The eCommerce industry is growing exponentially. This means more choice for consumers, increased revenue for businesses, and additional jobs for employees.
Furthermore, eCommerce businesses are constantly evolving in order to maintain their competitive edge. The expansion of the industry only serves to accelerate these advancements in tactics, services, and trends even further.
Therefore, proactive eCommerce entrepreneurs are looking to the future to get ahead of these trends before awareness intensifies. The future of eCommerce is clear to those who pay attention to such things.
The Top 5 eCommerce Trends
1. Personalization for eCommerce Consumers
There are many different types of tools for businesses to personalize their services, like Ignite Post, which sends handwritten cards to your eCommerce customers.
These days, everybody’s trying to differentiate themselves from the competition, and the best way you can do that is personalization.
Why Do Brands Want to Personalize Their Customers’ Experience?
Most consumers want to feel that a business is addressing them and their needs specifically. If a company generalizes, saying, “Oh yeah, we have products for all these people,” the consumer loses interest.
Alternatively, if a business adds a touch of personalization, then consumers are more likely to engage because they took that time.
If they demonstrate that they’re looking after you, they know you — they know your interests, they know your behaviors — that personalization just makes it a little bit more intimate. By making it more personal, they foster a sense that you’re doing business with a brand that knows how to serve you well.
The Dynamic Elements of eCommerce Personalization
Another option for eCommerce companies is to consider a dynamic element of personalization.
For example, if you’re an eCommerce retailer who sells clothing, you could build a signup flow on your website.
On the front end, you could ask a couple of questions to ascertain what the user’s style is. Once their answers are submitted, your website displays the products that best fit the user’s responses.
Let’s talk about these dynamic elements…
From a development standpoint, how hard is it to build a personalized experience for your end-user that they experience even before they’ve purchased a product?
A dynamic experience starts with the user identifying those different characteristics and different traits about themselves. So from a development side, they take all that information, and then they’ll build that in.
For instance, you’re a Denver Broncos fan. You visit the ESPN website and you let ESPN know that you’re a Broncos fan. Everything from that point is going to be tailored towards you.
Personalization Makes Your eCommerce Store More Welcoming
When you leave, you remember a better experience and you’re less likely to undergo buyer’s remorse. So, from a development standpoint, it can be as basic as showing a top header.
This is literally 30 minutes of coding work that results in a banner that reads “Hey , welcome back. We’ve missed you.” When you do that, you’re just personalizing the dynamic element and you are differentiating yourself from all the competition.
Little things like this make the experience feel exponentially more satisfying. Therefore, we believe that personalization is going to play a big role in the future of eCommerce.
2. Video Marketing
Too many brands are failing to properly leverage the power of video.
And what do you say to million-dollar brands that spend no time or effort on video? You’re missing the boat.
Video is huge, and everybody knows it. It’s one thing to rely on static imagery in marketing, but it’s a whole different ball game altogether to use video.
What’s So Great About Using Video in eCommerce Marketing?
It’s not simply another way to engage. It represents a substantial means for easily getting out there in front of your audience.
Remember Vine? The videos on Vine were only six-second long and, still, it was acquired for $30 million because they knew the value of video. Whether it’s to sell a product, capture engagement, expand your branding, there’s an abundance of options for reaching your target audience through video.
And if you’re not doing video, you’re definitely missing the boat.
Furthermore, one of the best ways that you can build top-funnel traffic, at the cheapest cost possible, is through a video. So, at Optimum7, we recommend to all the eCommerce businesses out there to create 30-second, 45-second, and 60-second snippets for your products.
If you have products, and you don’t have a video for every single product, you’re leaving hundreds of thousands — if not millions — of dollars on the table.
Video is not an option anymore. It’s essential.
3. Public Relations (PR)
The next thing is PR or public relations. Not everybody can afford a PR department, but if you can get content on Forbes, Entrepreneur, Yahoo! or CNN — even something simple, like top six ideas for Christmas gifts — that’s huge.
What Kind of eCommerce Businesses Should Invest in PR?
If you’re looking for engagement, to build or grow a brand, or you’re looking for extra people to put their eyes on your business, PR really is for everybody. No matter how big or small you are, all you have to do is compose some newsworthy content that you could broadcast to the masses.
PR Newswire is a reliable, and affordable, option that we used to rely on at Optimum7. It basically spreads your message across an abundance of diverse audiences.
Then, once you have those Forbes, NBC, or CNN placements, you put those on your website. Blurbs like these build credibility for your eCommerce business when displayed on your website. Consumers will feel compelled to trust your brand a lot more because they know that you have something that other people are engaging with on a national level.
PR for eCommerce is Scalable for eCommerce Businesses
In truth, PR gets expensive. If you’re on a budget, you can always do a PR Newswire. However, if you have thousands of dollars and you really want to build a brand, public relations and press releases can be a way to stand out.
Because, once again, the key point of all of this comes down to differentiating yourself from the competition. Because the competition is not going to get lighter. It’s only going to get more difficult.
4. Voice-Controlled eCommerce
The next trend that is increasing in popularity is to allow your customers to use their voice. When consumers want to buy from Amazon, they don’t have to go to amazon.com anymore. They can just say, “Hey, Alexa, order me those espresso capsules.”
It’s still very new and, generally, only the huge brands are using it, so how can the average eCommerce retailer take advantage of voice?
Yeah. So because it is new, that offers a whole realm of opportunity. So when other people really aren’t diving into it, that’s when you dive in and you grab market share.
So before it’s saturated, before there’s millions of people in here, before you’re scratching and scraping for every penny, now’s the time to go in, optimize for voice, get that market share and make some profit off of it. So it’s definitely a huge differentiator when you were just talking about looking to differentiate, that’s a huge way.
How Do I Implement Voice Control into My eCommerce Store?
With rich snippets on your website. If you have rich snippets on your product pages, and your descriptions are rich snippets — the prices, the reviews, everything — then the voice API will have whatever it needs on your site.
Alexa’s API may not yet be open to the public, but they’re working on it. So, in the near future, you’ll be able to say, “Hey, order something from www.mywebsite.com.”
Then it loads…
You: “Order me the white shirt, that’s medium, et cetera, et cetera.”
Alexa: “Did you mean this?”
You: “Yes. I mean that.”
Alexa: “Give me your code.”
…and it’s immediately purchased because your credit card is already on Google, Apple, Amazon, etc. That’s the power of voice eCommerce.
The last one is logistics — because nothing happens in eCommerce if you can’t actually ship the product. Amazon is going nuts with third-party logistics. They’re very aggressive. Now you can ship across countries and Amazon just takes care of that.
Why is Reliable Fulfillment and Competitive Shipping Vital?
In the simplest terms, if somebody purchases an item that they can’t receive, they’re going to be dissatisfied and significantly more likely to leave negative reviews. This has a variety of negative effects on your business.
Additionally, you should want to do right by your customers. If they buy something (a t-shirt or a little toy car) they want that item. It could be intended for a Christmas gift or kid’s birthday — and you really don’t want to contribute to your customers letting their friends and family down.
So logistics need to be taken care of. You need this. It’s just one thing that basically closes the loop on all of the chain.
Invest in Your Fulfillment Chain Infrastructure
If you’re doing $10, $15, $20 million in sales, your warehouse is in Miami, and you have a large customer base in Portland, Oregon, you better get a third-party logistics team. Because nobody wants to wait four or five days for their product.
We’re all spoiled now. We’re used to getting stuff the next day.
This is why logistics is very important. Even if you are a smaller brand, even if you are not on Amazon, you have to pay attention to this and you have to make sure that you get your products to your consumers in two days. That should be your objective.
Take Your eCommerce Business into the Future with Optimum7
eCommerce entrepreneurs can’t be expected to keep a constant eye on trends and patterns. The unfortunate truth is that they already have a business to run, and that’s understandable.
That’s why having an expert digital marketing agency, like Optimum7, can add significant value to your business. We can ensure that the marketing strategy for your eCommerce store stays current with the latest data available to industry researchers.
You don’t have to face the future alone. To collaborate with a trusted team of eCommerce professionals, reach out to our team today.