E-commerce is hardly new. In fact, merchants have been selling products and services online since the 1990s. Over the years, however, Internet technology has evolved rapidly, presenting both opportunities and challenges for those doing business via the Web:
- New security protocols have emerged to help make online shopping safer for vendors and customers alike.
- There are more payment options than ever before, allowing merchants to convert even more prospects.
- Social media has helped level the playing field so that smaller businesses can compete with much larger players.
In 2017, e-commerce continues to evolve quickly. Below are some of the major shifts happening right now.
1. The Rise of Mobile E-Commerce Shopping
Nearly 20 percent of all online sales in the U.S. are initiated through mobile devices. By 2018, that figure could approach 30 percent. And by 2019, sales generated through smart phones and tablets could reach $150 billion.
Any e-commerce merchant whose site isn’t mobile-ready is missing out on a huge opportunity to generate more sales.
2. The Emergence of Cryptocurrencies
Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin have had a huge impact on e-commerce. They allow buyers and sellers to exchange goods without going through middlemen processors. Although relying exclusively on Bitcoin is limiting, it’s possible to avoid many of the fees associated with traditional payment processing.
3. The Challenges of Omni-Channel Marketing
In the early days of e-commerce, all sales and traffic had to funnel through your primary website. Now, it’s possible to connect with users across a broad swath of channels, including email, social media, mobile apps and even SMS.
Omni-channel marketing makes it much easier to extend one’s reach. However, handling sales originating from different sources can be challenging. This is why many merchants use payment integration to automatically capture and manage incoming transactions — regardless of their origin.
4. The Growing Importance of Customer Service
Online shopping is more competitive than ever before, and consumers are surrounded by options. This makes providing excellent customer service all the more important.
Unfortunately, staffing call centers is extremely expensive — and automated chatbots rarely provide the level of support that customers demand.
With interactive voice response (IVR), you can offer the best of both worlds — i.e., 24/7 phone support powered by advanced, automated technology.
5. The Need for Even Greater Security
Arguably the biggest challenge of all involves payment security. By 2018, online fraud is expected to reach $6.4 billion. This is why choosing a payment processor that specializes in PCI-compliant data security is so important.
But don’t stop there.
For optimal protection from fraudulent attacks, you should also explore solutions such as:
Let BluePay Help You Navigate These E-Commerce Changes
Given the speed with which the e-commerce landscape continues to evolve, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to stay ahead of the curve. At BluePay, we can provide you with the tools you need to grow your sales, delight your customers, and protect your business.