With ecommerce sales continuing to grow, online retailers are fighting for a share of this digital marketplace.
This means competition is fierce and to compete online shops must have great pricing, fast delivery, a first class returns policy and outstanding customer service, but what are the bigger ecommerce games changers we’ve seen?
1. Mobile Commerce
Last year saw Google clearly indicate the importance of mobile friendly pages and indeed mobile search has now taken over from desktop. With big brands such as Argos, Tesco and New Look now seeing over 70% of their traffic on mobile, we’ve also seen a much greater confidence in consumers buying on mobile too, not just browsing.
This trend is set to continue, which means that revenue from smartphones and mobile could follow, especially with mobile payment becoming increasingly more popular and convenient. Mobile commerce will become even more important as a sales channel over the next few years.
2. Social Shopping
Buyable pins on Pinterest have certainly helped the fact that 93% of Pinterest users have bought something online in the last six months. Pinterest has also grabbed 16% of all social sales, although Facebook have 64% of social sales worldwide. With brands such as Banana Republic now having a direct link to shop their Instagram feed, social shopping is set to grow.
Social selling is being ushered in with a new age of social commerce, as social media platforms understand the value they can offer digital retailers. They are developing functions to quickly guide shoppers towards a product page to convert traffic to a sale. Whilst conversion rates are lower than those of organic search or email marketing, social media is also a powerful tool in promoting brand loyalty and values.
3. Multi-Channel Shopping
If you’ve been browsing recently, chances are that when you find a product online you want and then search for the best price, you will also find it on Amazon too. This is multi-channel selling, where retailers not only offer the product on their own website but also through other channels and merchants.
The advantage here, is that customers can shop for different products from different sellers all in one place and only need to make a single payment at the end.
4. Live Chat
We’ve grown accustomed to live chat from banks, utility providers etc, but retail brands are using live chat to talk to their shoppers. Dyson, Argos and Nike are just a few retailers where you can access live chat via their website, usually on their Contact Us page.
It may not be your own personal virtual sales assistant, but brands are starting to proactively engage their online shoppers instead of waiting to be contacted which will certainly help conversion rates.
5. Superfast Delivery
Delivery is now something we all expect to be quick and more flexible. With features such as Amazon Prime Now and same day delivery services being more frequently offered, retailers need to understand that many online customers have a mind set of “I want this and I want it now”.
Click & Collect has become common place but delivery is a hugely competitive area for ecommerce and with the likes of Argos now offering delivery to store within 60 seconds, they have set the bar fairly high.
In amongst all of this it is essential to remember the customer experience. The millennial generation (18 to 35 year olds) are changing how we perceive shopping, using more technology than ever before, they make up more than half of online buyers. This sheer purchasing power will undoubtedly affect the way ecommerce and mobile commerce evolves.