Technology July 19, 2016 Last updated September 18th, 2018 701 Reads share

Where Will Your eCommerce Go This 2016?

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Who hasn’t shopped or considered shopping online before? Who hasn’t ever used any kind of mobile shopping apps or websites for their Christmas or even grocery shopping? From hailing taxi cabs, choosing baked goods and even bringing flowers to Mum on Mother’s Day, eCommerce is utilised in almost every aspect of life nowadays. Online business owners are constantly challenged by the fast-paced and ever-changing realm of the latest eCommerce trends, continuously taking large strides to keep up with the high demands of consumers just to have their brand make a mark.

According to a Forrester Research study entitled “U.S. Online Retail Forecast, 2011 to 2016”, the market of consumers are foreseen to be spending $327 billion by the year 2016,a skyrocketed number from last 2011’s $200 billion. In short, a simple online store with fairly priced and great item won’t be enough this year. Meeting the demands of consumers not only involves your products anymore but also the adaptation of the latest eCommerce trends to keep you up-to-date and not get left behind.

We have done the research and yes, there are a couple of tweaks that are and will be popular for your online website’s profits. Here is a compilation of advantageous digital trends to experiment on and try this 2016:

Smartphones, Tablets, and Desktop Optimization

According to Criteo’s statistic data, the mobile transactions made in global eCommerce were over 40% at the end of 2015 and are predicted to reach 70% by 2017. By 2017, U.S. customers’ mobile device commitment activities will lead mobile eCommerce profits in the U.S. by 50%. This study clearly says that people use smartphones more often, even in shopping online. Also, the use of mobile shopping applications in tablets has been predicted as 47% are more likely to end in a purchase. Tablets have better visual impact to let customers see the products better. So the eCommerce trends of 2016 should be highlighted more on tablet optimization rather than on mobile, or at least dedicate better efforts towards the former.

The Omni-Channel

Omni-channels extend to two different perspectives: the customer and the business owner. For the customer, it pertains to having a wide variety of choices of products. The prefix Omni comes from the term omniscient that means all-encompassing or well-informed. It doesn’t just refer to one particular shop or brand, but all that the business world has to offer.

Given the fact that the advancements are still new and unfamiliar to the average consumer, it’s not surprising for them to have some trust issues. It was revealed by a Google study that around 85% of online consumers start shopping on one smart device then finish on another gadget, and tend to purchase over three times more by doing so.

As for the online entrepreneurs, the practices involved in omni-channels means a responsibility to make their mediums and stores coherent. That means their mobile application should match the design and function of the website and give a vibe of unity with their physical store’s layout. Meanwhile, omni-channel-related habits also imply the stores’ power to keep track of their customer’s purchase cycles, therefore being able to present a 360-degree solution to their customer’s wants.

Social Media and Shopping

One of the trends that are highly anticipated this 2016 is social media sales integration. Customers tend to keep things simple when shopping online, avoiding any complications whatsoever. Last year, Pinterest launched shoppable pins and Facebook was being wooed by Shopify, Magento and WooCommerce to adopt the Facebook Store. The “we’ve got it all for you” mantra will be seen effective this 2016 for the integration of eCommerce in the social media platforms. Social media has one of the biggest foot traffic endorsements, making it plausible for a larger market. Call to action commands on these platforms like sign up, inquire, and buy are common and not awkward in these sites, making instant purchases a big possibility.

Personalised eCommerce Product Notifications

We as consumers usually get annoyed or even ignore those promotional emails that start with “Dear Customer”. This year, one of the upcoming eCommerce trends to use is giving customers a personalised experience through your communication outlets. It has been found out that as opposed to notifications not respecting one’s privacy, customers demand contextual offers that give out the right information at the right timing. Aside from the effort for information and product personalisation, business owners should also integrate a personalised shopping experience like personalised website greetings and product references based on past purchases is highly effective for the year 2016.

Virtual Customer Service

With the rise of mobile shopping apps comes customer service that doesn’t need to scourge the whole shelf to find you a size 37 pair of red stilettos. It was foreseen that 89% of business executives will focus primarily on improving customer experience to compete with other brands this 2016. The most popular types of this method are freebies or sale flashes or pop-ups, saved product searches and/or preferences, chat help online, and personal helpers or stylists, video tutorials or simulators whatever is applicable to become more proactive with your customers.

The Same Day Delivery Dream

Everybody’s always rushing nowadays, hence the convenience developed by technology. For the past few years, it seems that the delivery time is a big factor for people to decide whether or not to buy items online. That is why having faster delivery methods will be a big plus as one of the eCommerce trends. Take Amazon for example, having predicted to have 80 million customers around the globe for having launched Amazon Prime which offers their loyal customers faster delivery service. Meanwhile, business owners must also have the suppliers ready and use a disclaimer like “made to order” for special products as to not discourage your customers from purchasing.

Mobile Wallet Integration

A study found out that 24% of online shoppers discontinue their purchase due to the lack of payment options available. Today, Samsung Pay, Apple Pay, Google Wallet, Stripe, Dwolla, Square and all others are there for the customer’s experience. Whether it’s spending with Paypal or even with Bitcoin payment preferences, business owners should know and provide all the payment options for the customer’s security and assurance.

Highlight Rich Content rather than More Search Results

Based on a survey, people are usually exposed to 5,000 different kinds of marketing ads averagely. Some studies even found out that the average individual on a social media site involves oneself with 285 varied pieces of content each day. Normally, since people shopping online can’t see or touch the product they want, it’s only natural to expect them to find detailed information about the product first before they make a purchase. And on the process of their hunt for forums and information, SEO giants like Google present them with paid ads, making them scourge the results page for more organic answers. The trend of product personalization is also given emphasis, especially in the realm of content marketing.

These potential customers surfing the Internet for reliable blog posts or forums and even useful instructional and tutorial videos gives them a guarantee about the product. Not only will content-driven marketing help online business with the branding, but also create a dedicated following driven by value from the merchandises and services it sells.

Images: ”Author’s own“

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Mudra Rao

Mudra Rao

An I.T. engineering graduate and completed M.B.A. in marketing. I am a professional consultant in retail mobile apps technology at Ohoshop and keen interested in retail industry start-ups.

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