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Ecommerce Tools To Give Your Business an Advantage in 2019

Last month we discussed a few ecommerce trends that will be on the rise in 2019. It's clear that this year storeowners will need to utilize every tool on the market to stay ahead of their competitors. Here are a few underrated tools we put together that might help give your business a competitive edge!

Offering Fast and Free Shipping

Though Amazon is likely not your competitor, its offerings like fast, free shipping and same-day delivery have certainly created new expectations for doing business. Many shoppers expect fast shipping, and depending on the industry, same-day shipping can make or break a sale.  As more millennials develop their expectations of online shopping and reshape the landscape for ecommerce, shipping products quickly and efficiently is becoming a priority that can’t be ignored in the New Year.

Shipping products quickly and efficiently is becoming a priority that can’t be ignored in the New Year.

People need incentives to shop on one site as opposed to another. If your site does not offer free shipping, shoppers may move to another site that does. Finding a way to work in a free shipping offer could keep your business cruising through 2019 — and competitors that can’t keep up may get left behind.  While it may not be feasible to offer free shipping to all customers, you may at least try offering free shipping with orders over a specific amount.

Take Advantage of QR Codes

In early 2018, Apple integrated automatic QR code detection in its iOS, giving normal cameras the ability to detect QR codes without needing a separate app. Androids also have the same capabilities, creating a progressive landscape that lets store owners take advantage of showrooming: a trend where users shop for an item in-person, then complete the purchase online.

Experts estimate as many as  20 percent of online sales start in-store.

Experts estimate as many as 20 percent of online sales start in-store. If your business has a storefront or the ability to host pop-up shops, adding a QR code to the product’s tag may thrust you lightyears ahead of competitors. There are hundreds of free sites like this one that will help turn a URL into a QR code. You can also add tracking capabilities to URLs to help understand which channel generated the sale.

Use Subscription Services

A recent Forbes study showed that over 15 percent of people who shop online are using a subscription-based service. That number may still be in its infancy, so hopping on the trend now may be helpful in the long run.

Over 15 percent of people who shop online are using a subscription-based service.

55 percent of those people utilized curation-based subscriptions (where they pay to be surprised by contents in a box each month), 32 percent used fulfillment-based subscriptions (where products are automatically sent on the assumption that the previous month’s supply has run out) and 13 percent were access subscriptions (where people pay for special access to parts of a site or premium privileges on the site). These numbers are projected to continue to grow, and getting in the game early may give your business a competitive advantage.

Gaining the trust of your consumers earlier than your competitors will help your business profit from return sales. Trends show businesses that offer fulfillment services tend to retain 45 percent of subscribers during the first year: a 10 percent higher rate of return than access services or curation services. If it makes sense for your business to have a subscription service, it’s a good idea to put that offering into action sooner rather than later.

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