• What Consumers Want, And The Tech That Gives It To Them

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    June 26, 2020
    Courtesy of: Courtney Rosenfeld
    As a small business owner, you are no stranger to listening to customer demands. But, if you are not tech-savvy, you may not realize all of the ways technology can help you meet them. IT functions, such as cybersecurity, web development, and even streamlined shipping procedures are all easily accessible to businesses of all sizes. In this day and age, you can’t afford to skip out on technology. Keep reading for a few things your customers want, and the often-affordable technology that can give it to them.
    Customers want fast shipping and products that complement their interests.
    Mega-retailer Amazon leads the way in ensuring consumers shun shipping costs. That is hard on small businesses that don’t have the money for their own army of branded delivery trucks. But just because you still have to pay for it does not mean that you can’t ship your products quickly and cheaply.
    Dropshipping is a service you should explore if you are ready to expand your horizons into new, complementary products, and also don’t want to incur the expense of storing and handling items before shipping. 
    Via a dropship model, you don’t have a physical inventory and can choose from a vast selection of products. By logging what your customers typically put in their shopping carts, you can modify your direction as well. You might sell, for example, swimwear and lingerie, shoes and purses, or socks and sneakers. Dropshipping allows you flexibility since items are shipped from a third-party with your information on the return address.
    Customers want a seamless online experience.
    Now that you know what you are going to sell, you also need to be up to speed on what, exactly, consumers look for in a website. First, according to The Pod Advertising, is a good-looking interface. Your site should also have clean navigation and load quickly. And since the majority of web traffic now takes place on mobile devices, your site should be interchangeable between desktops, phones, and tablets.
    If you want to give your customers a truly unique experience, consider developing an app tailored to your business. To make this happen, many business owners bring in people with experience in this field. For example, if you want to develop an app specifically for Android users, you can hire freelance Upwork Android programmers to completely build your app from the ground up.
    Customers want their information safe online.
    Having an attractive website is great, but if your clients enter sensitive information into it, you will need to enact data security best practices. InformationAge explains that cyber breaches are a huge fear for consumers. In fact, more than seven out of 10 online shoppers cite this as their number one ecommerce concern. 
    If you have an in-house IT team, make sure they keep your operating systems up to date. You’ll also want to invest in the most current anti-malware software. It’s also recommended that you use data encryption, turn your device off when not in use, and disable non-essential file-sharing capabilities. Plan to partner with a local IT services firm if you are currently handling data security on your own or, worse, if you aren’t handling it at all.
    While this is not a full tutorial on everything your customers want, it’s a safe bet that these desires apply to your business. And, fortunately, things like dropshipping, web development, and even online security are available at different price points, so you don’t have to have an enterprise budget to enjoy the same technology as the big players in your industry. Tackling your customers’ priorities is sure to make your small business a winner.
    Courtney Rosenfeld, Writer

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