With 2016 less than 2 weeks away, the world of Ecommerce has some great opportunities on the horizon. Ecommerce sales continue to skyrocket and in today’s super competitive market, it all comes down to the customer experience your brand can provide. The time for new techniques is coming upon us and 2016 promises to be a year full of ecommerce surprises!
Retailers have always had control over the consumer experience, but over the last few years, consumer have started to expect much more from a brand than just a picture of a product and a good price. Consumers have started learning to expect a multi-channel, fully integrated experience when they choose to shop online. In this post, we’re going to look at a few of the newer strategies for online sales & shopping cart integration!
a.In 2016, brands will actively engage with their customers BEFORE a sale, making it a much more personal experience. Live chat will be available and a customer can be guided through a website to find exactly what they need. This can provide a fully customized experience like one you would get in a physical store and with a sale person.
b.Companies will start to employ an online sales force. Virtual sales people will be trained in ways to actively engage a customer and make them feel recognized, thus having the same turn arounds as a sale person in a physical store. This will also lead to less shopping cart abandonment.
c. Customize, customize, customize! Algorithms can now be created to track your customers’ interests. You can feature discounts tailored to your customers’ preferences, landing pages that feature products to catch their eye, and automatic displays that will provide links to products that they might be interested in purchasing!
d.E-mails based on a customer’s shopping history that highlight new products or promotions that they may be interested in. This gives consumers the idea that you are focused on them as an individual and not just an entire group of faceless dollar signs.
e.Customer service is becoming a big part of customer retention. Facebook & Twitter are emerging as the new forum for customer complaints and compliments. A quick response shows that you are interested in what they have to say. This is another great way to offer deals or promotions. A potential customer may like your page, but not check your website for sales and promotions. However, when you post or tweet about a sale, they are bound to see it and engage with the ad!
a.Mobile stores will become a necessity as more and more consumers turn to their phones to find better deals and instant gratification. According to a study done by KissMetrics, 1/3 of all ecommerce purchases were done using a smartphone during the holiday season in 2013. Two years later and that number is probably much higher!
b.Businesses that don’t hop onto the mobile store bandwagon will more than likely end up losing a large part of their customer base. Online stores and sites should be optimized for an excellent mobile experience that allows for touch screen compatibility. These features can all be tracked on Google Analytics. You can even see if more Android or IOS users are browsing your site!
c. Almost 5 billion people are smartphone owners. Mobile optimization should be a focus because there is no sign of the use of smartphones slowing. By not optimizing for those consumers, you may be losing out on a large chunk of potential customers.
a.Another new trend that is appearing is multi-channel shopping. A consumer might find your brand via their phone while eating breakfast. When they get to work, they may Google your brand to check it out on a larger scale. Then, later that night, they may be sitting on the couch with family and use their tablet to skim through your website some more. This is called “Multi-Channel Shopping”.
b.Consumers who browse websites this way tend to shop more frequently and spend more than single-channel shoppers according to ICSC. So, even if a customer is not purchasing while on a desktop site, they maybe go home later that night and make a purchase from their tablet while watching TV! That is why your website needs to be responsive when it comes to different types of devices and the different channels that consumers can view your website though.
The year 2016 looks like it will be a huge year for digital trends and upgrades in marketing strategies as well as how business implement their online shopping carts. Ecommerce is evolving as quickly as technology these days and the best advice out there is to stay up to date with all the trends. You want your business to be on the forefront of these advances so that the next generation of consumers can navigate your website and your business in every way that they see possible. Consumers are becoming much more informed and have high expectation when it comes to the websites that they spend their time on. In the year 2016, the businesses that win the most customers will be the ones that are engaging their customers and taking advantage of the technology available to make their website stand out from the crowd.