You should know by now that the rise of ecommerce is no secret. With ecommerce global sales accounting for $2.29 trillion in 2017, Statista predicts the number to double by 2021. This presents ecommerce opportunities of colossal proportions to any startup owner.
But don’t let its sheer growth get to you. Why? Because while the ecommerce revolution is taking place, its future is still uncertain. The same practices and technologies quickly become obsolete, and new buying habits and trends can always threaten established practices.
In other words, you need to keep a close watch on the latest trends and technologies if you want to survive. Without it, you are setting yourself up for failure. Here is a list of four trends that are shaping the next wave of the ecommerce industry.
Personalization of Ecommerce Brands
Ecommerce branding is the secret behind much of the ecommerce success in the US. And its importance is not going away anytime soon. When a brand has a personality through which it can resonate with your target audience, the more sales it can help you generate.
And why would it not? Many brands are increasingly turning to Instagram instead of Facebook and Twitter to capture their audience.
And this is why exactly why ecommerce branding is absolutely critical. As customers become more comfortable shopping online, it gives you an excellent opportunity to brand your store using innovative tools and technologies. If you don’t, you will lose out on personalization and an enriching customer experience.
Don’t forget that your competitors are on the same journey to present a customized experience to every customer. If your store brand doesn’t engage your target audience, you will push them away to your competitors. And this also works the other way round.
Take the example of “American Internet Cowboys” Jeff Raider and Andy Katz-Mayfield. They were considered mad when they bought a razor company, Harry’s Razors, for $100 million.
Harry’s Razors was just another razor company before the owners completely rebranded it into something original. The idea was simple.For people who were done wasting money on expensive brands like Gillette, Harry’s Razors presented the cheapest cartridge refill for only 20 cents. The result, it led to a revolution. So much so that it even pushed giants like Gillette to offer cheaper razors. And that is the power of branding.
Streamlined Automated Sales Pipelines
Regardless of which online store you run, you know that the customer does not visit and purchase in one go. Customers go through various pathways to end up in the checkout lane. This is why a sales pipeline is used to map their journey to maximize conversions.
But, given the demands, you should invest in a state-of-the-art sales automation tool. The latest tools will not only help you create a pipeline of high-quality leads but also automate your inventory stocking and reorder levels to streamline the entire value chain.
If you are not enjoying the benefits of lower costs and greater resource efficiencies now might be the time to think about it. For example, look at this template. It will give you a glimpse of just how efficient a visual template can be for your sales process.
The Make or Break of Web Design
Despite the importance of having a good ecommerce store web design, there are often online retailers who tend to overlook it. A fresh and quick website is an instant audience grabber. It locks the interest of your visitors and prompts them to buy from your store.
And the fact that mobile is the way forward, it should be enough of a reason to alarm you. The biggest evidence lies in the fact that the mobile commerce market will reach $218 billion by 2019. Some even believe that this market will comprise 45% of overall sales!
With a highly responsive website, the opportunities are almost endless.Imagine booking a haircut and then having the money delivered to your account before the customer even makes it to the store. Who wouldn’t like this model where payments and deals are closed in seconds?
And it gets better when your website is optimized for mobile phones. Visitors love to hit the ‘buy now’ button on their phones since it presents the ideal selling opportunity. You can use all of the apps on your phone as a pathway to close a deal. And if you retarget a customer through Facebook, they just have to tap the ‘open the app’ button to be taken to your store.
So if you don’t want to get swayed by the competition, make sure your ecommerce website is mobile optimized and is smooth to navigate.
24 Hour Express Deliveries
Shorter or ‘express’ delivery times are a winner for your ecommerce sales. This may be a no-brainer. But developing a reliable distribution process that guarantees same-day deliveries is no small task.
Amazon, being a world leader in ecommerce, is even deploying drones to shorten delivery times, ushering a new era of customer satisfaction. Reduced delivery times, improved products’ accessibility, increased convenience, and lower prices are some of the key factors, according to Entrepreneur.
This concept is seen as revolutionary since the primary value of ecommerce, as opposed to a bricks and mortar store, is the ease of ordering items quickly and at low prices.
Your customers are better off ordering something they know will be delivered on their doorstep the next day. If you can’t promise them this, you need to take the right measures to speed up your ordering and delivery process. Check for canceled orders and figure out why a customer abandoned a checkout cart.
What the Future Holds
The ecommerce of the future is engaging and mobile-driven. Yet, it is also incredibly fast and volatile. This means that as an ecommerce store owner, you need to embrace changes and be always quick to adapt to new opportunities and developments.
Among the many strategies that you should invest in are faster checkout, personalized offers, quicker loading pages, more payment gateways, click-on-shop options, and automated sales management. If you overlook these elements, the competition will outrun you.
Let’s be clear, you may not be able to go head-to-head with retail giants like Amazon. But, you can present a unique and specialized value (like Harry’s razor blades), and create an experience that leaves your visitors asking for more.
This year in 2018, online shopping will become faster due to the integration of various shopping widgets inside social media albums. That is good news for most of us. But for others, who are still using five-year-old plans, it is bad news.
So make sure you assess your current strategy. See how you can make a more customer-centric experience that leaves nothing to the imagination.
Got any other future predictions for ecommerce? Tell us in the comments section below.
Erica Silva is a blogger who loves to discover and explore the world around her. She writes on everything from marketing to technology, science, and brain health. She enjoys sharing her discoveries and experiences with readers and believes her blogs can make the world a better place. You can follow her on Twitter.