Ecommerce has become a huge business, and a significant part of the U.S. economy. The average consumer spends over $1800 per year on online shopping. The projected market revenue for year is expected to be well over $300 million.
Like so much of our world these days, ecommerce is inherently tied to technology. This means that there are constantly advances happening which can totally change or disrupt a small businesses way of operating. This makes ecommerce both steady and volatile at the same time. Exciting, right?
In a business this reliant on tech, whether it’s how you are running your store, what is happening with your platform, or how your users are engaging with your business, it’s critical to stay aware and ahead of the trends.
Here are some of the latest trends in ecommerce moving into 2017.
Ecommerce To Go
You might be aware that mobile traffic (smartphone and tablet) has overtaken the traditional desktop traffic, and is gaining more ground every day. Well, as of this year, mobile now also accounts for over 50% of all ecommerce traffic. That means customers are now just as likely, if not MORE likely to browse and make purchases in your online store from their phones as they are from their computers.
This represents a huge shift, as in the past, even as mobile browsing has increased people were still more inclined to “window shop” on their phones but make purchases on their computers. No longer.
Ecommerce store owners need to make sure their online stores are not just mobile-friendly, but mobile-fantastic. Too often, mobile-friendly tends to become synonymous with “acceptable”. But an acceptable experience on a smartphone or tablet is not going to cut it for 50% of your store’s traffic. The more people coming to your store on their phones, the better the experience needs to be for them. Having shorter listing titles, a prominent search bar and a one or two-column display are all design tweaks that can help your customers have a better mobile experience.
Alongside the growth of ecommerce has been the precipitous growth of social media usage. People are more involved in their online social networks than ever before, and there are more social networks to be aware of than ever before.
When it comes to ecommerce businesses and social media, channels like Twitter and Facebook have become customers preferred way of communicating with their favorite brands. Whether it is for customer service and support or for sharing their excitement about a promotion, social media and ecommerce are deeply intertwined. This is nothing new, of course, it’s just that the link is only getting stronger.
What is new, is social selling. Between standalone services like Soldsie, integrations with platforms like Shopify, or the social networks taking it on themselves, ecommerce sellers now have the ability to sell directly through their social channels. At this point, participating in social selling isn’t a “must” for online sellers, but it’s getting there. At the very least, it is a great way to increase both engagement and conversion.
Content Means Commerce
The number one reason why people follow brands on social media is because of really great content. We’ve talked about inbound marketing before. This is where it really pays off. When you produce great content on your blog and social media channels, it doesn’t just result in page views, it results in sales.
Why? Because great content makes for a better user experience. And 64% of people say that their experience as a customer has more influence on their buying decisions than price.
But it’s not just experience, it’s trust. When you use your blog to speak knowledgably about a topic, or create YouTube videos with step-by-step tutorials, or show off cool, fun and engaging pictures on your Instagram account – these things make you an authority, and help to build trust in your brand with customers. That’s why creating content needs to be a central part of your marketing strategy.
As we move forward toward the end of 2016 and the beginning of 2017, look for these trends to start playing a huge part in the ecommerce landscape. And don’t say we didn’t warn you. Call us today to strategize about smart changes to implement to make 2017 your business' best year yet!