How eCommerce Changed Retail

Supplied

eCommerce offers a huge opportunity for Australian businesses. Since the first pilot for an online shopping system in 1979, the act of selling online has continued to develop and expand.

The term new retail is used to describe a fusion of old and new: the combination of traditional retail experiences with digital platforms that creates a dynamic, new shopping experience for customers.

And Australia has been quick to embrace these trends. We’re currently ranked the 10th best eCommerce market in the world, and many businesses are reaping the rewards that an active global or broader domestic) market can deliver.

But what are some of the key behaviours having the biggest impact?

Mobile Commerce

We use our mobile and tablet devices more and more to organise our lives carry out transactions. Research from Google has shown taht 50 per cent of people will frequent a business less often if the website isn’t mobile friendly, even if they like the company. A recent report showed that 30 per cent of all e-commerce conversions in the US now occur on mobile — a fact search engines are now acutely aware of, rewarding those that cater for mobile visitors.

Live Chat

These days, customers are likely to expect an immediate answer to a query, and some won’t even want to trawl through your FAQ list.

Live chat, on desktop or mobile, provides customers with the human touch that is sometimes lacking on digital channels. The data collected through live chat – particularly when combined with staff insights and reasoning — can also help your business understand purchase decisions.

Micropayments

A micropayment is a very small sum of money paid online, that relies on high volumes of purchases at a low price point to stimulate profits. In the same way that the music industry was revolutionised by 99 cent songs, businesses are starting to recognise the power of lowering price-points to capitalise on the volume of a global marketplace. This is particularly effective for digital assets that don’t have the manufacturing costs associated with physical products.

One newstartup, Blendle, recently realised that micropayments could be used effectively within the publishing industry – allowing readers to buy one article at a time, rather than having to pay for a subscription model.

Drone Delivery

Drones’ usability are still being evaluated in an eCommerce context, but according to eDigitalResearch, 33 per cent of online shoppers are open to using drones to speed up the delivery of their orders.

With a drone delivery service from Google’s parent company Alphabet set to launch commercially in 2017, a fly-by delivery service may not be too far away.

Digitisation Of Operations: Edible Blooms

Founded in 2005, Edible Blooms is a gift delivery service that specialises in edible bouquets, creating bunches from fresh fruit and flowers in order to send to customers all over the world.

Built on a strong eCommerce platform, these days 70 to 80 per cent of Edible Blooms’ orders come through their website.

So how did an eCommerce approach benefit their business?

Better For Budget

Edible Blooms launched with an eCommerce platform due to a tight budget. Beginning with a simple website, founder Kelly Jamieson has slowly upgraded to an eCommerce system created by a company called Neto.

Using Neto to sell online, process payments and manage inventory across multiple sites, Kelly can manage almost all aspects of her business via one online dashboard. Since going live with Neto, Edible Blooms’ conversion rate increased by 20 per cent, and the average cart size has grown by $5.

Edible Blooms’ online strategy has kept prices down and competitive with traditional florists. This approach has also meant it hasn’t needed to bring in financial partners – meaning they own their business fully.

Doing It For The Data

Edible Blooms’ strong online presence and focus on customer service has resulted in a high Google review rating of 4.9 out of 5.

Managing customer experience is very important for Kelly, and careful monitoring of their online Net Promoter Score (NPS) – an index that measures the willingness of customers to recommend a company’s products or services to others – has given Kelly the insight and power to tweak the customer journey where appropriate.

Visit Telstra for more examples of how technology can give your business an edge

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.