5 Hot eCommerce Trends Likely to Dominate in 2015

These are exciting times for anyone belonging to the eCommerce industry. With virtually all the companies and associated industries making a beeline to make their presence felt on the web, there is a sort of boom in the eCommerce sector. There is a rapid proliferation of new apps, cutting edge technologies and almost daily something new is added to already vibrant sector of eCommerce and new jargons are also added to the ever expanding world of eCommerce. In such a scenario, it is evident that the analysts and experts associated with this field are always in the act of predicting the latest trends and opportunities, which if identified correctly, can give a decisive edge to the online retailers.

Times for eCommerce Industry with New Technologies Emerging
These are exciting times for eCommerce industry with new technologies emerging all the time

Hence, to make things a little bit easier for you, we have collected some of the most widely anticipated trends and predictions for the eCommerce industry in the year 2015. These areas are going to make a major impact on the way you do business online, and while some of these trends have been developing since quite few years, some of the trends have made a sudden appearance on the scene just lately. Here is a brief lowdown on all such trends.

1. Year 2015 may be the Center Stage for Mobile Technologies

Mobile payments and emerging mobile technologies will ensure sea change in the eCommerce arena. These trends were building up since last few years and this year, they are all set to change the entire setup of the eCommerce industry and mobile eCommerce is finally going to see the light of the day. Global m-commerce sales are picking up like anything and are predicted to reach $120 billion globally in 2015, as per the report by specialist market analysis firm Paul Budde Communication, and according to the forecasts by Google, in the UK, 50% of the retail related queries will be from a smartphone come this Christmas.

With the explosive growth of the smartphone industry, ominchannels, multi-channels and screen swapping are all the in things for the mobile industry this year. In order to take the advantage of the mobile hot trend, advertisers and e commerce retailers have to ensure that they have responsive websites and optimized ads, that are able to seamlessly display the website in a mobile, a tablet and a desktop as well, so that they can reach to all the segments of their customers. Even in a brick and mortar store kind of environment, mobiles are increasingly making their presence felt. As customers search for price points and product reviews, retailers are beginning to look forward to adopt m-commerce in order to advertise, promote offers and enhance the user experience (UX) of their customers when they are present in their shop. In addition to this, with the rising popularity of contactless payments, on the go transactions, mobile POS systems and the much awaited arrivals of Apple Pay in the UK, this looks like a trend that is going to gather further steam in the year 2015.

2. Social Media will Rule the Roost in 2015

If your eCommerce business doesn’t have a social media presence, then it is not going to be noticed by anyone, since it is strongly predicted that social media will consolidate its presence in the year 2015 in the arena of eCommerce and will have a strong impact on eCommerce sales as well. What has been crystal clear in all these years in the evolution of the social media is that being on social media is not just about brand building and promotion, it is about making that personal connection with the users and customers, where engagement and personally connecting with your target audience is the name of the game. In such a scenario, storytelling and one on one interaction with the target audience assume prominence.

Hence, things to look out for in a social media marketing campaigns should be the fact that such promotions are able to create a buzz amongst the target audience and people in general. Best ROI comes from the word of the mouth advertisement and users naturally sharing and talking about a particular brand. Ultimately, people ape each other and buy after getting influenced from each other, so eCommerce social media campaigns should be targeted at promoting customer interaction, suggestions and recommendations.

Utilizing flash sales through platforms like Instagram and Snapchat is a given and will still play an important role, but it is expected that this year the scales are also tilting in the favor of review sites like Trustpilot, which lay greater emphasis on what other customers are saying and their reviews about a particular product. In one study, it is concluded that 62% of people are more likely to buy from a company after seeing a positive review from other users, and conversion rates are on the up when there are ample reviews and recommendations from other customers on any eCommerce website.

Social Media will Rule the Roost in 2015
People buy from people, and social media plays a vital role in this process of buying

However, you must not forget that all the emphasis on the social media is good, and that ultimately people buy from people, but surely the customer service you deliver in store is also important. How you make the customer feel in person and how much you are able to satisfy your customer offline as well is also going to play an important role in the expansion of your business. So in the era of the social media onslaught, don’t forget also to enhance the offline experience of your customers.

3. Customization is in

In this era of social media, one should not forget that there is a huge potential for customization, and paid social should also continue to play a vital part of eCommerce marketing plans. Due to the availability of a huge amount of data on prospective and current customers, now eCommerce retailers can target exactly who they want. Market segmentation is expected to on the rise, with focus on targeting the niche audiences. With the big data technologies doing the rounds, mass customization based on personal preferences could become the common place in the eCommerce industry. In such segments, online retailers will target customers based on upselling and product suggestions, cart abandonment marketing and personalized nurturing.

However, one should not forget that data acquisition and privacy issues are still sensitive issues. While the Government committees in their public reports are increasingly calling on the social media websites to be more transparent about their terms and conditions, there is likely to be many new developments on this front in the coming twelve months of the year 2015.

4. Delivery Times will Shrink Further

Quicker delivery times have become the norm rather than the exception in the eCommerce industry and increasingly the waiting times after which the customers have delivered the order are shrinking. Gone are the days of waiting weeks and weeks for a product to be delivered as the instant access to goods and services becomes the new industry benchmark. Hence, the importance of speedy delivery will continue to grow for eCommerce retails in 2015. The success of Amazon Prime demonstrates this fact amply, and there are other retailers that offer click and collect services or home store pickups, so that delivery times can shrink further. In all this clamor for more delivery speed, it is self-evident that from 2015, customers would not have to pay anything for standard delivery, and expedited shipping is not a luxury it used to be before. This has also become a norm, since there is increasing competition among online retailers and a quick turnaround time helps them to better compete with their rivals. In this context, the brick and mortar stores still hold the advantage since they have the luxury of offering the instant gratification to the shoppers, where they shop, pay and instantly receive the product in their hands, and hence would be hard to replace solely by online retailers.

5. 2015 is the Year for Wearable Tech

With Google glass and Apple’s iWatch setting the trend, the sector of wearable tech is going to gather steam in the year 2015. In addition to this, there are a number of other smartwatch, smart wristband and even smart clothes retailers with products already in the market or in the final stages of production. Gartner, the technology research firm predicts that the global market for these type of products will reach about £3.2 billion by 2016. With the scene of wearable tech gaining such traction, it is possible that it can add a new dimension to how we all interact with shops and retailers through this technology and how eCommerce operates?

2015 is the  Year for Wearable Tech
Wearable tech is the emerging technology in the year 2015

While answers to such an important question is not clear now, and it is yet to unbundle how this new technology will impact the eCommerce scene. However, this is likely to add a channel or the advertisers to make use of and enhance the shopping experience of their customers, just the way smart phones did. Due to the wearable technology, the online information becomes very easily accessible to the potential customers, and imagine a scenario where a potential customer walks past your shop and his wearable watch beeps a limited discount you are offering for a limited amount of time that day, and the customer is tempted to try you out. How the wearable technology will shape up keeping in view the needs of eCommerce retailers remains to be seen since it is an upcoming technology but its evolution is surely going to bring some more excitement to an already hot scene of exploding growth in the eCommerce sector.

These are the broad trends that are likely to dominate in the eCommerce retail arena in the year 2015. It is a fact that consumers today have become more knowledgeable, and they increasingly know what the right price for any commodity or service is and know where to find the best deals with increasingly quicker delivery times. Hence, in today’s eCommerce marketplace, speed, price and availability matter more than customer loyalty, which has become increasingly hard to foster.

Five Things You Should Look For In Your eCommerce Platform

Most of the people simply don’t have time to go to a brick-and-mortar store and shop. Tight work schedules, long line of personal commitments and lack of time for relaxation play havoc on our minds, don’t they? But this unpleasant reality doesn’t mean that people don’t shop at all. They still do but it’s just that physical shopping has become more of a luxury that not everyone can afford. For retailers, it’s great opportunities to setup an online eCommerce store to sell their products. To make this possible, they have to get start with an eCommerce platform. If they don’t have any idea and the ecommerce store comparison details, it may difficult for them to choose the best eCommerce solution. This article provides five important things to look for.

Day by day, eCommerceFive Things You Should Look For In Your eCommerce Platform stores are gaining more popularity. Shoppers can be done with their shopping with just a click. That’s convenience, and that’s exactly what you need to offer to your audience. But that’s easier said than done. Especially, when you don’t know a single thing about going online. This problem can be easily solved if you do proper research. If you are wondering what kind of research, read on.

1. User experience: You end to provide outstanding user experience to engage your visitors. According to a research, 40% of the online shoppers abandon a slow website, while 79% shoppers have said that they will never visit a website again that doesn’t offer acceptable user experience. So while choosing an eCommerce platform, eCommerce application and cloud platform, don’t forget to check the loading speed. Make sure that the coding is optimized for high performance and quick content delivery. This will make sure that your customers aren’t abandoning your store in the middle of the purchase.

2. Reliability: If your store is having a turnover of $100,000 per day, a one second delay in the site will potentially cost you $2.5 million in annual lost sales. This simply means, you need to have a store that’s up nearly 100% of the time.

3. Security and compliance: For any business, security and data protection is a must. More so for online retailers who store or process sensitive consumer information. As having a secure site leads to high turnover business, PCI compliance should be the main element of your business strategy. Make sure you are in compliance with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards, where you need to deploy specialist security infrastructure. However, remember that PCI DSS is costly and so if you are a small firm, consider outsourcing the security infrastructure to a specialist.

4. Mobile strategy: You can’t avoid mobiles in this high-tech age. Retailers need to create effective mobile strategy to reach their target audience and to convert the visitors into paying customers. Apart from having a user-friendly website, you need to have mobile-friendly one too. You need to make sure that your site is fast and easy to navigate on all types of smart phones. Don’t forget to deploy social sharing capabilities to maximize your business.

5. Vendor partnership: Make sure you and your vendors/partners are on the same page. If you already have zeroed in on a b2b eCommerce platform, select the vendors who have experience in it. If you are letting the agency guide you, let them recommend a best ecommerce platform they are experienced in. Also, remember that it’s always important to establish a close partnership and knowledge transfer between your website developers and your cloud support resources.

Top 6 eCommerce Mistakes That Cost You Sales

How many times has it happened to you that you open an eCommerce website and close it immediately because the design doesn’t click with you or you find it too complex to navigate? Do you want your visitors to go through the same experience? Of course not because ultimately it will cost you sales. Just go through the following six eCommerce errors to know how you can avoid such situations and increase ecommerce website sales:

Top 6 eCommerce Mistakes That Cost You Sales

Complicated filters:

Along with the search functionality comes various filters such as new products, low priced products, different brands and so on. If you wish to offer outstanding user experience, you need to offer simple yet intuitive search functionality and easy-to-use filters is one such feature. Make sure that the search filters are simple yet effective; they should aid in navigation not hamper the process.

Out of stock:

Although it’s great to have out-of-stock sticker for the products you don’t have on hand, little does it do in way of customer satisfaction. Of course you can’t help it when you don’t have the product on hand but you can definitely add “Notify me when the item is in stock,” which will definitely go a long way in soothing your disappointed visitors.

Low-quality images:

Low-quality images are sacrilege when it comes to eCommerce conversion optimization. It’s only through the product images customers can make an informed buying decision. For higher sales, you have to make sure that the images are of high quality. Also, don’t just upload a single image for a product; upload multiple shots from all possible angles to offer better information to the visitors.

Invisible search box:

Search functionality is very important as it helps visitors find the exact product they are looking for. If your search box is user-friendly but not visible to the visitors right away, little good it will do. Make sure that the search box is visible on each of the pages, including inquiry form.

Inadequate product overview:

Visitors love quick product overview feature because it offers them a chance to scan the catalog quickly. It also makes the browsing process easy for them because they don’t need to leave the category or search results’ page. If you aren’t offering product overview or are offering inadequate product overview, it could be one of the major reasons of low sales numbers. So tighten up your belt there.

Hidden shopping cart:

There are two main types of shopping carts – one that appears every time an item is added, and second which only notifies whenever an item is added. If you are using the latter, you need to change it pronto. A customer should always known what he/she has purchased until then – unless you want rising cart abandonment ratio.

Do you know any other reasons for low sales numbers? Comment here to share it with us. Now.

Try e-Smart eCommerce Suite. With this customized eCommerce software, we customize and optimize your entire eCommerce website to increase sales.

6 Tips To Prevent Shopping Cart Abandonment

We arm our eCommerce websites with attractive layouts, simple navigation, clear images and relevant content in hope of bagging good number of sales. But when a customer abandons the shopping cart at the last moment, all these efforts go to waste. Usually, there are several reasons behind the customers’ such actions, and these reasons lie in checkout page. The reason could range from complex checkout page to lack of clarity on the products the customers are buying to seemingly insecure checkout page.

By following the tips mentioned below, you can definitely minimize the instances of checkout abandonment rate.
6 Tips To Prevent Shopping Cart Abandonment

Loading time: A slow eCommerce website, especially a mobile website, is never going to win any brownie points. During the checkout, you have few just seconds on hand to make the customer complete the purchase, and if you fail there, you end up with abandoned shopping cart or checkout page and a forever lost customer. So minimizing the loading time of the checkout page and optimize shopping cart is of paramount importance. Don’t ever ignore it. To reduce the loading time, you can minimize the graphics and images on that page. Clear codes are also great to reduce loading time.

Relevant information: The focus of the checkout page should be to help the customers complete the transactions, and not to distract them with long, irrelevant information. So remove the clutter from the page, including breadcrumbs, recently viewed items and top selling products. Instead, you can go for small cross-selling items to enhance the customers’ shopping experience.

Security: People are usually wary of providing their personal information online, and for a good reason. So if you want to gather your customers’ personal and financial information to complete the sale, you will first need to reassure them about the safety and security of the page. Adding an updated SSL certification on the pages asking for personal information is a good way to communicate the security and safety to the customers.

Shipping costs: According to a recent eCommerce study, around 60% of the customers abandoned their carts due to unexpected shipping costs. Conclusion: springing unexpected shipping costs on the customers at the last moment leads to plunging sales. Be upfront about the shipping costs by disclosing the fees on the product listing page itself. If you are offering free shipping, mention that too.

Payment options: Accepting couple of methods of payment is never going to make a cut. For offering maximum facilities to your customers, better set up a merchant account and accept all major payment methods, including net banking and checks.

Testing: The best way to gauge the effectiveness of your checkout page is to test it yourself. Don’t do it just once or twice, keep doing it repeatedly. Make changes in the quantity, change the products in the shopping cart at the last moment, try to use different types of payment methods and keep billing and shipping information different. If you can do these tasks without any problem, your customers too would be able to do it without any issues.

Single Store Versus Multiple Stores

Every successful business will expand, either rapidly or at slow pace depending on the business’ internal policies and external environment. When an eCommerce business grows, it has two options: either to expand its current store and include more products or categories, or it can create multiple stores. Are you at this juncture? If so, you should properly consider all the pros and cons before making a concrete decision.

Single Store Versus Multiple Stores

Single Store:

Pros:

  • One destination for clients to remember
  • Multiple-vendor business format possible
  • Strong single brand of business

Cons:

  • Limited target audience and geographical reach
  • Looks messy if the store sells diametrically opposite products
  • Can become boring with standard designs

Multiple Stores:

Pros:

  • Better reach to various segments of target audience
  • Diversification into various geographical locations possible
  • Existence of niche stores create powerful brand awareness
  • Customized website design of each store attracts more visitors

Cons:

  • Needs highly customized dashboard to maintain multiple stores
  • If SEO not done properly, it can lead to lower SERPs
  • Overall, it’s expensive than maintaining a single store in short run

Conclusion:

If you are sure that you have better business prospects, it’s always a good idea to go for multiple stores. Apart from obvious benefits attached with multiple stores, you will stand better chance of attracting and retaining relevant traffic to your stores. If you are thinking about the amount of work involved in maintaining various eCommerce stores, be assured that it can be easily solved through the use of highly customized dashboard. Through such dashboard, you can:

  • Customized website design for each store
  • Unique content, including newsletters, for each store
  • Upload products across multiple stores in one go
  • Add or edit bulk products with a single click
  • Manage shipping and payment details
  • Accept payment in multiple currencies
  • Maintain multiple stores in foreign languages
  • Conduct effective marketing campaigns for all stores

If you need help setting up multiple eCommerce stores, do not hesitate to contact us. Ydeveloper has several years of experience in setting up multiple stores for all types of businesses across the board.