The Internet has been the single biggest transformation in how we do business. It has created new dynamics in how buyers and sellers engage. It has expanded business reach, lowered operating costs and accelerated response times. Yet, for all of the Internet’s compelling advantages, only a fraction of ecommerce stores launched everyday do eventually become successful and sustainable.
To leverage the power of the Internet, and create an ecommerce store that is mobile-ready, integrates well with your other enterprise systems, and offers convenient and fast service, use the following 7 creative trends to wield the World Wide Web to your advantage.
1. Voice Shopping
Voice search is quickly going mainstream. While text-based search still rules, it’s anticipated that within the coming decade, voice search will eventually become the primary means users navigate search engines. As this transition from text search to voice assistants occurs, voice shopping too is growing in popularity.
“It’s crucial that ecommerce stores adapt today to be prepared for this looming revenue opportunity.”
In the same way retailers have for years paid attention to SEO considerations, they must adjust their product data to conform to the structure of voice-based search. Things to pay attention to include buyer context, longer product descriptions and conversational language.
2. Mid-Year Sales
Black Friday is the busiest shopping day in America and marks the start of the lucrative (for retailers and other sellers) holiday season. It accounts for more than a third of many retailer’s annual revenue. On the other hand, July is one of the quieter months in retail. People are on vacation and schools haven’t opened. To shore up your languishing ecommerce sales, consider offering jaw-dropping discounts in July.
This trend first gained national prominence in 2015 when Amazon launched the first Prime Day. During Prime Day, Prime Members enjoyed the same discounts as they would on Black Friday. It was a resounding success so it wasn’t long before other retailers and ecommerce stores joined in. Today, there are plenty of mid-year sales that coincide with Prime Day which has since been dubbed Black Friday in July.
Why is this important? Black Friday is associated with phenomenal discounts, signals to buyers that are getting a great deal and therefore makes them more likely to buy. Black Friday in July is quickly taking root as an established trend. You can take advantage to promote your business and draw new customers.
3. Border-Free Ecommerce
The Internet has made it easy for businesses of all sizes to go global. The absence of borders means many customers are open to buying from an overseas website. This is driven by a quest for better prices, greater variety and higher quality products. But creating an ecommerce site that is amenable to borderless commerce requires deliberate, well-thought-out action.
You have to embark on research around the requirements, develop a comprehensive plan and create a platform that supports the diversity of currencies, taxes and languages that come with serving an international audience. In particular, pay attention to the local perceptions in different markets, an efficient and secure logistics system, local payment options, regulatory requirements, local quality standards, refunds and product exchange processes, and after-sales service.
4. Augmented Reality
One of the biggest impediments to ecommerce is buyers’ inability to visualize a product. The sensory elements that help consumer decision-making in brick and mortar stores are virtually lost online. Augmented reality (AR) is tackling this challenge by bringing life to the customer’s imagination.
The ability to visualize how furniture, jewelry or clothing would look like in their homes or on them makes them make the purchase decision with greater certainty. This increases conversions, reduces returns and raises customer satisfaction. Gain an edge over the competition by being one of the first to deploy AR.
5. B2C Capabilities for B2B Ecommerce
Market and technological changes are blurring the lines between B2B and B2C. Today, B2B customers expect the same personalized, responsive online buying experience that would previously only be available to B2C customers. If you are a B2B ecommerce store, you can no longer get by with just offering product information as well as online ordering.
B2B customers demand specific pricing and product catalogs, bulk ordering and discounts, minimum order quantity/value, restricted access, and varied payment options and terms. They look forward to fast, easy and intuitive service. B2B ecommerce is moving toward a consistently high quality buyer experience, mobile compatibility and data analytics.
6. Influencer Marketing
In an era where online fake news is making it hard to distinguish truth from fiction, people are increasingly turning to influential persons to set them on the right path. As people trust people over brands, online sellers are turning to influencer marketing to grow their profile and boost their sales.
Celebrities were once the most sought-after influencers but thanks to the enormous cost of an A-list celebrity endorsement, influencers now include YouTube stars, bloggers, social activists, industry experts and more. Influencers typically have an immensely loyal fan base that will not hesitate to act on their recommendations.
To maximize the return on influencer marketing, identify an influencer who has sway over your target market, create meaningful content the influencer would promote, and then measure the performance.
7. Subscription Box
The subscription box is a rapidly growing phenomenon in the world of ecommerce. A store sends their customers a package of items they’ve curated. The content of the subscription box may include everything from kits and cosmetics, to pet products and fashion. The box plays on the delight in a pleasantly unpredictable surprise.
For the subscription box to work, you must know your audience, personalize the box in line with your audience needs and make use of data analytics to deliver superior experiences.
Wrapping It Up
By taking advantage of these ecommerce trends, you can position your online store for long-term success.