With a glimmer of fireworks and burst of silver confetti, 2015 has ended. Online retailers exhaled at the conclusion of the holiday peak season and are hoping to this New Year with desires of further successes by means of targeted strategies and specialized technologies.
The world of eCommerce is changing as rapidly as the technology that facilitates it, this means there will always be something new on the horizon. New strategies, new gadgets, new ways to entice and retain the customers. With the advent of new year, you need to take a close look at the key market trends and what they might mean for your business.
Therefore, keep reading this article to find out the five most interesting and important eCommerce trends for 2016 and beyond.
1. The Rise in Mobile Shopping
In today’s era, mobile devices are known to be a necessity. Over the past couple of years, mobile devices have seen a drastic uprise in their usage, with people using them not only to communicate or text, but also to shop. In response to this, an m-commerce retail store will no more be an additional feature, but a necessity in 2016.
According to Kissmetrics, one-third of all the eCommerce purchases were made on a mobile phone in the course of the holiday shopping period in the year 2013. An additional important statistic is that 78% of mobile phone searches for local business information lead to a sale.
An organization that undermines the significance of providing mobile phone shopping assistance to its customers will probably end up losing customers and quickly becoming obsolete. It implies sites must be optimized in order to provide suitable touch control options that allow a smooth shopping experience.
These features help keep your visitors coming back. Service like Google Analytics provides you with a fair understanding of the number of customers exploring your e-store on their mobile phone devices. The number could take you by surprise!
2. Multiple channels for shopping
Taking a cue from the above point, yet another gadget that is increasing in popularity among internet shoppers is the ‘Tablet’. The days are gone when individuals used merely laptops and desktop computers to render online purchases. Besides using mobile devices, now people are using tablets for making purchases. Actually, mobile phones are increasingly becoming phablets thanks to their growing screen size.
As per ICSC, omnichannel buyers are likely to shop more often and spend 3.5 times more than single-channel buyers. Therefore, even if customers are not converting on their PC computers, a lot of them will still make use of their mobile phones or tablets to research, browse, and make their decisions. Generally, the online purchase cycle functions similar to this. That is exactly why eCommerce stores of the future must be responsive and flexible.
3. Beacon Technology
Beacon is the buzzword these days and this technology enables mobile phones to ‘listen’ for signals that are transmitted through beacons installed in a physical environment. So as an example, if your customer has installed your mobile phone app, it is possible that you can send them a notification for special discounts when they visit your store.
This latest technical advancement will help you integrate the offline and online shopping experience with your in-store customers by means of their individual devices. The important point to keep in mind here is the adoption rate for this trend is potentially low but that may be set to change.
According to Retail TouchPoints, about 29% of retailers worldwide have deployed beacon technology already. Additionally, more than 54% of top retailers (those with above average growth rate) believe that this latest technology will drastically change the way firms do their business in the next three to four years.
4. Automation in marketing
When we talk about marketing automation in eCommerce, the scope includes not only traditional email marketing tools, but also tailor-made discounts and promotions, customized landing pages, easily-accessible shopping carts, and automatic display of related products for customers.
This doesn’t mean that emails need not be used. If implemented in a proper way, automated marketing can immensely help you to send out customized emails to each potential customer, informing them of your promotional offers and new products on the basis of their shopping history.
Automated recommendations are directly determined by what a customer clicked or bought when he/she visited your online store previously.
5. Using content to engage and sell
Using quality and informative content in B2B online sales is quite important because B2B buyers always look for product details. They do not just want a product; they also want complete and precise feature details, rich images, helpful videos, and comprehensive product guidelines. These elements go a long way in convincing your buyer to buy from you.
This can be beneficial as you are able to use quality content not merely to educate your visitors about your products, but to notify them of your new promotions and products. Further, this is an excellent key to a more continuous and effective communication between the retailer and your brand.
When you offer your customers personalized and informative content, you actually share with them valuable knowledge that provides them solutions to their queries or problems. This can be highly useful in inspiring site’s visitors to stay for longer, increasing your sales, and garner customer loyalty and trust.
The world of eCommerce is always changing; therefore, you should keep yourself updated with latest eCommerce tools and trends. The above points help you to understand the future of eCommerce, so that you can mold your strategies accordingly to it.
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