Amazon is truly a market leader when we talk about ecommerce and ecommerce store. eBay and Alibaba came along, had their own share of the pie. But, as long as it is about setting trend, Amazon is the trend-setter. If there is any doubt, last year’s move for Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud became the first Cloud Services Providers to have PCI DSS compliance standards.
Amazon Go and Amazon Alexa! The market leaders came up with two latest assaults on the industry in the year 2017. As if, they still needed to prove their superiority over the market. Amazon bags the whooping 44% market share in US ecommerce for the year 2017. Couldn’t they just relax and sit back, reap the fruits of the authority they built over the years?
Why would they continue innovating?
One - Because they can. Two - They have to! As I recall, one of my old clients in the ecommerce industry thanked for how great Thanksgiving sales were this year. Appreciation for the hard-work makes you feel good. However, there was something unsettling even in the appreciation I received.
I went back to compare the sales figures for the client. And, I was not happy with the results myself. Most small to medium ecommerce owners make this mistake. We mostly compare the sales figures in an absolute manner, i.e. Thanksgiving 2016 and 2017. Well, if this number goes down, your doom’s day is close. However, if this number goes up, there is much more to analyze before declaring a “Happy Thanksgiving”.
The total market size in 2016 for the ecommerce retail sales worldwide was $1.8 Trillion. By the close of this year, the expected amount for the same is $2.29 Trillion. A clear 27% increase in the market size. In 2016, the US ecommerce retails sales during the Thanksgiving weekend was $12.3 Billion. This year, we crossed a little over $14.5 Billion. That’s close to 18% growth.
Isn’t this obvious that your sales grew just by the same amount? If less, you haven’t really done well. If better, you are in the better half of the equation.
Change is Imperative!
Amazon realized that faster delivery network through their own local warehouses would make the concept of ecommerce more acceptable. But, now that concept has taken a 360-degree turn with Amazon Go. Moreover, Amazon literally developed an assistant to make the purchases automated with Alexa.
The ecommerce platform demands change. Most Product Managers observe that merely changing the layout of the product pages instantly increases conversion. But, only for a short period. Soon the new design becomes redundant, their sales shift back to average numbers. Because the online consumer demands are quite complex than offline consumers.
Let’s consider the scenario of offline consumers for a mega-mall. The frequent visitor expects to find their desire catalog in the given space. The physical boundaries also play a huge role in making a continuous change in the presentation of products. The online space does not have any boundaries as such.
Buyer within the online store may find the products using the search bar or may just land on the product directly. The magic of the algorithms presents a unique advantage to the online stores over the offline stores. But, that also presents the problem of plenty. Once the potential buyer lands on your product, what do you show, how do you show and what little changes make huge differences to the conversion is a science of its own.
Amazon or even Facebook for example, makes continuous changes to the critical elements of their interface. Once just the status message box is now a Product within the Facebook space. It is a feature rich element within Facebook. And, every week you would see some innovative changes in Facebook status update field. The continuous need for A/B testing and availability of data is so fascinating for online space.
Data-Driven Changes - Not Ones that Pleases You!
Whether you are doing better than the average ecommerce sites or not, changes based on data - and data alone - are essential. Online tracking tools are so powerful. They can help you pinpoint the pain areas of your business with micro precision. All you need to do is to find the best solution, put that to test, analyze the data again. And, there you go!
The overall size of the ecommerce market is expanding rapidly. The recent changes suggest a close integration between the offline stores and the online sites. More and more product customization web-to-print stores are coming online. In order to retain your online customers, you must find a way to make them fall in love with your brand. And, the only way to do that is by providing an excellent buying experience.
Find out today, how to improve your web store in order to provide a better buying experience from your site. Understand your audiences and A/B test before you go live. Put the data to use and make better decisions for your web store.
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