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A prediction by Internet Retailer claims that online spending in the U.S. will generate $355 billion in 2016 and this number will continue to surpass the $400 billion mark each year by 2018. While e-commerce is only getting stronger, without an innovative attitude, you might find yourself lagging behind and not sufficiently meeting the growing needs of your customers. So how can you provide the best consumer-friendly options? Read on for three top e-commerce trends and predictions for 2017 followed by recommendations that can lead to further expansion and growth.
Watch Mobile Behavior and Engagement
E-commerce-driven mobile revenue will surge by at least 50% by the end of 2017 according to Think Tank Gartner. We might see a number of retailers completely phasing out the desktop option focusing exclusively on engaging consumers via smartphone or tablet, which is already 50% of a retailer’s audience.
Recommendation to all brands:
Rather than investing thousands of dollars in developing a mobile app, provide a mobile responsive website that caters to the diverse needs of the consumer. Shopping Cart Elite is one such integrated e-commerce platform that is worth looking at.
Real Time Customer Service Will Increase
An engaged shopper is a happy customer. You might be missing out on potential sales because your customer services might not be responsive in real time. Out of the three customer types, Gallup defines the most loyal customer as the engaged one who will not compromise on customer services because the loyalty to the brand has already been cemented. Think about your loyal customers – why do they continue to return? What kind of customer experience are you providing and think about how you can enhance it.
Ways to personalize the e-commerce shopping experience and increase customer engagement in REAL TIME include:
- Answering their questions either via Facebook live or a Youtube video or perhaps even creating a blog post
- Maximizing your marketing efforts by sending important updates via email or newsletter and then doing a Youtube or Facebook real time video blast.
- Post engaging and authentic content that draws attention to your brand and again, through a Youtube or Facebook real time video blast.
The New Standard: Watch for an Amazon Prime-Like Shopping Experience
An online retail shopping experience can be severely limiting in that a consumer doesn’t have the ability to interact see, try and touch the products like in a store. One of the more prominent e-commerce trends to watch for in 2017 is an automated return processing system that works similarly to Amazon Prime.
Include integrated software solutions such as ReadyReturn that provides a user-friendly return portal for customers and retailers. Today’s customers want an easy and simplified way to return products. In the online world of buying and selling, this means complimentary. In a recent Forrester study that was conducted by UPS, 81% of customers want an easier way to return products they buy online. As you can already see, 2016 has already been a healthy year for e-commerce. As we head into 2017, many of these predictions are already being acknowledged as the new standard moving forwards. For sure, 2017 will bring innovation leaving us wondering the future of e-commerce. So get prepared!