The eCommerce world is changing every day. The strategies that draw in customers and convert site visitors into paying customers this year may not work for you and your business next year. State-of-the-art techniques are constantly evolving. You are likely to hear about all types of futuristic developments, from artificial intelligence to virtual reality. What types of innovations can you apply in a practical manner right now?
We provide our list of five practical but exciting eCommerce trends to look out for. These trends can actually benefit your eCommerce business by bringing in more site visitors, driving conversions, and increasing your eCommerce site’s revenue.
Searching by voice is the trend most likely to accelerate and offer critical implications for eCommerce sites. With more customers using their mobile and virtual assistant devices such as Amazon Echo to make purchases, they are also more likely to search for and complete a purchase using only their voices. One analysis predicts that more than half of all searches will be conducted by voice. A number of major companies, including Lyft and Walmart, already offer voice-based services, and this trend is only going to grow in the coming year.
What does this development mean for you? As a result of this trend, voice search is likely to change best practices for search engine optimization. Think about how to write content that has a more conversational tone, since site visitors may be listening to it instead of reading it. Additionally, think about offering voice-exclusive deals to potential customers on Amazon, Apple, Google, and other voice-based shopping platforms.
The Expanding Social Media World
Social media has been important in the eCommerce world for years, but its ever-changing nature can make keeping up with the latest trends difficult. Social media is slated to be more important than ever: estimates suggest that about 2.77 billion social media users around the world will exist in 2019, representing an increase from 2.46 billion users in 2017. The ubiquitousness of a variety of social media platforms means that occasional posts on Instagram or Facebook are not enough anymore. Online retailers now need a comprehensive social media strategy.
Social media platforms are also a great opportunity to develop a personality for your products and build trust in your brand. Many consumers trust reviews they find online as much as in-person recommendations.
Developing a relationship with social media influencers is one way that you can take advantage of this trend. While major influencers can be expensive to work with, micro-influencers, individuals who have between 1,000 and 10,000 followers and who can show a special connection to your brand, are a great way to expand your social media influence at a good return on investment. Shoppable posts, posts which allow social media users to click on a cart or bag icon at the top of a post, are a great way to develop a wider social media profile by working with these influencers.
Quality Customer Service Technology
Customers who are unable to get their questions answered in a timely manner may abandon their carts, which leads to lost sales. Brick-and-mortar stores often have a friendly greeter who welcomes customers and asks if they need help. You can replicate this high-quality, individualized customer service experience on your eCommerce site with a virtual assistant or AI-powered chatbot.
Virtual assistants can help customers find what they are looking for, make suggestions for particular purchases, or point out sales and special promotional offers. Chatbots automate customer service by responding to customer inquiries in a timely manner. These technologies can reduce employee time devoted to customer service, while at the same time making the experience feel more customized and personal for visitors. By improving the visitor experience, virtual assistants and chatbots can help drive conversions while building your brand’s reputation.
Optimized Site Performance
In a faster-moving environment, customers are more impatient than ever. Page speed is already important for your SEO, since Google has made it a factor used by its algorithm for its page rankings. With customers increasingly turning to their mobile devices for online shopping, mobile site optimization will be critical. Magento’s Mobile Optimization Initiative for Merchants is conducting experiments with partnered merchants to see what types of features drive the highest conversion rates.
As a first step for optimizing your site’s performance, conduct an inventory for your eCommerce site to identify potential issues. A code review is a great way to have a new set of eyes look over your code, site organization, and server architecture to make sure that everything is running as optimally as possible.
Customers will be on the lookout for eCommerce sites that treat them as individuals. Customized product suggestions, promotional offers, and emails are now the norm rather than the exception, and customers have come to expect these personal touches. Fortunately, Magento has developed customization tools that can deliver your customers a unique experience.
One example is Magento Payments, which will offer customized payment gateways and security options. Magento Payments will leverage the industry-leading technology of PayPal and Braintree to give customers a variety of payment options and minimize friction in your sales funnel. You can also use segmentation to create personalized promotions, cart price rules, CMS banners, and more for different types of customers. For example, customers with specific products in their cart may be shown other products that are similar.
Make sure that you are fully equipped to take advantage of these trends by reaching out to IronPlane. IronPlane’s team of Magento-certified experts has more than 10 years of combined experience. The team can perform custom development and integrations with third-party services, optimize your site for speed, and help with your specific customer development needs. Book an appointment with IronPlane today to get your eCommerce site ready.