Top 8 Ecommerce Trends You Should Look Out For
Online shopping continues to remain a popular practice, particularly during the holiday gift-giving season each year. ComScore’s State of Retail Report showed that approximately 78% of the U.S. population age 15 and above made an online purchase during the first quarter of 2014. With so many consumers shopping online, retailers are wise to stay on top of ecommerce trends. Following are eight ecommerce trends to look out for.
Even though increasing numbers of shoppers are making purchases on mobile devices, many retailers have not yet optimized their sites for mobile shopping. Google may soon give preference to mobile optimized sites in search results so that should be reason enough to develop a eCommerce mobile app
for your ecommerce site.
Free Return Shipping
Many online retailers already offer free shipping. Those that are beating out the competition also offer free return shipping. Customers have nothing to lose trying something new when return shipping is free if the item does not work out for them.
Joining a Marketplace
Many online stores have their own stand-alone website. However, driving online traffic to their site can be expensive. Existing marketplaces like Amazon already have built-in traffic. Moreover, many customers enjoy the ability to one-stop shop from different sellers in a large marketplace. In addition to maintaining their own website, many retailers are now also offering products through a marketplace such as Amazon.
Social commerce is a way to drive sales through shoppers. Many ecommerce sites now have the option of signing in with Facebook or Google, for instance. Shoppers can then share products they like with friends, family, and anyone connected through their network. Emerging sites like Wanelo and Bestie are set up to allow users to share their shopping discoveries from around the web. When other users see something they want, they can click on an item and go directly to the retail site to make a purchase.
Loyalty & Rewards Programs
Customer loyalty and rewards programs have been around for a while. Yet, many retailers still are not taking advantage of such programs or they are using them inconsistently. Rewards programs are an excellent way to turn first-time shoppers into repeat customers.
Personalized Shopping Experience
Some ecommerce sites are set up to personalize a user’s shopping experience. By applying data analytics that track user activity, the shopping experience can be tailored to an individual’s shopping interests. As the shopper navigates around the site, other related items can be displayed that the user is most likely to be interested in. According to Shreyes Kejariwal, “this is one of the best ways to encourage increased sales online.”
In order to grow and reach a larger customer base, retailers often expand their product offering. However, trying to appeal to the largest audience possible does not always translate into more sales. Targeting a niche, even if just a small selection of specific products within your existing store, is an excellent way to appeal directly to shoppers who are interested enough to buy the products you are offering.
Video marketing is the closest online shoppers can get to buying in person without actually going to the store. Through video, customers almost gain the ability to pick up and touch products. Many online retailers, such as Zappos, are already benefiting from the use of video marketing.
continues to grow year after year. By adapting to the trends, including those listed above, your business can stay ahead of the ecommerce competition.