As the steady growth of e-commerce continues, the importance of online shops and taking advantage of new trends is a key. Some of the trends below began in 2016 while others are just emerging this year with a bright future ahead of them. From content to AI, we’ll talk a little about some of the biggest trends why you should get up to speed.
It’s all about personalized content
Nearly 70% of Americans shop online regularly and sales online are continuously increasing. In order for a store to remain successful, it has to have an online presence. But presence isn’t enough, you need to be unique, eye-catching, original and create a buzz. The consumer needs to feel that their experience of your website is no ordinary thing. One way to do this is to ensure that the consumer will receive recommendations in real time based on market trends, past purchases, brand interactions, and demographics.
A great example of offering users a special experience can be seen on the L’Oréal Paris website. The website and a mobile friendly version of it, allows consumers to “try on’ makeup. This allows potential buyers to play around and try on different shades while the company collects information about the individual’s interests, leading to ultra-personalization. This can also be a great opportunity to offer customized coupons which have a major influence on the purchasing decision.
It’s all about the consumer
Some experts say that 2017 is the year of the customer experience. Even though mobile-commerce is increasing, at the end of the day, consumers still prefer to do most of their shopping from their desktop. They will still search through their phone but the final transaction, especially when it’s a large purchase, will probably be done through a bigger screen. It’s therefore extremely important to have a seamless transition between all the various channels. Impulse purchases should be made to fit mobile-commerce (such as buying tickets to the movies or booking a restaurant) since it turns out users check their phone over 100 times a day in order to search for items or information.
In order to keep the process smooth and the consumer happy, experts recommend that businesses adopt some of the tools that search engines have perfected and that users enjoy, such as making sure your content is rich, meaning it includes pictures, videos, voice reviews, etc. There should be an option for auto completion in the search tab and smarter search filters. The website should be location based and have a clear division into categories. Another important aspect is to have a tolerance for misspellings as people often misspell things when they are searching (and especially if they are in a hurry or multitasking).
It’s all about saving time
When shopping in a physical store one of the biggest bonuses is being able to take home what you purchased immediately. You know what they say; “time is money”. This year we’ll be seeing a lot more same day deliveries. It’s still a cost issue, as same day delivery is obviously more expensive but companies are starting to take initiative in order to reach higher customer satisfaction. Until a solution is found another option now given is drop off points at stores near the customer’s home, that way they can still have the same day delivery while saving on delivery costs.
It’s all about AI
As important as personalization is, true personalization is unfortunately not possible but this year businesses will try to achieve it chatbots and other technologies. So, what are chatbots? Chatbots are one of the most important breakthroughs in marketing technology, and although they’ve been around since 2016 they are really gaining traction this year. They impersonate people and communicate directly with buyers. For now, they are still referred to as messaging bots as talking to them is done through messaging apps. Once these chatbots move into more personal elements such as voice, we will have reached a new and more personalized level of communication and from there the options are endless.
It’s all about you
E-commerce has always been focused on the consumer but it seems that this year it’s set a new standard. From personalization to content, to the illusion of a human representative through chatbots, videos and unique websites, seamless transactions and saving time, most trends revolve around making the consumer feel special and comfortable. Finding the right balance between personalization and uniqueness will take extra thought on behalf of the business. Whether it’s an interactive video, a chatbot to imitate a personal connection and using the element of voice to create personalization, trying new technologies and ways to improve the customer experience will ultimately improve your online store.
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