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There’s More to Digital Retail than Selling Online

Gail Cole
June 24, 2020 |

The benefits of ecommerce have never been clearer. Stay-at-home orders, social-distancing mandates, and restrictions on nonessential businesses adopted to slow the spread of the coronavirus have increased online spending as brick-and-mortar sales declined. In the months ahead, many consumers will continue to shop online despite the easing of these restrictions. Retailers must offer an online option in order to meet customer demand.

Given the competitive ecommerce space, simply creating an online storefront isn’t enough. A compelling digital experience across all aspects of the customer journey is essential. Business intelligence platform PSFK found that customers expect a seamless digital experience as they move through the following five stages: 

  • Discovery
  • ‘Store’ experience
  • Shopper assistance
  • Payment and tax
  • Fulfillment and support

Discovery Getting noticed is challenging. The most successful retailers share their stories across multiple digital platforms, including voice-activated software assistants alike Alexa and Siri and social media channels. ‘Store’ experienceOffering an enhanced shopping experience, such as the ability to virtually try on products, will help draw customers, as will ensuring the platform is both streamlined and secure.eCommerce-Avalara-blogShopper assistanceProviding a personalized shopping experience helps replicate the in-store experience many crave. Authentication tools and Artificial-Intelligence chatbots help customers better navigate product catalogs and retailers understand when and how to best support them.Payment and tax The checkout process needs to be seamless or carts will be abandoned. Best practices include digital layaway options, in-cart optimization, and one-click purchase options. Fulfillment and support The sale shouldn’t be the end of the customer journey. Customer loyalty programs can encourage customers not only to bookmark your ecommerce store, but to tell their friends about you. The most effective way to ensure an online store succeeds is to exceed customer expectations by offering a customized digital experience from start to finish. Checkout the report for more details.We would like to thank Gail Cole for her special contribution in the form of this guest blog post. 

Gail Cole

Gail Cole has been researching and writing about sales tax for Avalara since 2012. She has a penchant for uncovering unusual tax facts and endeavors to make complex sales tax laws more digestible for experts and laypeople alike.

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