Time sure flies! Here you are now, already getting ready to tear off the third page of your 2017 calendar (April is just around the corner) and to... get your business shaken up or completely whipped off by the global megatrends to come.
Or maybe not!
Preparation is key and anticipating trends is vital in the online retail market! This is why we've rolled up our sleeves and started to dig up, to do some serious research work for you! We've asked the experts in the field, put in some of our own experience, then added a few “drops” of visionary outlook. And therefore: we are now ready to get you “equipped” with THE list of “ecommerce trends”!
Those that you can't risk ignoring in 2017!
Trends that will steal the spotlight on the “ecommerce stage” and which can mean both the END for the players from the online retail arena that score low reaction times and major business-boosters for the quick adopters and adapters. Like you!
So, without further ado, the list that you should use as a “backbone” for your own 2017 ecommerce strategy:
1. Personalized Interactive Shopping: The Future of Online Shopping
With tools such as artificial intelligence programs and real-time analytics at your disposal, you practically have no “excuse”! No excuse to stubbornly stick to the “one-size-fits-all” type of shopping experiences delivered on your website!
Just acknowledging the fact that each one of your potential shoppers has his/her own preferences, unique needs and even specific search phrases that they he usually types in for tracking down products is no longer enough.
You need to actually start collecting all this key behavioral data (using the 2 above-mentioned empowering tools)! To interpret it and to use it for “fueling” the highly personalized shopping experiences that you'll spoil your customers with.
To use it for delivering them highly targeted product recommendations!
2. Go Beyond Mobile Optimization: Embrace The MOBILE-FIRST Thinking!
“Mobile devices are now the source of more than half of the web traffic”, the earth's round and the sky's blue. Nothing new under the sun here, right? Only non-debatable facts!
What we're trying to point out here is that making your website responsive is no longer enough! You need to go beyond common thinking that smaller-sized devices are nothing but limitations to the desktop-based online shopping experience. You need to start tailoring unique shopping experiences with mobile devices' specific sizes and functionality in mind, from the very beginning!
That's where the future of ecommerce is heading to and you should, too!
Thinking mobile-first, seeing smartphones/tablets as distinct shop windows is what will propel you into the future!
- you should seriously consider pairing your ecommerce website with a correspondent mobile app (think Amazon, think eBay and so on).
- don't stop there: consider implementing a mobile wallet into your app (think Paypal, think Apple Pay). Digital, hassle-free payment will rapidly be outshining the conventional one and is expected to be adopted by more and more companies operating in the ecommerce industry and willing to simplify their users' entire “paying experience”. And why should you leave behind this “movement”, right?
3. Chatbots and Virtual Assistants or “The Customer Service of the Future”
Chatbots, along with AI, are here to stay and to grow into a “megatrend”! So, there's no escape from them!
You either adopt them and incorporate them into your whole “creating perfectly personalized shopping experiences” strategy for 2017 or, well, you'll be actually guiding your customers towards your competitors' websites!
Online shoppers expect to be “pampered”, to be offered only product recommendations that perfectly fit their own preferences and their specific behavior as online customers. They expect you to have this behavioral data!
Therefore, having a virtual assistance “at their disposal” is nothing but another legitimate expectation from their part, as potential shoppers in your estore!
Not only that chatbots offer them assistance throughout their shopping journey on your Drupal ecommerce website, but post shopping assistance, as well! They'll be there to answer all their queries after they've actually received and started using your product!
When it comes to chatbots, a new dimension of the personalization trend in ecommerce, what better examples could you think of than Apple's Siri of Sephora's messaging app's Kik?
It's a tremendous chance for you to boost customer engagement (which goes hand in hand with your conversion rates) on your website! So, you might want to analyze this trend, one of the truly influencing ecommerce trends in 2017!
4. Social Selling: One Of the Skyrocketing Ecommerce Trends
Showcasing and selling your products/marketing your services on social media! Can't ignore this megatrend, can't escape it and you definitely can't afford leaving your ecommerce business without a social media marketing strategy.
That would be simply reckless!
In other words: turn the social media platforms into your own products/services stages! Feel free to parade them there, to put them into a good light and, most of all, to engage with those “in the audience”!
Selling isn't limited to websites or to apps anymore (as it has stopped being limited to your physical stores, too) and social media is now much more than just a marketing tool.
With tools such as Facebook Live Videos (enabling you to showcase your products and to promote your events) and with an overwhelming majority of your potential shoppers using their social media accounts to engage with their favorite brands, you can no longer leave social selling out of your ecommerce marketing strategy!
5. The Simpler the UX, the Higher the Conversion Rates
A simpler checkout process goes hand in hand with the ever so popular ulta-minimal web design! It's one of those ecommerce trends that will highly influence your shopping cart abandonment rate!
No need to over clutter your UX, to load it with lots of steps to take and tasks for your customers to carry out before they can finally pay for their products. You risk to annoy them and to make them abandon their shopping carts!
Keep it simple! An ideal one-page checkout will do wonders! Especially if it's designed around these 3 key principles in mind:
- a simple payment process
- intuitive product searches
- clearly formulated returns policies
6. Same-Day Delivery: Adapt to It or Be Left Behind
A generic “fast”delivery or “within maximum n days” will be no longer enough! Not only that your delivery strategy needs to provide more specific answers than those, but you'll be witnessing the rise of the “same-day delivery” trend.
Consider it and strive to adapt to it: make an inventory of your resources, improve your current shipping features if necessary, do whatever it takes to perfect your delivery strategy.
For your customers expect you to!
In addition to this “uber-ization in terms of deliveries, more and more ecommere companies will be integrating drop-off providers into their delivery strategies in 2017. So, you'd better consider this aspect, as well, as a booster for your own ecommerce business!
Quick recap: adapt to the rising “same-day, uber quick delivery trend” or you'll be left behind! As simple as that!
We're not ending our list here, for we've prepared 6 more highly influencing ecommerce trends to adopt and adapt to in 2017. Therefore: to be continued in our next post!