Retailers have created new trends for themselves with the growth of eCommerce. Each retailer is trying to stay ahead of the competition to have the highest sales and greatest portion of consumer traffic. eCommerce now takes on an entirely new meaning with the growth of mobile applications, the use of social media within eCommerce and even video marketing. The top 10 eCommerce trends of 2013 promise new changes for retailers of all sizes.
- Mobile Applications: By the year 2016, more than 1-million consumers will own a smartphone. What this means for retailers is it is time to jump on the mobile integration bandwagon. It means more than having a mobile application, which of course can help build your sales. But it also means optimizing your eCommerce site for optimal viewing on mobile phones and tablets.
- Social Media: Right now social media allows consumers to like stores, products and specific brands. In the future, you will see the trend moving toward even more specialized uses, including creating wish lists right on social media sites, such as Facebook, that allows friends and relatives to view it as well. The overall goal is to increase sales for retailers by allowing more access to what people like.
- Coupons: With the declining economy, all consumers learned to use coupons. While clipping them or printing them from the Internet is a hassle and not as likely to be used, mobile coupons or coupons automatically sent to consumers via text are much more likely to be used. The convenience of keeping coupons right on the mobile phone has created an increase in the use of coupons that is likely to continue in 2013.
- Video: With faster Internet speed comes the increased use of videos in eCommcerce. Most retailers avoided using video on their sites, mostly due to the reduction in the speed of the site. Today and in the future, Internet speeds are expanding, which allows retailers to use full-image video broadcasting, which has a larger effect on consumers in general.
- Finding a Niche: Retailers are finding ways to cater to a certain niche. Whether this means offering discounts for consumers in a certain target market, offering a service that is unique to your company or targeting an entire community, it is important to find a niche your company can cater to, increasing your target market greatly.
- Location Services: Consumers are constantly looking for ways to find stores and services within their current location. This does not always mean they are looking for services near their home; it could mean they are traveling and want to find a specific type of restaurant or store in an area with which they are unfamiliar. Enabling location services on your mobile-optimized site will allow more users to find you than before.
- Customization: Consumers want retailers to know what they want. This can come in the form of personalized emails, sales alerts or suggestions of various products. This can occur on your eCommerce site, on your mobile app or through your social media sites. Consumers love to receive suggestions based on their latest searches or buying habits, furthering their confidence in their buying power.
- Themed Collections: Pinterest has created an entirely new buzz that is definitely going to continue in 2013. The ability to “pin” items users like and share them with friends, family and even those whom they do not know has a great impact for retailers. Consumers are becoming more aware of products they never knew existed. This trend started with smaller sites and is likely to continue with larger sites in the next few years.
- Content: Web content will continue to be an important component of every eCommerce site. Consumers want fresh content they can count on. If the content on your eCommerce site is outdated, consumers will start to lose interest in your site. Underestimating the use of web content would be a large mistake for any retailer.
- Easy Payment Options: Consumers will continue to make purchases on their smartphone, with mobile sales increasing even more in the next year. Enabling various payment methods on your eCommerce site and mobile application will give consumers even more choices to purchase your products, allowing you to increase your sales.
Retailers have a bright future for them in the coming year. In order to stay ahead of the competition, it is vital for every retailer, regardless of its size, to stay informed of the latest eCommerce trends and to learn how to incorporate them into their store to realize the greatest impact on their traffic and sales in the years to come.