Whether you want to build on last year’s momentum or take things in a new direction, here is a guide to six top tips and trends that can put you on the path to eCommerce super-stardom.
1. Mobile Revenue Will Continue to Surge
If it seems like everyone’s trumpeting the fact that mobile-driven eCommerce keeps growing, it’s because it is. More and more people are shopping on mobile devices, with the think tank Gartner predicting that half of all American digital commerce revenue will come from mobile payments. They do note that there’ll be a difference in growth in various sectors, like big-box stores taking their time with this because the in-store shopping experience is still important, but that you can expect to see more updates in the way of mobile payments being introduced.
2. Buyers Will Want to Replicate In-Store Experiences Online
When a shopper visits a brick-and-mortar store, they’re able to find a sales associate and ask them questions in real time. In an online marketplace, they have to post their questions and wait for the merchant to write back. It’s one of the main reasons why offline shopping is still alive and kicking, but consumers are showing they’re expecting the same in the digital world, too. If you can offer customer support in real time, like with chat boxes, then you can increase your chances of landing more sales.
3. Your Competition Will be Stiffer Than Ever
If you’ve noticed you’ve had to devote more time and energy to edging out your competitors, you can expect that to increase even more in 2017 for two main reasons:
- Traditionally offline brands are increasingly making the jump online by setting up virtual stores that complement, or even exceed, their brick-and-mortar offerings. With little-to-no overhead, it just makes sense for them to do so.
- More and more startups are entering the market precisely because it’s less expensive for them to open up a physical shop. And by being able to take their work with them wherever they travel to in the world (all they need is a computer and wifi), they’re not constrained by old business needs.
4. Big Data Will Play a Bigger Role
There was a fascinating long-form piece in the New York Times about how Google suddenly and drastically improved Google Translate. The author talked about how Artificial Intelligence’s goalposts are constantly shifting as we redefine what A.I. actually is and does, and you can expect to see more of its effects in eCommerce in 2017. It’s kind of why Facebook has become such a behemoth: it’s mastered the art of marketing both quantitatively and qualitatively by reaching huge numbers of people in very focused ways. If you don’t yet have some form of ad-targeting strategy in place, it’s time to get on-board.
5. Links for Purchases Embedded in Videos
If you’ve ever created a video talking about your products (and if you haven’t, you need to right away), then the next step to take is start overlaying links in the videos so consumers can more directly purchase items. Shoppable videos appear to be primed for a huge increase in 2017 and it should be on your to-do list of one of the main ways you sell products.
6. Subscriptions are Poised to Become More Important and Prevalent
Guess what? Nabbing more sales is almost directly proportional to how many subscribers you have. Think of Netflix’s growing numbers compared to users who see a movie at the cinema, or how Uber has grown hugely compared to how many people hail down a taxi. Why? It’s because users are showing their preference for paying one lump sum (i.e. subscription) than paying once and bigly. Millennials prefer to have unlimited access and not see a bill every single time so they can spread costs around more evenly. This tip can be especially useful to you if you sell items that are used regularly, like groceries, beauty or health items, alcohol or more.