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Cross-border e-commerce trends that you just cannot ignore

Category: Enterprise

Cross-border e-commerce trends that you just cannot ignore

E-commerce is a rapidly evolving area and it can be a daunting task trying to keep up with the trends. With the advent of technology, some of the ways in which we meet our basic needs have undergone a tremendous change. Online retailing is one such major gift.

As more and more people have begun to prefer e-commerce, it is becoming essential to adapt accordingly for the businesses to keep growing. Brick and mortar stores are no longer the preferred choice, as many brands and companies have begun to adopt e-commerce instead.

And the e-commerce market is not confined to a specific location, like a particular country, but has a worldwide presence. In keeping with the times, it has become vital for businesses to keep up with cross-border e-commerce trends, not only to sustain but to grow.

Access to the web

Everyone you meet, every person that you know and even people on the street, everyone owns a smartphone. As internet literacy grows, people find themselves with easier access to businesses around the world. This is a great time for businesses to expand into the e-commerce world and cash in on the general global trend of growth in internet usage.

Global becomes local

With the mammoth growth in internet marketing, more and more businesses are joining in the e-commerce world. People now have access to global stores right from their screens. Products are available from anywhere in the world and can be sent to anywhere. The need to travel distances to make specific purchases is long gone. The businesses that have made themselves available globally have seen massive growth and have managed to take over the cross-border e-commerce industry.

Ease of access

For the growth of any e-commerce undertaking, it is essential for the business to make itself as easily accessible as can be. With monetary transactions being a major concern for prospective buyers, providing secure and simple payment options is vital. There is a myriad of online payment platforms available that provide complete security and good services. Making the process of purchase simple is a great way to grow in the e-commerce industry.

Competitive prices

One of the most significant ways to make the consumers happy is to give them the best rates for your products or services. With e-commerce, it is all the more essential to keep on top of the competition at all times. With consumers having so much access to so many businesses, without having to physically go and find the best bargain, showing them that you offer the best product at the least price is vital. It is very important to change online prices according to the changes in currency as well.

Understanding the local consumer

When setting up a cross-border e-commerce business, it is essential to understand the customs and traditions of the local people. A smart study of the local market and its trends can help a business brings forth products and offers that the local majority cannot refuse. Catering to the needs of the local consumer in the best way possible is the only real means of survival when it comes to cross-border e-commerce.

Customer support and services

When competing in an e-commerce setting, it is wise to create an easily accessible customer support system. For international customers to feel safe and satisfied, around-the-clock consumer support system is a good idea. Auxiliary services not only keep the current consumer happy but also help bring in new business through word of mouth and internet reviews.

The Bottom Line

E-commerce is exploding and with it comes a great opportunity for local businesses to go global. By providing a great product, and a reliable payment gateway and customer support system, any business can establish a global presence in a short duration. However, as easy as that might sound, it is exceptionally important for businesses to stay on top of their game by adopting best business practices.

How Millennials are revolutionizing the Digital Banking & Payments Scenario

According to a recent study, 86 percent of the millennials aged 18-34 years say that they are “Mobile Money Users”, meaning they use digital banking and payments solutions on their smartphones. The millennials were the first to get introduced to gadgets and electronic products. And this is one of the reasons why they are more comfortable using digital payment solutions on their gadgets.

Let us discover the aspects that drive millennials to use digital banking and payment solutions. We will also look at the ways they are using these payment solutions in their daily life.

Millennials are Exploring New Options

Digital banking service providers are promoting cashless transactions in order to save recurring expenses and to grow their customer base. The millennials seem to be most interested in the options offered by payment solution providers. The use of hard cash is diminishing day by day and digital banking & payments are on a consistent rise.

Credit card, debit card, and net banking payment solutions are widely accepted around the world. Not only millennials but other generations are equally proficient in using these payment modes. But when it comes to evolving online payment platforms, millennials are the first one to register their presence.

Let’s take a look at the peer-to-peer lending services. Whether you are booking tickets for a concert or dining out at a vegan café; you can use the peer-to-peer lending app to split the bill. This is an excellent choice for all those who go out in groups. Nobody shares the burden of paying bills as everyone can contribute their share. And as millennials tend to go out in groups frequently, they are the ones who are enthusiastically using and promoting these payment sharing services.

Microfinance companies have initiated collateral-free loans. Yet again, millennials are at the forefront to avail these services. The complete process takes place online, from submitting documents to verification to setting up automatic EMIs.

Besides these, unified payment interface (UPI) facility links your mobile number with your bank account, allowing for hassle-free payments without entering user credentials. Similarly, contactless cards working on the principle of near-field communication (NFC) are a rage these days. And undoubtedly, millennials are the ones who are vigorously adopting these digital payment solutions.

Digital Solutions Because…

There are various reasons to opt for digital banking and payment solutions. For millennials, the following factors prompt them to opt for digital solutions:

  • Real-time – You don’t need to wait for hours, or even minutes, to complete a digital transaction. Everything happens in real time, whether it’s splitting money amongst friends or subscribing to a recurring OTT subscription.
  • Secure – Financial transactions must happen over secure online payment systems because financial fraud is a common phenomenon. And millennials, like everyone else, opt for digital banking solutions that integrate robust security measures such as PCI-DSS compliance, 2FA, 256-bit AES encryption, and so on.
  • Convenience – You don’t need to step into the bank premise, sign up checks, count the cash, etc; there are countless ways of conveniently transacting with digital banking solutions. And as time is the most important asset for everyone, including millennials, you can save a lot of it by using digital payment solutions.
  • Personalization – As millennials are tech savvy, they are more inclined towards personalizing preferences on digital banking apps and systems. So whether it’s opting for subscriptions, managing contact list, or browsing offers; these apps have features that millennials simply love.
  • Environment-friendly – Digital banking solutions eliminate the need to use paper and don’t require you to commute to and fro. These are progressive steps that aim at reducing carbon footprint. The millennials are quite conscious about the need to keep the environment clean and prefer eco-friendly solutions.

Final Words

Millennials are surely harbingers of change in the digital banking and payments landscape. While the previous generation is learning from millennials to adapt to digital solutions, the future generations will surely take these to the next level.

Importance of Customer Reviews and How to Generate Them

Word of mouth is the most vital medium for popularizing any business. Positive reviews are not the only kind that may be beneficial to a business, even though they are preferred. And establishing a positive image of your business isn’t the only benefit of online reviews.

Online reviews by the customers can also optimize search engine rankings. Popular review sites such as Yelp and Trip Advisor have been around for a long time and have an extensive database of information about businesses available.

Customer reviews also help by making it easy for buyers to choose what they desire. According to Bright Local’s consumer survey, 86% of the consumers read online reviews for local businesses, with 12% of consumers looking for a local business online every day. Surprisingly, 89% of the global customers read the responses to reviews.

Why Do Customer Reviews Matter?

According to Bright Local’s survey of local consumer reviews, consumers go through an average of seven reviews before trusting a business. These statistics were six in 2016. Also since the spread of the review culture, these businesses have seen the most growth and expansion. Other forms of businesses are also reviewed and referred to by consumers all around the world.

Online reviews not only influence consumers but also affect the visibility of these businesses in search engines. With regard to retail, the most influential factor for Google’s local search ranking is based largely on significance, location, and presence.

Out of these, location and significance are not affected by reviews. However, reviews have a major impact on the online presence of a business. Search engines like Google favor reputable review sites such as Yelp, so it is not uncommon for a small business’s Yelp or even Facebook page to rank higher in search results than its actual website.

Reviews can also be used as customer testimonials for the business website. Highlighting good reviews in social media posts and marketing campaigns may also result in further generation of reviews. Social media influencers can be vitally important while working toward growing your business presence online.

How to Collect Customer Reviews? 

Increasing positive customer reviews means growing consumer base. To get reviews from customers is not an easy task for an ordinary or new business. A great deal of effort has to be put in to generate reviews. Certain practices may be helpful in the generation of reviews. Some of these are:

  • Providing exceptional consumer service

Customers, when provided with good service are satisfied and would readily leave a review when asked for. The services include everything from providing online payment platforms to guiding the consumers in the best possible manner.

  • High-quality product or service

The product or service that a company provides is the main reason behind the customer’s satisfaction.

  • Requesting feedback/advice/suggestions regarding personal interests of the consumers

Attending to the customer and asking for their views on improving the business help to instill a friendly/family-like atmosphere for the customer, making them feel more involved and important.

  • Making it easy to receive feedback

Engaging the customers, even after the product has been sold is essential. This can be achieved by reviewing their purchase history and making recommendations regarding products that they might like.

  • Engaging customers online

Using the information about the customer collected from their purchase and sending emails regarding the product and its feedback, is a good way to make the customer feel engaged.

  • Active and logical responses to reviews

Actively responding to customers in a logical and compassionate way is vital for success in business. There can be positive reviews and negative reviews. Responding to both is equally essential.

Regular interaction with the consumer helps in maintaining a check on the quality of services, whether it’s about the best mode of delivery, online payment gateway, or cancellations & refunds. Regularly tracking reviews by making it a habit to check out various review platforms and social media outlets will help in the growth of the business. In this age of social media, online reviews are just the tool you need to make your business known.

How Cross-selling Can Help Maximize E-commerce Profits

Are you using the cross-selling strategy to increase your sales in your online shop? You are losing a lot of money if you haven’t considered cross-selling. Both cross-selling and up-selling tactics are effective ways of increasing the order value, including one of the most critical business metrics. Are you wondering what this is? Well, this post will outline what cross-selling is, how it works, and why your online store needs it.

What’s cross-selling?

This is a sales approach designed to generate more sales by recommending related, complementary or additional items to a consumer who has shown commitment to buying a product. These are products that improve or optimize the original item by providing new functionalities. For instance, think about the insurance or casing sold to you whenever you purchase an electronic device.

However, this isn’t merely about providing anything you can think of. The key here is to offer the customer additional value by showing them how you understand their needs. Just like any other sales and marketing activities, cross-selling must be planned and executed strategically.

Differentiating cross-selling and up-selling

Both cross-selling and up-selling help maximize the purchase value and enhance the buying experience of a consumer by adding value to a product. Cross-selling only focuses on the promotion of additional products from related categories while up-selling encourages a consumer to buy a higher-end version of the same item or pay more for extra features and upgrades.

Cross-selling in e-commerce

When you choose to incorporate cross-selling as a sales strategy, you will focus on introducing related products to consumers who view products on your website or have added an item to their shopping cart. If executed correctly, the cross-selling technique will feel natural and boost your client’s purchasing experience by offering them matching products that will increase the value of the product they have bought.

How cross-selling is done

The initial and most vital step to succeeding in cross-selling is finding matching products, and creating offers. Like other e-commerce aspects, the positioning and timing of these offers must be tested. But, a prevalent practice is to provide the right options on the pages of your product especially during follow-up email campaigns and checkout.

Common cross-selling strategies include:

  • Visual aids – This strategy is ideal for lifestyle and fashion products, where clients are mainly driven by visual cues. Use high-quality product videos and images to show the functions of the items in real life and prompt the consumer to purchase the entire package rather than getting one item.
  • Bundling – This involves packing items that go together naturally like a digital camera, camera case and memory card. This will maximize your profits and you should make sure that the client knows that they require these items to use the product they bought initially. Consider providing outstanding discounts to appeal to the buyer.

Reasons for cross-selling in your online store

You must be wondering if cross-selling is worth the effort. Of course, it is! Most retailers have relied on cross-selling for many years for a reason; it works. If you haven’t thought of incorporating it in your store, you are leaving cash on the table. Advantages of cross-selling include:

  • Boosts profits: Many large chain stores usually have high margins on accessories than on main products. Consider using this strategy in your store. If you choose to offer flat-rate or free shipping, you will save money on the small accessories that do not cost extra to ship but still offer more revenue.
  • Increasing the average order size: A consumer who is ready to but a product is likely to get another item if the second item adds productivity to the first item. So, if you spend some funds to market such products to your new clients, most of them will buy more from you.
  • Increased customer lifetime value: Each time a consumer buys your products, they will spend more. This means you will be earning more whenever the customer opts to buy from you.

Cross-selling can help grow profits. If you haven’t yet used cross-selling, consider giving it a try. Once you find the best selling items, get related products that will interest your customers. Present all the products to interested customers during the checkout process or on the product’s page. Do not forget to build trust with clients and avoid pitching too hard.

Tips to increase revenue and brand loyalty

One of the most difficult aspects of managing a business is increasing revenue.  As a business owner, you have to grapple with increased competition in the backdrop of increasing operation costs. While most businesses focus on customer acquisition to boost revenues, research shows building brand loyalty can have an even greater impact. A recent report shows that 43% of customers spend more money on brands they are loyal to highlighting the importance of building brand loyalty. The same report shows that the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%, while the probability of selling to a new prospect is 5-10%. If you want to increase your revenue base, you have to start thinking about strategies that will build loyalty.

From integrating secure online payment systems, customer referral programs, and excellent customer service to responsiveness, there are many ways of building loyalty with an eye on increased revenue. This article explores some of these strategies in detail. Keep reading.

  1. Create a customer reward program

One of the best techniques to retain customers is through gifts and rewards. This is the shortcut to customer loyalty and today; it is possible to personalize such gifts for better impact. With the data collected from your systems, it is possible for instance to wish a customer a happy birthday and even send them a personalized card and a gift.

This gesture will not only help in retaining the customer, but also promote your business by way of word-of-mouth marketing. Your business revenues will increase through return purchases and from referrals by your satisfied customers.

  1. Prioritize customer service

Businesses today struggle to increase revenues due to high customer churn rates. One of the main reasons for customer defection is poor customer service. According to the American Express 2017 Customer Service Barometer, 33% of customer say that they would consider switching brands in case of poor customer service. The same report shows that more than half of Americans have scrapped a planned purchase due to poor customer service.

These numbers emphasize the importance of providing excellent customer service. You must be there for your customer at all times because this is the only way to ensure they complete a purchase and remain loyal to your brand. If you want to improve your revenue numbers, you should invest in the best customer service.

  1. Provide value

Your customers already know many other brands selling the same goods and services as you. As such, your main focus should not be on the products themselves but on the value they add to the customers’ lives. You need to distinguish your brand as one that provides value, not just through what you sell, but also through community participation among other things.

  1. Engage with your customers

In today’s wired world, your customers are everywhere and they want to interact with your brand on all platforms. It is no longer enough to build a website because your target customers are on social networks and this is where you should also be. Make sure you connect with your customers as this gives them a sense of belonging and makes them loyal to your brand.

Use available platforms to inform your customers of new trends in the industry, your company activities, and anything else that is relevant to your relationship with the customer. Your customers should feel a part of your business as this will keep them coming and they will also promote your brand. This is a smart way to increase revenue for your business.

  1. Offer conveniences

If you make life easier for your customers, they will keep coming back and this will improve your revenue base. For instance, if you accept payments online free, offer feedback on social media, do free deliveries among other things this will retain your customers and increase revenue.

There is no denying that the current business environment is tough but if you focus on customer retention, it is possible to stay ahead of the competition. These two-prong customer retention strategies will not only build customer loyalty but also increase revenues.