Posted by Indusa Admin on May 30, 2017 12:36 pm
It’s strange to think that in a few decades we might forget what it was like to visit a store, buy something and pay in cash over the counter. That idea might seem a little farfetched right now, but take into account that ecommerce is constantly upgrading itself with innovations, improved discovery, and awesome ways to make a purchase. Likewise, if you look at the pace at which ecommerce trends are moving, the time may not be far away when products are not delivered by humans, but by drones.
Whether you’re an existing player, or are planning to start a new retail venture, for you to evolve in the highly competitive market and win your audience, it is vital to keep track of all the latest ecommerce trends and ideas. However, an online store is not enough; you must also collect, analyze, and test your data while keeping customer ease and buying behavior in mind.
“You can’t wait for customers to come to you. You have to figure out where they are, go there and bring them back to your store.” – Paul Graham, Y Combinator
7 Ecommerce Trends Changing the Way We Shop
Let’s look at some of the most modern ecommerce trends that are here to stay in the retail sector:
1. Personalization Using Chatbots
While introducing chatbots for Messenger Platform at the 2017 F8 conference, Mark Zuckerberg said, “We think you should message a business just the way you would message a friend.” Designed to recreate the customer experience with businesses while replacing it with the experience they have with friends, chatbots are driven by a predefined set of rules, offering intelligent replies to user queries. These bots are often powered with artificial intelligence , which enables them to learn and adapt to complex queries and find quick solutions (just as any human would normally do, or better). So instead of going through the complete website, customers can chat with a bot which will understand the requirement by asking relevant questions and then come up with recommendations – all this within the span of a few minutes.
2. Omni-Channel and Multi-Channel Shopping
According to a study by Accenture, in 2017, 50% of customers are expected to buy online and pick up their packages from in-stores. Nowadays, consumers don’t just have an option of using different devices to search for products, they can also choose from a variety of channels. They can first see a product on their mobile phones, and then check it out in person at the mall, followed up with research from their desktop, then finally buy it from their tablets. Today’s customer expects brands to keep up with their changing devices for shopping. Retailers that will be able to deliver omni-channel and multi-channel experiences (best of both worlds) will be the ones to boost sales in the coming years.
3. Same Day Delivery
Delivery and returns have always been a challenge with online shopping. But so far, retailers are implementing effective measures – several retailers offer same day or next day delivery options. However, customers expect more of this service. According to a Forrester report, 29% of consumers are willing to pay extra for same-day delivery. The shipping page is one of the largest cart abandonment points in the checkout process, so it is worth giving customers what they want. Although product delivery through drones and droids (ground based delivery agents) might take a while to materialize, 2017 will see a rise in local drop-off points for online orders to keep up with same-day delivery requirements.
4. Artificial Intelligence
Customers have their own unique choice and preference. In fact, even the phrases and keywords that are used to search for a product varies from customer to customer. 2017 is the beginning of an era for interactive shopping (personalized to customer preferences). Customer behavior will closely be observed (and adapted to), with the help of real-time analytics and artificial intelligence programs. AI will empower brands and marketers with valuable customer intelligence; these insights not only improve, but also anticipate futuristic consumer needs and make data-driven decisions. E-retailers can leverage virtual reality to provide a transformational, virtual shopping experience, with a touch and feel concept, while doing away with the brick and mortar concept. Brands can create personalized customer experiences, support customer service and eliminate pain points effectively.
5. Social Selling
Social selling (or social commerce) is an important element for online sellers in 2017. By leveraging various social platforms to sell products and services directly, ecommerce companies are doing away with the process of redirecting the customer to a different landing page – customers can now directly buy the product from the social platform itself.
Social selling isn’t just about gaining access to contacts but about building relationships and strategically waiting for the right moment to join the conversation – it actually allows you to present yourself as a solution to a current problem rather than becoming just another irritant to swipe and delete. You can add ‘buy buttons’ and shopping features to your Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook pages and encourage followers to purchase products and services directly.
6. Say Goodbye to Cash
Mobile payments are on the rise as smartphone users are slowly getting used to contactless payments. According to Ecbilla, as the reach of internet continues to grow with brands and consumers gaining digital prominence in the dynamic space, about 55 percent of online sales will be driven by cashless transactions by 2020. Ecbilla also states that mobile wallet share is set to double to reach to 15 percent from the current 8 percent.
According to a report from Juniper Research, global spend through mobile wallets is set to increase to $1.35 trillion in 2017. So make sure to include RFID, NFC, and Bluetooth in your retail strategies for 2017 and embrace the technology of tomorrow.
7. Ecommerce to M-commerce – a Transition
The world of ecommerce is evolving at a very fast pace. New trends emerge every year and early adopters are the ones who get rewarded. According to Cisco, by 2020, at least 80% of mobile data traffic will originate from mobile devices. 35% of global shoppers have said that mobile will become their main purchasing tool. With the increasing use of smartphones, users will make the most of online shopping from anywhere, at anytime.
Remember that in today’s digital age, consumers have more options than ever to fulfill their needs; to remain at the top of their priority list, you must offer the best possible user experience. Watch out for trends and strategize accordingly.
About the Author – Manan Thakkar
Manan Thakkar is a Solution Architect who spearheads&Indusa’s strategic initiatives to maximize customer benefits. His expertise is in enterprise consulting and solution design globally and he plays a key role in institutionalizing mobility to position Indusa’s services in leading enterprises.
Contributing Author: Malavika Nityanandam