The business world is always shifting. As new products are developed and released and as technology advances, sales platforms must as well. As an industry, e-commerce is now approaching 20 years of age. In order to keep up with consumer behavior and increased opportunities afforded by technology, e-commerce platforms are making changes in 2013.
Your e-commerce site is another opportunity for your business to market itself online. E-Commerce experiences need to meet and exceed the expectations of customers in order to benefit your business. Here are three key e-Commerce trends your business needs to be aware of as the year progresses.
# 1. More informed customers
Consumers are getting reviews from multiple sources and doing research before they buy. In fact, Dimensional Research found that 90% of respondents who recalled reading online reviews claimed that positive online reviews influenced buying decisions, while 86% said buying decisions were influenced by negative online reviews. Your e-commerce platform should provide users with an opportunity to say all the great things being said about your products, services and business.
Negative reviews and feedback are bound to arise, but an e-Commerce platform that allows potential customers to see how you handle those can benefit your business. Businesses should offer content – be it whitepapers, product recommendations or other information – that will help the customer, no matter where they are in the purchase process.
# 2. Greater emphasis placed on data
Data-driven strategies and initiatives are more of a focus now than ever before as data collection has become easier to acquire and analyze. E-Commerce platforms must be able to collect the data needed by businesses to make them more successful. Personalization, easy A/B testing and multivariate testing are necessities. One change could be a big factor in whether or not someone makes a purchase and e-Commerce platforms and businesses need to be able to make the changes to their site that will yield greater conversions and overall profit numbers.
With the shift towards data-driven initiatives, e-Commerce platforms must be able to collect, distribute, and offer insight into the customer base of each business. Make sure your business’s online shopping platform is giving you the information and reports you need to improve.
# 3. Mobile optimization is a must
Consumers spend a lot of time on their phone and e-commerce sites are recognizing this and optimizing their sites and platforms for easier mobile shopping and checkouts for customers. Mobile sales are increasing each and every year. Entering 2012, 46% of respondents in an Oracle study are prioritizing mobile optimization over creating apps. The number of businesses optimizing for mobile has increased.
E-Commerce platforms need to be mobile friendly so that businesses and customers can connect over the computer, in-store and on mobile devices. Test your e-Commerce platform to ensure potential customers can access your site and achieve a great experience, no matter the mobile device they’re using. As Resource Nation, points out, a poor shopping cart design and checkout process can drive customers away. A simple mobile payment process as well as easy navigation and viewing are key.
As consumers become more informed about a product and business before even setting in foot in a store, e-Commerce platforms and businesses need to be prepared. Businesses are always looking for ways to connect with their target audience and incentivize them to make a purchase. A great e-commerce experience that aligns with these trends can make the difference.
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