When conventional commerce was intense, although technological investment terms were not able to reach beyond computer and server purchasing, in today’s world technological investment covers a broader field. Various spending such as software, mobile applications, marketing programs, CRM systems installed to know and understand consumer closely are now considered under this title.
If you want to be a part of cross-border e-commerce or expand your on-going electronic commerce operation, it is inevitable to increase the share of your technology investment in your total budget. 2017 study results show that sectoral investment plans support this view. 78% of participant online retailers stated that they will increase technological investment share in the following years and 58% of the same group predicts that this increase will correspond to 5-15% of total investments. Of course, emphasising technological investments in the electronic commerce world and believing in increasing these spending more is based on rational reasons. Let’s check these reasons listed by online retail giants in the study:
Gaining New Customers
Constantly expanding customer space and reaching to more potential customers is one of the most important targets of online retail. 81% of participants have given this answer as their first answer which consolidated this detection. Possibility to turn each new individual into a potential customer makes access costs acceptable.
Increasing Conversion Rates
Reaching to every new customer requires an additional cost and it is inevitable to increase conversion rates to prevent all these efforts to go for nothing. The second most common answer with 74% which is increasing conversion rates indicates how important it is to complete visitors of your cross-border e-commerce platform to complete purchasing. Imagine you have a store on a busy street; everyone is visiting your store but no one is buying. It is only natural to have negative impact on your cost.
Increasing Mobile Shopping Experience
When we consider that an average user interacts with his/her smartphone for 3 hours, you can easily understand that mobile shopping experience is the easiest way to touch more consumers from multiple points. The third most common answer with 66% which is the desire to increase mobile shopping experience emphasizes that it is important to allocate a share to the mobile segment when you prepare your technological investment budget.
Increasing Repeating Sales Rate
Loyal customer expression which is commonly used by traditional marketers is not a phenomenon in the digital world. Digital world consumers are a more aware target audience that is fed from multiple channels, subjected to thousands of messages every day and access to the most advantageous options. Turning them into regular consumers and the desire to form a long-lasting relationship is the most common 4th answer in this study.
Of course, technological investment expectations are not limited to these. Increased speed on web and mobile by strengthening technical infrastructure; increasing number of sold products and therefore number of invoices; developing brand-specific applications for strong social media presence; accessing to multi-channel compatible software and hardware used are among other answers. Marketers and electronic commerce experts agree that investments to understand the consumers better are worth it.
E-Commerce Infrastructure and Infrastructure Solutions for Cross-Border E-Commerce
Although the importance of technology investments is certain, any entrepreneurs who want to enter cross-border e-commerce might have different commercial capacities and capitals. In these cases, nee entrepreneurs or SMEs who want to grow their business can direct to different solutions. Joining to current international marketplaces, purchasing cross-border e-commerce package programs, subscribing to cloud-based electronic commerce solutions, starting a project from zero with in-house software team are among different options. The main focus of marketers in 2019 in technological investments were personalization, better interpreting customer data, and multi-channel cross-channel marketing. These three fundamental technological tendencies continue to help marketers to direct businesses successfully.
Personalization Must Be Your Priority
75% of customer expects companies to better understand their needs and expectations. At the same time, more than 50% wants personalization in offered products and services. Therefore, personalization emerges as an extremely important element and brings together concepts like creating a brand, leading manufacturing, customer acquisition, customer retention, and customer advocacy. Although today’s consumers are extremely sensitive and careful about personal data use and sharing, the majority believe that data sharing is safe for customized service and product offers.
Additionally, raising awareness about personalization and laws and regulations for the protection of personal information in every country encourage company managers and marketers to operate more careful and in a target-oriented manner. In this sense, the biggest supporter of marketing experts is artificial intelligence technologies. Artificial intelligence technologies that are developed to make necessary tracking, analysis, and comparison to offer the most suitable service or product recommendations to individuals by analyzing consumer data has become the number one helper of today’s advertisers and marketers.
Understanding and Interpreting Customer Data
The most important data for marketers comes from numerous different resources like e-mail opening rates, ad click-through rates and add to cart rates. This information enables the right person to see the right offer at the right time. In 2017, while there were only 10 data resources for marketers for statistical significance, the number of data resources that feed marketers have increased by 15% in just 2 years. When increased data input challenged fast data processing and turning these data into sales-related insights, database management platforms have come to the aid of marketers.
More data did not mean a broader perspective when many marketers struggled to understand all existing data. Database management platforms that are presented as a mixture of various solutions facilitated understanding and interpreting big data with segmenting. One of the fastest-growing fields in marketing technologies has been data management platforms that offer a broader solution to this problem.
In the beginning, database management platforms were mainly used for tracing advertisement performance and optimizing media campaigns. But over the process, brands have expanded the areas of use and database management platforms that are used in a wide range of areas including personalization, sales development, monitoring opportunities have become an indispensable helper in the big data processing.
Although cross-channel marketing is not a new concept, since many customers are using 10 channels on average to communicate with the companies, it is not always easy to be successful in communication. The biggest challenge and priority for marketers is to reach different customers from different segments via numerous communication channels and understand them by listening.
Omni-communication channels like call centers, live web assistants, virtual chatbots, electronic mail, SMS, social media messages might challenge listening to customers and can lead to missing the messages. However, the omnichannel system enabled opportunities yo reach customers moving between different sales channels as well as communication channels and presenting omnichannel sales on different fields like web, mobile, physical store, Facebook store and Instagram store.
New technology integration will be an effective prospective step to make the customer experience better. New marketing technologies that are expected to have the largest transformation power on customer interaction are predicted as data collection and personalization, artificial intelligence and augmented reality technologies.