Key Strategies and Trends That Will Be Crucial to eCommerce Success in 2016
The continuously changing users' needs and the ever-evolving world of eCommerce necessitate online retail businesses to adopt strategies and follow trends that can help expand their business reach.
However, with fast shifting needs in the eCommerce industry coping up with all such needs can give retail businesses a hard time. Put it simply, with so many strategies and trends to focus on, what you really need to pay heed to in the coming years can be challenging.
The purpose of this post is to help you understand what strategies and upcoming trends you must take into consideration, for taking your e-commerce business to greater heights in 2016.
Let's Get Started
According to a study conducted by Forrester, entitled "US Online Retail Forecast, 2011 To 2016", it was concluded that online sales are expected to grow from 7 percent to around 9 percent by 2016. The research conducted by Forrester puts light on five strategies and trends that will be pivotal for e-commerce success. Let us look at those strategies and trends:
Key Strategies That Will Guarantee eCommerce Growth
Focus on E-commerce Sales in the Fourth Quarter
The best way to increase your e-commerce sales is to focus on selling your products during holidays, i.e. in the fourth quarter of the year. The reason for choosing this strategy is the fact that in 2011, “e-commerce sales went up for 15 percent of all holiday sales.” And, the percentage of e-commerce sales during the holiday season is likely to increase since consumers prefer shopping for their holiday gifts online from the comfort of their home
You can take the advantage of this approach in increasing your overall e-commerce sales, by offering running temporary promotions and special deals. In fact, the Forrester research demonstrated that nearly 70% of shoppers made purchases during the fourth quarter because of discounted prices, and promotions.
Keep Your Existing Online Shoppers Satisfied
Forrester study also emphasized on keeping their existing online shoppers satisfied. Basically, the study says that simply getting more new online shoppers does not really help in increasing e-commerce sales, but your existing shoppers can make a difference and boost e-commerce sales. This is why it becomes imperative to ensure that you're focusing on all the aspects that might prevent your existing shoppers from making any purchases from your e-store.
In a nutshell, you'll have to encourage your experienced online shoppers into finalizing their purchase at your e-store. You can do so, by analyzing your target audience needs in terms of preferences, specific needs, age, location, etc.
E-commerce Trends for 2016
M-commerce Will Gain Traction, Flash Sale Sites Will Fade
Based on the recent data published in 2016 Mobile 500 projects, you can estimate that “m-commerce is bound to grow 3X faster compared to U.S. overall e-commerce sales in 2015.”
And, it is predicted that the mobile commerce growth will continue to surge in the coming years as well.
But, remember that M-commerce isn't a different entity from eCommerce, and rather it only helps in carrying out e-commerce transactions using small screen displays (i.e. Smartphones and tablets). And so, you will have to focus on making your e-commerce sites and stores mobile-friendly to leverage m-commerce growth. Besides, an online report showed that consumers are more likely to buy from your e-store if it is mobile-friendly (as depicted in the image below):
This clearly suggests how important it has become to have mobile-optimized e-commerce sites/stores. However with the increase in adoption of mobile devices, flash sale sites are likely to fade. No doubt, flash sale sites were one of the emerging trends in the e-commerce industry a couple of years ago, but the difficulty associated with maintaining such sites will result in its decline.
Adopt Multiple Devices to Attain Broader Web Shopping Capabilities
Now, taking a hint from the point above, you might have understood how tablet popularity is growing among online shoppers. We have come a long way since people utilized only desktop systems and laptops for making purchases online. Today, an increasing number of online shoppers are using tablets apart from Smartphones to buy something from an e-store.
In essence, online shoppers no longer make use of a single device to make purchases. The common way that shoppers favor for buying online is: they'll land on your store when browsing across online advertisements on their desktop computer. They'll probably leave their search at that point, and resume it using their mobile phone or tablet while on the move. And, they might make a purchasing decision later in the evening using their desktop.
And so, irrespective of whether an online shopper isn't purchasing via their mobile devices and instead use desktop computers for the task, they'll still use their mobile for browsing and searching product(s) before making a purchase decision.
Loyalty Programs Will Be the New "Hot" Market
In 2010, as close to 9 percent online shoppers who were a part of some loyalty program, increased up to 12 percent over a period of just one year. This suffices to say, that loyalty programs hold the potential to boost your e-commerce sales opportunities. To do so, however, you'll have to reward your loyal customers with discounts, special promotions, and other such schemes.
What's more? Loyalty programs also prove an effective means of extending your brand reach to a wider customer base. Needless to say, running promotions messages on social media channels, or creating an online community of loyal customers and so on, is going to help you drive more traffic towards your e-commerce store.
Although, loyalty programs isn't a new concept, it hasn't been practiced much in the eCommerce sector. And so, you can expect loyalty programs are becoming the new “hot” market to grow e-commerce sales.
Though the list of strategies and trends covered in this post is far from comprehensive, hope that they'll guide you in preparing your e-commerce business to have an upper hand over your counterparts.
Samuel Dawson is an HTML to WordPress theme developer in Designs2html Ltd. He has been a key responsible person in this company. Some of the new trends, strategies and steps have been shown above.