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Your spouse’s birthday is quickly approaching. You have had this date fixed in the back of your mind for weeks now. As it slowly approaches, you have begun considering gift options based off of their interests and/or what they have been asking for since their last birthday. Unless they have blatantly asked for a specific gift, this decision could require some creativity on your part, so you consult Google by searching for ideas in hopes that you will stumble across that perfect present.

Does this sound familiar? This scenario is how retailers envision the shopping process of their consumers. In 2016, 10 percent of purchases were made online, with that number expecting to increase to around 15 percent within the next year or two.

While more retailers are closing their doors to the public, online retailers are experiencing a spike in success. Amazon is the current leader in online retail. They officially account for 40 percent of all ecommerce sales that happen in the United States. Because of Amazon’s size and its diverse range of inventory, smaller companies are going to have difficulty competing with Amazon, but that shouldn’t be your intention anyway.

Find A Way To Make Your Own Mark

Your company won’t see the same success as Amazon, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t find a way to stand out to your target audience in a different way. One aspect of company culture that more consumers are starting to prioritize is a brand with a mission – a brand that has recognized its social responsibility and has found a purpose in making a difference on a local or global scale.

In addition to this, brands can focus on two other quintessential areas that can help their business excel online:

Get Into The Minds Of Your Customers

This may seem like an obvious aspect of running a business, but you would be surprised at the amount of businesses who don’t take the necessary amount of time it takes to learn as much about their target audience as possible. Gaining insight into the minds of your customers is how you will be able to best serve them.

Think Mobile

Online shopping is becoming increasingly popular, which means that more shopping is being done on mobile devices than ever before. Last year, 40 percent of retail sales were influenced by mobile.

Rethink How Your Customers Search

Consumers are no longer solely perusing search engines for potential purchases anymore. Social media has also become a way for users to search for items to buy. In regards to larger holidays, like Mother’s Day or Christmas, for example, social media is actually more prone to elicit last-minute purchases as it places products before the eyes of potential buyers and gives them a simple way to buy the item directly through the platform.

It is time that businesses open their minds and rethink the way that their customers search and buy items online!