COVID-19 is driving e-commerce in many countries, and opening new challenges and opportunities for digital sellers. While restrictions and fear of going outside have taken off the online shopping basket, the rest of e-commerce has remained volatile, with a disparate impact between some sectors and others: tourism and traditional retail, such as fashion, clothing, and accessories, have reduced their sales. However, other sectors such as supermarkets and hypermarkets, sports equipment, personal care products, pharmacies and para pharmacies, office and school supplies, furniture and home decor, pet supplies and accessories, or video games are seeing the other side of the coin. So, what are the challenges and opportunities of e-commerce in times of high demand like today.
The usual catalog is ceasing to be the gateway for most users, who go directly to search engines to hunt for a specific product. Yeast, flour, or toilet paper have been some of the most sought after products during this pandemic, and some of them have even been completely depleted.
COVID-19 is driving e-commerce in many countries, and opening new challenges and opportunities for digital sellers. The same happens at Christmas time, in which certain toys, perfumes, or technological products are out of stock and monopolize the search engines of e-commerce. So what can online stores do to improve this shopping experience in the face of the paradigm shift.
Refine The Search Parameters
The purchase to be successful, it is essential that the user can, through brief search filters, refine their selection to the maximum and easily and effortlessly find the product that interests them.
Recommend & Suggest Similar or Substitute Products
A product may run out of stock, especially in times of high demand. In these cases, the search engine should be able to offer useful recommendations and suggestions for similar products, which encourage them to carry out the purchase. For example, chemical yeast has been out of stock in most supermarkets and hypermarkets for some time. If a user searches for it and it is not available, the search box could suggest other substitute products that may meet their needs, such as fresh yeast, bread, or biscuits.
Offer More Complimentary Products
The user can enter e-commerce with a fixed purchase idea, but it is very possible that when viewing a list of products most purchased by other users, products that are usually bought together, or related products With your searches, decide to expand the shopping cart. As in the previous case, the user looking for yeast may also need eggs, vanilla essence, cocoa powder, or butter to make their cakes. Getting ahead of the user’s needs may be the key to increasing the purchased ticket.
Helping To Save
I always say that helping users to save on their purchase, recommending alternative or complementary products that are on offer or promotion, is a very favorable point to establish the user’s trust. This applies even more in situations like the current one, where there is a great demand for online products and, besides, the pockets of our users may have been affected.
Report On Trends Of The Products
Based on the parameters that the user has searched for, information related to that product can be offered, as well as trends and news about it. In this way, a more complete brand experience and greater loyalty are created, since the user perceives an added value beyond the product.
Avoid The Frustration Of Not Finding What You Want
In times of high demand such as today, we know that some products may be out of stock or in stock. The same search engine must anticipate and alert that a product is not available, and provide us with information on when that product is expected to be available again and even provide us with a registration form to notify us, either by email or phone, when can be bought again. Also, the recommendation and suggestion of other similar or substitute products apply here.
We are currently seeing a paradigm shift worldwide on the way users access and interact in online stores. The search engine constitutes an essential tool for e-commerce, above even the traditional catalog, which poses new challenges, but also great opportunities when it comes to generating greater trust in the relationship with the consumer. The search box has become the place on the web where the purchase is managed and, therefore, it is essential to work conscientiously to anticipate the needs of users, especially in the new paradigm that is opened to us.
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