A Global Change in E-Commerce Consumer Habits
Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the holiday season are fast approaching which means the peak e-commerce season is right around the corner.
It’s safe to say that 2020 saw an unprecedented rise in online shopping with the pandemic disrupting consumer spending habits and behaviour with a dramatic shift to digital that wasn’t expected for another four years.
This year, it’s predicted that e-commerce holiday revenue will reach a record $206 billion globally and will make up almost 19% of the total holiday season retail sales. (Total holiday sales for 2021 are expected to surpass $1 trillion!!!)
Global brands are continuing to look to increasingly sophisticated marketing strategies to reach more customers in different markets as e-commerce now plays a far bigger role in global customer experience (CX) and its impact on global growth is too large to ignore.
Here are some key considerations that are impacting consumer behaviour to help you get better results and drive sales in global e-commerce.
Focus on Values and Authenticity
Generation Z (those born in the late 90s and 00s) are the first generation of entirely digital natives and have serious spending power – over $140 billion globally and are leading the way with increased online shopping.
Having grown up in a fully digital world, Generation Z value transparency and authenticity in the brands they choose to buy from, and whether their values align. This includes a commitment to diversity and inclusivity and environmental topics, as well as other important issues.
Brands must be able to demonstrate this throughout their customer experience, and not to do so, means potentially losing out on around 40% of all global customers.
Content must be fully localized and adapted to the country or culture to build a stronger connection and trust with these consumers whilst delivering an authentic and consistent brand.
With over 80% of the global population now owning smartphones, platform and device habits have changed. Unsurprisingly, online shopping within a social media platform or app is becoming the norm.
Customers’ priorities have shifted with higher expectations and a demand for increased personalization. According to Accenture, 91% of consumers are more likely to purchase from brands that provide relevant and personalized product recommendations and offers.
Algorithms within these digital platforms and apps can learn customer preferences and provide relevant recommendations, offering increased engagement, a more seamless shopping experience, and ultimately, improved sales.
Leveraging these platforms, whilst ensuring your content and software are fully localized and functional is a vital component of this demand for personalization and key to a successful global e-commerce strategy.
Will Traditional USPs Cease to Exist?
Accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic and customers having to purchase according to availability, rather than preferability, customer habits have shifted away from traditional unique selling points (USPs), such as cost, quality, and brand loyalty.
The increasing convenience and access to alternatives offered by e-commerce solutions means more and more customers are now comparing products online before they purchase.
Depending on traditional brand loyalty is no longer enough. Global brands need to demonstrate their value and support across the whole buyer journey, focusing more on the experience than the sale.
Localizing all customer touchpoints to meet the local language and cultural expectations is a must.
Read More: Achieving Success in Global CX
AI Customer Support Solutions
Customers are pivoting to chatbots and virtual assistants for their immediate purchasing ability – over 42% of global consumers are now online shopping via voice assistants.
Something that may have once been done by visiting a physical store, consumers are now able to buy products in minutes by simply using their voice or via a chatbot.
For global businesses, your customer experience can be much more interactive and usable through the help of chatbots and voice assistants. According to Statista, the live chat usage has a 98% customer satisfaction rate!
And with people shopping all over the world, these chatbots and assistants must be multilingual too. Training your chatbot to speak multiple languages using conversational AI can help to reach and engage global customers to drive online sales in many different markets.
Further Reading: Your Guide to Conversational AI
In short, it’s clear that in today’s digital world, global brands that don’t meet the global demand for fully-localized e-commerce opportunities are going to struggle in the future to continue to meet their customers’ demands and achieve growth in global markets.
Check out our digital marketing agency, Adapt Worldwide’s on-demand e-commerce focused webinars:
To learn more about Welocalize’s multilingual solutions for global e-commerce, connect with us here.