Digital commerce continues to evolve at an explosive pace; International Data Corp. (IDC) forecasts revenue for digital commerce applications will grow at an 18.8 percent rate to $4.1 billion through 2017. Improved ecommerce provides more options and better services leading to greater sales. The following are five ecommerce trends for 2014.
Free and fast shipping
In 2014, it is now a must to offer free or faster shipping options. Small businesses that cannot afford to offer free and fast shipping should look for creative ways to deliver the goods, such as adding a personal note or a discount on a future purchase.
Content marketing & SEO
A recent study shows that 82 percent of marketers plan to increase their budgets for content marketing in 2014. Content marketing is one of the main ways for a company to establish authority and gain trust with shoppers. Generating content that is useful for customers is also a great SEO tactic. Small businesses can provide unique, practical and entertaining information such as industry tips, fun facts and links to charities they support to engage their followers. Experts also recommend retailers avoid old SEO tactics like keyword usage and keyword density, and opt for the latest content forms like blog posts and videos.
Mobile & tablets
Almost 40 percent of online shopping was done on mobile devices on Black Friday 2013. This trend will continue in 2014 as more consumers are empowered to use their phones and tablets to shop when and where they like. Small businesses need to make sure their sites are optimized for any type of handheld mobile device.
To make shoppers’ lives easier in 2014, more online businesses will engineer the right mix of guided discovery to provide targeted and welcome suggestions that help consumers make purchases.
Shoppers need and want to make fewer clicks; therefore they must be offered the right choices. Helping shoppers make a useful discovery is called guided discovery. To make shoppers’ lives easier in 2014, more online businesses will engineer the right mix of guided discovery to provide targeted and welcome suggestions that help consumers make purchases. Small businesses can embrace this trend by looking at the user data they already have available and providing relevant recommendations.
Personalization & customization
In 2014, the trend for consumers to personalize, modify or design their own products will continue. More businesses will start to implement 3D printing technology to enable and speed up this customization.
These are just five of the latest ecommerce trends that online retailers should consider adopting in 2014. In addition, building a strong brand is still essential. You can build a strong brand by delivering super products and services, communicating your mission consistently through multiple channels, and aligning with influencers who will talk about your brands. Providing great products, and a pleasant and successful shopping experience, ultimately will lead to greater sales and more opportunities for your business to grow.