May 13, 2016

The Biggest Ecommerce Trends for 2016

Online shopping and ecommerce is now an integral part of consumer behaviour across the globe. It seems we just can’t get enough of the ease and flexibility of scrolling through items online, tapping in our card details and making the most of free returns, rather than rooting through rails, getting harrassed in changing rooms and exploring our favourite high street stores in person.

It’s easy to see the advantages of online shopping to the customer – they can do it where and when they want to, see everything a store has to offer without having to navigate crowds or sales, and advances in logistics means we can often receive our purchases the next day if we want to.

No surprise then, that online shopping is expected to continue to increase in 2016 – according to this infographic, it’s expected to rise by 45% in the USA alone.

But what trends can we expect to see this year? How will the nature of ecommerce change, and how will online retailers adapt to it?

Let’s find out…

Smartphone over desktop

Although it seems like every year seems to bring a rise in mobile technology and it’s influence on a number of industries, it seems like 2016 is no exception for ecommerce.

The amount of traffic online retailers receive from smartphones is already starting to overtake that of desktop, and it seems that the actual revenue generated from mobile is expected to do the same. The use of phones is key here, as it seems that revenue from tablets isn’t thought to fluctuate much in the future.

Customers appear to be getting much more confident about browsing and shopping on their mobile, and this is helped by the number of companies working on improving mobile user experiences, through tailored shopping apps and optimised websites.

Focus on customer experience

As the world of analytics and data about consumers becomes ever more expansive, so does the importance of using it to create a more bespoke, tailored, individual experience for every customer that visits your site.

It seems like the advanced personalization of the online shopping process, and providing a more customer centric experience, is becoming more and more of a priority to businesses, and something they measure their competitive advantage by.

Rather than focusing on numbers and the amount of traffic being driven to their site, online retailers are set to adopt an approach where they think about visitor based metrics and conversion rates for turning those visitors into customers.

There will also be enhancements in the amount of rich content used to create a better customer experience, including things like videos and interactivity – it’s all about giving the customer everything they need to make a buying decision, rather than simply showing them your products and waiting for them to buy.

Faster, more flexible delivery

A key part of giving customers a great online experience is your approach to delivery and returns. Delivering faster than ever before has become a crucial differential between brands, and ease of return is vital for keeping customers happy and turning them into loyal advocates.

Many brands now offer next day and nominated delivery for a fee, and Amazon have taken this one step further with the launch of their Prime Now service, where Prime members in selected available postcodes can receive their items on the same day of purchase, within a two hour window.

The speed of delivery service will only get faster, and online retailers need to keep up to stay in the ecommerce race.

There’s just 3 of the things expected to influence the growth in online shopping through 2016.

What changes have you noticed? Are you an online retailer? If so, what steps are you taking to ensure your ecommerce strategy can keep up with the competition?

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