Ecommerce trends change as much as the technology that powers it. If you’re not keeping up with the latest ecommerce trends you can rest assured that your competition is.
Gone are the days of putting up an ecommerce site, optimizing it for mobile, setting up a blog and calling it “done.” Without changing with the landscape, your business will be left in the dust.
But what current ecommerce trends are the ones you should be paying most attention to?
Here are 7 ridiculously important ecommerce trends you need to live by in 2017.
1. The Importance of Loyalty Schemes
Ecommerce consumers in 2017 have so many options on where to buy that it can be difficult to attain customer loyalty.
Many consumers would happily switch where they order a product from for something as simple as a coupon.
That makes it difficult to keep loyal customers.
The best way to keep customers coming back to you is to capture as much information about their buying cycle as you can.
When you know things like what products they have purchased in the past, and what items they have abandoned in their shopping carts, you can tailor rewards and promotions that will trigger the buyer to come back.
Never assume a customer will purchase from you a second or third time just because you provided a great shopping experience.
The ecommerce competition is just too fierce.
2. Mobile Is the New Shopping Window
In today’s ecommerce shopping landscape, consumers expect way more than just having a site that “works” on their mobile phone.
They expect a unique mobile-only experience that meets or exceeds your desktop application.
The worst thing an ecommerce shop owner can do is think of mobile-optimizing a site as a hassle. This will instantly hold you back from creating a great shopping experience for your mobile buyers.
Start thinking of mobile as the new shopping window of your ecommerce business.
Interestingly, a recent study showed that a typical internet user spends 59% of their time on a mobile device vs. 41% on desktop. However, those same users only spent 15% of their ecommerce dollars on the same mobile sites, vs. 85% on desktop.
The question is why?
The answer is that the vast majority of mobile sites treat the shopping experience as an afterthought.
This is the wrong approach.
Think of the countless sales you could be losing when you grab a buyer’s attention during their mobile browsing, only to present a frustrating or inefficient mobile buying experience.
We’d like to think that those users always transition to a desktop to complete their purchase. However, many do not and that means you’ve missed a sale.
A user’s phone screen is not a limitation of ecommerce — it’s the new shopping window.
3. Ecommerce Trends and the Magic of Chatbots
Although many AI-driven chatbots are still under development and are not perfected yet, this is one of the exciting ecommerce trends on the near horizon.
These chatbots can do almost anything a live customer chat associate can do on your site and can do so at a lesser cost.
Chatbots will soon be able to:
- Determine what your customer is looking for and suggest relevant products.
- Place orders for your customer.
- Answer questions from customers and provide high-level customer service.
- Determine the language style of a customer and chat with them on a similar level.
Over the next few months, more case studies will be completed on the accuracy and effectiveness of chatbots.
Keep an eye out for the results.
4. Fast Delivery Is Faster Than Ever — Are You Keeping Up?
Ecommerce delivery times are becoming ridiculously fast and much more precise.
Integrations with drop off providers like Doddle are allowing more and more ecommerce businesses more shipping flexibility.
Next day delivery has become an absolute must in 2017, with most retailers offering a next day delivery option for orders placed before 10 pm local time.
Companies like Boohoo, New Look and ASOS have started offering a precise delivery option, which gives the buyer an option to choose a 1-hour window in which their shipment will arrive.
Today’s ecommerce consumers are not as patient as they were a few short years ago.
If you can promise to get the product in their hands faster and more efficiently than your competition, your chances of closing the sale will increase.
5. Easier Payment Types
When PayPal came on the scene in December of 2008, it revolutionized the way people pay for stuff online.
Of course, PayPal is still a great payment option to provide customers in 2017, and you should be using it.
Customers get very tired of taking out a credit card and plunking in all of their details in the required forms. With services like PayPal, Amazon Pay and Apple Pay, customers can complete a transaction using only a pin number or even a fingerprint.
By the end of 2017, nearly every customer browsing your site will expect to check out using one of these digital wallets instead of a credit card.
Will you be ready?
6. Mass Personalization
Giving the same homepage site content to everyone visiting your site is quickly becoming a thing of the past.
Think about it — if a user is visiting your site for the first time, do you want them to be presented with the same information as a customer who has been ordering from you for months or years?
Even beyond that, a heavily personalized site will funnel visitors through user-specific data based upon past and current transactions.
This is one of the most powerful ecommerce trends to embrace in our current landscape.
7. A Unique Mobile App Experience
In 2017, an ecommerce business cannot treat their mobile app as an afterthought.
The reputation of your app is just as important as your products and website.
Treat your mobile app development as its own creature, completely separate from your desktop and mobile sites. Give users compelling reasons to install it that go beyond simply ordering your product.
A break-through mobile app can turn your ecommerce business from ordinary to extraordinary.
Ecommerce trends in 2017 can seem hard to keep up with. Here’s your chance to get a leg up on your competition by employing the same strategies as the big boys.