E-commerce marketplaces are an increasingly popular way for brands and microsellers to grow their businesses. They provide brands with a fast, simple method to get products in front of customers.

Marketplaces have been a lifesaver for many retailers during the COVI19 pandemic, but they also come with their share of pros and cons. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some key trends in e-commerce and online marketplaces.

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The Future of E-Commerce and Online Marketplaces

Social platforms present brands with an unparalleled opportunity to engage directly with consumers. With more than 4.62 billion people using social media worldwide, brands can access this captive customer base directly.

Globally, 28% of shoppers utilize social platforms for purchase inspiration and research. This figure rises to 48% in Thailand, 32% in Australia and 29% in the UAE.

These statistics reflect a shift in consumer behavior toward social commerce and an entirely new customer journey. As such, brands must adapt their existing e-commerce offerings to accommodate this new approach.

Multinational brands must create new capabilities to take advantage of this market. China, with its expansive social-commerce ecosystem, provides an ideal testing ground for these initiatives. In order to be successful, social-commerce solutions must integrate inventory management and customer care across all channels – streamlining the purchasing process and making shopping simpler for customers – which in turn leads to increased sales.

Live Shopping

Live shopping is an innovative e-commerce option that offers a more engaging and interactive shopping experience than simply clicking an item into your cart. Brands can use this platform to showcase their goods and increase sales.

Communicating the story behind a product can also increase its perceived value to customers, giving them more assurance and making them more likely to purchase.

It’s also essential to note that customers who purchase through a live shopping experience are 40% less likely to return those products.

Though this trend is relatively new, it’s predicted to expand rapidly in the future. Therefore, taking time to learn how to utilize this tool efficiently for your business is essential.

Connected TV Advertising

Connected TV Advertising, also known as CTV, is video content delivered on top OTT devices like Roku, Amazon Fire Stick, gaming consoles and Smart TVs. It’s an effective way for your brand to expand its reach and boost sales by increasing online awareness of your products.

Before CTV, buying ads was a laborious and time-consuming process that necessitated buyers to spend hours haggling over deals. It involved multiple business meetings, contracts, and the potential that your competitors might outbid you for media spots.

Programmatic advertising has provided the solution, making it much simpler and cost-effective to buy and sell ad spaces. Furthermore, this form of promotion enables brands to monitor and optimize their campaigns in real-time through metrics such as clicks, direct responses, conversions, and cost per completed view (CPCV).

Physical Versus Online

When it comes to selecting between physical stores or online shops, the choice depends on a business’ product, target customer base and size. While many e-commerce businesses have closed physical locations in recent years, hybrid strategies still hold strong market advantages.

Shoppers desire an engaging in-store experience that lets them view, touch and feel products. A high-quality inventory management system can help retailers meet this need and build loyalty with customers.

Retailers can further enhance their in-store customer experience by providing personalized service from knowledgeable sales associates, according to RetailEXPO. Doing this increases the likelihood of a purchase and increases retention rates for retailers.

Consumers want to take items home immediately, which is a major advantage of physical stores over online shopping. Next-day shipping cannot meet this need, so physical stores must offer quick turnarounds on orders and free returns – especially in rural areas where long commutes to the nearest store may be challenging.

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