In recent years, the Ecommerce revolution has transformed shopping to the point where someone can find a great deal without even getting dressed. Although the amount of time and money we spend online grows every year, the Ecommerce experience has changed very little since its inception.
In the beginning, Ecommerce was touted as a “Jetsons-esque” online phenomenon that would transform the way we shop. In many ways it has lived up to that expectation, but still lacks many of the basic virtues embodied by the in-store shopping experience.
Ecommerce is largely about execution. If you get the maths right, the rest should follow, given enough traffic and time for your site to establish. But for anyone involved in the ecommerce game, it is an environment that is constantly changing and upgrading as technologies improve and companies battle against each other to win a greater share of the pie.
One of the most important parts of running a business is staying informed of the latest advances and changes happening outside of your company’s four walls. Staying up to date on the future of eCommerce is crucial in order to keep your business relevant in a world that never stops evolving.
Technology and online shopping are shaking up the retail industry. Consumers are actively searching for and purchasing products and goods from their computers and mobile devices. Learn what the future of eCommerce holds so you can prepare your business for the upcoming trends and new developments.
For instance, if customers shop regularly at their favorite boutique, chocolate, or fitness equipment store, it is likely that the employees or owner will get to know the buyer. They will remember what has been purchased, become familiar with particular taste or workout preference, and suggest items that may be of interest to target customer. Most online sites begin without any offsetting strategies that could give buyers an equivalent online experience.
Enterprise retailers, especially, are in a strong position to test new growth initiatives, implement new technologies, and improve shopper engagement. Success starts with knowing your market opportunities and potential points of friction. Start with these 6 trends as a guide.
The future of ecommerce is uncertain, but some things remain constant – delivery times will improve, customer service will get increasingly better, and product selection will become ever greater. But how might the future of buying online actually look from the customer perspective, and what should you be implementing in your own business over time to stay ahead of the curve?
Personalisation & Dynamic Experience
- Nearly all retail growth in the US at present is driven by ecommerce, and this looks set to continue in the years ahead as more people spend more money online. Greater personalisation and a better customer experience will be the holy grail for ecommerce businesses in the future, as it becomes increasingly difficult to secure customers against a backdrop of ever increasing competition. Customers will eventually flock to those offering as close to the in-store experience as possible, and major ecommerce retailers are already striving to make things more personal and more tangible on web.
- User-specific promotions are just one example of how the new, dynamic Ecommerce experience will change the way you shop online. Retailers understand that a smaller profit is better than no profit, and that volume can make up for smaller margins. This is something that has been practiced by brick-and-mortar merchants for centuries, but has been largely absent from Ecommerce. You are more likely to make a purchase when you feel like you’re getting a deal. The ability to adjust pricing and make deals on the spot — without the need for human oversight — can transform what would have been an impersonal online shopping experience into a rewarding and enticing opportunity.
Tracking Into Stores
- The boundaries between ecommerce and physical commerce, i.e. the retail store, will become less definite as time passes, and companies are already looking at ways of tying together online tracking and customer information with their real-world experience. This also complements the idea of greater customisation of the shopping experience, allowing retailers to use existing online data to personalise their entire relationship – both online and offline.
- Shopping no longer takes place solely in a brick and mortar store. Online shopping is very appealing to many customers, and consumers are enjoying the convenience of shopping from their mobile phone or couch. Many eCommerce sellers know the benefits of selling through multiple channels, but it’s a need that’s rapidly growing. Shoppers are flocking to multi-channel outlets and multi-device platforms to complete their purchases and you need to be ready.
Mobile Is a Powerful Sales Driver
- Despite the rising prevalence of mobile, retailers are still trying to figure it all out. For one, consumers aren’t just browsing content on mobile: they’re making purchases. In the U.K., for instance, mobile spending is growing at a rate of 4x overall spending. Some people are window shopping, and others are comfortable enough with their phones to make purchases. Rather than tracking these variations in behavior, for instance, ecommerce stores should focus on making their on-site experiences as easy to use as possible. When it comes to mobile, the only known is what’s unexpected. The companies that optimize these micro-moments will be in the best possible position to attract, engage, and retain shoppers.
More Dedicated Online Shopping Days
- As users continue to see the value of avoiding lines and fighting over low inventory, a rise in dedicated big online shopping days with even bigger sales will likely occur. Special promotions and hype around sales are what gets consumers talking and sharing about products and brands. There’ll be more dedicated deals sent via text and distributed to consumers within the mobile experience. As technology improves, more companies will likely also begin rolling out stronger points-based and online loyalty programs.
Device-Focused to People-Focused Marketing
- Smartphone shopping is becoming more common with no sign of it letting up in the future. Anyone in eCommerce needs to prioritize a mobile strategy and optimize their buying experience for a smaller screen. Consumer intent is key to reaching the right customers at the right time. In the past, there has been a large focus on media consumption by device and browsing environment, but data is becoming more sophisticated and marketers are recognizing this trend. You’ll start to see true people-focused marketing that hones in on behavior and intent. This is also a great time to get your influencer marketing strategy in place and encourage your biggest fans to communicate your message to other consumers.
Instant Delivery Gets Even Hotter
- Speed is a huge factor when consumers are interacting, purchasing and reviewing products online. A poor connection, slow delivery, and delays are no longer acceptable. Shoppers expect to go online, spend their money and get their merchandise instantly. While some businesses are still trying to figure this one out, there are many who are testing out the instant delivery framework and doing it well. Efficiency and timeliness are two expectations consumers will come to expect and demand, or they’ll take their money elsewhere.
‘Business as usual’ is business no more. Knowledge is power and any business that wants prosper should educate themselves on what the future is predicted to bring and adjust their business plan accordingly. Optimizing your processes and strategies has the potential to save you money and push your business to the next level.
Ecommerce leaders are facing a world of opportunity to adapt and evolve, with success coming from a series of small steps. The biggest changes won’t be the drones. They’ll come from the micro-decisions that you’re making to reach your shoppers every day.