It’s a new year full of opportunities for personal and professional growth. As we know, inflation has become a trending topic, but do not be discouraged. E-commerce will continue to grow, and so will the opportunities. As shown in the graph below, e-commerce will continue to grow to $5.42 billion in 2025.
Although 2023 does come with its own set of challenges, we must have a strategy set up with a strong partnership that understands the international market.
Here are some strategies your brand can implement to remain competitive during this challenging time.
- Plan to hold more inventory
The Russia-Ukraine war has caused many disruptions to the supply chain, leaving companies with difficulties meeting consumer demands.
For this reason, it is key for brands to carefully analyze the amount of inventory needed to keep their best sellers available and customers happy without overstocking. Keep in mind that consumers are more price sensitive at the moment, so having available the products they want from you will keep them from going elsewhere.
- Variety of Suppliers
With how the economy impacts the price of primary resources and transporting goods, it is essential to diversify your supply chain more than ever. You can get your products from multiple suppliers, countries, or, if possible, from closer to home. This way, you can find ways to be more cost-effective. Since 2022, around 31% of Shopify merchants have started doing so.
- Lower return rates
Returns are inevitable in e-commerce, and the rate depends on the market. In some countries, people are more used to returning unwanted items than others. However, there are ways to reduce the return rate, helping you grow customer satisfaction and lower expenses. This is because when you get a returned item, it costs to transport, replenish or dispose of it.
Some ideas are to be transparent about how the item looks, its size, pictures with diverse models, trustworthy customer reviews, and videos showing how the product looks or how to use it.
Customer loyalty is the key to success beyond mere survival. Here are some ideas to keep the cash flowing while ensuring customer loyalty.
- Price strategically
In the case of prices, this has increased due to inflation, leaving brands no choice but to improve their product prices. In some cases, brands can lock their prices for a certain period to get as many sales as possible, but this is not always sustainable. This is why brands must focus on investing in customer loyalty. If brands build strong customer relationships in the long run, it pays off more and is more sustainable for the business. It is cheaper to sell to a returning customer than a new one. There is also a higher possibility of a loyal customer completing a transaction 60-70% than a new customer 5- 20%.
For example, loyal customers are more willing to keep buying from you if you need to increase prices due to the current economic situation. Around 40% would do so, even if there were cheaper options. They can also help you gain new customers, as 60% are willing to recommend a brand to which they are loyal.
- Upgrade online store shopping and shipping experience
As competition for consumer attention increases and becomes more challenging, finding ways to differentiate your brand, products, and online shop from competitors is essential. Here are some measures you can take to improve your online store’s shopping and shipping experience.
- User experience
Your online store should always work best and provide the best possible user experience. To improve it even more, you could display your products in a way that looks like a window shop, which inspires your users to buy from you. Also, communicate clear information about your brand and products. It is important to emphasize the value that differentiates your brand from competitors. Of course, do not forget that your website must load in less than 3 seconds on any device. Otherwise, you will miss potential customers.
- Social commerce
Now more than ever, integrating social media with your online store to provide a more cohesive online shopping experience is essential. Many consumers, especially from generation Z (1997-2012), visit social media to look for products rather than search engines. They also prefer to contact brands via social media rather than by email or phone. To capitalize on this opportunity, your brand should offer real-time chats and a shoppable button that takes you to the product on the website to complete the transaction. You can also take advantage of live shopping or shoppable videos.
- Cross-border solution
Although the economic situation is global, it affects each country differently. Therefore, to have higher chances of growing, reaching more customers worldwide is the answer. Selling internationally comes with hurdles, so working with a cross-border solution like BorderGuru will help you achieve your goals without having to deal with them on your own. Our solution will provide your customers with customs-cleared orders that will enhance their shopping and delivery experience, as they will not have to worry about unexpected fees.
Learn more about the benefits of using a cross-border solution to sell internationally in our blog.
- Offer discounts to promote loyalty and spending.
As mentioned, it is cheaper to sell to current customers than new ones, and offering discounts or specials like bundles or free little gifts for a certain amount purchased is a simple way to give customers a price break and a quick business cash injection. This also helps customers feel valued and creates customer satisfaction, retention and re-purchases.
- Share user-generated content
Given that social media advertising costs are rising and customers care about genuine reviews, sharing your customers’ content about your brand or product is the best thing you can do. As a quote from the co-founder of Orbit Media Studios, “When you say it, it’s marketing. When your customer says it, it’s social proof.” So, this year, ensure you’re constantly in touch with your customers so that they can help you promote your product and brands and attract new customers. BorderGuru Marketing services can help you with all your marketing needs to improve brand awareness, positioning, customer reach and sales.
- Work with creators
Younger generations love influencers, so this is still a perfect marketing strategy. Working with influencers who align with your brand values and have followers who are your target market can pay off.
- Collaborate with other brands
Currently, collaborating with brands with products related to yours can help you reach a new audience. For example, if you sell women’s clothing, working with a makeup brand for consumers to complete the look can help you increase your customer-based and brand awareness. Ensure the other brand aligns with your values and a target market that resonates with your brand.
In summary, we are trying to say that there are still ways for your e-commerce brand to survive the economic crisis and achieve growth. Yes, your business must adapt to the changes. Still, if you do it strategically, it will help you get through this situation and continue to be profitable and grow even more.
Therefore, it is important to make the decision now to work with BorderGuru, a single partner, to help you achieve your international goals. Diversifying your market will allow you to gain new customers that can convert into loyal ones, increasing your sales.
BorderGuru’s cross-border solution provides you with all the tools you need to grow your business internationally and reach millions of customers in 200 countries. We have the experience and infrastructure supported by one of the best logistics companies, Hermes.
Contact us now and start achieving your 2023 business goals!