eCommerce is evolving as quickly as the technology that supports it. This means there will always be something new on the horizon, new gadgets, new strategies, new ways to attract and retain potential customers. With the end of the year fast approaching, it’s time to take a look at key trends in 2016 and what they might mean for your business.
1. Evolution of Buying Behaviour
It’s estimated that in 2017, more people will spend around $500 more than they did in 2016. To make the most of this growth, you should dive into your customer data and understand who your consumers are. Research why they search the way they do or look into what exactly they’re looking for and what it is that drives their decision to purchase from you. Analyzing this data is vital for increasing your sales in 2016 and reducing the likelihood of your consumers abandoning their shopping carts.
2. Having the Lowest Price is Not Enough
Sales aren’t driven by price competition anymore. The Customer Experience and overall User Experience of your website is becoming increasingly important to the point that users won’t buy from you if they don’t feel comfortable or happy doing so. eCommerce companies need to focus on the wants and needs of their users over everything else. Retailers who effectively use storytelling to create a better user experience will surely reap the benefit of sales, those who don’t may end up missing out.
3. If You’re Not Mobile You’re Missing Out
With around 4.88 billion people currently owning a smartphone, it’s safe to say focusing on mobile optimization is showing no signs of slowing down. If you haven’t adapted to the mobile shopping environment, you’re missing out on a huge group of potential customers. This doesn’t mean that you should only focus on your mobile site and neglect your desktop; the most important thing for eCommerce companies is to optimize a multi-channel shopping experience and understand your user’s entire journey, regardless of the device.
4. Multi-Channel Shopping
Online shopping is no longer confined to one device. Consumers may browse on their desktop at the office, smartphone on the commute home, or even their laptop or tablet in the evening. Multi-channel shoppers shop more often and will normally spend over 3 times more than your single-channel-shoppers. This means you’ll need to design an online shopping experience that takes the customer’s behaviour or journey into account or you’ll end up missing out on a lot of potential sales.
5. Social Selling
More and more we have become a culture driven by convenience. Social media marketing has evolved beyond networking and social commerce is beginning to gain momentum to create a shopping experience without leaving your social media platforms. By utilizing social networks, eCommerce businesses can now get more accurate and detailed demographic data which improves location targeting and provides the ability to promote your products, offer special deals and more, all via a social network.
In short, our advice to you is that you should start taking a closer look at your social commerce options and see which channels might work best for your business.
6. Online Loyalty Programs
Limiting loyalty programs to plastic membership cards is a thing of the past. Online loyalty programs have become more common and they’re expected to gain additional momentum in 2017. By adopting an online loyalty program, you’re most likely to retain customers and encourage repeat purchases. This kind of loyalty/community-building is especially important in online retail as you’re competing in an environment filled with alternatives.
Combining your loyalty program with your email marketing and even social media is a great way to share exclusive offers and bolster the feeling of community with your customers.
Which eCommerce trends are you currently looking out for? Share your thoughts or Tweet us @MAKDigitalDesig