With all advantages and disadvantages of e-commerce, it continues to spread every day more and more. Online shopping is the privilege of our modern time, and it seems that not everyone utilises it just yet.
In 2016, 53% of global Internet users made an online purchase. It is a great statistic, but other 47% of them remain to be encouraged to do the same.
The data tells us there is still plenty of room for improvement. How? By following trends and tips for 2017. But, do these tips work? Have all the promises come true already or will they just yet until the end of 2017?
Keep Your Romance With Customers Alive
E-commerce is growing rapidly, so is the competition. For everyone who wants to stay ahead, there are certain trends they can follow. Those trends put the customer in the centre of the whole online shopping experience.
Last year, a lot of changes in e-commerce were announced. 2017 is supposed to be a year where major technological trends modify the way customers interact with brands.
In this fiercely competitive online marketplace, businesses need to utilise the most innovative technologies to indulge customers, because they are the key elements that lead to success.
Connecting with customers, making their journey through shopping smoother, more personalised, and real-time are imperative for this year’s e-commerce trends.
Consumers are quickly accustomed to innovations, so e-commerce retailers need to continually explore new technologies that will bring exceptional experiences and comfort while shopping online.
Announced E-commerce Trends 2017
Chatbots will enrich online shopping to make the whole process more personalised. They are a type of robot agent that helps customers find the product they want by simulating intelligent communication to help answer any queries. Chatbots are like your personal assistants who always have the right answer and ask nothing in return (like downloading suspicious apps on your device).
Artificial intelligence will play its part and provide customers exceptional, personalised shopping experiences. It will transform how customers purchase items. Using chatbots, you are always available to your potential clients, and they will know how to value any help, especially real-time.
Chatbots also work as post-sales support, who can handle any customer queries related to the product.
In many ways, chatbots are the most important breakthrough marketing technology and the biggest of all e-commerce trends in 2017. They will soon become as common as the automated phone system, but much more interactive and interesting. Some webshops that are using chatbots increased customer engagement and sales exactly because of instant quality information delivery.
Many businesses expand their online payment options to include a broader range to serve different demographics. Millennials prefer making purchases and transactions without even taking out their wallet.
Many industries, especially e-commerce, will adopt digital wallet apps like PayPal, Apple Pay, or Google Wallet, and cash payments will slowly vanish.
Provide your customers with the possibility to make payments through their smartphones (even devices like watches, rings, and other “wearables” ) on the fly using a mobile wallet. It is wise for merchants to set themselves up to accept these new payment methods as soon as possible.
Increasing Mobile Traffic
Average home today has more than seven devices connected to the Internet. It is announced that tablet and mobile traffic in web shops will make a significant influence in 2017. But, despite those predictions, mobile purchases are not making too much difference from the state so far.
The most important fact here is that consumers browse and make buying decisions on mobile devices and then convert later on the desktop when actually buying the product. That user is one minute a mobile user, next moment a desktop user. So, those purchases should not be considered as desktop conversions because mobile content led them to the purchase. Retailers should stop looking at mobile and desktop visitors as separate entities when they are most likely the same people.
Consider developing a mobile app for your webshop to attract individuals who use apps for online shopping. It will contribute to a fair share of the revenue.
People often rely on online shopping when something is urgent to them. If there is no possibility to deliver the product within 24 hours, a lot of customers will just abandon shopping carts.
Improve your shipping features and dispatch ordered items as soon as possible, it will boost your e-business.
This year, on-demand delivery will become a norm in the e-commerce industry. It will blur the line between online and offline shopping.
Simple User Experience and Quick Checkout
Part of your potential customers will abandon carts if the checkout process is complicated, long or demands too many details. Checkout processes with quicker payments will be something that all the customers will like. The simpler the checkout process, the better the conversion rates.
The possibility to make a purchase as a guest, without registration and an account is another thing that people will embrace.
Fast and straightforward product searches, simple payment process, and simple return policies – it is one of the greatest e-commerce trends in 2017.
We had already talked about the role of social media in e-commerce. Social selling is growing rapidly, and it will continue so. Most of the online stores are promoting their brands through popular social media platforms and hence generating more traffic and increasing revenues. Ensure a solid social media marketing strategy; it will help you grow.
User Generated Content and Product Video
All these technical things like fast shipping and simple checkout are relatively easy to match, but content will help online retailers to gain an advantage.
More and more online retailers will adopt user-generated content. The reason is that people find UGC more influential and authentical than brand-made content. This kind of content influences their likelihood of purchasing. Imagine, your webshop could become some sort of a social network where people interact casually, giving recommendations and advise each other.
Product video in webshops is a must by now. It has the power to increase add-to-cart conversion rates and boosts customer engagement. Online retailers should optimise their video strategies to bring more revenue.
Did the Prophecies Come True?
It is important to say that the customer is in the centre of the whole online shopping experience. Everything that is possible to do to make shopping easier, quicker, and more pleasant has been done.
Social media plays a huge part in selling. A lot of businesses open Facebook pages, Instagram profiles, etc. To be present on social networks means to be present in daily lives of all the people that are using them. On social networks, we can find a vast amount of user generated content. From small local businesses to big brands, these trends are well accepted.
Chatbots are a great thing, and those who have recognised their importance are reaping all the benefits. For example, H&M has chatbot service on Kik platform, where chatbots help people to choose the right item to purchase. A few other brands have chatbots, like L’oreal or Sephora, but many still need to implement them.
When it comes to paying, there is something stunning coming. For now, let’s mention Apple, who has introduced payment options with iPhone, Apple Watch, iPad, and Mac in stores, apps and web.
Delivery is important to people, so it is important to retailers too. There are already experiments with on-demand delivery with drones and neighbourhood pickup points. Amazon is the giant that everyone should look into – Amazon Prime Now offers delivery within two hours after purchase.
As we can see, many of these predictions came true, but some of them we are still waiting for. It is crucial for online retailers to look into the future to make their e-business successful. To adopt this advice as soon as possible is important because many more great things await us in the future.
E-commerce business is all about competition, challenges, and constant improvement. The battle for customers is very hard, and never-ending. Every year brings something different, every year brings something new, just to stay in the game.
E-commerce trends of 2017 put customers in the centre of the whole online shopping experience. Adopting mentioned tips and advice will help your business grow faster.
In case you already applied them, watch and enjoy. In case you haven’t, there is still half a year left to start.