Like all digital technology and consumer-driven markets, e-commerce has evolved over the years. With the global growth of B2C e-commerce, retailers face new challenges and opportunities. In order to meet customer demands, companies have adapted their strategies to fit current trends. This blog covers the top five trends that have carried e-commerce through 2015 and will continue into the new year.
1. The Customer Experience
The internet has created a venue that allows anyone to compete. In this environment, companies really have to wow a customer in order to make them stay, because in reality, the customer has all the power and they know it. Companies need to listen to their customer's needs and deliver, or else they might lose customer loyalty.
Some of the common strategies companies use to improve the customer experience include:
- Creating a return experience that’s as great as the purchasing experience
- Sites doubling as lifestyle content to create a relationship with customers that goes beyond purchases
- More loyalty programs and benefits to ensure customers want to continue shopping
- Options to purchase online and pick up in store
2. Global Transactions
It’s becoming much easier to purchase products from websites based in other countries, which in turn is creating a problem for local merchants. However, local merchants can also broaden their reach and take advantage of selling overseas to a new clientele.
The internet has allowed customers to demand products in their own regions, driving global business to new heights. Companies such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo have created a landscape that allows products to be purchased before they are even built, no matter the location. Customers love the freedom, and they aren’t going to want to give it back.
3. Shifting Marketing Strategies
Online marketing has become its own niche over the past decade, but now more and more marketing strategies are evolving to fit e-commerce trends. Those who have the capabilities are using big data to create personalized shopping experiences for their online visitors. Other brands are using innovative visual presentations to capture the shoppers’ eye.
One of the fastest growing marketing trends is not just displaying the products nicely on a page, but developing a story to draw in the customer through written text and videos in online stores.
4. Mobile Purchasing
Smartphones and tablets are providing more internet access to anyone anywhere. Companies that fail to have “mobile-friendly” sites are losing out on a heap of business. Sixty-six percent of time spent on e-commerce sites is on a mobile device, and 61 percent of customers leave a site if it’s not mobile-friendly. It’s crucial for companies to adapt their sites for mobile devices so they can make sales wherever their customers may be.
5. Social Networking
E-commerce sites that have a strong social presence will outlast those who don’t. Through social media, retailers are able to connect with shoppers where they spend the most time online. With the average Facebook user checking their account 14 times a day, it's clear Facebook’s platform has the potential to be a powerful mutli-channel marketing tool.
Retailers will need to incorporate these trends into their business strategies in order to remain relevant in the e-commerce market. As advancements in technology occur, there will be a huge opportunity for retailers to boost their sales if they are able to adapt and maximize the potential these new tools have to offer.
To learn more about the e-commerce market, check out our reports: