Explore new possibilities.
The pressure to maintain or expand growth in the face of increasing competition often means exploring new business models or channels. Forrester anticipates that by 2020, the U.S. B2B market online will top a staggering $1.1 trillion and account for 12.1% of all B2B sales in the U.S.
For B2C merchants, the B2B boom can present an opportunity for growth and an interesting view of some of the behavioral changes that dictate customer expectations in a shopping environment. Social selling, for instance, has changed the meaning of quick-response customer service. Thanks to Amazon Prime, the National Retail Federation (NRF) reports that four in ten online shoppers expect retailers to offer free two-day delivery.
In addition to adding channels, many businesses are considering new markets to sustain growth. A Pitney Bowes survey found that 66 percent of consumers that have ever made a domestic online purchase have also made an online purchase from another country, creating pressure for businesses to expand into new markets. Brands are now looking at ways to compete by globalizing their product reach, but with added localized customization.
Face the competition.
Forrester reported that 81 percent of organizations are either using or planning to use mission-critical apps in the cloud. And 77 percent identified improved agility as the key motive for moving core apps to the cloud.
When you consider how the cloud can help businesses manage customer data more efficiently, this makes perfect sense. According to iVend Retail, 92 percent of consumers shopping across multiple channels, meaning data is collected from multiple points. Having comprehensive access to customer data can help you outpace the competition by helping accelerate global deployment, making it easier and faster to spin up new environments.
Convert your loyalists.
While many efforts are focused on acquiring new customers, repeat purchasers are the lifeblood of a business, so finding new ways to connect with and continually earn loyalty from shoppers is an important contributor to long-term growth.
Constellation Research estimates that retailers focused on improved engagement increase cross-sell by 22 percent, drive up-sell revenue from 13 percent to 51 percent, and increase order sizes from 5 percent to 85 percent. The battle for consumers’ attention is fierce. With the Amazon Prime phenomenon reshaping how customers shop, you must earn customer loyalty if you want to increase customer “stickiness.”
Customers now expect trusted website security, full transparency on shipping costs, easy access to customer support, and visibility on product information. They also expect rewards for loyalty across channels. iVend Retail found that just more than 50 percent of shoppers surveyed feel equally rewarded with loyalty rewards online and in-store, compared to 40 percent who felt that way a year ago. With stiff industry competition, meeting customer expectations is paramount to driving loyalty.