E-commerce is a very broad and, at the same time, challenging area of activity. The Covid-19 pandemic made virtual commerce the main point of purchase for Brazilians, something that has been maintained until then. According to data from ABComm (Brazilian Association of Electronic Commerce), the country recorded revenues of R$ 169.59 billion in online sales in 2022 alone – R$ 18 billion more than in 2021. This shows that the field remains very prosperous, but highly competitive.
The main advantage of e-commerce is practicality, which applies to both the seller and the consumer. The simple act of searching for a product and buying it with just a few clicks is very attractive to shoppers; on the retailer's side, the internet reduces any barrier of distance and allows its products to be marketed throughout the country without difficulties. This whole combination is making even small merchants adopt virtual stores, being a fundamental part of any business.
The main difficulties are related to competition, which in e-commerce can be very unfair. The excess of stores selling the same product creates more aggressive competition, where it is often possible to find the same merchandise at very different prices. Not only those who offer the most attractive prices win, but those who know how to make good use of the main technological resources of the moment.
Technology plays a key role in all of this, and being on top of all its concepts is important for everyone who aspires to success in e-commerce. In view of this, we will talk here about the main tools used in virtual commerce and other points that should also be considered, such as digital marketing, for example.
The use of technology in sales
E-commerce itself is the result of technology, which shows the weight of these advances in modern consumption habits. However, when we talk about the application of these resources within this sales model, we are essentially referring to three concepts that are widely used today: artificial intelligence, machine learning and big data. This trio is present in any successful virtual store, as their functions are essential to deal with the high flow of customers and guarantee higher positions in search engines.
Artificial intelligence is the most talked about technology at the moment, being defined as systems that simulate human reasoning and make decisions on their own, always based on this logic. Nowadays, this resource has evolved a lot, thanks to the machine learning, or machine learning, a key concept that defines the ability of these systems to learn from new situations and adapt their behavior accordingly.
Lastly, we have the big data, that is, the virtually endless amount of data and information that we need to deal with in the virtual environment. Because it is a constant flow, it is impossible for a human mind to be able to evaluate everything and judge its value according to importance, so only a computer is capable of filtering it. All these technologies work together and can be applied in different sectors of the market, not just limited to retail.
The application of these resources in practice is no longer a novelty within e-commerce. Chatbots, for example, are one of the oldest ways to use artificial intelligence in customer service, something that has recently evolved even further with the arrival of ChatGPT. Today, people are able to have more complex and specific conversations with a chatbot, facilitating human service and ensuring more satisfied customers.
Big data is important for several reasons. Through this flow of information, it is possible to understand in detail the customer profile you want to reach and thus adapt the business approach accordingly. Likewise, it is also possible to get to know the store's public better and seek to offer services that are more compatible with its customers. All of this is only possible through specific software that collects data strategically, helping the entrepreneur in decision making.
It can often be difficult to adapt to these tools, mainly due to their overload of functions. It is at these times that professionals trained in analysis and systems development, which can be hired to support the implementation or even the creation of the store's own software. Nowadays, this profession has become indispensable in any area of activity, and commerce is not left out.
What is the role of digital marketing?
Knowing your clientele and ensuring their satisfaction is essential for sales, but when it comes to e-commerce, it's just one part of the process. Before you can get a sale, you need to find a way to get people to find your store, a task that is not usually that simple due to the glut of merchants and advertisers on the internet.
To stand out from the competition and get people's attention, a good digital marketing strategy is indispensable. This involves a number of factors, such as a firm presence on social networks, own website, SEO techniques (search engine optimization) and, depending on the proportion of the store, paid traffic to gain prominence in searches.
While the focus is almost always on social networks, they are just one part of a much larger picture. Posting content regularly is important, as well as adopting an approach that is compatible with the target audience is key to attracting new customers. However, nowadays, it is necessary to make a certain investment to gain visibility, so you need to know how to use these platforms correctly to get some return.
SEO is another key part of this process. It is a writing technique that uses some specific terms and keywords to leverage content in search results. There is a whole text structure that must be respected, and these rules must be applied to any type of material, from the most extensive to social media posts. It is a complex job that almost always demands the need for specialized professionals, but it is also essential for success in e-commerce.
By combining technological advances with strategies focused on the virtual environment, any business can grow into a successful enterprise.