The Second Wave of Digital Disruption: Technology that Retailers Must Know About

DIGITAL DISRUPTION

For a long time, ecommerce was more of an art than a science. You’d set up your website, fill it with products, buy a few banner ads, and hope. Within the space of a few years, however, a relative dearth of information turned into the opposite—a flood. Websites have become larger and more complex—the size of the average site has jumped from 702 KB to over two megabytes over the last six years. There are now plenty of unforeseen curveballs that can disrupt the seemingly simple customer journey of “see item you like, add it to the cart, pay.”

Sites Need to Become More Customer Focused, Instead of Simply Adding New Features

First, one site discovers that after adding a new feature, their conversions improve by a certain small percent. Then, another group of sites incorporates the same feature, and then the next wave, and then it becomes background noise. At no point does this innovation truly benefit the customer.

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Customer expectations, however, have risen greatly in the nearly two decades since ecommerce rose to prominence. For example, there’s the functionality of mobile sites. Ecommerce on mobile devices was barely a small piece of the overall retail revenue pie not too long ago, but Gartner reports that by next year, 50% of ecommerce dollars will come from people shopping on their phones. Having a mobile site that functions as well as it does in your browser is now crucial.

Harness the Next Digital Disruption

Ecommerce is also driving in-store sales. According to research from Deloitte , 36% of all retail revenue is driven in some way by a digital channel. For companies that operate ecommerce sites alongside traditional brick-and-mortar stores, their challenge is how to adapt this data to a hybrid approach. How can you tweak your ecommerce site to cater to your customers at physical locations?

Lastly, there are global markets to consider. In much of the United States, Amazon has swallowed up the ecommerce market share for entire industries. For books to kitchenware to groceries, as well as in many other segments, Amazon is many customers’ first choice when buying online. In order to compete, companies such as eBay have chosen to focus instead on emerging markets. If you choose to follow suit, will your site work as well for customers in Turkey as well as it does for customers in the US? These are just some of the considerations ecommerce sites must make if they wish to survive in the age of digital disruption.

Answering these questions requires you to look at granular customer data. By using the power of machine learning to identify areas where the customer falls out of the buying process, ecommerce businesses can point out and close revenue gaps.

The Power of UserReplay Machine Learning

UserReplay has long offered its clients the ability to understand how and where unforeseen struggle or friction in the customer journey might cause customers to drop out of the sales process. We have added the additional capability to discover revenue that might be in our customers’ pipeline but still unrealized, by using the speed and power of machine learning.

We recently worked with an organization targeting international customers. Many of these customers weren’t being properly directed to the international site—and so were blocked from putting in their payment information. By using machine learning to identify the customer journeys’ affected by this problem alone, the potential revenue fallout from this error, estimated at nearly $450K annually, was avoided.

In another case, ecommerce customers were getting notified that some of the items in their basket were out of stock at time of purchase. However, there was no specific indication of which items were out of stock, and individual examination of the product pages produced no clues. UserReplay was able to identify the root of this problem using its machine learning algorithm, and found potential revenue opportunities already in the pipeline, equal to $1.478 million per year.

It can be difficult to put forward an ecommerce strategy that puts customers first, but UserReplay helps make that process much easier. For more on how our technology can help your business, check out our case studies or book a demo today.

John Thompson, CEO, UserReplay


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