Like the weather, eCommerce changes, and almost day to day. New technologies are developed, and old ones improved. Buyers habits and preferences change, too. As such, a static eCommerce presence is a moribund eCommerce presence. Those e-stores that keep up with trends will flourish by attracting new customers, and many of those customers will be defectors from competitors’ sites.
So, as an eCommerce merchant, how do you make sure your site doesn’t wither on the vine? More importantly, how do you make sure that your online business grows? One way is to keep up with the latest market trends. While not an exhaustive list by any means, here are five of the most important:
- Mobile app dominance. Do you have one, or are you depending on a mobile-friendly website? At one time, the latter was enough, but not anymore. According to SearchEngineLand, almost 60% of all Google searches are now done from mobile devices, and users browse an astonishing 286% more products on mobile apps than on mobile-friendly websites. Perhaps that’s why mobile app purchases are expected to approach $200 billion by the year 2020. You cannot afford to be left out!
- Intelligent search. Buyers buy what they want, but often don’t know precisely what it is that they want. That’s why basic search capability is a loser. If a buyer wants to buy a specific product, and it’s out of stock, a good eCommerce site will suggest alternatives; better yet, it will present alternatives along with the preferred product, or products that complement the preferred product. Incorporating search on your site is necessary to prevent frustrated shoppers from simply abandoning your site and going somewhere else.
- User Experience, or UX. Consumers are becoming less and less patient with eCommerce sites that are difficult to use or don’t provide them with detailed product descriptions, accurate pricing and shipping information and a one-click buying experience. Many sites beef up their offerings by also including product reviews and other helpful buying tips. Another important factor in UX is speed. Almost half of all site visitors will abandon their search if a site takes more than 2 seconds to load. And 80% of shoppers who have a bad website experience are unlikely to ever return. If your site isn’t friendly, informative, efficient and fast, you are headed down the road to eCommerce oblivion.
- Video. Video is trending, and big time! With a YouTube or Vimeo extension, your products can be highlighted in a way that obliterates the competition. For example, can your eCommerce site do this? As technology advances, adding video to your e-catalog becomes easier and more affordable. No longer do smaller merchants have to depend on static (or stagnant) eCommerce sites.
- Free shipping. During Thanksgiving week 2017, 74% of online purchases included free shipping; during the same period in 2018, that percentage rose to 81%. Surveys of Q3 shoppers revealed that to 85% of them, free shipping was the number 1 (58%) or number 2 (27%) most important component of an eCommerce purchase. And, unexpected shipping costs were the factor most singled out as the reason for cart abandonment (38%).
Going forward, what’s a merchant to do?
As previously mentioned, this list is not exhaustive. Left off were things like voice search, augmented reality, sales promotions and more.
The fact is, a successful eCommerce store has the right combination of features and functions that appeal to its target customers. For example, if you’re selling books, a video may not be the best investment, but an intelligent search would be essential, as would free shipping.
The main thing to remember is that you’re not alone.
There are people out there with the expertise to help you maximize the effectiveness of your eCommerce efforts, whether you’re starting from the ground up or trying to improve the eStore you already have. And, speaking of which, the experts at Adeo Web are impossible to surpass. They have the market knowledge, the development skills and the partner relationships to enhance your site, from SEO to UX to choice of platform. And, they’re great to work with because they understand that their primary job is to make you successful.
Optimal eCommerce performance involves more than just an average eCommerce store.
At Adeo Web, we’re on a mission to make yours GREAT!