These days, retailers that embrace digital commerce are thriving as stores without a solid online presence are starting to disappear. 51% of Americans prefer to shop online versus a traditional in-store buying experience. This figure increases to 67% of Millennials and 57% of Gen Xers who prefer shopping online. Some experts believe that there will be a rise of 9.32% in online sales per year.
As a digital agency that partners with eCommerce clients such as LOLIWARE (featured on Sharktank), Bright Antenna Records, Guidecraft, to name just a few, we can see some of the trends to watch for in 2018.
Here are a few of the latest trends in ecommerce that you may want to take into consideration to see online and in-store sales grow.
With a dynamic shopping experience that is customized to each shopper, each person will have automatic access to things such as add-ons based on demographics, geographic location, past purchases and more. Data aggregation is also helping ecommerce platforms predict a customer’s next purchase.
Uncertainty is a big reason why people may not buy online. The vast majority of internet shoppers regularly read comments and product reviews before making a decision to purchase. The more information that is shared online regarding a product including pictures, reviews, specifications and descriptions, the more sales you will get online. Without a good ecommerce platform it can be hard to keep up with adding changing product information in real-time. Data aggregators are able to compile information about products - including pictures, price comparisons, specs, UPC codes, and reviews. Many retailers are working with these data aggregators and when a merchant links its site to these databases, automatic product information updates can happen.
Accepting mobile payments is the way to go as more and more people are making purchases without their wallets. People are making purchases with mobile payments using their smart phones, watches, rings or other wearable technology.
Real-time Experiences and Promotions
Merchants and retailers can provide digital experiences that use sensors to detect nearby devices. This allows merchants to offer promotions in real-time to attendees at a grand-opening or any other event - using interactive experiences as an innovative way to reach more customers.
Did you know that following a live chat session, the buyer conversion rate is 5 to 10 times higher after the chat session occurs? More consumers are now having interactions with chatbots to answer their questions in a timely manner. They will be as commonplace as automated phone systems - only more interactive. For example, chain restaurants like Pizza Hut and Burger King have implemented a system that allows customers to order food directly through Facebook Messenger and Twitter.
As online retail orders grow, new opportunities for better logistics and delivery have also arisen. Same-day delivery is now possible to a private address or to a store drop-off point that may be near the customer - and it’s becoming increasingly popular. Amazon offers free same-day delivery with any purchase over $35 to Prime members in 27 countries.
Many stores are now operating as showrooms, fitting rooms, or product drop-off points where customers can order the product after having seen it in person.
Merchants are moving towards the centralization of IT infrastructures - integrating stores (physical and digital). Brands and retailers want to offer their customers more freedom as they are expecting to be able to search, interact, purchase, deliver or pick up products whenever (and wherever) works best for them. Retailers know that customers will make purchases when it’s convenient for them. The idea is to have the consumer interact with the entire brand experience - whether that’s in a physical location, online store, or browsing the brand’s Facebook page.