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What does the future of ecommerce hold?

In a crowded online retail market, merchants and brands need digital excellence to compete and provide consumers with the personalised experience they expect

P.J. UtsiConsumers have access to virtually any product thanks to the wealth of stores available through ecommerce. Intense competition has created an almost perfect market for consumers, but it has also made it extremely difficult for brands to compete and reach customers effectively.

“Before the advent of digital, nobody knew what the neighbouring store in another city was offering or how much they were charging but now, with the high level of transparency in the market, anyone can compare any product they want instantly,” explains P.J. Utsi, co-founder and chief creative of Vaimo, a global leader in delivering award-winning digital storefronts, omnichannel solutions and mobile apps.

Mr Utsi has seen how already high consumer expectations are continuing to increase with players like Amazon and other major e-tailers having the economies of scale to drive down prices and stop smaller competitors from being able to compete on price alone.

While these international giants may often win on price and availability, according to Mr Utsi, expert advice, strong merchandising, brand and product experience can help smaller brands gain an advantage and create demand.

The mentality of “IWWIWWIWI” (I want what I want when I want it) is changing customer expectations and altering how merchants provide digital experiences. “Steve Jobs talked about this when he launched iTunes back in 2003 and spoke about how important it is for customers to get music immediately after making the purchase decision,” says Mr Utsi.

“The current experience offered by market leaders sets the bar incredibly high. Google is king for search, Apple leads for the user interface and you have Amazon, known for delivery. This is what consumers are used to these days and any company that is not as polished as these firms will be offering a subpar experience and that’s going to make customers hesitate or experience friction.”

By embracing data-driven insights merchants can enable unparalleled levels of personalisation and transform how their customers interact with and purchase from their business.

“The better you know your customer, the better you can tailor their experience and, in the world of digital, the customer expects to receive personalised content at all times. Every single app I launch is hyper-personalised to me and if it wasn’t I wouldn’t use them. These apps are so incredibly popular because they are hyper-relevant and that is powered by data,” says Mr Utsi.

With our help, merchants and brands can offer a personalised experience consumers really want and expect in such a competitive ecommerce space

Vamio provides businesses with the tools to offer a truly omnichannel strategy and overcome the challenge of not having a unified tech stack. Consumers use countless devices, user interfaces and touchpoints before buying a product, which requires businesses to offer a seamless experience in all these areas.

For example, communicating with companies has rapidly changed as consumers expect instant answers to their questions. If a website or app only has a “contact us” button that leads to an email address, an entire generation of consumers will be unimpressed and want to know why there isn’t a live chat option or WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger contact.

“Where Vaimo can help our clients is in serving a user an excellent experience and creating demand. That is something Amazon cannot even get close to. Because Amazon is selling every single product available on the market, it isn’t able to do a really good job in niche areas like fashion, electronics or cars that require a more personalised experience and interaction,” says Mr Utsi.

“It’s in this area where merchants and brands have the best opportunity to actually compete with a giant market leader because, with our help, they can offer a personalised experience consumers really want and expect in such a competitive ecommerce space.”

For more information please visit vaimo.com

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