Essential Digital Strategies for E-commerce Optimization

E-commerce technology

Driving meaningful and convertible traffic to your e-commerce site can be an inherently costly, inefficient, and sometimes broken process.

It is no surprise that the pandemic has forever changed the e-commerce buyer’s journey. Retailers and wholesalers must replace outdated technologies and streamline processes to keep up with the new ways consumers prefer to shop. 

There is little to no room for error in today's tech-savvy world. Instead, brands must begin a digital overhaul to ensure they have the most competitive and modern omnichannel tools. To turn shoppers into lifelong fans, it’s critical to offer a robust, engaging and easy-to-use online experience. This includes personalized search and product recommendations that leverage real-time data and true AI technology to convert customers across all phases of the e-commerce journey.

Implementation of Search AI

When looking to optimize the online experience, what are the key elements you should invest in to provide a seamless, efficient, engaging, and profitable customer acquisition and conversion process?

The best place to start is product search — the easiest way to gain or lose an online customer. According to areport from Google, 52% of consumers will abandon their cart and go elsewhere if they can’t find just one item in a search. And 77% will avoid shopping on a website that’s been difficult for them in the past. If a buyer’s experience is not up to par, they’ll move on quickly and without making a purchase and that opportunity to gain a brand loyalist may be gone forever.

As a result, search AI technology is the most dominant tool in a retailer’s tech stack. By minimizing human intervention and relying on data and machine learning (ML), AI-powered technology better optimizes search results to display the most relevant recommendations while factoring in criteria such as inventory levels and cold-start products that are typically delegated to the bottom of the list.

Data from GroupBy states that, with the right search AI technology, retailers see an average 72% decrease in null search results and an 81% increase in revenue from an online search, underlining the importance of having the right tool in a retailer’s tech stack.

In a day and age where customers seek frictionless purchasing journeys, both online and in-store, retailers should be re-evaluating their product discovery tech to ensure they’re not losing sales at the virtual front door.

Utilization of an Omnichannel Approach

An omnichannel strategy aims to deliver a seamless and unfailing customer experience across all channels, from online to brick-and-mortar locations, to provide a frictionless experience for customers and their desired purchase(s). While the industry has been transitioning toward an omnichannel approach for over a decade, the pandemic condensed five to seven years of transformation and innovations into just a few months and it is here to stay.

In this post-COVID era, a robust omnichannel strategy is not only a strategic move to stay ahead of the curve, but also imperative for growth in the increasingly digital retail journey and the new table stakes — and the customer now not only demands it but expects it. A single brand touchpoint can make or break your brand’s opportunity for consideration, a purchase, or a lifelong customer.

According toMcKinsey, more than one-third of Americans have made omnichannel features such as buying online for in-store pickup part of their regular shopping routine since COVID-19, and nearly two-thirds of those individuals plan to continue. With buyers becoming increasingly savvy, retailers need to keep up and ensure that they can provide this seamless experience — or watch their customers go elsewhere.

To offer the highest quality user experience and optimize conversions in today’s retail world, a business must combine high-functioning search AI technology with an omnichannel strategy.

Roland Gossage, CEO of GroupBy

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