E-commerce is a booming market and looks set to continue its meteoric expansion this year. The average consumer currently spends around $1,800 per year on e-commerce and this will only go up. However, the market is constantly adapting and changing so it’s important to keep a close eye on emerging trends and big changes in 2017. This year is expected to be an innovators market so e-commerce will all about adapting fast, understanding your customers’ needs and responding to them in the right way. So what are the big trends you should watch for?
Analytics have always been a crucial channel for understanding customer behavior and learning to do things better. But new trends show an increased focus on real-time high-level analytics. So what does this mean? Basically mapping and understanding different customer actions and profiles on a micro as well as the macro level is becoming more important. It’s not enough just to have data, the data needs to happen now and in a way that can be easily transformed into actionable items to constantly improve customers’ UX of your e-commerce store. There needs to be data on every conversion point and a way of following each and every path a customer can take.
A move towards Asia
For a long time, the focus has been on the US. It is a huge, growing and central market to e-commerce. However, that doesn’t mean it will be the place to focus energies forever. Right now the US market is still growing, however, it is reaching a saturation point, which means we are likely to see a plateau in the market soon. So what’s next for e-commerce? Well, the Asian market is beginning to boom, and in particular, China. So what does that mean for e-commerce store owners? Well, now is a good time to go global and begin targeting the Asian market (or at least begin thinking about it). Of course, this isn’t a strategy that will work for everyone since a plateauing US market doesn’t mean a bad market. Everything depends on your business and your customers. And while there is no need for physical infrastructure when it comes to expanding operations, there are a variety of other challenges (cultural, languages and more).
The worlds of social media and commerce are intersecting. With places like Facebook Marketplace, buying online doesn’t even mean logging out of social media or browsing specific websites or apps. But this trend means more than just marketplaces on social media; it is a move towards e-commerce marketplaces or stores inside of nested social media sites. The good news is that this trend makes it even easier to leverage social media brand ambassadors and user-generated content.
Online reviews move to other mediums
For a long time online reviews have been crucial to not only promoting online businesses, but to gaining the basic trust needed to bring customers to a store and complete a purchase. While they are gaining volume, popularity and trust, the medium of reviews is only now beginning to widen. At the beginning reviews were all about text, but today you can move online comments to much more personal and interactive mediums like video, gifs and even voice to keep customers engaged and shopping for longer.
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