It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out the value of meeting customer needs as a retailer.

That key goal is front and centre for retailers globally – and if it’s not, it certainly should be!

But the modern customer is much-changed from those of even just a few years ago. Increasing complexity and competition is reshaping the world of ecommerce and presenting new challenges to those looking to flourish within the space.

Dealing with digital

Today, people are almost perpetually attached to a device of some kind. When they want to make a purchase, their smartphone or tablet is increasingly their first port of call. It’s therefore vital to ensure you aren’t putting potential customers off by delivering a poor digital commerce experience.

The Williams Commerce team of CRO experts are collaborating with clients to achieve continuous improvement programmes on mobile to improve user journey and grow conversion rates. Through our hypothesis and split testing programmes, this method is paying off and helping clients deliver accelerated growth on mobile devices.

Another sure-fire way to compete in the modern market is to reach your customers in a personalised way. Providing relevant, context-related commerce will help secure purchases and enhance customer loyalty. Third party products like Nosto and are integrated on the Magento platform and are helping retailers offer personalisation through product carousels and personalised search. This is helping to grow conversion rates and increase average order values.

There is also now demand for omnichannel fulfilment. It’s imperative that the digital and physical elements of your commerce offering link up, as customers want to get their hands on a new purchase in the easiest way possible. If this isn’t the case, they’ll look somewhere else.

New channels and mediums will continue to emerge however, and these can be tough to stay on top of. Continuing to deliver the requisite levels of service your customers expect can be challenging.

It’s therefore vital that you have the best processes and platforms in place to adapt and move forwards. Lagging behind will only be of benefit to your competitors. Understanding your target audience and where and how they like to shop will unlock key insights about where you should prioritise where you take up an omnichannel approach.

Standing out from the crowd

Talking of competitors, any advantage you can gain should be a major target. Therefore, identifying and embracing differentiators in the ecommerce space can play a major role in bringing customers back to you time and again. We are seeing our customers prioritising customer service and choice to differentiate themselves from the crowd.

When it comes to the ways that shoppers can communicate and interact with your online business, choices such as buying or communicating through social media channels and something as simple as offering live chat facility helps your customers gain immediate support when shopping your Magento ecommerce store.

Choice also extends to the variety of your delivery offering. This can span everything from click and collect, reserve in store and advanced delivery options including choosing time slots and weekend and evening delivery. These things can help a retailer deliver outstanding service.

New business models and channels are continuing to emerge, as are new international markets. But not having the right systems or platform in place only restricts your ability to capitalise on the prospective new customers that are out there. More and more of our customers are looking to expand their reach into international markets using Magento multi-stores. And, at a more basic level, some are using international Paid Search management in selected European markets to test the propensity to purchase before entering an international market with more solid investment.

While getting new customers on board is obviously great, be sure not to ignore or distance yourself from those who have shopped with you before. By harnessing and analysing in-depth customer data, you can gain an advantage over the competition and secure key insights your competitors simply don’t have.

How well do you know your database? Email marketing platforms like Dot Mailer and Mailchimp can be integrated with your Magento store and customer database to create clever segmented email marketing campaigns that can focus on promoting unique messages to specific parts of your database, including lapsed shoppers or your VIP segment for example. More highly targeted, personalised emails like this have a much greater chance of connecting with your customers and keeping them engaged and interested in your brand.

Additionally, identifying cross-sell, up-sell and order size enhancement opportunities is a great way to keep customers returning to you, while boosting your coffers at the same time. That’s a win-win situation. Missing out simply doesn’t make sense. While Magento Enterprise up-sell and cross-sell native functionality can do a great job, it’s the third-party software systems like Nosto that can take it to the next level and make personalisation and up-selling on your site so easy.

Moving with the times

Having the best information and insight in front of you is key if positive steps are going to be made. One thing that has radically changed in the past few years is the amount of data that’s out there. The digital revolution has not only changed how consumers shop, but also taken some of the guesswork out of the most important trends, areas and opportunities that present themselves within the commerce space.

Having the right business intelligence tools in place is therefore the best way to understand your customers. You can quickly and effectively work out what’s hitting all the right notes and what might need improving. By having insight into your customer data, you can ensure you’re meeting their needs and identify the best ways to boost your standing. We love Hitwise for example, which several of our customers use to unlock amazing industry intelligence.

Ensuring you are maximising Google Analytics is obviously key, but many businesses only have the basics in place. Our certified Google Analytics analysts are setting up advanced analytics and Google Tag Manager to ensure retailers can monitor user behaviour in as much detail as possible. Taking design and user experience decisions based on evidence and actual data will usually result in greater success for your Magento store’s conversion rate.

While customers are the key focus for all retailers, anything to boost the efficiency and efficacy of your internal teams is also a major positive. Having a platform in place that helps you streamline and enhance your own business will ultimately enable you to empower your workforce and develop as you want to. Magento 2’s Content Management System is hailed as a big improvement on Magento 1, with some excellent user interface improvements and responsive and touch-friendly navigation for tablet and mobile devices. These are just a few of the enhancements within the Magento 2 content management system.

Choose the right partner and revolutionise your business

A flexible, insightful approach to digital commerce is paramount today to stay on top of the fast-changing world of ecommerce. Choosing Magento Commerce as the foundation for your future success has proven to be a smart decision for tens of thousands of merchants worldwide.

And when it comes to choosing a commerce partner, Williams Commerce, with our Magento expertise and technical know-how when it comes to creating complex integration solutions, appeals to retailers and B2B companies alike.

“We’ve helped more than 350 customers on their ecommerce journey,” says Robert Williams, CEO of Williams Commerce. “As a Magento Enterprise Partner, we know how to enable our customers to get the best out of the Magento platform, allowing them to thrive in today’s complex Ecommerce arena.”

If you think the time is right to take a positive step in your ecommerce journey, get in touch with one of our experts today.