Is your online business ready for the big change?
E-commerce is still growing by leaps and bounds. In fact, experts confidently predict that e-commerce can easily generate more than $350 billion in sales this year in the US alone while global sales are expected to reach the $1.5 trillion mark.
Despite the extremely positive outlook in the industry, retailers may still be on the losing end if they fail to keep their online stores in sync with the most recent trends in e-commerce. To increase your chances of meeting your business goals, you need to be aware of the changes that are shaping the future of the e-commerce retail industry. Here are some of the most important trends you need to know.
The role of social media platforms is quickly evolving. Merchants can now do more than marketing their brand, engaging their customers and finalizing merchandising decisions on social media sites. With the advent of the buy button on Facebook and Twitter and the Like2Buy platform on Instagram, customers are guaranteed to enjoy a more seamless shopping experience. Some of the brands that currently use this feature include big names such as Target, Nordstrom, Home Depot and Burberry.
More brands will invest in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Research indicates that majority of customers around the world (about 87%) are most likely to patronize brands that invest heavily in CSR. People want to know that they are contributing to a worthy cause and are making a difference in the community. Some of the companies that have the best CSR reputation in the US include Microsoft, Walt Disney, Google, BMW and Daimler.
New technology will be used to improve shopping experience. Many brands will try to figure out how they can use new technology to improve customers’ shopping experience. As such, you can expect to see more brands adopting cloud-based point-of-sale (POS) technology and beacons (technology that provide in-store analytics and marketing solutions). In the same manner, more companies will start experimenting with 3D printing, wearable technology and augmented reality technology to serve the needs of their customers more effectively.
Risk mitigation and data security will play a big role in attracting customers. In addition to a seamless and enjoyable shopping experience, today’s customers want to make sure that their transactions are safe and secure. Apple Pay, which assigns a unique Device Account Number to each phone and transaction-specific security code for each purchase, best exemplifies this trend. By doing this, Apple Pay ensures that the credit or debit card numbers of the customer is never shared with the merchants or transmitted with the payment.
Reverse showroom strategy will be a force to reckon with. According to a survey conducted by BI Intelligence, a subscription-based syndicated research and information service of the Business Insider, 69% of shoppers now prefer reverse showrooming or “webrooming” (the act of checking a product online before heading out to a physical brick-and-mortar store to complete the purchase). Get this right and you can surely influence your customers’ buying decision.