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The Future Of Ecommerce: 3 Important Trends To Watch

Dianna Labrien, Freelance Writer and Content Strategist, @DiLabrien
06.03.16
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It's safe to say we are now on the verge of the Golden Age of Ecommerce. The projected market revenue in the US alone is expected to hit mUSD 313,980.5 this year. The average consumer now spends $1,842.57 a year on shopping online and overall user penetration is expected to hit whooping 70.18% by 2020.

The ecommerce market is booming to say the least. And here are a few more important trends both consumers and retailers should know about.

The Rising Demand For Advanced and Seamless Security

The digitization of payments and the simplicity of online shopping comes hands in hand with a major problem – the increase in ecommerce fraud. The amount of reported frauds have already increased by 30% last year with an additional massive spike during holiday shopping season. In fact, according to Aité Group, CNP (Card not present) fraud is likely to double to $6.4 billion by 2018.

"Merchants are looking for better targeting and marketing attribution. They want fewer fraud losses, as well as fewer declined good sales. And last, but certainly not least, they want to increase sales," – says Arvind Ronta, Director of Commerce, Security, & Data Products at Discover.

On the other hand are consumers, who have their own expectations. "They want secure transactions—with zero disruptions. They want a smooth, seamless and convenient shopping experience," – adds Ronta.

Hence e-tailers are now in need to create more secure payment gateways and authentication options without resorting to bulky multi-layer solutions. Among the most proposed (and even early-adopted) methods are photo (selfie) authentication – MasterCard has already tested this method back in 2015 and Amazon is now actively rumored to adopt it later this year; biometric recognition – including eye/finger scans, voice authentication and even more advanced options proposed through wearables; one-time password tokens – implying a two-step verification process through text message.

Quality Content is The Key To Better Engagement

Ecommerce brands that now rely on content marketing save $14 on average on each new user acquired. Here are a few more important stats proving the need to publish great, educational content:
  • Ecommerce companies that prioritize blogging are 13x more likely to generate a positive ROI. In general, better website content can increase website conversion stats by 6-12%.
  • 64% of shoppers admit that customer experience is more important to them than the price tag when choosing a certain brand.
  • Interesting, relevant content is the main reason why people follow brands on social media in the first place.
So, how you can level your marketing game with this data in mind?
  • Consider Snapchat as your main customer support channel like David Basulto, owner of a video equipment e-store.
  • Create a separate blog to compare, review and offer additional tips on your products like Stanley Chang from The Good Gears.
  • Fill your social media and blog posts with attractive product images gathered from your users. GoPro does a great job here.
  • Create a YouTube channel, where you share product tutorials, reviews and other content, which may be useful for your target audience. Rainbow Loom is rocking in this case.
It's Time To Figure Out Your Mobile Experience

Mobile now accounts for 50.3% of all ecommerce traffic, yet most ecommerce companies are still struggling to build great mobile experience indeed.

Most mobile users, in fact, not just "window shop", but actually use their devices to make purchases on the go. Rather than purely tracking mobile actions, ecommerce stores should focus further on making their on-site experience as easy as possible. The most basic improvements can be boiled down to the following:
  • Create shorter header/footer versions for mobile.
  • Keep the search field prominent and visible at all pages if you have a lot of products listed.
  • Modify listing pages to display two or one column with larger images.
  • Hide the non-essential page elements e.g. breadcrumbs, left navigation etc.)
  • Place your CTA directly below the area where users make their selection.
Don't forget about the SoLoMo principle being short for social-local-mobile. More and more mobile users now use smartphones a few minutes prior to walking into an actual store, especially when it comes to comparison shopping.

Hence, if you also have an actual storefront ignoring to get optimized for local search results can potentially cost you some good revenue. Start with creating and optimizing your Google My Business page and listing, filling in all the required information, adding pictures and correct directions. Next, work on establishing your presence on other review platforms e.g. Trustpilot, Yelp, or whichever is more relevant to you.
All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
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