5 E-commerce Trends that Will Shape 2016
Just like fashion, there are also various trends that drive and dictate the world of e-commerce.
Every year brings new trends.
What worked last season may not be as effective the next, so this means there’s always something new on the horizon—from strategies, tools, to gadgets.
Paying attention to these ‘new kids on the block’ will help retailers and marketers to create a better experience for their customers and, consequently, boost their growth.
So what trends are worth watching this 2016? Here are our thoughts.
1. Mobile or Miss Out
Mobile shopping shows no sign of stopping. According to Swedish network experts Ericsson, smartphones will be everywhere in the next five years.
The research forecasts that by 2020, 70% of the world’s population will be owning a smartphone—which means the 2.6 billion smartphone users recorded in 2014 will rise to up to 6.1 billion by 2020.
So if you haven’t adapted a mobile shopping environment yet, then it’s safe to say that you’ll be missing out on a lot of potential leads and sales.
This isn’t to say, however, that you should focus your e-commerce efforts on mobile only.
Optimising your site for multi-channel shopping, that is, providing an outstanding shopping experience for all kinds of users regardless of the device they’re using is still the best way to go.
2. Social Sells
Social media has clearly advanced beyond just networking, and it’s expected to gain momentum in the world of e-commerce this year.
This trend is already evident with Facebook Advertising.
The platform provides e-commerce businesses the ability to improve their demographic and location targeting, as well as promote their products and special deals, thus generating a massive ROI.
Pinterest has also rolled out buyable pins, which lets users buy what they see in a Pin, through Apple Pay or their credit card.
There’s so much you can do with social media instead of just liking your favourite celebrity’s posts or sharing cat memes.
2016 is the time to boost your social media presence, so rethink your strategy and look at your social commerce options.
Digital marketer and brand manager Juntae DeLane offers a helpful guide on how to succeed with social selling.
3. Upselling and Cross-selling
As the cost of advertising goes up and profit margins go down, merchants will find themselves stuck on how they can generate more revenue.
One of the best ways to increase sales is through upselling and cross-selling in the checkout process.
These sales techniques have been around for time immemorial, and are often perceived as easier to apply in person than online.
This isn’t exactly true. Some of the world’s most successful e-commerce brands, such as Apple and Amazon, upsell their customers.
Many e-commerce platforms also offer an upsell feature, making it easier for merchants to maximise the value of their customer’s purchase.
The key to successful upselling, though, is offering products or services that are relevant and add value to your customers.
An example of a site practising good upsell tactics is GoDaddy.
They offer upsells only during the checkout process.
4. Loyalty Programs
While online loyalty programs may not have been as successful in the past year, the trend is expected to kick off this 2016.
Adopting online loyalty programs is a great way to retain customers and encourage them to keep coming back, especially in an environment filled with alternatives.
They also help build brand awareness and create the feeling of community with your customers.
For your customer loyalty program to succeed, though, it’s vital that you know your customers first. Also make sure that your rewards program is relevant to your brand.
5. Same-day Delivery
Another trend that is expected to break into the e-commerce world this 2016 is same-day delivery of products.
Especially with the launch of Amazon Prime Now, which has just recently been introduced in the UK and guarantees a one-hour delivery of parcels at no additional cost, the demand for short delivery windows may soon become the norm.
Thus, retailers need to understand that shipping and delivery should no longer be an afterthought but a priority.
The world of e-commerce can be overwhelming at times. It’s a challenge to stay up-to-date while making sure your digital storefront is thriving as it should be because as every smart retailer knows, it’s not just enough that you know about the trends.
You must also create actionable plans from it.
If you want to know how you can tap into these trends and use them to your advantage, feel free to chat with us here at WebGrow.
We may have a few tricks up our sleeves that will help you and your e-commerce site this year.
What do you think about these trends? Do you have fearless forecasts for the e-commerce world this year? Share them with us below!