That means you’ll need an omnichannel strategy that allows customers to seamlessly make purchases wherever they choose to engage with your online store. Omnichannel customers spend an average of 4% more when purchasing in-store and 10% more online than those that use only one channel.
Caveat: Just because there are multiple ecommerce channels available doesn’t mean your business has to make use of each. Every enterprise business should evaluate channels based on their unique goals, customers and markets.
Enterprise businesses also need to make sure they are adapting their fraud prevention strategy to each channel they choose … or fraudsters will find the weak spots and expose them.
“Fraudsters like to play the confidence game when it comes to omnichannel ecommerce. They assume companies focus on their favorite channels, while leaving others exposed, so they will go after any avenue they can.”
Mobile Commerce for Digital Natives Is Expected
If you’re selling to younger generations, mobile commerce is an absolute must. In fact, millennials consider mobile and social commerce their go-to for online shopping.
And what of Gen Z? They're all phones, all the time: 98% of Gen Z owns a smartphone and 91% get their first mobile device before age 16. As such, it’s even more critical to ensure that your landing pages, advertisements, and other brand communications are formatted for the best mobile experience possible.
Purchasing through social media and making payments online are an expectation. Brands adopting mobile apps, wallets, and other mobile ecommerce capabilities is a trend that is here to stay. Whether it’s using Pinterest Lens to find products related to online images or Instagram Shop, which is driving 1 billion monthly active users to shop on Instagram and Facebook, social media is a growing landscape for online shopping.
Another option that behaves like a website is a progressive web app (PWA), which allows for push notifications, access to a camera, microphone, GPS, voice commands and other app-like features. Plus, PWAs run faster, so the user experiences a fully optimized ecommerce site.
With the adoption of smart speakers and voice assistants like Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, Google Assistant and Microsoft Cortana, voice commerce is expected to hit revenues of $80 billion in 2023. That growth is partly due to the pandemic because the channel is a completely no-contact solution.
It may seem as though voice commerce might taper off now that the world is slowly resuming some aspect of “business as usual,” but certain touchless habits are sticking around: 86% of users prefer voice technology as a way to maintain safe and sanitary conditions moving forward.
Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) have become mainstream technologies that help consumers make more informed purchases.
- Customers can see how products will look in real life, whether that’s how clothing will fit or where furniture can be placed in a room. This increases confidence and trust in the purchase.
- VR and AR also serve as a form of entertainment, delighting customers and fulfilling on the all-important customer experience while they shop online. Customers can design and use personal avatars to try on clothes and see it from every angle with 3D technology.
- Both VR and AR combine with artificial intelligence to create online personal assistants that offer recommendations (much like chatbots) to provide a more personal shopping experience.
- Similarly, a new frontier for online shopping is emerging, with consumers making purchases using alternative currencies like crypto and buying “property” on the metaverse.
How Enterprise Ecommerce Businesses Can Leverage Omnichannel Environments
Enterprise ecommerce operations benefit from carefully leveraged omnichannel environments — if they’re implemented well.
Connect APIs across every platform
Want to ensure accurate inventory management? Build APIs across channels to gather real-time sales data, inventory levels, order processing, shipping status and more into one centralized source of truth.
APIs are particularly useful in omnichannel ecommerce because they can serve up personalized offers on the platforms customers prefer. For example, a customer who tends to buy your products through Instagram should receive different retargeting ads than a customer who interacts with a mobile app.
APIs can also help with fulfillment by routing orders to the closest warehouse, saving money on shipping. This practice is known zone skipping.
Track demand for kitting and product assembly
Enterprise ecommerce retailers are no strangers to supply issues, especially in recent times. As a result, popular items are often out-of-stock and on backorder, which is frustrating enough for customers, but even more so if they don’t find out until after a purchase is made.
A well-orchestrated omnichannel strategy involves tracking demand for popular items across multiple channels and highlighting which SKUs are necessary for kits, cases or buying single products. This way, order fulfillment teams can track when kits and bundled products must be broken down, say when the demand for a single product is high.
The same goes for backorders and out of stock notices. An omnichannel strategy should seamlessly integrate sales and order data across channels to assist in strategically refilling inventory.
Omnichannel strategy becomes even more important as companies expand across borders into new markets.