The business world which was once confined to brick and mortar stores is now made available almost everywhere thanks to technology. Times have changed and the physical retail industry is slowly being overtaken by a more convenient and lucrative one – eCommerce.
But because eCommerce is the offspring of technological advancements, it must be in-sync with the ever-changing landscape of the digital world.
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In this article, we’re going to show you the seven trends everyone should consider when starting or running an eCommerce business. It’s through this that you can fine-tune your strategy and propel your business to greater heights.
#1. Predictive Analytics
Predictive analytics is a vital trend you need to adapt ASAP. It’s basically gathering information from your customer and using it to intelligently predict the items they’re most likely to purchase.
These are proven to be very effective tools as they can considerably increase your sales up to three-folds. However, that increased profitability comes at a cost as the cheapest predictive analytics tool can cost around $1,000. You can consider reputable platforms like Alteryx, Lattice, and Attivio, if ever you plan on getting one.
But PA is more than just predicting the products your customers might buy. It’s also about anticipating their average basket size as well as knowing their “churn.”
Your sales would surely increase if you recommend products that match or even exceeds the average purchase cost of your customer. Meanwhile, predicting the churn is all about making use of the time that they’re most likely to be active in online shopping. You can do this by sending them special coupon codes at the right time. This will then motivate them to purchase more.
Customization is all about being unique because after all, that’s what everyone wants, right? No one wants to wear the same shirt or shoes as his friend or co-worker. Statistics prove this as it is reported that 25 to 30% of online shoppers prefer customizable items over the standard pre-made ones.
But in doing so, it’s important you don’t stress your customers to the point that they’re going to do the entire designing process. Nike’s NIKEiD custom shoes and accessories is a perfect example of customization. What customization means is that you offer them a starting point template which they can work with ease. What’s great about this is that production also becomes easier on your end because your customers are contributing new ideas.
Apart from that, the item becomes more than just a product as it becomes a reflection of your customer’s identity. This is why you don’t need to worry about charging a premium for it because they’ll happily pay more for the sake of seeing an extension of themselves in the item they’ve bought.
Subscription business models are also growing in popularity as consumers tend to choose online shops that can supply them with a steady supply of products they need. This way, you are able to secure the long-term profitability of your business.
This is also a great way to maintain a loyal customer pool that will lead to higher conversion rates in the long run. The Dollar Shave Club is a good example of an eCommerce site that effectively implemented their subscription model. They sell razors, cartridges, and starter sets on a monthly basis where customers are able to save money by subscribing to more months.
Up until now, it still is one of the finest personal grooming companies in the industry. As a testament to its success, it was bought by Unilever for $1 billion last July 2016.
#4. The Chinese Market
There’s no denying that eCommerce is a worldwide phenomenon and everywhere you go, online shops are there. The US alone has global eCommerce sales of $4.82 trillion.
As good as it sounds, it is slightly lagging behind China’s strong $4.89 trillion global eCommerce sales.
Expert forecasts state that China is going to double their sales between 2017 and 2019. That’s just within the span of three straight years. And take note that it’s well over $1 trillion worth of sales increase. The current eCommerce sales worldwide are $2.35 trillion and are forecasted to reach $3.42 trillion by 2019.
The Chinese market will then constitute nearly 30% of the total eCommerce sales on 2019. With this, it makes perfect sense to attract the Chinese market by creating an eCommerce site aimed at Chinese customers.
#5. Virtual Reality
Virtual Reality might seem to still be in its early stages. However, it has taken off already, at least in the eCommerce industry. An example of this is Alibaba.com’s Buy+ shopping platform that allows people to have a life-like shopping experience through the use of VR technology.
Shoppers use a VR headset as they explore a recreated part of New York City which is filled with stores and boutiques where its users can shop. Even eBay Australia and Myer grabbed the opportunity of this rising trend. Analysts forecast that Virtual Reality will be the next big thing in the next ten years.
Shoppers prefer buying online if they’re able to try products virtually. With this being said, one can clearly see that there is great potential in using VR technology in eCommerce. Not only does it make the shopping experience feel real, but it also gives the shopper a more personal shopping experience.
#6. Mobile eCommerce
Millennials are the domineering age group in online shopping. And what are millennials holding often? It’s their smartphones, tablets, and other devices. This only means one thing, and that is making your eCommerce business go mobile.
this entails you to make your website mobile-friendly to accommodate huge traffic and develop a streamlined user interface. Gone are the days when online shoppers scrunch down on their desktop computers to shop online. Online shopping can now be done with a flick of a finger. This is the reason why eCommerce is referred to by some as mCommerce or mobile-commerce.
Purchases made via mobile constitute 40% of total eCommerce sales in 2015. It ballooned to 70% in 2017, a proof of how eCommerce is now being inclined to mobile use instead of desktop use.
The number one reason why prioritizing the mobile eCommerce market is important is due to the convenience that shoppers experience. It also encourages engagement because of the push notifications you can send them. Plus there is the social media share feature which is a great way to easily market your site to a greater audience.
#7. Same-Day Delivery
Statistics state that 53% of US shoppers would prefer making online purchases if the product arrives the same day. With this in mind, same-day deliveries are the way to go if you want to increase your eCommerce sales. And what’s even better is that you can seize this opportunity to impose a premium price on your same-day delivery options. As mentioned again in Business Insider’s survey, 62% of shoppers won’t mind paying more as long as they receive the item really soon!
eCommerce is indeed the key to making the most out of the technological age that we’re currently in. But it’s easier said than done as running an eCommerce site requires you to adapt to the trends set by today’s modern landscape. With the help of the seven trends we’ve shown in this article, there’s surely no stopping to you dominating the eCommerce industry.