The world of eCommerce is ever-changing, but several trends have emerged that give a hint of what’s to come in 2016. Here are the 10 things we think you should watch for this year and beyond – how can your eCommerce system answer these trends?
Having a well-organized and easy-to-navigate mobile site has been a growing concern in the web world for a long time, and eCommerce sites are no different. According to Euro IT Group, the mobile share of worldwide eCommerce is expected to reach 70% by next year. So now is the time to ensure your smartphone eCommerce experience is hassle-free for both your customer and your business.
Shoppers love their tablets, and it’s easy to see why. They’re mobile, but have larger screens than a smartphone. This means that they can browse their favorite online stores and view large, crisp images of what they’re looking for. As with smartphone eCommerce, ensure your tablet-ready eCommerce site offers the quickest possible route from browsing to purchasing, with as few clicks or taps in between as possible.
Increased focus on omni-channel shopping
According to Google, 85% of online shoppers start a purchase on one device, but complete the purchase on another device. Perhaps they’re commuting from work and will add a product to their shopping cart, but will wait to complete the transaction once they’re home in front of their desktop computer. Omni-channel shopping is a way of life in today’s eCommerce landscape, so ensure that you have an OMS that can integrate with multiple channels.
Shopping in social media
Recently, Instagram began displaying ads to its users. On Pinterest, shoppers can now take advantage of “Buyable Pins,” allowing them to shop right from Pinterest. eCommerce platforms such as Magento are taking advantage of this new trend in online shopping. These new social ways of shopping are quick for the consumer, and offer several payment options, making it more likely that your customer will buy.
A recent study shows that 24% of online shoppers abandoned their shopping carts because they wanted more payment options than were offered. Investigate and implement mobile payment options such as Apple Pay, Google Wallet, PayPal and others to reduce your rates of shopping cart abandonment.
Online loyalty programs
Like mobile payment options, online and mobile loyalty programs can incentivize the customer to keep coming back. Whether it’s points, tiered rewards or discounts, shoppers are responding. In 2010, nine percent of shoppers belonged to a loyalty program, with 12 percent joining loyalty programs the next year. Sites like Amazon are seeing the value of loyalty programs, too, as shown with the launch of their Amazon Rewards Visa card, which gives 3% back on items purchased from the site.
Flexible delivery options
Thanks to major players such Amazon offering same-day delivery, and Starbucks offering the option to order and pay in advance, eCommerce delivery options will need to be more flexible in the year ahead. Investigate your OMS options to see how you can make changes in your delivery options to respond to what your customers want.
A recent study of American shoppers by comScore reveals that “83% are willing to wait an additional 2 days for delivery if shipping is free, and 68% said free returns shipping is needed to complete a sale.” In tandem with flexible delivery options, free shipping could encourage your customers to complete their purchases, and return to do further business with you.
Customers are familiar with personalization in their online shopping, but contextual shopping is poised to move ahead in 2016. Employ eCommerce strategies that remember your customers’ item preferences, past searches, and location for increased engagement and sales.
Live chat support
Why wait until the checkout process to answer any questions for your customer? Live chat technology across multiple channels will continue to improve in 2016, allowing your employees to offer real-time support to your customers. This access to a real-live person, even via an online messaging system, can help to increase customer satisfaction and loyalty.
The backbone of good eCommerce is strong integration with your other systems. Many of these trends will also have repercussions for inventory management, accounting, and shipping. Ask Circle Commerce how we can help your business adapt to these 10 eCommerce trends!