Based on the trending ecommerce tactics, tools, and platforms throughout 2015, online marketers were able to predict the trends that will play a major role in the ecommerce world this 2016. By adapting to these trends, marketers are able to keep up with competition while improving sales and boosting the growth of their businesses.
If you want to stay competitive and push your business toward ultimate success, then you should adapt to these 5 trends in the ecommerce industry that can maximize your sales.
eCommerce Trends 2016
Focus on Mobile
Everyone anticipated the continued rise of mobile and the slow decline of desktop in terms of bringing online traffic to ecommerce stores. Up to 2/3 of traffic in Shopify stores are now coming from mobile users (smartphones and tablets). Although the conversion rate from mobile users is still behind the desktop, online marketers are expecting the mobile’s conversion rate to catch up soon.
By year 2017, experts predict that 50% of the revenue of ecommerce stores will be coming from mobile users. You can already observe ecommerce brands trying to adapt with implementing responsive design and other features that will improve the experience for mobile users. Even Google is now requiring websites to have responsive design. So as a marketer, the first step is to contact your web developer and ensure that your pages are optimized for mobile users. The same goes for your copy and ads.
The Rise of “Contextual Shopping”
Offering a personalized shopping experience for your target audience has always been a dependable marketing tactic. This 2016, it is seen to be replaced by what’s known as “contextual shopping”. This means you should no longer rely on the data you receive from registered users and instead focus on your customers’ problems and predicting their needs.
If you have a context-based site (focusing on a specific niche/consumer problem), then you should already know the information that’s relevant to your target audience. You can then maximize user engagement by making this information available right off the bat. As a result, you will also eliminate the need for signing up or logging in, which improves the customers’ shopping experience.
More Images, Less Text
In online marketing, the concept of the perfect content is ever-evolving. This 2016, it’s all about having more images and less text. It all boils down to the users’ preference of getting information as fast as possible.
When it comes to content, nothing can deliver information faster than a well-chosen image to quickly capture attention and promote a product. So in addition to using high quality images for your product pages, also focus on making much of your content visual. You may also utilize infographics to present detailed information in a more organized and visually-captivating way, but it’s more suitable for lead generation than sales.
Use of Pop-Ups
When used the wrong way, using pop-ups can be very annoying to your audience, especially if you keep on showing pop-ups that they do not care about. But when used correctly, you can leverage them to maximize conversions.
Due to their reputation, a lot of online marketers underestimate the effectiveness of pop-ups in their websites. But remember that a single pop-up can make the difference between a visitor and a lead, or a lead and a paying customer. Some ideas to use pop-ups effectively include offering discounts and newsletter subscriptions.
More Effort Toward Brand Management
Brand management is invaluable especially in highly competitive niches. Since your potential customers are likely to have 2 or more alternatives for your products, you should focus more on what you can offer as a brand and invest on building trust and loyalty.
There are several ways to promote your brand, one of which is to establish social proof, which has a large impact on consumer behaviour. Some of the simplest ways to obtain social proof is through user reviews and case studies conducted by experts. Promoting your brand and building your reputation through influencer marketing is also a feasible option for small to medium ecommerce brands.
BONUS: Small Commerce will drive more sales to your business
One of the biggest trends that could affect the western eCommerce world is “small commerce”, or the practice of commerce through small apps, particularly messaging apps such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. This has been an on-going trend in China with the use of WeChat for online commerce.
Communicating directly with your potential customers is proven to be beneficial for building trust, improving the shopping experience, and increasing sales for online merchants. In their F8 conference, Facebook discussed the current developments in their Facebook Messenger app for supporting conversational commerce. This is due to the rising number of online shoppers who uses the Messenger to contact or make purchases from an online retailer. As an online marketer, opening up your social media channels for direct conversations with your audience is a step in the right direction.