Technology is advancing at such an exciting pace that it can be almost impossible for businesses to keep up. So we thought we’d make things easier for you by highlighting some key ecommerce trends 2013 to keep your business ahead of the curve.
1. M is the new E
Mcommerce or Mobile Commerce sales are fast catching up with desktop sales. In the second quarter of this year, 23 per cent of online sales were carried out on a mobile device (with 85 per cent via tablet and the remaining 15 per cent via smartphones) [http://econsultancy.com/uk/blog/63459-m-commerce-accounts-for-all-online-growth-as-desktop-sales-plateau-report]. With this figure certain to increase, the implications for businesses are significant. Responsive website design can help ensure that user experience is consistent across all devices.
2. Multichannel doesn’t just apply to TV…
… it also applies to selling. These days potential customers do their research on the shop floor, the desktop and on mobile before deciding where to make a purchase, so consistency of branding, content, design and user experience across platforms and devices is key.
3. Make it personal
Personalisation is back but it’s much more sophisticated than before. Aside from the eBay-style “People who viewed this item also viewed” recommendations, intelligent algorithms can now predict the kinds of products that might appeal to an individual shopper online.
4. Local Ecommerce for local people
Like personalisation, localisation really helps garner the trust of a potential shopper. As well as the obvious things like language and currency, more sophisticated localisation can include colour preferences, localised images and local offers.
Localised copy and services will be key to maximising sales to markets that show an emergent hunger for western goods, such as China and Brazil.
5. Click and collect
You may have seen the recent news that eBay shoppers will soon be able to “Click and collect” their purchases at Argos stores [http://econsultancy.com/uk/blog/63463-ebay-partners-with-argos-to-launch-new-click-and-collect-service]. Although the trial is limited, the move is bound to appeal to those customers who don’t want to wait in for deliveries. The trial will take place in the run up to Christmas, which bodes well. According to Econsultancy, in the run up to Christmas 2013, 40 per cent of shoppers used a Click and Collect service.
6. Pop-up on your high street
Despite the rise of ecommerce, a whopping 90 percent of sales still occur in physical store locations. Just as bricks-and-mortar stores have been adapting to compete against their online rivals, major online retailers have started testing temporary physical locations, or pop-up shops designed to let consumers browse in-store and then buy online. Pop-up shops, have been used by eBay, Net-A-Porter and lastminute.com to grow brand awareness and increase existing customer loyalty.
7. Earn their trust
According to a recent survey [http://econsultancy.com/uk/press-releases/7073-1-in-3-don-t-trust-security-on-smartphones-and-tablet-computers-for-online-shopping], 1 in 3 British shoppers don’t trust the security on mobile devices for online shopping. Although many will research products on the go, then purchase later via desktop, it is easy to see how a sale can be lost along the way. ‘Persistent basket’ technology, which offers a continuation of service across devices, as well as evolving online payment mechanisms, such as Paypal, can make the difference.
8. Real-time engagement
Serving real-time data back to customers generates a more interactive experience. Much like the travel industry shows live information such as how many hotel rooms are left, this kind of data creates a sense of community. In a similar way retailers can serve shoppers live information comparing online prices by location and availability, which in turn could help counteract the much-feared activity of showrooming (shopping and comparing while in store).
9. Shoppable media
Watch-click-buy shopping, where would-be customers can push a button in the midst of a video to indicate interest in an item, get more information and add it to their basket, is here. The technology has been with us for a while but the user experience is improving and becoming increasingly integrated with branded social media. A great example of this is Only Jeans’ award-winning Liberation shoppable video experience. [http://onlybecausewecan.com]
10. Make yourself useful
Aside from Shoppable Media, videos are increasingly important for retailers aiming to increase brand loyalty. It has long been know that customers don’t like the hard sell but they will respond to content that is useful to them. Retailers like B&Q and ASOS have become experts at producing ‘how-to’ guides and expert interviews on their websites and YouTube channels. And by hitting customers with relevant information, you’re putting your business in the best position when they’re next looking to make a purchase.