New E-commerce Trends
Over the past few years we have seen a huge change in the way people interact online and the way business is conducted. Today, we can say that most of the business transactions or commitments are made online. We cannot think of any business running successfully in this era without online presence. Consumer’s source of information has changed from billboards, newsletters, advertisements etc. to online information, which has forced businesses to make sure that their E-commerce process is easy and accessible to the consumers or potential customers.
The number of consumers making online purchases is increasing day-by-day. The purchasing trend of consumers has increased the number of click and brick businesses. The expected online retail business for America is $224.2 billion this year. The increase in online shopping has provided businesses an opportunity to take their product to a larger audience.
We have compiled a list of ecommerce trends that will provide an insight for the direction online shopping is heading:
Social ecommerce, we all have heard about it. It usually aims to enrich online shopping by providing suggestions for the product from people you personally know. In the last decade, marketers were fanatically looking for a hit line to represent their products. Well, time has changed now. Fan reviews, ratings, status updates, likes, comments etc. makes the product so easy to market that companies had never thought before. If I am to buy a camera, I would first ask for my friend’s suggestions and see what they are using. The impact of social suggestions would have impact on my decision to make a purchase.
Fan to Fan, Not Brand to Fan:
In the beginning Facebook was a place where people socialized, talk to friends, and get updates on what other are up to. Today, it has evolved with Brands interacting with customers, customers sharing and talking about brands. We all must have used an application, which a brand built to attract people. Brands specially work with social media experts to create customized Facebook applications for their users, to make sure that the interaction increases. Just a heads up for brands, make sure you don’t interact with users on their personal conversations and provide feedback on the user’s questions in a timely manner.
More merchandise, more merchandising:
With Ecommerce, this is a fact that online access means more sellers, more products and obviously more choices for the consumers. Manufacturers can offer their entire catalog of the products to the consumers, unlike the retailers who have limited number of items available to offer to the consumers. This doesn’t mean that retailers have limited resources, they can offer custom and one of a kind products to the consumers. Consumers like to have options and if the product is customizable, users sometimes go crazy about that.
With the evolution of Ecommerce, we have also seen a huge boom in the marketplaces where people visit to purchase or sale their products. These marketplaces help retailers to reach millions of new customers around the world. A very renowned brand “Amazon” is the best example for marketplaces I think of right now. In the last year (2011), Amazon’s sales were recorded to $48 billion. An interesting fact that I came to know about Amazon, while researching on the topic, is that, 34% of the items sold on Amazon come through Amazon Marketplace.
New ways to shop:
Today, businesses of any size needs to be creative in their approach of marketing online. They just cannot rely on the old marketing techniques now. There are a number of choices for online business models that businesses can use to receive more transactions. A technique I have noted a number of times used by many retailers or sellers is the limited time offer e.g. Groupon and Living Social.
The Portable Store:
Huge number of users now accesses the web through mobile devices, according to a survey 81% of the smartphone users access the web using their mobile devices. This is the reason; resellers get more sales that have their Ecommerce site optimized for mobile devices.
All of you, who have made an online purchase, would know that free shipping is now the standard for most of the Ecommerce sites. This is treated as an additional benefit to the consumer. A survey suggests that 75% of users abandon their shopping cart if free shipping is not available. In the last year alone, 52% of the transactions included free shipping.
We know that Ecommerce will continue to advance and evolve with time, the above listed are just a few trends that are being followed currently, it is possible that some of the trends (listed above) might evolve more in the future or might become obsolete. Above all the trends, businesses needs to make sure that the quality of the product and the quality of customer support they offer are highly competitive, as these are the things which produces re-orders for Ecommerce site. If you run a Ecommerce site, we would love to hear your thoughts about the trends we have not listed here or provide more information to make the post complete.