Before we start on eCommerce Trends and Predictions for 2016, let’s go back a little and see some highlights of the year 2015.
Well, 2015 was a year of comebacks, growth, and innovation for eCommerce. We saw pop-ups make a return to websites, they only became more meaningful and purposeful. Competition rose in both marketplaces themselves and merchants within each marketplace. This obviously led to drop in prices, especially of those that don’t need the comparison of the specifications.
While discussing eCommerce trends and predictions for 2016 , we have to consider how design and use of technology is getting more and more innovative. For example, websites experimented with all-page photos as background and minimal text in the foreground, creative videos and so on. The app market is almost saturated with every website worth its salt having a dedicated app.
We also saw an interesting shift from technology to the human in customer service with many websites offering online help using chat windows or call-backs. FAQ has moved back to people.
While all of the above are here to stay and will only grow there are pointers that some existing concepts will have to improve and other new ones will be experimented with.
Here are some eCommerce Trends and Predictions for 2016
Seamless shopping experience:
From looking up a product using your search capabilities to placing the order and paying for it, right upto delivery and collection of returns, and reordering repeat purchases – will become more and more smooth. In fact, you see more and more eCommerce machos advertising their return process.
Any glitch in this process will see your visitors become abandoners rather than customers. On the flip side, there will be more ready software available to help eCommerce stores automate the system.
Escalated role for social media:
In fact, eCommerce will see a tighter web with integration from social media platforms. The eCommerce trend of enabling purchase while a user is browsing a social media platform itself will only increase. A new entrant into the market could be chat mediums like WhatsApp with the said app shifting its revenue generation from users and targeting companies. This, in turn will go hand-in-hand with online stores wanting to take more control of the demand-to-supply chain.
mCommerce will grow is an understatement.
Expenses on mobile technology and revenues from mobile sales are bound to increase in the future of eCommerce. In fact, there might be a shift in the way people use their mobiles to make their purchases. Mobile apps might make way for dedicated mobile websites.
Mobile wallets will become wider with more and more payment gateways and loyalty programs. Mobile stores will sync with the offline experience by use of beacons and QR codes. Don’t be surprised if you walk into a store only to find a discount being offered on your mobile via SMS.
To edge over the competition, one of the eCommerce predictions is that online stores will want to offer more relevant shopping. This will make the customers feel welcome, want to stay longer and come back.
This will also make content more important than ever. Online stores will need to have better detailed, crisper descriptions.
While the customer will become emperor, customer’s data will be promoted to chief operation officer. Slicing and dicing customer and purchase related information will be key to how things are marketed and sold online.
Massive change in logistics and infrastructure:
The drones are taking over. Same day delivery will be a norm rather than the exception. This will require a 180-degree change over in way eCommerce stores look at logistics and infrastructure management.
Shift in marketing methods:
SEO might mean less in the future. With advertisements taking up top space on search engines, advertisements will need more attention over organic searches.
These shifts are only a pathway for more changes in the next few years. eCommerce is bound to cross borders with new economies like bitcoin. Online will merge with offline on the cloud to make data analysis deeper and more insightful. Line functions like accounting, finance, legal and even HR will go online to make eCommerce avenues even wider than they already are. Which direction eCommerce will take is going to depend on cutting-edge technology like 3-D printing, wearables, augmented reality and of course newer stuff that we haven’t yet heard of.