Is eCommerce dying? How you can adapt when consumers are spending less
A report by Trading Economics found that consumer confidence has been on a MoM decline over the past 12 months, meaning consumers are continuing to lose faith in the current economy. With inflation on the rise to an almost 25-year high, consumers are spending less as they put more thought into what they want.
In order to remain competitive, brands need to focus more on what people desire and less on what they think they need. Consumers crave connection and want to feel like they’re being taken on a journey before they make a purchase.
Luckily, there are a number of ways brands can adapt to this new landscape, and ensure they don't get lost in an ever-changing digital world.
What has changed in the eCommerce industry?
On top of rising interest rates and plummeting consumer confidence, there are a few key factors that have contributed to the eCommerce sales decline.
eCommerce used to be a goldmine for brands. Consumers would purchase items without giving it much thought and sales would pour in. However, times have changed and consumers are now more discerning than ever before.
Consumers are now much more informed than they used to be. With the Internet, people can research products in detail before they make a purchase. This means that they’re less likely to impulse buy and more likely to know exactly what they want. There is also a multitude of choices available to consumers and they are no longer loyal to just one brand. They will shop around to find the best deal and the best product for their needs.
What do consumers want?
Consumers are looking for brands that they can trust and that offer value beyond just the product itself. They’re looking for brands that offer transparency, add value to their lives and who they can connect with on an emotional level.
Luckily, there are a number of things that brands can do to adapt to the changing eCommerce landscape.
Build genuine connections with consumers
The first step is to build genuine connections with consumers. This can be done by ensuring that your brand values are aligned with their own and by being transparent about your business practices. It’s important to build trust with consumers by providing excellent customer service and by creating compelling content that educates and informs them. Customer reviews are easier than ever to access, so it is crucial that brands go above and beyond to deliver on their promises.
Optimise intent-based marketing
Intent-based marketing refers to a form of marketing where you focus on customers who have an intention and purpose to buy from you, whether they have purchased before or not. It takes into account the reason or pain point that causes the customer’s intent, and how and when you can solve it for them.
There are a number of ways that brands can use intent-based marketing to build connections with consumers. The first is by using email marketing. This involves sending targeted and personalised emails to consumers based on their purchase history and behaviour. Brands can also use targeted SMS marketing to send messages directly to consumers' phones, at a time that they are most likely to convert. This is a great way to stay in touch with your customers and to provide them with timely or seasonal special offers and deals.
Another method is using loyalty programs to show customers that they appreciate their business. This can be done by offering rewards for repeat purchases or by providing exclusive access to sales and discounts.
Offer a unique and personalised experience
It’s important for brands to offer a unique and personalised experience to each and every customer. Brands can use data to segment their audience and tailor marketing messages to their customer’s specific needs. This creates a streamlined and user-friendly customer journey that makes it easy for them to purchase at every touchpoint. If brands can take into account the full-funnel and every marketing channel, this enables targeting consumers in a more effective and valuable way, and further increases customer retention.
Use social media to build a community
Social media has played a big role in how consumers discover and connect to brands, with influencer marketing being a key priority for most businesses. With so many competing brands on the one platform and influencers often not having any brand loyalty, messaging is often eroded which can make social media an ineffective channel if not managed well.
Social media is sometimes regarded as a platform for broadcasting messages to your customers and prospects, however it is much more about community building and nurturing. Brands should plan their social media content and engagement activities around the full customer funnel to ensure audiences have awareness and interest through educational and inspiring content and brand experiences, whilst building up the desire to be more connected to the brand and given opportunities to convert.
Contribute to society in a positive way
It’s also important for brands to focus on contributing to society in a positive way. This can be done by supporting causes that are important to your target market and by giving back to the community.
According to a report by CouriersPlease, nine in 10 Australian consumers are more likely to purchase ethical and sustainable products. The survey of 1002 people also found that 85% of consumers want retailers and brands to be more transparent about the sustainability of their products.
Ensure that your business practices are sustainable and that you’re taking steps to reduce your carbon footprint. Transparency is key, so avoid greenwashing for the sake of gaining a positive reputation. Make sure your claims are clear and credible, and be honest and realistic about how you will try to improve your operations to benefit the community.
The key takeaways
Despite challenges and decline in consumer confidence at the moment, brands should not fear that eCommerce is dying. More so, appreciation for brand experiences is rising and therefore brands need to keep up.
Connection breeds loyalty and bottom line growth. Investing in relationships with consumers directly impacts business revenue and strengthens customer loyalty. When customers feel valued by a brand, they are much more likely to continue doing business with them.
Use customer retention marketing techniques, focus on providing a unique and personalised experience, and build genuine connections with your consumers to keep eCommerce sales from declining.
Give your customers what they want
BlueRock Digital can help you to focus on building relationships with your consumers, and provide you with the tools and resources you need to create a unique and personalised experience.
Additionally, we can assist you in creating compelling content, and help you to use social media to build a community around your brand. Contact us today to find out more about how we can help you grow your eCommerce business.