Following the rapid developments in technology and the growing capabilities of the Internet, eCommerce is becoming a part of life for both businesses and consumers alike. Here are the top 7 eCommerce trends that should help your business’ online growth in the next 12 months.
While consumers are turning to eCommerce for a more convenient shopping experience, more businesses are utilizing this medium in order to widen their reach for more customers and sales. eCommerce offers businesses the opportunity to grow, and this has significantly impacted the retail shopping industry as a whole.
The technological advancements and ever-changing preferences of consumers have prompted trends to arise with every passing year, which no eCommerce business can afford to ignore. We’d like to share with you the top 7 eCommerce trends that should help your business’ online growth in the following year:
1. Mobile will be a bigger medium
Mobile commerce had a breakthrough year in 2015, and it has grown more important with each passing year. In 2017, mobile commerce sales are expected to increase to US$151 billion and US$242 billion by 2020.
eMarketer attributes this growth on a better mobile experience – with larger screens, smoother buying process, better mobile search, and context-driven discovery. It relies on optimization for customers – retailers who think “mobile-first” are the ones reaping the rewards for having a platform that works in sync with a phone’s size and functionality.
2. Digital payments will be more common
2016 was the breakthrough year for digital payments, as more and more customers adopted digital payment types through various channels to complete transactions with as little contact or friction as possible. Deloitte's 2016 Holiday overview found that 78% of smartphone owners planned to use their phone for holiday shopping, and that 43% of them made their purchases directly on their smartphones. These numbers are predicted to rise in 2017, especially since mobile payment platforms such as Apple Pay and PayPal have become a rising trend in recent years, going hand in hand with the mobile-centric system that eCommerce has started to revolve around.
3. eCommerce personalization
Customers have been exposed to the convenience of personalized experiences from platforms such as Amazon and Netflix, and now have come to expect this level of personalization from online retailers. They want product recommendations to be based on what sort of items they’ve shown interest in and not just a “one-size-fits-all” list.
In the future, retailers are predicted to embrace personalization from the ground up and developing highly-targeted campaigns based on previous online experiences of different customer segments.
4. Even more omnichannels
The days when businesses are limited to brick-and-mortar stores are now gone. There are now multiple channels where businesses can conduct sales transactions. However, this has given rise to a critical issue for retailers: channel fragmentation. With more features being released over time, the channels available for retailers have their gap widening further. This can result in total confusion.
However, trends point to the unification of these different sales channels. This phenomenon is expected to be accomplished through features such as multichannel synchronizations and real-time stock information. Inventory management software like TradeGecko offers you real-time inventory updates across your different eCommerce channels, along with business intelligence that lets you see your best performing sales channels in real-time. Once you have these features, you’ll have more time to concentrate on growing and adding more sales channels to your business - such as branching out into selling wholesale.
Keeping track of your inventory is easy with a system like TradeGecko.
5. The rise of chatbots
The last few years have seen the sudden popularity of mobile messaging apps and the growth of eCommerce personalization. AI is used to predict results and appropriate actions based on the target’s previous actions, which has increasingly been adopted by many large retailers. 2017 is the year that these two trends will combine to redefine shopping and communication.
While most eCommerce chatbots are still in the development phase and thus aren’t perfected yet, it’s still possible that chatbots will begin to take a more prominent role in eCommerce within the next few years.
6. Higher delivery expectations
eCommerce delivery timescales have drastically reduced and become more precise. Many online retailers are also looking for more profitable ways to deliver free shipping to compete with the bigger names in the industry. It’s expected that, in the coming years, they will continue doing so.
This is all in the name of giving customers the best possible service, down to the delivery of their purchases. There are several reasons for this:
- 44% of customers abandon carts if the delivery charges are deemed too exorbitant
- 58% of shoppers are willing to spend more and buy more items if it means qualifying for free delivery
- 83% are willing to endure longer shipping times if the shipping is free.
7. Loyalty schemes
With the vast growth that eCommerce has seen in recent years, customer loyalty is a force to be reckoned with. People are more inclined to stay loyal to businesses that give them something in return for their patronage. Giving loyal customers or affiliations something for their continued support is also a trend that’s here to stay. With a wide amount of choices online and the rise of scammers posing as legitimate businesses, it’s essential for customers to build trusting relationships with businesses for peace of mind when shopping online.
As an eCommerce business owner, considering these 7 trends will help you encourage customer loyalty while growing your business. In the second part of this post, we will be looking at how these trends are reflected in the B2B eCommerce space.
About the author:
I am Carlton Coleman and I am the owner of SIGN WITHIN superstore, which is aneCommerce business under the umbrella of the The Sign Within Academy, LLC. This company seeks to not only provide an online shopping experience with great deals, discounts, and rebates but to partner and support non-profit organizations that speak to hearts, stretch minds and serve the whole of humanity to further their causes. I am strong believer that you make a living by what you get but you make a life by what you give.
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