Ecommerce is all the rage right now with good reason. Business is booming! In fact, according to Internet Retailer, U.S. ecommerce sales grew by 15.4% in Q2 2018 year-over-year with sales for the quarter of $127.3 billion. Of course, a good portion of this revenue is based on Amazon, but there is no denying that continued online store sales growth is inevitable. Ecommerce presents a huge opportunity for brands that wish to be masters of their own destiny and create direct connections with their customers. No wonder more health and wellness brands are jumping on the online store bandwagon.
Even with all the focus on ecommerce, some brands still aren’t taking advantage of all the emerging opportunities that ecommerce has to offer. This blog examines some of the biggest and most worthwhile trends in ecommerce that all online store brands should consider implementing.
There is a reason that Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest all offer shopping directly on their networks. Social media users prefer to stay on social media networks when shopping and buying versus visiting an online store to make their purchases. That is why savvy brands are adding Shop buttons to their social media business pages. They realize that allowing your followers to purchase directly is good for the user and good for business. Making it convenient to buy from your brand’s social media page offers a streamlined process that equates to a lower barrier to purchasing. If your brand isn’t using Shop buttons, then you should be because they are easy to install and smart from both a customer service and conversion standpoint.
It’s All About Your Phone:
The reluctance to purchase from your phone is largely becoming a thing of the past. In fact, it is estimated that mobile will represent 70% of ecommerce traffic by the end of the year. Is it any wonder? Most people are virtually glued to their phone 24/7. As such, it is no surprise that shopping via your mobile device is on the rise. With the growth of mobile traffic comes new opportunities for ecommerce stores. Mobile is no longer just about responsive design, it’s about creating an exceptional mobile shopping experience. For instance, multiple clicks and pages in your stores check out process definitely won’t work for a mobile user. It doesn’t provide a pleasant experience for shoppers. However, one click purchasing makes it easy for your customers to pay via mobile, so make this integration a priority (you’re welcome PayPal One-Touch).
Subscription Meets Mainstream:
Subscription used to be something that only cutting-edge ecommerce companies offered. Now subscription services are needed to effectively compete. Today’s online shopper is not only time starved, they also crave ease of purchasing. This means that brands need to get better at anticipating consumers’ needs, and subscription services are one of the best ways to do that. However, there is more to offering subscriptions than meet the eye. It isn’t just about offering a lower price for the subscription, it is also about making subscriptions feel especially curated (or special) for your most valuable shoppers. As a result, subscription services need to offer additional benefits, bonuses and or gifts to make the subscription service feel not only convenient but also of high-value.
Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality:
These are two of our favorite topics at Think, virtual reality and augmented reality. Why? Because they’re just so cool. It is what all digital marketing should aim to be: innovative. Imagine if you could try on an outfit before purchasing. Would that make you more likely to buy? Well that is what companies investing in augmented reality and virtual reality in the ecommerce environment are banking on. It is already happening with home furnishing so why shouldn’t it apply to your body too? This trend has staying power because tackles the need for customer assurance head on by allowing ecommerce companies to take the guess work and the risk out of purchasing. Think of it as testing out the product before purchasing. This trend is emerging so now is the perfect time to think about how the “try before you buy” concept could work for your brand. If you’re interested in learning more about augmented and virtual reality check out our blog series on these topics.
While ecommerce isn’t for the faint in heart, the truth is it’s the perfect time to elevate your customer experience by capitalizing on these trends. As consumer ecommerce expectations increase, your brand cannot only lead through innovation but also through customer satisfaction. That is when you truly separate your brand from the competition. Go for it, the time is now!