Top 4 trends in ecommerce for 2016

Top 4 trends in ecommerce for 2016

We are about to move into 2016, and for ecommerce businesses, this means embracing some new or developing trends that make this sector so exciting.

So who will be the big winners in the New Year? You’d be right in thinking that phenomena such as mobile and social commerce play big parts, especially when it comes to conversions. Getting to know your customers through personalisation has also gained popularity in the last few years. In 2016 though, it will be context that becomes king. Businesses big and small will also be addressing the need to explore multi-channel marketplaces, obtaining the best channel coverage possible. In this post, we’ll take you through what’s coming up, what you should look out for, and how to use the latest trends to your advantage.

1) Contextual shopping vs Personalisation

Many ecommerce businesses have focussed on personalisation as a way to entice and track customers across their site. Next year however, businesses could see a shift to contextual shopping where tracking shopper journeys will be key. Contextual takes data from portable devices and customises experiences and ads to the owner of the device. You don’t even have to be logged into the site. As scarily invasive as that may sound, it will help retailers create a better and more convenient customer experience. Brands will reap the rewards if they prepare themselves for this technological advancement.

2) Mobile Commerce

M-commerce has grown over the last few years and next year will be no different. Gartner predicts that “by 2017, U.S. customers’ mobile engagement behaviour will drive mobile commerce revenue in the U.S. to 50% of U.S. digital commerce revenue“. In short, if a company doesn’t interact or optimise their assets for customers, it misses out on half of its business. Making sure customers have the best experience possible, allowing them to achieve exactly what they want when purchasing means that you’ll gain their trust.

3) Social shopping

Experts have been talking about social platforms serving as shopping channels for some time now. Social networking sites have been used over the years to brand build, talk to customers and obtain new ones, but over the next year, they will also slowly transform into online shopping destinations. Major players (Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest) are all planning on creating ‘buy buttons’ for their platforms, and Facebook alone accounts for 64% of social revenue. The joy of the social shopping experience is that the customer will get a completely seamless shopping experience.

Purchases will be completed quicker as customers won’t have to jump from social platform to ecommerce site. Brands are already starting to embrace this through URLs linking through to product pages (seen below on Instagram). Pinterest has already implemented ‘buyable pins’ where the customer can simply click and pay with Apple Pay or their card. The platform also claims the highest order value at nearly $60 to Facebook’s $55.

The other great thing about social shopping is that it is easy to see what the real value of the product is. People will comment, like, review and compare prices all through one post. They’ll also be able to share with their network, opening up 1000’s of new customers to brands.

4) Ecommerce businesses moving to online marketplaces and selling through multi-channels

Working with a partner like Netmatter will ensure you have the right ecommerce systems and marketing processes in place to make the most of the multi-channel opportunity. Selling multi-channel has never been so important; it has a substantial impact on marketplace success. Doing your research before you move onto multi-channels will help you make the right decision for you. In the UK, there are three main channels, each of which can drive significant revenue for ecommerce businesses: Amazon, eBay and your website. You should diversify the channels you’re on to spread your risk; for example, it’s better to have three channels providing you with a third of your business than two, one of which brings you 70%. 

This post has been written by our guest writer Jessica Looke. Jessica works for one of our partners; Volo Commerce.

Volo was launched in 2006 and has 90 employees who work closely with customers around the world. Volo has experienced exponential growth since the business was founded and its ecommerce platform already processes more than 40 million sales orders annually.