Developing and sustaining competitive advantage in the global e-commerce sector

From one-person, one laptop drop shippers, through to the largest firms in the world, everybody wants a bigger slice of this huge pie.

Clearly a powerful, enticing and rewarding website is at the centre of creating success in this sector. After all, for most businesses in the sector, repeat custom and repeat online visits from each customer are the bedrock of profitability.

Naturally, there are offline strategies being focused on by companies wishing to stand out, such as, swifter delivery and creative ways to personalise and improve the delivery experience.

However, at Phoenix Digital we have been applying a huge amount of our time on creating world-class websites for many of our clients, such as Argos, Bush and British Cycling, where we increasingly build in a clear, focused digital strategy and set of solutions, to significantly enhance the overall Customer Experience.

Specifically in the area of personalisation.

The next few years will be remembered as the time when Customer Experience, became the biggest differentiator of all (after price) for every e-commerce website. Quite simply, consumers are demanding and expecting a near-perfect experience, regardless of factors such as device type or operating platform they use, ideally enhanced to reflect their personal requirements and behaviours.

Technology needs to metaphorically bend and flex in real-time and in a directly relevant way to do that.

Below we thought we’d share some of the main, ever-evolving trends and themes that our tech geniuses are building for our clients, to enhance the Customer Experience strategy within their e-commerce sites:

  • Increased automated, highly personalised Email management – There is a shift towards the need for e-commerce websites that are capable of pulling customer data/behaviour and outputting personalised, highly targeted sales and aftersales emails, whilst the customer is very much still psychologically in the sales cycle. How does this enhance the Customer Experience? An increasing number of customer segments nowadays perceive great value in securing purchases directly from an inbox rather than going to a brand’s website.
  • The Mobile Experience – Consumers continue to expect the best experience possible when shopping, no matter if it is on a desktop or mobile device such as a phone or tablet. Web and app based shopping that meets customer expectations often requires much better usability and speed, along with intuitive designs if customers are to be comfortable spending more regardless of the platform used.
  • Automated Assistance – We have increased the use of automated assistance for many of our clients over the past few years. At Phoenix Digital we believe passionately, that whilst Automated Assistance facilitates huge customer service cost savings for our clients, it needs to operate so that their customers perceive it as adding value to their experience. Voice search is fast becoming an expectation from Millennials for example. Chatbots, virtual personal assistants to find and purchase items for them and other Artificial Intelligence tools, are features we expect to feature very heavily over the next few years too, across our development team.
  • Better User Experiences (UX) – For many of our clients, the User Experience (UX) is THE battleground they are focusing on most, when it comes to staying ahead of the competition. The result is that our Planning, Development and Technical teams work in unison here at Phoenix Digital to understand each client’s plans, before building platforms within their new e-commerce sites, which contain the functionality of gathering, analysing and automating both fluidity and personalisation, to each visitor’s user experience.
  • Platform and Device Integration – A huge challenge (But one the Phoenix team is very experienced in delivering on) is that the UK and much of the World are now multichannel and multi-device communities. In light of the User Experience point above, even the simple fact of different size interfaces for a multi-device-customer, who is expecting a seamless experience regardless, is a hurdle many e-commerce sites are yet to jump over.
  • Increased Video Content – Current estimates are that video content will make up over 75% of all online consumer Internet traffic within the next 10 years. An excellent strategy to determine whether your customers (or perhaps more prevalently, certain customer segments) will derive an enhanced Customer Experience from interaction with Video across the website, is to test it. At Phoenix Digital we’ve successfully integrated such tests through a number of our client’s sites over the past few years and every time, it’s the subsequent behaviour from the actual customer base, which determines whether Video is extensively adopted or not.

To find out how Phoenix Digital could help with your digital strategy, simply get in touch.