The e-commerce industry continues to evolve each year with more & more companies heading towards the internet. The proliferation of new technologies and applications allows online businesses to grow at a rapid pace. Continual digital changes affect the way we shop online. Experts and analysts always strive to predict the latest developments and trends that could really make difference to the retailers. mCommerce, Click & collect, Omni-channel, Big data and Social buy buttons are some of the crucial strategies for the online merchants to embrace this year.
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Today, consumers not only care about the type and cost of specific product, but also want product reviews & information, fast shipping and inventory availability. How and from where the product is to be purchased will not matter much to the consumer retention and loyalty, but their main priority will be product quality, speed and shipping charges.
Now, the shoppers will see checkout totals closely, which makes delivery dates, inventory availability, sales tax and shipping estimates critical for optimal shopping experience. You may lose your customers, if any of these details is wrong. This year can be called ‘year of consumer’ as the customers have more power these days. We have put together the most anticipated and strong predictions for the online marketplace in 2015. Let’s have a glance.
Increase in mobility:
Mobile technology is expected to have a huge impact on cloud storage, mobile data consumption and B2C & B2B e-commerce. According to Vouchercloud, by 2018, around 8.2 billion mobile devices will be using on an average 2.7 GB of data in a month, essentially generated by different mobile applications like online gaming, audio/video streaming as well as social networking apps. Vouchercloud predicts that mobile data usage will grow at 84% annually between 2013 to 2018. Fast data speed and responsive & user-friendly mobile e-commerce apps are likely to boost e-commerce sales to nearly $626 billion by 2018.
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Click & Pick:
The same-day and next-day in-store pickups are expected to be the king for the current year 2015. Online retailers are trying to evolve the in-store experience to allow you to conveniently browse online & use the specific store as your pick-up center. This leads to cheaper, faster and hassle-free shopping. Even Amazon has come up with its local delivery hubs. The e-commerce giants are now creating local stores to keep up with the customers’ demands. Through services such as Amazon Local, Google Shopping Express and Ebay Same Day, all the major markets are competing to attract the consumers, who want to purchase online, but do not wish to wait for home delivery.
In 2015, online merchants will put their efforts to have better insights into industry trends and customers’ behaviors, which enable them to make accurate decisions. This helps them improve almost every business aspect from marketing & merchandising to operations and customer retention. The objective is to offer the right offers at the right time to become good e-marketers. The data collected from the customers can be used to carry out segmentation and create personalized content. Big data help in coordinating different communication channels and enable companies to efficiently allocate the resources to the required areas.
It also includes analyzing data from other companies on the market. There is a lot of useful information to be obtained from the data of competitors and industry leaders, both about what to do and what not to do. For example, any e-commerce store can gain tonnes of new insights and potentially change their game by extracting data from e-commerce giants like Amazon using proxies.
Nearly 61% of the customers go through online reviews prior to making a buying decision. User reviews simply eliminate doubts that potential customers might have related to a product and can even help in product selection. The stats by Reevoo indicates that more than 50 reviews can lead to around 4.6% rise in conversion rates. The website visitors who read the user reviews and respond to the customer queries are 105% more likely to buy while visiting & even spend 11% more money than those who never interact with UGC. Reevoo revealed that the user reviews help generate, on an average, 18% increase in sales.
Social Buy Buttons:
Social sites have been widely used as a display marketing tool for brand awareness, but the popular firms like Twitter and Facebook are striving to change this perception. Earlier, social media strategies and their results used to be measured through soft metrics such as increased impressions & click-through, but the ROI was low. With ‘Buy’ buttons, social media sites like Twitter & Facebook are focusing on ROI and targeting the important metric i.e. the number of visitors, who buy the products.
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Live Chat Support:
Adding the functionality of live chat to your site enables your customers to get advice, ask questions and develop confidence before, during & after the purchase. This offers convenient shopping experience and thus, leads to improved conversion rates. If you provide a memorable and worthwhile experience to your customers, they will help increase your customer base by sharing their views and experiences with friends or relatives.
Online retailers are so focused in gaining the attention of new customers that they often fail to maximize their revenue from the existing users. Remarketing helps online merchants maximize the revenue from the existing consumers by automating the marketing activities depending on the browsing history of the customers and the best practices from various other retailers. The cost of getting a new user is nearly 6 to 7 times more than acquiring repeat sales from the existing customer. The marketing metrics show that the probability of selling something to an existing user is 60% to 70% whereas selling to a potential or new customer is 5% to 20%.
Online Marketing Checklist:
E-commerce marketing checklist consists of essential aspects, including rich content, responsive design, micro data, website performance, social login, multi-channel sales, live chat, free two-day delivery, plan promotions and email marketing. Content marketing aims at attracting and retaining the customers by developing & curating relevant content. Site performance can be determined by how quickly a website loads in the browsers. These aspects will be given more importance in the online marketing.
Customers expect seamless approach to the distinct touch points and these expectations are likely to become more widespread in 2015. Customers are using the internet for a long time and are habitual of taking custom journeys via retail channels. The modern businesses will provide them a consistent and uniform experience, prices, service and product descriptions. They are trying to keep pace with the latest development and advancements in the market as the technologies such as Apple Pay shift the way users make purchases. Understanding the customers’ needs and experiences is important and will continue to be significant in the current year as well.
Magento as leader of e-commerce portals:
Magento will continue to be a leading e-commerce software in 2015. Empowering over 150,000 online stores, Magento is a versatile shopping cart solution. The most fascinating facts about Magento: Google says that the phrase ‘Magento’ was searched more than term ‘e-commerce’ and Alexa reveals that Magento is used by nearly 26% of top 1 million sites. This clearly shows popularity of this outstanding platform among the people.
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Thus, in 2015, the standout marketers will leverage customer behaviors to promote their brand & value proposition, interacting with consumers in whole new ways. Now is the time for all the channels to become a part of holistic experience.
About the Guest contribution: TomHardy
Being a passionate writer and top-notch developer at Sparx IT Solutions, Tom Hardy keeps up with the latest trends in the e-commerce market and makes people aware of the new trends & technologies through various blogs and articles.