In recent times, the rising consumption of social media and internet based services has narrowed the barrier between the customers and e-commerce retailers. In fact, the manner in which consumers search and purchase products have undergone changes and the way it looks, the process is definite to undergo more modifications with time.
E-commerce without a shadow of a doubt is growing exponentially and provides a huge market for big, medium and small business names. However, there is a huge cut-throat competition which is ramping faster than the growth of this potential market. With 2017 around the corner, we thought of presenting the top eight trends that would have huge implications in 2017 and which need to be carefully considered by custom Ecommerce development companies for effective digital marketing strategies.
1. New content formats- Video, images & Infographics
Today, the attention span of the consumers is limited to a few precious minutes. The content format which impresses the most in those precious minutes would see the biggest pay-offs. Image and videos are capable of providing bigger impacts and better impressions than any of the other traditional formats. For brands, these new formats could easily sell their points or stories. From a consumer perspective, these formats present an easier way to comprehend things and best of all could be shared with the larger community thanks to social and electronic media. So, the use of images, infographics and videos are going to increase in long term and these formats would help in increasing the popularity as well as the competition of the e-commerce ventures.
2. Mobile commerce
The cheaper and easy access to the internet and smart devices along with the rapid growth of smartphone users is having a big impact on the Ecommerce universe. In fact, mobile commerce is rising up to be the biggest constituent of the E-commerce market around the world. With many E-commerce companies understood this trend, we could see more investment and strategies towards mobilizing these smart customers. Most brands have already developed mobile apps for capturing customers interested in shopping from their smartphones and smart devices. In 2017, we expect the brands to enhance the features of the mob apps for further capitalizing this trend.
3. Multi-channel shopping
With the increasing number of options available, customers today tend to analyze the prices of the products on different online and offline stores. With most online retailers providing offers and discounters, customers prefer to take the multi-channel shopping route. By this manner, apart from the regular sales through website, this trend promotes the multi-merchant system. Moreover, customers are increasingly getting attracted to multi-vendor sites which have a larger number of products and options for consumers and we see this trend increase come 2017.
4. Descriptive text/content
Short & concise short description or texts for the products and services has been the traditional technique employed by most e-commerce websites. The technique helped customers to quickly understand about the product or service and a couple of images helped in bettering the sales pitch. However now, for a large number of products and services consumers want to know more than the short texts. In fact, for many products and services apart from images and videos they prefer long-form content which would allow them to know each and every detail about the product and service. We see a trend of seeing long content becoming increasingly informative and provided to consumers to earn their trust and confidence, rather than being just a sales pitch.
5. Engaging Consumers
One of the biggest reasons that shoppers visited physical/brick-and-mortar stores were because of the personal interactions/engagements possible. All the stores had store personnel who were ready to address any of the queries and have interesting conversions. These interactions have largely been unavailable in online stores and retailers.
However, recently many big brands and online stores have started making use of techniques that could provide some consumer interactions such as live chat support, demo videos, helpful popups or product information etc. E-stores are now increasingly investing in technologies that would provide real-time engagement with consumers to help them have the same ease of shopping from physical store and we see a big leap in coming years especially from 2017.
6. Social Commerce to take Center Stage
With the rise in social media platforms and users, social commerce is also rising up and the sky is the limit in 2017 and beyond. Social media is providing retailers gain invaluable insights and high conversion referrals and helping them achieve high click-through rates and ROI. Consumers feel more engaged and interactive with social selling. Social media platforms such as Instagram allow concerns to pass on comments and add likes to product images, thereby generating more social consumers helping in bringing more business.
7. Virtual Sales Forces Will Become the New “Status Quo”
Another big prediction for 2017 is related to the sales force. Similar to the point made earlier, the retailer does understand the need of a similar in-person experience available in physical stores for online shoppers. In addition to interactive support features such as chat, email or phone, brands, and retailers are now looking at having live sales assistants /virtual sales force to assist consumers with their concerns and questions. Moreover, online ventures are now increasingly focussed on integrating artificial intelligence with their existing features as these would enable online stores to better serve consumers and at times be proactive when it comes to doing business. In short, we would see a similar personal shopping experience which is currently available to offline consumers available to online consumers in coming years thanks to the virtual sales force, new technologies, and artificial intelligence capabilities.
8. Real-Time, Signal-Driven Analytics
One of the drawbacks with conventional e-commerce analytics is that it take a long time to notice a pattern/problem with respect to the business. However, with real-time driven analytics, business would able to monitor, analyze customer activities in real time. This helps business to better assist consumers and also help in resolving issues more easily, thereby improving customer engagement.
The taste and needs of customers are fast changing thanks to ever-changing and constantly improving technology. The customer now demands faster innovations and anticipate e-commerce stores to change with times, bettering each time and be ever ready for future trends. Understanding these future trends, help business in not only winning new shoppers and retaining customers but would help in their rise as industry leaders.
Promatics is an ISO 9001:2008 certified offshore web and mobile application development company with a strong team of 100+ highly skilled IT experts delighting SMEs across USA, Europe and APAC. Our services and solutions help clients to achieve tangible business value and remain competitive in today’s evolving marketplaces.