Happy New Year!
Do you know anybody that doesn’t buy things online? I mean, besides your paranoid grandfather who brings his cash envelopes to the stores and keeps all the receipts. Hopefully, everyone else you know buys things online.
There are some shocking ecommerce trends that have been rapidly changing in the last few years, and if you are an e-commerce business you need to know exactly what they are.
Let’s dive in.
1. Increased use of social media automation
The more social media expands the more e-commerce companies start to use. If you’re in e-commerce you need to use social media, and you need to automate a lot of your processes. One of the best ways is to use the Auto Post feature where you can upload hundreds of evergreen posts and schedule them to publish for you indefinitely.
Another strategy is to use the Social Inbox in order to automate all of your social engagement. You can respond to all of your followers, DMs, tweets from one place. You can also have your team members handle customer questions and issues directly from the feature. This should be your first priority among eCommerce trends this 2018.
2. Longer holiday season
The holiday season has been expanding dramatically. Not only does it start already in November but it actually goes for much longer. The entire month of January and some of February, companies are still sending out promotions and deals to their audiences. This is a great time to catch shoppers that have forgotten to buy something, or went on a vacation and didn’t get a chance to purchase gifts yet, sounds to me like one of those eCommerce trends you need to pay attention to.
3. Free shipping and returns
Instituting free shipping and free returns is one of the best ways to increase your customer lifetime value, in other words, to get the most bang out of your customer’s buck. Studies show that the top buyers actually have 50% return rate. According to Endicia, 64% of customers will refer their friends after a free or easy return process.
So if you provide the best return and shipping experience for your buyers you will not only create some of the most dedicated shoppers for your business, but you will also gain many more referrals. Are you taking notes on all these eCommerce trends? Mindblowing!
4. Chatbots and artificial intelligence
Chatbots are taking over the e-commerce world by storm. Chatbots provide a way to recommend products to the customer and a new channel by which they can purchase your product or service – on their own time and on the go.
One of the most popular e-commerce chatbots is the one by Sephora, the mega makeup company. You can easily input your preferences, browse products, and buy product straight from Kik (a popular messaging platform).
another incredible chatbot is made by eBay. The company actually started a pilot on Facebook Messanger which reminds bidders 15 minutes before an auction listing is about to end. They have also created ShopBot which serves as a personal shopping assistant that helps people find items they want.
Here is what it looks like:
Another beloved brand is using a chatbot – 1-800 Flowers! This darling of the e-commerce world has created a chatbot that allows users to pick their favorite flowers and send them to a friend or a loved one. This is surely one of my favourites eCommerce trends!
5. Personalized notifications and web pages
A really unique trend in e-commerce is to personalize your home page depending on who the visitor is. Amazon does this pretty well. Their home page changes based on your past product choices or your geography. Here is an example of what I’m talking about.
If I use my regular Chrome browser to view the Amazon homepage I get shown an ad for the fire HD8:
But if I go into the incognito mode (where no prior browsing history or cookies count) I get to see an ad about echo show:
I don’t even know what echo show is but I’m guessing the average web visitor from my geographical location is more likely to buy that than the fire HD8. Amazon learns its customer preferences and maximizes conversions through dynamic content and personalized product recommendations.
As you can see, in order to increase conversions and make the customer purchase faster the notification displays a large number of people viewing that product. As the user notices that little non-invasive message they become pressured to buy (in a good kind of pressure) and are more likely to purchase the product rather than continue to shop.
If you run or work for an e-commerce business then you definitely need to be prepared for some new eCommerce trends that are about to happen in 2018. For starters, use social media often and manage it wisely. Your best bet is to use a social media automation platform, like eClincher, that can help you boost engagement, automate scheduling, and whip out amazing looking analytics reports that will wow your superiors.
Next, keep in mind that the shopping season is ever-increasing, so increase the run time of all of your campaigns, ads, and promotions. Make sure to cover November as well as January and some of February. You will be thankful you did.
Also, do consider offering free shipping and free returns to your customers. They will be more likely to refer their friends and let’s face it, it’s simply the new trend nowadays.
Lastly, make this year truly special for your business. Build some chatbots, use dynamic content and dynamic notifications, oh and don’t forget to have some fun!
May this year be the best year yet!