The fact that the e-commerce industry has been steadily growing is nothing new in the world of the Internet. A prediction by Internet Retailer claims that online spending in the U.S. will generate $355 billion in 2016 and this number will continue to surpass the $400 billion mark each year by 2018.
Online shopping was up by 45% in 2016 and there’s no sign of this trend slowing down. Without an innovative attitude, you might find yourself lagging behind and not sufficiently meeting the growing needs of your customers. While nobody can predict the exact future of e-commerce, you need to stay on top of your game to grow your online business. These three top ecommerce trends and developments will continue to shape the e-commerce industry.
Top eCommerce Trends for 2017 and Beyond
Monitor Web Analytics to Increase Business Margins
One of the biggest 2017 ecommerce trends is that of companies leveraging web analytics to provide deeper insight in the way their customers behave and engage. When you collect user data, you begin to create a more complete user profile. But without a comprehensive way to collect this data, it will be more challenging to figure out better data marketing decisions. Big data and predictive analysis increase business margins. For the first half of 2016, companies who used predictive analysis have already enjoyed 73% higher sales than those who have never done it.
More expansive and integrated platforms will continue to be the norm where the focus will be on incorporating all tasks as a “one stop shop” – from marketing, sales, service as well as predictive click fraud analytics. Having all these services all under one roof makes it possible to collect data and algorithms for your next strategy.
One such example is how user behavior translates into data to help run your business more efficiently. E-commerce platforms like Shopping Cart Elite have built-in tag managers that allow you to tag all your traffic sources so you can learn about specific traffic sources and how well they are converting. Let’s see an example in action when advertising with Google Shopping. Businesses and companies that bid too high on keywords might find in their data analysis that their results have been showing up in the Google search results instead of Google Shopping. At first glance, that may seem like a good return on investment until a business finds out that the visitors clicking on those same ads from Google Search Results are not looking to shop for the items, but rather are looking for images, coupons or randomly search, which means no return for your investment. This is where TEA software that is built into integrated platforms like shopping cart elite can give you the bigger implications of user behavior and how this impacts traffic and conversion. A business working with integrated platforms that provide this kind of data analysis of user behavior in real time, will begin to understand that by lowering their bid on keywords, their business’s targeted ads will only show up when their target audience specifically clicks on Google Shopping. These comprehensive reports also allow you to see if the specific traffic source produced a conversion, window shopping, clickfraud or checkout abandonment.
Provide More Sell Moments with Real Time Customer Service
Another e-commerce trend in 2017 continues to be the sales force. As retailers realize that shoppers will not compromise on the convenience of online shopping along with the in-person experience of a store, more retailers will be looking to provide a strong virtual customer service experience to accommodate the growing consumer need. By the end of 2016, 89% of executives believe that customer experience will be their primary mode of competition.
Using predictive analytics combined with actionable widgets to target user behavior can increase conversions by 50%. For example, if a visitor enters your e-commerce site website looking for a specific product, often they might be hesitant about paying the price and still, they try to leave the browser tab to continue to shop around at which time, a popup can immediately appear saying “Buy this now and get 20% off.” Another example of an actionable widget can happen when clicking on a woman’s category for example, that then defines that shopper as a female and as a result, the shopping experience renders the content, promotions, and the color theme to be gender specific.
As you can see, combining real time predictive analytics with ecommerce data can make endless possibilities that work for your e-commerce platform in real time.
The Omni Channel is the New Normal
Multiple channel shoppers shop more often and will spend over three times more than your single-channel-shoppers. A number of companies such as Omni Channel Hub, Channel Advisor, Solid Commerce, and Sellercloud allow you to take your products and list them to eBay, Amazon, Jet, Walmart, Rakuten, Newegg and Sears while maintaining an adequate amount of inventory across these channels. Most will integrate with every shopping cart, however Omni Channel Hub offers a single software that powers this functionality without purchasing an additional add-on.
As you can see, 2016 has already been a healthy year for e-commerce. As we head into 2017, many of these predictions are already being acknowledged as the new standard moving forwards. For sure, 2017 will continue to bring innovation leaving us wondering the future of e-commerce. So start preparing to take advantage of these emerging ecommerce trends!