Entrepreneurship is becoming a more and more challenging game: competition is rife, market places are crowded and consumers are becoming ever more difficult to impress. You, the business owner, need to keep on top of trends and ahead of the store down the road. Ecommerce has changed the way stores sell and consumers spend. Nowadays, it’s not a question of whether you should incorporate ecommerce trends into your business, it’s how you’re going to make sure the latest ecommerce trends form part of your business. Here are four trends in ecommerce news you need to consider.
1) The lines between offline and online shopping are being blurred.
The two different commerce channels were once seen as two entities that competed with each other for customers and market share. Now, retailers are finding ways in which the two can complement each other giving buyers a better overall experience. Features like same day delivery and in-store collections give consumers the perks of being able to do the buying leg-work online, without having to wait for it to be delivered. For example, Takealot.com, Yuppiechef and Loot give you the option of collecting your purchases from their depot. Makro is also partnering with Sasol petrol stations and rolling out a pick-up option at your nearest Sasol station. This shows how having an e-store can actually strengthen your offline store, instead of cannibalising it.
2) Online retailers are becoming content creators.
The consumers of today need to be impressed and choose their retailers based on the experience they’re given – be that in-store or on an ecommerce site. This has seen brands move from simply being merchants, to becoming merchants and content creators: one piece of ecommerce news that doesn’t get talked about. Blogs, videos and infographics entertain, engage and educate potential customers and give them a reason to keep returning. Their content also acts as an SEO-booster, increasing the chances of people finding your online store through Google.
3) E-merchants are going to their customers, rather than waiting for the customers to come to them.
Online stores are reaching out to consumers where they are – and for a huge number of people, that’s on Facebook. Research from International Data Corporation (IDC) found that the average person checks Facebook 14 times a day - that’s a huge marketing opportunity for online retailers. The social media platform now even lets brands sell their products through Facebook, which means customers don’t even have to leave the site to buy your products. Twitter also expanded its ecommerce feature last year with Twitter Offers, letting users redeem offers and pay for products by simply clicking on a link embedded in a tweet.
4) Ecommerce trends are being shaped by the rise and rise of mobile.
In South Africa, we’re using our computers less and our mobiles more to shop online – that’s according to a report released by Effective Measure this year. This isn’t surprising given that data from venture capitalists KPCB shows that 57% of internet usage in SA comes from mobile. While more developed markets such as the UK and USA embraced ecommerce long before the advent of mobile, South Africa’s accelerated adoption of ecommerce is paired with the boom in mobile. This means any store owner entering the ecommerce sphere needs to make sure that their site is user-friendly and functional when viewed from all types of mobile devices.
An e-store helps you expand your customer base and helps your products sell better offline.
Even consumers who prefer to shop offline use the internet to inform their purchasing decisions. Your ecommerce site acts as an advertising platform for your products, as well as opening up your customer base to all those who aren’t near enough to buy from you in person – and they can buy from you at midnight on a Sunday if they feel like it!
Contact Sage Online Tools if you think ecommerce is just what your business is looking for – we can talk to you in more detail about the latest ecommerce trends. If you still need convincing, try our 30 day free trial here.