The Future Of Ecommerce: What Changes Do We See On The Horizon?
With e-commerce giants like Amazon turning 25 years old in the near future, it’s hard to believe that e-commerce is considered in its infancy. Futuristic advancements such as two-hour delivery and drone service are set to move it into the forefront of all internet sales in the next few years, with over 50 percent of all e-sales taking place through its marketplace by 2020.
While you may not feel like you stand a chance when competing with marketing giants such as Amazon, you can be just as competitive as the “big boys” if you stay informed about current and future trends in marketing. Just what changes do we see in the near future for e-commerce, and how do we take advantage of these changes to skyrocket our own businesses to success?
1. E-commerce is expected to climb by 8% in the next three years. Get ready for the ride! Low market share combined with fast growth puts almost anyone in position for a climb to the number one spot in sales. A high growth business watches who is arriving on the scene, who is loved and followed, and who is making consistent purchases despite what the economy may be doing. Although e-commerce may be growing, it is essential to diversify your communication channels by becoming “omnichannel”. With an omnichannel approach to business, you are available to customers no matter how they choose to reach out to you:
Brick and mortar--physical location
Internet and website interaction
Mobile device communication
In essence, you are accessible everywhere, anytime, making it nearly effortless for the customer to engage with you. Becoming omnichannel is a top priority for businesses wishing to take it to the next level.
2. Multichannel marketing enables customer interaction everywhere.
If you haven't familiarized yourself with the term “touchpoint,” it is time that you get acquainted with the concept. Let’s say a potential customer searches a jacket that she saw on a friend’s Pinterest feed. This link leads to a website where they may purchase, or an address to a physical location where she might try the jacket on if she wants to see how it fits. This search resulted in multiple “touchpoints,” or multiple channels of media, that were used to get the desired result, which was a purchased jacket. About 86 percent of all purchases these days arise from the use of two or more touchpoints. Want more good news? People that are touchpoint savvy tend to spend more on products and services because they spend more time searching. Make sure your touchpoints link up, and you’ll keep leading the customer back to you every single time.
3. E-commerce automation will become a necessity.
Automation is the secret formula that will save you time, money, and increase sales efficiency. While there has been no “gold standard” with regard to automation processes that most businesses use, there are some products that are rising to the forefront and gaining the attention of growth-hungry entrepreneurs as they work to automate their transactions. Models for automation include:
Shopify flow--it allows for the creation of customer-facing and back-office processes without the need for complex coding.
Launchpad--a major hub for all commerce events such as upcoming sales, product releases, and celebrations. Plugging events into launchpad will continue to drive customers to your site effortlessly.
Shopify scripts--this system allows you to customize the checkout process for your customer; with options such as adding discounts, choosing payment and shipping options, and updating customer information, this is truly optimizing money management for your business.
4. Mobile will become the new standard.
If you’ve been tracking your sales trends, you’ve no doubt noticed that mobile sales have superseded other forms of web interaction lately. In the future, mobile sales and communications with customers will become the new norm. To stay relevant and desirable to them, you will need to optimize your content to work quickly and efficiently. Making sure your content is easy to use will ensure that mobile users, no matter what their level of expertise with their mobile devices, will have the confidence to complete transactions remotely.
5. Social selling is becoming the norm.
The average American adult spends up to 5 hours a day online and on mobile devices, and many of us are buying what we see recommended by family and friends on social media! All of those referrals are finally paying off! Creating a solid social media presence that is consistent with your branding across all digital media is an excellent business strategy as you immerse yourself in the digital marketplace.
6. International e-commerce will expand over the next five years.
Over 1.4 billion people are expected to join the online middle class by the year 2020; this includes major portions of Asia and the Asian Pacific region of the world. With this untapped market virtually begging for exposure to your products and services, now is the time to take your marketing strategies beyond the borders. Make sure your own infrastructure is in place, and that you can meet the demand of extra business as you expand globally.
7. Micro Moment Marketing Strategies Will Abound
More and more opportunities to interact with customers are emerging as a result of easy e-commerce communication. From “thanks for shopping with us” coupons to shipping information sent in the form of emails, it has never been easier to place yourself at the forefront of a customer’s mind when deciding what--and when--to purchase. Targeted, personalized messages sent via text are another way to interact with customers, giving them more exposure to your products and services. Adding items like special promotions, links to your mobile apps and sites, and “how to” videos will add value and depth to your customer relationships, creating long-term patrons who will return to you time and again.
8. Premium content will continue to change the face of e-commerce.
Great content adds value and depth to your brand. It is helpful, educational, and entertaining all at the same time. Over 80 percent of CMO’s predict that customization of content will be the future of internet marketing.
Why has there been such a frenzied focus on creating quality content lately? According to studies on consumer behavior:
Consumer attention spans are at an all-time low, with the array of products and services competing for attention.
An interesting post is one of the main reasons people choose to follow brands on social media; content sells!
64 percent of consumers cite that customer experience is more important than price point when choosing what to buy.
Blogging on websites and through social media is 13 times more effective at generating ROI than websites that remain unchanged.
Thanks to Google and keywords, the more quality content you have generated, the more likely you are to be found when consumers perform searches for products and services. If you regularly post relevant and engaging content, you will stay relevant in search rankings. When customers find you, there will be purchases. Keep posting content!
9. B2B e-commerce will surpass B2C commerce by almost $5 trillion over the next five years.
Over the last four years, the B2B e-commerce community has grown by almost $4 trillion, with another $5 trillion projected over the next five years. Experimenting with this B2B community is a must if you want your business to grow competitively in the near future. While a customer might not be ready to make a purchase, a business is regularly using consumables and products, and will return for more of the same if satisfied. Expand your marketing to include business to business transactions, and you will experience continued growth.
10. Fragmentation will be a challenge.
A wider than ever variety of products and services, coupled with more discriminating consumers, can make for a frustrating experience for business owners. Product searches can take much longer as customers peruse the world wide web, looking for something that matches their exact specifications. In order to gain the attention of customers and keep it all the way to the shopping cart, you must have strategies in place for rising above your competition. How do you do that?
E-commerce optimization, baby!
Creating your online brand is all about capturing the attention of your targeted customers. Optimizing your brand and your content for effective customer interaction will be what sets your business apart from your competition.
Optimizing can be a full-time job; if you are tech savvy and have the time to set up your omni channels to create the ultimate customer experience, good for you! If you are like 90 percent of business owners, however, you simply may not have the time or expertise to do it yourself.
We have good news for you! MaxGroup Business Solutions is poised and ready to take your business to the next level of success. Through a unique combination of mobile, internet, and marketing techniques, we work with you to design a customized marketing plan that effortlessly brings customers to your doorstep. Driving you higher in search engine ratings is what we do, and we do it well. Trust us to help you create a better, more successful business; contact www.maxgroupbusiness.com today for a brighter future!