[Guest post by Keval Padia]
Ecommerce thanks to mobile commerce are growing rapidly. As per a recent prediction by eMarketer, spending through online shopping reached the all-time peak in 2016 amount bigger than $22 trillion. The same figure is expected to reach at least $27 trillion in 2020. So, how much share from this pie of growth your ecommerce business going to grab? Are you ready with all the upcoming trends that are going to rule ecommerce in 2017 and beyond? Let’s have a look at the biggest ecommerce trends for 2017.
1. Shopping experience must be dynamic
Just like dynamic user experience in web interfaces, shopping must also be dynamic across ecommerce stores. Instead of competing just for sell your products or services you need to offer gratifying experience in order to make your customers your brand ambassadors. The unmatched shopping experience is what going to make your brand loud and conspicuous. From optimizing performance to a smart intuitive interface that minimizes the time to check out and getting in touch with the right products, a shopping experience will give your brand best publicity.
2. Real-Time, Signal-Driven Analytics
In 2016 we have seen this ecommerce trend to emerge. In the coming year also it will proliferate and be adopted by thousands of online stores. Actually, real-time analytics based on the real-time actions if the customers will provide better actionable insights to drive sales.
Real-time analytics that is signal-driven will allow retailers bigger scope to drive business conversion by taking accurate actions in response to customer actions in real time. From Kissmetrics to Mixpanel and Hubspot, an array of solutions has already arrived to help online retailers in garnering insights about customers.
3. Live support and rigorous customer engagement
Live support based on the real-time needs of customers has been a big trend in ecommerce of 2016. With the potential it has already shown to the worldwide audience, live support will proliferate and grow as a big trend in the coming years.
Besides live support, there are other effective methods of engaging customers.
You can quote your satisfied customers in a blog post. You can reply to their queries and explain them through a video. Lastly, can engage them more by sending a newsletter with crucial updates and changes. You should also keep in touch with them via social platforms and seek advice to make your service better. While all these engagement techniques are great, nothing can be more effective than live support. An Econsultancy report says that 83% of customers prefer live support and cite it as a crucial part of rewarding during shopping experience.
4. Customer retention Program
Customer retention has always been a focus area for ecommerce businesses but still, most of them really do not have s specific program for it. Well, in 2017 we can see more online retailers going for a robust retention program managed as a separate professional mission for the business. To make customers loyal and frequently coming to your store you need to ensure trustworthiness and assurance that the customers are taken care of in case of any need.
Besides, taking great care of customer issues, you need to engage with them on social platforms and keep them informed about your business and brands on a regular basis. To keep customers engaged on social platforms you can make use of certain tools as well.
5. Beyond the domestic market
Do you know, in 2016 only 40% of ecommerce businesses in the US have been busy selling their products to domestic customers and rest just reached an audience in foreign foils? Well, the so-called domestic audience will no longer be targeted in the coming time as ecommerce is being matured enough to allow global trade harnessing benefits like quick delivery and responses. Cross-border ecommerce will help to deal with the local competition and may bring fresh business opportunities to retailer brands.
The constraints of targeting overseas customers include language problems and problems concerning payment processing. While web translation tools and plugins are increasingly making it easier to offer your ecommerce site in local languages, payment service providers like Skrill, PayPal, etc are also getting popular outside of US market.
6. User generated content
Customer service for any business is a pivotal element. But for online stores, it is as important as the quality of the products and services. A quality product offered with the assurance of quality and responsive service is like selling a product and a service at the same time. But to make your customer service stand out over others you need to create an emotional bond with the customers. Thus is best done through user generated contents.
User generated content besides making your customers feel addressed in a simple way can boost their engagement. These contents will also help to create more contents in a short span of time. When you encourage customers to post a photo or talk about a product, you boost customer engagement and drive relevant content creation at the same time.
Last but not the least, we must mention mobile ecommerce. Well, ecommerce in the coming time is bound to embrace mobility with greater strength than ever. But, is it at all a trend? Mobile commerce is the face of ecommerce now and will continue to take over other ecommerce apps and interfaces. It is obvious and assured that we can safely drop it from the list of our upcoming ecommerce trends in 2017.
To be honest, all the massive trends that seem to rule the ecommerce in 2017 have already arrived and we can claim to have seen them all. In the coming months, they are going to be more solidified and strengthened. Making platforms more accessible, easy to browse and pay and addressing customer concerns and pain points as soon as possible, all these are going to play crucial roles in the ecommerce business in 2017. Lastly, staying competitive is no longer enough for ecommerce business now. One needs to stay innovative as well.