele. You cannot simply provide a default solution and expect that people will purchase from you. Customers expect a more personalized shopping experience. Not only products but the whole web shopping has to be tailored to their needs.
It could be as simple as addressing them by their first names in an email or sending them content or products that relate to them. Blanket marketing may have worked in the past but for 2020 people want to be spoken to.
As a brand, you should be segmenting your users into small niche lists based on their interests and levels of interaction with the website. For example, if someone has spent their time reading blogs about the video, there’s no point in sending them content about billboards.
Specific and targeted campaigns are what customers want, so give it to them!
Improvement of customer care bots
One of the biggest things in 2019 was customer care chats. They provide a better shopping experience to customers allowing them to get an instant response to all their questions. Being an online chat service, it assists the customers to talk when they need help was really great.
But then people leave and your chat is left for about 14 hours. The customers who inquire during that time are left idle. Those who don’t get answers to their questions will probably just leave.
In 2020, most places will use chatbots to take over when their employees leave. These little robots will lead the charge for your customer support and help get your brand some more sales.
At the end of the day, the world changes to a greater extent year on year. What we expect to happen and what actually happens are often very different things. But by watching trends and planned releases, we can make informed decisions to be the best brands possible.
Customers expect a lot from the brands they support. That is completely justified. So next time a customer offers an idea or some criticism of your current activities, use that to make your brand even better.
Have a great rest of 2019 and an even better 2020!