With on ongoing rapid growth, e-commerce sales now generate over $300 billion in the US in a year.
Still, it remains a small percentage of total retail revenues, approximately 10% of it. Therefore, there’s still a great room for improvement for e-commerce retailers to increase their share from the market and increase their sales.
Today’s harshly competitive retail market is all about customer experience, i.e. how you deliver your branding, services, products to your potential customers. It is also about being able to touch your customers and engaging with them, wherever they are.
2016 will the year of the brands, who meet or even exceed their customers’ expectations by delivering seamless shopping experience no matter what the platform is, i.e. a physical shop, an online site or a mobile app. The online retailers who fail to respond that and stick to their conventional way of doing business will lose both revenues and after all, the loyalty of their hard-earned customer base.
So, in this blog post, we covered 5 strategic e-commerce trends that will help you improve your conversions within 2016.
“Contextual” is the new “personal”
Personalization is a great experience, which lets users to be addressed by their name and having a website remembering their previous purchases, and their preferences during those purchases retrospectively. – however, only if the user is a member of the e-commerce site or is registered.
As part of 2016’s strategic e-commerce trends, it’s expected that ‘context’ will become the new personalization.
When context comes into play, the need for being registered or logged in kind of disappears. The relevant info or content that would help the user through the online shopping journey, can be provided without being registered or logged in. . With the rising importance of customer-centric technology in ecommerce, web sites are now better geared up to map their customers’ online shopping journey and better understand what they might need before they purchase what they are looking for, in terms of content or information to be delivered. Such focus dramatically takes the friction and hassle out of the online shopping experience of the visitors, therefore, solidly increases the conversion rates of e-commerce sites.
Proactive engagement becomes a necessity for brands
When it comes to conversion rates, offline retail beats online retail in a pretty intense sense. In-store conversions float around 20%-30%, whereas the average online shopping conversions are about 1-3%.
Human interaction carries strong importance in this imbalance because no matter what unless designed otherwise, online shopping is a pretty impersonal and standard experience. – if not dull.
However, in a store, you are being welcomed by a real person, you have someone ready to help you when you have a product question or you encounter a problem on the spot.
In 2016, e-commerce is expected to mimic this human interaction of in-store shopping experience, surely in scalable ways, by actively engaging with their users within the product pages or at the other touch-points throughout the customer journey. Live chat, for example, is one of the methods that has already become popular in e-commerce, and it already started to prove itself as an online shopping conversion rate booster.
Mobile commerce will keep on rising
Gartner’s predictions for mobile commerce signal an ongoing wild growth here and according to a recent report by the company, by 2017, mobile commerce is expected to drive the 50% of US digital commerce revenue.
So, if an e-commerce brand misses to reach and engage with their customers on mobile devices, i.e. smartphones and tablets, they’ll be missing the 50% of the market. Therefore, being able to provide a seamless mobile commerce experience in 2016 is both a must for an e-commerce company and also it is paramount to success.
Online retailers will start staffing up like offline stores
In 2016, virtual sales forces will be on the rise for e-commerce brands. In addition to their customer service team, who mainly handle the after-sale part of the customer journey, the virtual salespeople will be mainly focusing on the customers before the sale, and they will act quite similar to the salespeople with a retailer’s physical shop. As mentioned above, they will act as conversion boosters by helping online visitors with their purchasing decisions and at the checkout, maybe to decrease or recover shopping cart abandonment.
Analytics is now expected to be almost real-time and actionable
Traditional e-commerce analytics provide e-commerce companies, the results raised from what happened days or weeks ago in their webshop. However, in today’s dynamic e-commerce landscape, this becomes less and less acceptable, and e-commerce companies’ need for real-time actionable analytics solutions in on the rise.
The biggest return of such real-time solutions is that companies can detect what the problems are when they just occur so that they can handle them and offer relevant assistance to their visitors before they leave the site. With traditional analytics, companies can see that there are some frictions in the customer journey they provide to their customers, but with real-time analytics tools, they can proactively detect a problem and implement a solution right on the spot.