The Future of E-Commerce in 2016
February 2nd, 2016
Considering the rise of the mobile e-commerce, what are the trends to watch out for in 2016 to be on top of your game?
Nowadays, you usually can find the same product featured on several websites. For example, you can look for iPhones at the official Apple website and buy it from them or you can go to Amazon if you prefer their terms better or, perhaps, you want to get something else from Amazon and it's convenient to pay just once for all the items.
This is useful for the customer, but e-commerce sellers should also keep this in mind and utilize the benefits of selling through multiple channels and list their products on Amazon, ThemeForest, or, for Ukrainian fashion, MIUM (a Ukrainian multibrand store developed by Grossum).
Not Just Communication, but Selling via Social Media
Many of the social networks have added features to their systems that support e-commerce. For example, Pinterest has introduced blue Buyable Pins that allow the user to buy the product they have liked from the seller who pinned the information. This feature is available for such e-commerce platforms as Magento, Shopify, IBM commerce, and other.
Facebook hasn't been left behind either and their selling is built-in into Shopify and BigCommerce systems.
A beacon is a rising technology that allows companies to offer mobile deals and greetings when, for example, someone walks into the store. It is a tiny computer that is equipped with Bluetooth Smart module, temperature, and motion sensor and works when the customer's phone or tablet are searching for a beacon.
BI Intelligence predicted at the beginning of last year that beacon tech would drive $44 million in retail sales. Let's see how it plays out.
Also, it should be noted that beacons can perform countless other procedures besides helping with pushing deals to the phones, like real-time car tracking (and we have done it for this project.)
Big Visuals: Images & Video
More and more websites are implementing designs that use large hero shots and videos for their homepage, some of which take up the entire screen.
This design trend can help to quickly explain the purpose of the website in a 30-second video or a fitting image. Also, this gets rid of the clutter on the front page, resulting in fewer choices of action for the customer (and, therefore, making the process simpler.)
Having an e-commerce app is not a requirement, but if your website is not mobile-friendly yet, you're running out of time to remain competitive. The number of mobile users is growing every day and so do mobile buying numbers. Check out the data from Schuh regarding the usage of their website.
Kissmetrics posted a statistic of m-commerce. One-third of all e-commerce purchases was made on a smartphone during the holiday shopping season. In the meantime, 78% of mobile searches for local business information result in a purchase.
Online Loyalty Programs
Gamification is big these days and this includes loyalty programs and building brand awareness. This isn't something new because even back in 1987 McDonald's succeeded in increasing their sales by implementing gamification concepts derived from Monopoly game. However, their disadvantage was being limited to offline. Nowadays, the possibilities are countless.
In our world of fast internet, fast food, and fast cars, people seem to want everything right here and right now, and we can't blame them (since we're also people and act the same). Delivery is gaining momentum. What was a decent delivery time of 4-5 days is borderline acceptable now. Therefore, for a successful e-commerce business, offering same-day (or, the latest, next-day) delivery option is pretty much required (think of Amazon Prime.)
Crowdshipping industry is also flourishing. With services like UberRUSH or PostRope, mere mortals like you and us can earn additional finances by delivering something for someone else, especially if we're going in that direction anyway.
Oh, you know me!
Personalization is the key to successful marketing. It is certainly much more pleasant to get a message that includes your name and what you like.
According to the DigitalTrends report, 73% of consumers prefer to do business with brands that personalize their shopping experiences. Moreover, 86% said personalization played a role in their buying decisions.
With the digital technologies and Internet of Things trend evolving as fast as they do right now, we're looking for more and more opportunities to utilize those resources that we have on hand. Whether you choose to make the most out of the social media selling (like integration with Shopify and Facebook) or creating a mobile app, don't focus on just one area. And may the gods of the e-commerce Olymp be with you.
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