The last two decades have borne witness to the explosive growth of the digital brand, with online shopping rapidly replacing traditional brick-and-mortar stores as consumers’ preferred purchase method; even industries that require a physical retail space are launching complimentary e-commerce websites to capture additional sales. Due to the highly disruptive nature of e-commerce worldwide, marketing strategies have evolved overnight to facilitate the growth of companies like Amazon, Alibaba, and more. Now, more than halfway through 2019, many take pause to wonder what may come next.
Fortunately, entrepreneurs and economists can glean insight from select business metrics to anticipate changes in the ever-shifting landscape of online and digitally native brands. The following indicators can help prepare for the future of e-commerce in the coming years.
Automation of Customer Service
Perhaps the most obvious change will be the continued implementation of chatbots. Customer service is as instrumental in online business as it is in the physical space. Digital brands thrive on positive reviews, especially on platforms where ratings affect a company’s ranking and search visibility.
Online and Amazon-based brands can often be operated with a fraction of the resources as traditional business. In fact, entrepreneurs are increasingly likely to forgo hiring traditional staff in favor of outsourcing specific tasks to third-party contractors. Without a dedicated staff, responding timely to customer feedback can be challenging, especially for owner-operators who also work a day job.
Chatbots address this problem through automation. Artificial intelligence drives each interaction, offering immediate real-time solutions for prospective and returning customers. Aside from the convenience, chatbots could also provide immense cost savings in the next several years.
Increased Brand Engagement
The internet allows business owners to instantly connect with their customers. Social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube offer a wide array of marketing tools to grow a brand’s digital presence.
Entrepreneurs can launch targeted ad campaigns across the web, pay influencers to review their products, and even upload their own video content.
Gone are the days of relying solely on print advertising to sell goods and services. Savvy consumers want to ask questions and interact with the brand to gain a better understanding of what is on offer. Many businesses have already adapted by creating product review videos and livestreaming from their offices to engage on a deeper level with the community, as well as prospective customers who may be on the fence about completing a purchase.
Video content has already altered the course of SEO strategy, but search engines are preparing to throw entrepreneurs another curve ball. Soon, consumers will be able to search for relevant products by snapping a picture.
The implantation of visual search technology will undoubtedly shake things up. It is always a good idea to keep abreast of emerging trends in the e-commerce market, especially when a new development can completely alter trajectory of a business if the owner does not adapt to the changing digital landscape.
Entrepreneurs can follow updates on visual search on Amazon’s e-commerce site, as they are one of the largest companies launching the technology in the next 3-5 years.
Other Technological Developments
Technology has continuously improved and evolved, making life more convenient for the average consumer. Each innovation pushes business owners to introduce their own version of the latest development, whether it’s a voice search feature or increased customization options for a particular category of product.
Successful digital brands spend billions of dollars each year to ensure their customers have a smooth, seamless sales process. The user experience is essential to the success of any online venture.
How online businesses chose to market that oh-so-important experience will distinguish the key players from the rabble. Consumers will actively flock to websites that are easy to navigate, have innovative and intuitive features, and boast a variety of products to fit their individual needs.
BUILDING A BUSINESS TO SELL
There is tremendous value in digital brands with robust sales channels and built-in customer bases. Building infrastructure, streamlining processes, and launching an effective marketing campaign will encourage growth and appeal to buyers, should the brand’s owner decide to step away from running the company.
There are many prospective acquirers looking to purchase successful online companies, invest capital, and take them to the next level. Business transactions are closing at historic highs in both the number of sales and the magnitude of valuation. With interest rates trending lower and investors awash in capital, the current environment is presents the perfect opportunity to sell a business.
Whether your reasons personally or professionally motivated, an important part of planning an exit is selecting the right intermediary to represent you in the transaction. The right intermediary can anticipate changes in the digital space and offer invaluable advice to maximize the outcome of selling your business. You deserve someone who will fight for your interests, work tirelessly to understand every aspect of your company, prepare superior offering materials, and earn you the highest possible valuation in a sale.
THE NEXT STEP
Global Wired Advisors is here to help you sell your Digitally Native or FBA business. We are Mergers and Acquisitions specialists with over 50 years of combined experience in selling online companies. Try our Free Value Estimation Tool to see what your business is worth.
We are committed to providing world-class service that until now was only available to companies working with the largest investment banks. We will not rest until we earn you the highest value for your business. Our team is standing by – click here to speak with one of our Advisors today!!!