Running an ecommerce business these days is no easy feat. With such a low barrier to entry, competition can be fierce, and your goals need to expand beyond simply getting consumers to make that purchase: You also need to gain their long-term trust and nurture their loyalty with personalized, relevant shopping experiences.
To help you stay one step ahead of the pack, we’ve compiled some stats that speak to the future of ecommerce for the savvy marketer that understands the importance of preparing a strategy geared towards the future.
Building Brand Interest
68% of consumers agree that shopping today is less about brands or products themselves and more about what they are feeling and needing. (Mediapost)
A third of adult Internet users under 30 are getting their information from what their friends are posting on social networks rather than from traditional business homepages. (Pew Research)
Customer reviews are trusted 12x more than marketing descriptions. (Brick Marketing)
Marketers have long understood that shopping is a highly emotional experience. As shopping experiences shift from the physical to the digital, customers are still strongly influenced by their feelings; and brands that successfully figure out how to recognize, elicit, and tailor the shopping experience to these emotions will thrive.
What’s more, the rise of social networking has made friend recommendations more accessible and prevalent than ever before. Consider the following scenario: You’re casually scrolling through your Facebook News feed, and suddenly you see a review your friend wrote for a new wireless speaker set he recently purchased for his home. You hadn’t even considered needing or even wanting a new set of speakers, but you’re suddenly intrigued because you know that this particular friend has great taste and a keen interest in the latest tech gadgets. Out of curiosity, you click your friend’s review, which takes you to the product page for the item, where you see hundreds of other positive customer reviews about these speakers.
Before you know it, you’re staring at your current speaker set, which suddenly appears ancient and outdated compared to the sleek, surround-sound speakers on the screen. It doesn’t take long before you’ve placed the item in your cart and completed the check-out process.
Nurturing Consumer Trust
71% of consumers state that they are very concerned about online companies selling or sharing information about them without their permission. (Consumer Reports)
77% of online shoppers would trust businesses more if they explained how they use their personal information. (Get Elastic)
People are openly sharing their life updates, personal photographs, interests, locations, and more across their social channels — yet, in an ironic turn of events, customers are increasingly hesitant to share this intel with businesses online. In fact, the sharing of personal information has become a touchy subject for customers coming to terms with the “evil corporation” image that has been embedded in the media.
To help ease your customers’ fears about data privacy, we recommend communicating clearly to your users exactly what data points you’d like them to share with your business and how you plan to use this data to improve the buying experience. We’re willing to bet that your customers will be surprisingly open to sharing personal details if you assure them that you’ll be responsible with their intel.
Crafting Better Shopping Experiences
40% of consumers buy more from retailers who personalize the shopping experience across channels. (Monetate)
48% of consumers use or would like to use a smartphone to shop while in-store or on the go. (Luxury Daily)
45% of in-store consumers turn to social platforms on their mobile devices to influence their buying decisions. (Social Media Today)
When it comes to reaching your customers, personalized, cross-channel experiences are key. Going off our earlier point, it’s important to collect your users’ data so that you can, in turn, use it to tailor the shopping experience to them.
You may also want to consider ways to bridge the experience from channel to channel. This goes beyond simply having a mobile presence: It encompasses your ability to engage your customer on their desktops, mobile devices, and in your store with a consistent brand experience.
Connected devices are projected to total 26 billion by 2020. (Gartner)
IoT Solutions spending will reach $7.1 trillion worldwide in 2020. (eMarketer)
It’s important for any retailer to consider how the Internet of Things will affect the way consumers will interact with their, well, things in the future. As ultra-connectedness becomes the norm, is your business situated to capitalize on, or at least remain relevant, to your customers?
General Electric, for instance, teamed with Internet of Things software provider Quirky to develop a new line of connected home goods that interact with one another and connect to your smartphone. One of its products is the Nimbus, a four-dial dashboard that displays the time, commute traffic, weather, email inbox status, calendar, social media network updates, and more. The Nimbus connects to your FitBit, phone, and other products within the GE+Quirky line.
Guiding The Future of eCommerce
eCommerce will only continue to grow in the future; and as it does, it’s increasingly critical that your business is poised to meet your customers’ expectations. This involves earning their trust, knowing them on an individual level, providing relevant, cross-channel shopping experiences, and positioning your business to remain relevant in the wake of new developments.
For some additional inspiration, we’ve compiled 50 of the best user experiences we’ve found on the web to date — check it out here.
By Emma Tzeng